A BJP-TRS joust over liberation
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Each party in Telangana is trying to outdo the other in celebrating Hyderabad Liberation Day

September 13, 2022 12:15 am | Updated 01:06 am IST

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured official celebrations of Hyderabad Liberation Day if the BJP is voted to power.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured official celebrations of Hyderabad Liberation Day if the BJP is voted to power. | Photo Credit: RAMANA K.V.

The State and Central governments seem to be in combative mood to officially observe Hyderabad Liberation Day on September 17 this year. This is the first time that the day is being celebrated officially by both the governments.

The demand for celebrating Liberation Day has been in the air for almost seven decades, but did not fructify as political parties remained indecisive about it for various reasons. Interestingly, the event is celebrated in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region in Karnataka and the Marathwada region of Maharashtra, which formed part of the erstwhile princely State, but not in Hyderabad.

A resolution

The conundrum in the State is now heading towards a resolution with Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announcing that there will be celebrations for three days to mark the commencement of the 75th year of the State’s liberation and integration into the Indian union. The TRS government is observing the day as Telangana National Integration Day and the celebrations are likely to be held all over the State. The celebrations will include the hoisting of the national flag at the State, district and mandal levels with the Chief Minister hoisting the tri-colour at Public Gardens in the heart of the city, mass rallies across the State, and a cultural programme on September 18.

The TRS was forced to take this decision after the BJP-led Central government announced that it will hold year-long celebrations, with Home Minister Amit Shah as chief guest at the inaugural event on September 17 in Hyderabad. Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy addressed letters to the Chief Ministers of Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra inviting them to attend the inaugural programme. The BJP is hopeful that the Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Maharashtra will participate in the event. The BJP’s letters form part of the party’s efforts to expand its base in Telangana, where it is sensing a significant rise in its following.

Not to be left behind, the Congress too has announced its intentions to celebrate the milestone for a year. The party said it was necessary that the sacrifices made by people in fighting against Nizam rule be explained so that younger generations are made aware of them.

Meanwhile, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi addressed letters to the Chief Minister as well as the Union Home Minister requesting Liberation Day to be called National Integration Day as the nationalist movement saw the people of these territories (erstwhile princely States) as an integral part of independent India.

Rare unity

While each party is trying to outdo the other, what stands out is the fact that the TRS government is being forced to toe the BJP line and announce a programme of its own. There has been a war of words between the TRS and the BJP over the official celebration of Liberation Day. The BJP has frequently put the TRS government on the mat for not celebrating the day fearing repercussions from its ally, the AIMIM. The party has said Mr. Rao promised official celebrations of the historic occasion while leading the separate statehood movement, but ignored it after the TRS assumed power. The issue reached a flash point when the BJP leadership announcing its resolve to organise celebrations. The TRS then scrambled to take some decision in this regard, political observers say.

Political overtones notwithstanding, the diamond jubilee of Hyderabad liberation/integration resulted in a rare political consensus among political parties. It has to be seen whether these parties will now work for evolving similar unity on issues of immediate importance.

rajeev.madabhushi@thehindu.co.in

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