Hyderabad: The Telangana Government welcomes anyone organizing events in commemoration of September 17 as ‘Liberation Day’. “We will also give permissions for processions if event organizers seek them,” Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao announced in the Legislative Assembly on Sunday.
Though Hyderabad was merged with India, the rulers that followed and led the governments did little for Telangana. September 17 marked the transition from autocracy to democracy, he said. Chandrashekhar Rao, however, made it clear that “while September 17, 1948, was the day when Hyderabad joined India, the actual liberation of Telangana was achieved on June 2, 2014 when the State of Telangana was formed.”
The Chief Minister’s announcement of the Government having no problems whatsoever with people planning to mark the day as a ‘Liberation Day’, practically knocks the wind out of BJP’s plans to mark the day on which in 1948, the then Nizam of Hyderabad signed the documents agreeing to merge the then princely State of Hyderabad with the Indian Union – and use the events as a political plank. It may be recalled that the BJP had been vociferous about the party observing the day and accusing the Chief Minister of going back on his pre-Telangana State demand for observing September 17 as the Liberation Day officially.
Chandrashekhar Rao also addressed this accusation from the BJP. The Chief Minister said it was true that during the Statehood movement, he had demanded that September 17 be observed as the Liberation Day. “After Telangana State was formed, we had widespread discussions and the considered opinion from all quarters was that making any special provisions for the day would only reopen old wounds,” he said.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti, he said, also observes the day by hoisting the national flag over its party headquarters Telangana Bhavan here in the city. “If those who want to observe the day want to hoist the national flag, they can do so. They can hold processions or mark it in a way they see fit,” he added.
The Chief Minister, however, warned that anyone who seeks to disturb the peace and amity in Telangana under any guise will be put down with an iron hand. “People in Telangana are happy. They are able to lead their lives peacefully. So we decided that there is no need to dig up old wounds. The real Liberation Day is June 2, 2014 when Telangana State was formed,” he reiterated.
Chandrashekhar Rao reminded the House that it was not just one community that was traumatized in the months that followed September 17, 1948. “People from all communities were killed or hurt. Communists were hunted down. Our former Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy’s father was shot dead by a policeman. The two years following 1948 were the darkest chapter in Telangana history,” the Chief Minister said.