IMAGINE LIVING IN A CITY peacefully for several generations. Then imagine waking up one day to find it altered almost overnight. Imagine witnessing gangs of fanatics prowling every street and neighbourhood with blood on their minds and swords in their hands. Imagine watching violent public demonstrations explicitly meant to terrorise you. Imagine the incensed crowds numbering in thousands taking out foot marches and cycle-marches in front of your own homes shouting Allahu Akbar and firing blank shots in the air. Imagine being heckled by a mob when you — alone and unarmed — went out to buy groceries. Imagine these gangs openly telling you that you are gobar-parast (dung worshippers), that you are a worshipper of stones and monkeys, and that you had a right to be enslaved. Imagine your car being encircled by lorries loaded with the same fanatical mobs chanting this slogan and variants thereof:
Nizam ke kadmon pe Nehru ko jhuka denge;
Patel Munshi ko kabron mein grad denge!
We shall force Nehru to bow low at the feet of the Nizam;
We shall bury Patel and Munshi in their graves!
Imagine the entire police force and administrative machinery backing these mobs.
Except that all this is not imagination. This was how Hyderabad looked in real life from the close of 1947 till its liberation from the Nizam’s clutches.
The man singularly responsible for unleashing this reign of terror was Kasim Razvi, the Butcher of Hindus across the Nizam’s substantial dominions that included the whole of Telangana, parts of Kalyana-Karnataka and the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. Kasim Razvi was the Nizam’s official butcher.
Just like how the Moplah genocide of Malabar Hindus was successfully whitewashed and distorted and upturned, the full story of the industrial-scale Hindu genocide committed by the Razakars — Razvi’s personal militia of barbarians — is hardly told in mainstream narratives in Andhra and Telangana itself. But that’s unsurprising given how the genocide and forced expulsion of Kashmiri Hindus which occurred so recently is still painted as a “migration.”
But before we narrate the detailed story of Kasim Razvi and his savage Razakars, let’s read some excerpts from a speech he delivered on March 31, 1948. (Emphases added)
“Hyderabad is an Islamic State. The Indian Union is trying to wipe out this Muslim rule from the Deccan. Remember that there are four-and-a-half crores of Muslims in the Dominion, looking to us to raise the banner of this Islamic State.
"Ittehad expects every Muslim to do his duty. I am glad that Muslim women are also coming forward to help the Razakars, 1 appeal to my Muslim sisters to support whole-heartedly this movement, and, if possible to train themselves in the art of self-defence. The time is not far off when we have to throw our entire weight to maintain the integrity of this Islamic State.
"We have been ruling the Deccan for the last 800 years and we shall rule it whether the Indian Union likes it or not.
"Power has come to the hands of the Indian Union after one thousand years. They are not capable of ruling. That is the reason why they lost it to the Muslims. Now, when that power has come to them, they think they can browbeat us and terrorise us by bullying and blustering…
"When … the Indian Union makes any aggression on us, remember the 4 1/2 crores of Muslims will raise the banner of revolt. We will give back in the same coin and speak to them in the same language that they will understand…
"I know every one of you is imbued with the spirit of Jehad. Remember Karbala. A Muslim is a warrior. He is a first-class fighting man. Indeed, Indian History is full of glorious episodes of the heroism of the Muslims. If India is free to-day, remember, it was due to the sword and arms of the Muslims. A Muslim is a born fighter and a protector of the weak.His one central ambition is to fight for a right and just cause. He will be guided by the great tenets of Quran.
"Now, my Muslim brothers, march onward! Never put back your sword into the sheath till your object is achieved. Stop not till you reach your goal [this was greeted by boisterous shouts of “Delhi Chalo!”]. Hound out the enemy. Do not spare him. Mind not your troubles. We believe in Allah. We have no other friends except Allah, who has created this Islamic State and who shall never let us down. Quran is in one hand and the sword is in the other, let us march forward; cut our enemies to pieces; establish our Islamic supremacy!
"I know the helplessness of our Muslim brothers in the Indian Union. Let us by our example of unsurpassed heroism, courage and vision, extend the much-needed succour to them.
"They will be our ‘Fifth Columnists’ in the Union. Now the Union is thinking of a ‘Fifth Column’ among us. We shall turn the tables and they will understand the character of the Mussulman. A Hindu who is a Kafir, a worshipper of stone and monkey [crowd laughs uproariously], who drinks cow’s urine and eats cow dung in the name of religion [renewed laughter], and who is a barbarian, in every sense of the word, wants to rule us! What an ambition and what a day-dream!
"My heart is bleeding. The Hindus want to repeat the same holocaust that they had staged at Delhi. Their methods of coercing Hyderabad to be a mere vassal is the typical example of the ‘Bania’ rule. The only answer to them is the naked sword.
"I may he here to-day, and perhaps not tomorrow. But I can assure you, my brethren, if you want to see Kasim Razvi in the midst of our life and death struggle, look for him not in the palatial buildings of Banjara, or in pleasant tea parties, but in the midst of the battle-fields [loud cries of ”Allah Ho Akbar!” and “Siddique-Deecan Zindabad!” erupt in the crowd]. You will see me slaying or being slain with sword in my hand and the Quran in my body.
"I repeat to you the couplet of our immortal poet Allama Iqbal: ‘What’s it in life, life is only the means to the end, the eternal end; to lay it down in the cause of Islam.’ Now I bid you god speed; protect your Islamic State; protect your blood brothers in the Indian Union and your Islamic rule."
Seven decades later, variants of Kasim Razvi’s speech would echo in the same city — it would be delivered by his ideological inheritor, Akbaruddin Owaisi, who infamously thundered that “25 crore Muslims would easily take on 100 crore Hindus if police are removed for 15 minutes.”
Kasim Razvi’s aforementioned speech was the climax of a public programme of bigotry candidly titled The Hyderabad Weapons Week, which was celebrated at Dar-us-Salam, the official headquarters of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the forerunner of Asauddin Owaisi’s AIMIM.
Few people today remember that the full text of Razvi’s speech was published verbatim in the Hindustan Times dated April 7, 1948. Fewer people still, are aware that the Indian Parliament was the site of noisy scenes of outrage at this speech.
To be continued
The Dharma Dispatch is now available on Telegram! For original and insightful narratives on Indian Culture and History, subscribe to us on Telegram.