Telangana Govt declares holiday on September 17
Hyderabad, Sept. 17: The Telangana government has declared a holiday for all government institutions in the state on Saturday, September 17, on the occasion of ‘Telangana Integration Day’. In a notification, the government said that all private, aided and government-run educational institutions across Telangana will have a holiday on Saturday as well. September 17 this year will mark the completion of 74 years since Hyderabad state’s annexation to India. The Union government has planned year-long celebrations to mark the day, which it calls ‘Hyderabad State Liberation Day’. However, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has accused BJP of pushing a communal agenda by naming it so. The TRS government has instead chosen to mark the occasion as ‘Telangana Integration Day’.
The decision to mark 75 years of Hyderabad’s integration to the Indian state as ‘Telangana National Integration Day’ came after Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao regarding the same. In the letter, Owaisi said that common Hindus and Muslims of erstwhile Hyderabad state were advocates of a united India under a democratic, secular and republican government. “The struggles of the people of the erstwhile Hyderabad state against colonialism, feudalism and autocracy are a symbol of national integration rather than merely a case of ‘liberation’ of a piece of land or the removal of a ruler,” the letter stated.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will hoist the national flag at the Public Gardens on September 17 as part of the TRS government’s celebrations. The state cabinet too has announced year-long celebrations of the event. The three-day celebrations as part of the event began on September 16. Rallies were taken out in all Assembly constituencies in the state, kicking off the year-long official celebrations announced by the state government to mark the golden jubilee celebrations.
On September 17, 1948, the Indian Union, led by then Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Patel, annexed Hyderabad state through police action dubbed ‘Operation Polo’, and wrested power from Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of the princely state. It has been a longstanding demand of the BJP since the formation of Telangana to officially celebrate September 17 as ‘Liberation Day’, and has now been revived in a big way ahead of the 2023 Telangana Assembly election.
Thousands of Muslims were killed in ‘Operation Polo’, and the previous governments in united Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had avoided official celebrations around it fearing communal violence. The TRS has also rejected the BJP’s demand to mark it as ‘Liberation Day’, saying they would not accept such “divisive” demands. While the TRS and other parties in the past have observed the day as ‘Telangana Merger Day,’ this year, they are celebrating it as the ‘Telangana National Integration Day’.
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