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The Destruction of Hyderabad

January 2021

6.25 x 9.5 inches

(xxiv+388) 412 pages

ISBN : 978-93-82381-33-4

INR 780
INR 780.00
In stock

For sale only in India and South Asia.


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 the State'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.

A.G. Noorani

A.G. Noorani is Advocate, Supreme Court of India, and a leading constitutional expert and political commentator. He is a regular columnist for Frontline and the author of numerous books, including: Articles 370: A Constitutional History of Jammu and Kashmir, Jinnah and Tilak: Comrades in the Freedom Struggle, India-China Boundary Problem 1846–1947: History and Diplomacy, Indian Political Trials, 1775–1947, Constitutional Questions and Citizens' Rights, The Muslims of India: A Documentary Record (editor), Islam and Jihad: Prejudice versus Reality, the two-volume The Babri Masjid Question 1528–2003: 'A Matter of National Honour' (editor, 2003), the two-volume The Kashmir Dispute, The Destruction of Hyderabad, The Destruction of the Babri Masjid, and, most recently, The RSS: A Menace to India (2019).

'A.G. Noorani’s book… provides a rare insight into the events in the run-up to the 1948 Police Action in Hyderabad State… Noted lawyer and political commentator A.G. Noorani has laid hands on the controversial report which is yet to see the light of day although some of the details have come out over the years. In his latest book… the legal expert lays bare the government- commissioned report word to word.'

J.S. Ifthekhar, The Hindu

'The book for the first time has included the classified and confidential report of an inquiry committee, led by Pandit Sundar Lal, on the massacre of the Muslims in Hyderabad and its aftermath.'

Greater Kashmir, Srinagar

'Constitutional expert A.G. Noorani’s thoroughly researched Destruction of Hyderabad, a revisionist account of the “police action” led by the Indian army against the government of Nizam of Hyderabad in 1948, sheds new light on this debate.'

Mazamil Jaleel, The Indian Express