TRS, BJP fire salvos at each other amid two September 17 celebrations

In a veiled reference to the BJP, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said on the occasion of the National Integration Day that communal forces were attempting to distort the history of erstwhile Hyderabad state.
KCR addressing the gathering
KCR addressing the gathering

As anticipated, the occasion of September 17 — which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) calls the ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day’ and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) the ‘National Integration Day’ — has become a battleground for the BJP-led Union government and the TRS-led Telangana government to launch political attacks against each other. On September 17, 1948, the then princely state of Hyderabad was annexed to the Indian Union. With both the governments using different terms for this merger, two programmes were held in the state on Saturday, September 17, to observe the same occasion. While Union Home Minister Amit Shah participated in the Liberation Day celebrations in Parade Ground, Secunderabad, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao avoided the event and instead participated in the Integration Day celebrations, held in Public Garden, Nampally.

In his public address, the Chief Minister, popularly known as KCR, while remembering the long fight to achieve Telangana statehood, said that communal forces are on the rise in the country and the state. “They are planting thorns between social relations for their narrow interests. The fires of hatred are burning, and fueled by venomous comments. This kind of division between people is in no way justified,” KCR said in his speech, in what was an obvious reference to the BJP. 

He further added, “If this religious animosity continues to rise, it will only undermine the very existence of our states and the Indian Union. It will only vitiate human relations and our society. We need to put an end to selfish political motives whose purpose has been to distort the significance of September 17, which stands as a symbol of our unity in our collective memory.”

While listing out the development and growth of Telangana and remembering the state’s icons such as Komaram Bheem, Doddi Komaraiah, Ravi Narayan Reddy and others, KCR also alleged that disruptive forces who had nothing to do with the history and developments of Hyderabad’s annexation were now trying to distort and pollute the bright history of Telangana with petty politics.

Similarly, earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, without naming TRS, said that many parties that came to power promising to observe Hyderabad Liberation Day forgot their promise later, fearing the Razakars. “Today, some people are observing Liberation Day, but fear to call it so. I want to tell those people to uproot that fear from their hearts. The Razakars cannot make decisions anymore. It has been 75 years since the state has achieved independence,” Shah said.

Critics have alleged that the aggressive ‘Liberation Day’ push by BJP and other rightwing groups is an attempt to distort the region’s history, with the narrative that the Hindu-majority Hyderabad state was “liberated” from “Muslim rule.” The TRS government, on the other hand, maintains that the people of Hyderabad had together fought against the Nizam’s autocratic rule, and integrated with the Indian Union.


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