Srinisspace - Hyderabad Presidency and Operation Polo

On August 15th of 1947, British Government gave freedom to India and passed the power to Constituent Assembly of India. After independence from British, one of the biggest problems in-front of the sovereign India was the status of princely states. The then Deputy Prime Minister Vallabhbhai Patel took the responsibility of bringing most of the princely states to India.

Princely states in British India were states which was ruled by a regional ruler who had an alliance with British Raj. There were around 565 princely states and the biggest princely state in India was “The Hyderabad State“

The Hyderabad State:
The Hyderabad State was the biggest state in population and revenue. Hyderabad was the first state to enter into a political agreement with British for protection and Hyderabad Nizam was the first prince to sign such an agreement. From that time, Hyderabad State had British protection and came under indirect British rule with an alliance to Nizam.

Even before independence, the then Nizam announced that he decided not to be part of India or Pakistan. After independence, the India offered a treaty with Hyderabad state “A standstill agreement” which gave the princely states one year time to decide whether to join any of the country or to stay independent and an assurance that no military action would be taken in that one year time.

Conflicts after agreement:
India accused Hyderabad on violation of agreement clauses that Hyderabad secretly loaned Pakistan, developed a secret private army and interfered the traffic between India and Hyderabad. Hyderabad also accused India that India was building a economic blockade to slowdown economy in Hyderabad. Amid the tensions between Hyderabad and India, Nizam requested the help of British & UN and the attempts were failed.

There were tensions and conflicts between Hindus and Muslims even prior to Independence and after the setup of private militants named “Razakars”, the conflicts grew a lot. Due to the atrocities of Razakars many Hindus flew away from Hyderabad and as a result there was an unrest in the surrounding villages of Hyderabad where Hindus raided in Nizam’s territory. These conflicts between both community escalated the violence.

Operation Polo:
India signed an intention to invade Hyderabad due to the violations of agreement and the Military operation is named as “Operation Polo“. The Indian Army’s attack on Hyderabad started on 13th September of 1948 and after 5 days, on 17th September Nizam announced ceasefire. Following day( On 18th Sep ), the Hyderabad Army surrendered to India.

The communal atrocities were recorded before, at the time & after the operation and both the sides were affected badly. The official estimated casualties were 27,000 to 40,000. But it was around 200,000 by other scholars. The detained militants from both side were release except few.