The Destruction of Hyderabad
The story of the fall of Hyderabad State has been told a good many times. Told mostly by the ‘court historians’ of Indian nationalism, this study seeks to revise the official historical account of the ‘police action’ (1948) led by the Indian army against the forces and government of the Nizam of Hyderabad. The Destruction of Hyderabad provides a detailed record of the diplomatic exchanges between the Government of India and the Government of Hyderabad during the British Raj, and after partition and independence in 1947, based on archival sources in Hyderabad which remain largely unexplored by scholars. The author has unearthed contemporary diplomatic correspondence, the Sunderlal Committee report on the massacre of Hyderabad’s Muslim population during and after the ‘police action’ (since suppressed by the Indian state), and a wealth of memoirs and first-hand accounts of the clandestine workings of territorial nationalism in its bleakest and most shameful hour. The author brings to light the largely ignored and fateful intervention of M.A. Jinnah in the destruction of Hyderabad, both while he was President of the Muslim League and after he became Governor General of Pakistan. He also addresses the communal leanings of Sardar Patel and his hand-picked Agent-General K.M. Munshi in shaping Hyderabad’s fate. The book is dedicated to the ‘other’ Hyderabad: a culturally syncretic state, a tolerant society, and a rich composite culture which communal forces in India found alien.