Category Archives: History

The Roar and Rant of Razvi and his Razakars

A Publication by: Pragna Bharathi

  • Dr T.H.Chowdary

Sixty years ago on the 17th of September the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad ordered his army to stop fighting, and surrender to Indian forces. He expressed his decision to accede to the Indian Union, just like more than five hundred Princes, Nawabs and Rajus and Mahrajas had done earlier. The Nizam’s desire to be an independent sovereign, an Islamic king was finished.

Kasim Razvi, who was the Chief of the Ittehadul-ul-Muslameen (The Majlis-ithehadul-Muslameen, MIM of Owaisis is the successor to the Ittehad) raised a non-state, two lakh strong armed “volunteer force of Razakars, was asserting that sovereignty over Hyderabad state (Telengana and Marathwada and Hyderabad Karnataka) was not in the Nizam but with the Muslims of the state (9% of the population). Kasim Razvi’s Razakars (armed with swords, pistols, rifles and grenades and other explosives) were looting and setting fire to Hindus homes, raping and abducting women, to frighten Hindus into submission to the Islamic state-to-be of Hyderabad. Haijans forcibly converted to Islam and pressed into Razakars were specially tasked to be vengefully (against caste Hindus) ferocious and murderous Communists under the umbrella of Andhra Maha Sabha waged armed struggles in Nalgonda, Warangal (including Khammam) and Karimnagar districts, against the feudal lords as well as Razakars and almost established their rule in the “liberated” countryside. In the hope that they could liberate the whole of Telengana and establish a communist state, they supported non-accession to and Independence of the Nizam from the Indian union. The ban on the Communist party was therefore lifted on May 4, 1948 by the Nizam. Communists and Razaakars, each for different reasons, became “allies” in opposition to the Indian Union. The communistswaged war against the Indian forces from Sept 17, 1948 till Sept 1950, when under Stalin’s advice their remnants gave up arms and forged the People’s Democratic Front and participated in the General Elections in 1952.

Kasim Razvi and his Razakars held the Nizam in their grip and subverted the Nizam’s government for their purpose of defying India, striking alliance with Pakistan and hoping to arouse Muslim residents of India against the government in Delhi, if it dared to invade and integrate the Hyderabad state with the Indian Union. Given below are extracts from the incendiary, raving speeches of Razvi who held the Nizam and Muslims alike, in fear.

On 19 June 1947, Razvi laid down in a public speech that “to object to the Nizam’s firman of 11-06-1947 “declaring Nizam’s intention to be independent) is against loyalty. IT is the natural right of Hyderabad to declare independence and paramountcy rests with the Muslims” (9% of population; Hindus 91%)!

On 27 July 1947 Ittehad celebrated Independence Day in Hyderabad City. Razvi declared that Hyderabad was free and independent and threatened direct action (like that Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s Muslim League launched on 16 Aug 1946 to divide India and create Pakistan) against the Nizam’s government if it ever acceded to the Indian Union.

In November 1947, Kasim Razvi met with Sardar Patel in Delhi. The meeting was contrived by one Sri Joshi, a Gujarati businessman of Jalna, and a minister in Nizam’s cabinet. Here is what transpired.

“Well asked the Sardar, ‘what do you want?’

Razvi had the look of a fanatic, his rolling eyes emitting fire as if he were possessed. He glared angrily for a moment. Joshi was nervous, but Sardar’s eyes were unflinching.

Razvi broke the silence by saying, “I want a change of heart from you”.

When he so wished, Sardar could make silence very uncomfortable. At Length he remarked, ‘A change of heart is only necessary for one whose heart is full of poison.’

‘Why don’t you let Hyderabad remain independent?’ asked Razvi.

‘I have gone beyond all possible limits. I have conceded to Hyderabad what I did not concede to any other State,’ returned Sardar.

‘But I want you to understand the difficulties of Hyderabad, ‘pursued Razvi.

‘I don’t see any difficulty unless you have come to some understanding. With Pakistan, was Sardar’s reply.

‘If you do not see our difficulties, we will not yield,’ cried Razvi working himself up to a state of excitement. We shall fight and die to te last man for Hyderabad.

‘How can I stop you from committing suicide if you want to? Sardar Blandly replied.

‘You do not know the Muslims of Hyderabad; repeated Razvi. We shall sacrifice everything for our independence.”

‘If it comes to sacrifice, India has shown what it can do, but Hyderabad

Has yet to show what it can’, came the cool reply.

Razvi now began a hysterical tirade on the shedding of blood for the Deen and the Millat. Sardar listened in stolid silence to what Razvi had to say and, when he paused for breath, said, I would advise you to see the sun before it is too late. Do not plunge into darkness while the light is still visible…

“Weapons Week” was celebrated in March 1948 at Dar-us-salam, the official s HQ of the Ittehad (it is now with MIN, its successor). On the last day 31st March 1948 razvi took the salute at the march past of the Razakars and spoke:

“If India is free today, remember it was due to the sword and arms of Muslims. (The victory of India over Pakistan in Kargil in 1999 was claimed by a Muslim leader of Samajwadi party of UP to be due to Mus- lim soldiers in the Indian Army- Razvi relives in the words of this “secular” ally of Mulayam Singh)

After the rally at the end of the “Weapons Weak was over, Razvi rated: 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. I 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 once the Indian Union makes any aggression on us, remember the 41/2 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 case. He will be guided by the great tenets of Qoran. Now, my Muslim brothers, onward march. Never put back your sword into the sheath till your object is achieved. Stop not till you reach your goal (cries of Delhi Chalo). Hound out the enemy. Do not spare him. Mind not your troubles. We believe in God. We have no other friends except Allah, who has created this Islamic State and who shall never let us down. Qoran 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 succourt 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 Mussalman.. A Hindu who is a kafir, a worshipper of stone and monkey (laughter), 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 e 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 (cries of Allah Ho Akbar and Siddisque Deccan Zindabad). You will see me slaying or being slain with sword in my hand and he Qoran in my body….

I repeat to you the couplet of the immortal poet 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”

On April 8, 1948 in another violent speech Kasim Razvi raved: “ Hyderabad will shortly recover the Ceded districts and the day is not far off when the waves of the Bay of Bengal will be washing the feet of our sovereign, who will not be called the Nizam of Hyderabad and Berar, but also of the Northern Sarkars.” No wonder the MIM is now extending its activities to these areas.

In his speech to his crowds, on May 3, 1948 he spoke:

What kind of freedom have you (India)? You (India) presume to deliver sermons on freedom to the world. But just look at yourself, look at your condition and see what kind of freedom you have achieved. There is Pakistan in your neighbourhood; take a lesson from it. It can teach you constitution and law. The main purpose behind law is peace and prosperity. Everywhere in Indi a you find anarchy. (It is) a country where there is nopeace and security and where loot and murder are of daily occurrence. (On the oteh r hand) there is no oppression and anarchy in your State.”

(-take a lesson from Pakistan! (Sunnis killing Shias and vice versa; both killing Ahmedias and Christians; and forcibly converting Hindus- should India learn to do so?)

Muslims have always created a new geography for themselves. Very soon the boundaries of Hyderabad will expand for beyond Delhi, and the Asafia Flag will fly over Delhi. Yes, I am seeing the Nizam (Asafe- Sabia) marching towards Delhi.

On June 10, 1948 he said:

Following the example of Muslims of early days they should not remain content with the small piece of Pakistan…. We are re-writing the map of India by bringing together a union of Jumna and Musi (the river which flows through by Hyderabad). We are the grandsons of Mahmood Ghaznavi and the sons of Babar (were they Indians or foreigners). When determined, we shall fly the Asaf Jahi flag on the Red Fort. 

They (the Muslims) would not be content with one Pakistan in the Deccan,” They would knit India and the world into Pakistan. Did not their forebears do the same thing 1,300 years ago?’ he concluded. 

In another speech on June 12, raved: 

It is because, as they themselves say, when Lord Mountbatten leaves India, massacres will start again. My Hindu brethren, the Muslims have ruled over you (Hindus) for 900 years; therefore, I have sympathy with you. If I had wished, I could have exterminated you. (A Muslim leader of Hyderabad declared recently that if the Indian Army did not intervene for 15 mnts, his men could wipe out all Hindus…is this not inspired by Razvi)

Razvi had distributed arms to his followers and given orders for indiscriminate massacre when the Indian army entered Hyderabad. Fortunately the “heroic” Islamic warriors dared not to kill any.

Peace in the hearts… 

Speaking from the balcony of the Fateh Maidan on 27 Feb 1949, Sardar Patel said: 

“there is now peace in the State on the surface but as long as there is not peace in the hearts of the people there can be no progress. During the recent past you have had to undergo a lot of difficulties…but thank god, those difficulties have now been removed and the people saved”. 

(Can we say that there is peace in the hearts of people who cherish the Razakars and almost repeat their words?)

 “…freedom has been achieved but the ordinary citizen should not say there had been greater security in slavery than under freedom…”

(Yes, with kabjedars and jihadis; and infiltrator hosts abounding in Hyderabad)

Not all Moslem intellectuals were Razakarists. Shoebullah Khan was an intrepid, nationalist, journalist and editor of Imroze who was boldly and persistently urging the Nizam to accede to the Indian Union. On 22 August 1948 he was shot dead and his hands cut off, as ordered by Kasim Razvi. The Ittehads were liquidating their enemies, just as ISIS And Pakistan’s jihadis and their likes in India are doing now. India Must not allow Razakarism to rise again.

(Source: The Book, “The End of an Era” by K M Munshi, published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan)

Lachit – The Warrior


Lachit – The Warrior“, a poem beautifully written by Parthasarathi Mahanta and narrated by Dr. Amarjyoti Choudhury to mark the 400th birth anniversary of the valiant warrior, Lachit Borphukan.

(Video Link:

Written By: Parthasarathi Mahanta
Narration: Dr. Amarjyoti Choudhury.
Produced By: Mina Mahanta, Indrani Baruah
Creative Director: Anupam Mahanta
Music: Rupam Talukdar
Story Board and Illustration: Hrishikesh Bora
Animation: Ratul Dutta, Hrishikesh Bora
Composition and VFX: Ratul Dutta
Concept, Planning & Direction: Parthasarathi Mahanta

Courtesy: @Mon & Pi Media | For more update :
Facebook Link: | Instagram Link: mon_entertainment22

A biographical poem titled ‘Lachit (The Warrior) written by police officer and writer Partha Sarathi Mahanta about Mahavir Lachit Borphukan was released today at Sankardev Kalakshetra. The poem, produced in audio-visual media, was unveiled at the Lachit Diwas celebrations of Tai- Ahom Yuva Parishad by Padmashri Dr. Jogendra Nath Phukan and Commissioner of Police Harmeet Singh. The poem, conceptualized by Partha Sarathi Mahanta, has been recited by noted educationist Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury while accompanying music provided by Rupam Talukdar. The creative director is Anupam Mahanta. The function was attended by Arunachal Pradesh deputy CM Chowna Mein, officers of the Indian Army’s 51 sub- area at Narengi and fans of Lachit Barphukan. The poem is about the life and work of Lachit Barphukan, including his military tactics and brilliant leadership of the Ahom army. The poem has been released as a tribute to the great Ahom general Lachit Barphukan, as part of his 400th birthday celebrations. Assam Govt has organised a 3-day mega event in New Delhi for 17th century’s great Ahom General Lachit Borphukan, best known for leading the Ahom troops which fought and defeated advancing Mughal troops at the Battle of Saraighat in 1671. Through high-profile-celebrations, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma led Assam Govt plans to push for his recognition as a national hero. Week long celebrations in state and elsewhere already began on Nov 18 & will culminate on Nov 25. 3 days of celebrations organised centrally in New Delhi on Nov 23 with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurating the celebrations.”Every Indian Must Know Lachit’s Courage & Valour”, said Sitharaman PM Narendra Modi to attend event on Nov 25. “Lachit’s victory at the Saraighat battle helped to preserve the Ahom kingdom’s independence”, said CM Sarma. ‘Lachit created history by foiling their (Mughal’s) imperialist policy at Saraighat’. Eminent sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik shares his artwork on Twitter. Assam CM thanked Patnaik, calling it a ‘marvel’. A grand memorial at Lachit Barphukan’s maidam in Jorhat district is also coming up. Besides a War Memorial at Alaboi near Guwahati. Also on the cards is a memorial building in Lachit’s honour at National Police Academy, Hyderabad.

Content Source: (Sentinel Assam)

Further reading:

  1. Lachit Borphukan – Bulwark Against the Mughals
  2. లచిత్ బోర్ఫూకన్ – భారతదేశం యొక్క ఈశాన్యపు దుర్భేద్యమైన కోట, మొఘల్ ఆక్రమణ ను అడ్డుకున్న అహోం వీరుడు
  3. Ahom Chronicles – Origin and Founding
  4. Ahom Chronicles – Lachit Borphukan

Hyderabad Liberation Struggle: Clearing the cobwebs of false narrative

K Raka Sudhakar Rao

Almost 75 years after it happened, Hyderabad’s liberation – the story of how the common man triumphed over tyrant Nizam and his Razakar henchmen in a fight of right against the might – is now a mere bleep on the vast radar screen of Indian history. The memories of those who were wronged against have faded. The generations who bore the brunt of tyrannical Nizam have passed into the bottomless pit of history. The literature they produced is now tucked in the dusty and inaccessible labyrinths of rusted racks in ramshackle libraries. Interestingly, several books and autobiographies, mostly written in Telugu, Marathi, Kannada or Hindi by the freedom fighters are out of circulation now.

We have a whole new generation that does not know about what it meant to be a subject of despot Nizam’s Hyderabad state. We now have an amnesiac set of people with no collective memory of the time they were physically, socially, politically, psychologically and intellectually asphyxiated by the rampaging Razakars.

This is a perfect recipe for spreading half-truths and white lies about the story of a bygone era, particularly by forces inimical to the unity of India. The divisive forces that lay low all these years, are now rearing their heads and are spewing venom. They are making a concerted attempt to falsify history and glorify the heinous perpetrators. There is systematic effort aimed at portraying the perpetrators as victims. This is happening unabated as we speak and write about Hyderabad state’s history. The saddest part of the whole story is that the political class, with an eye on vote bank politics, is trying to obfuscate facts and obliterate history. The result is an utter confusion about the story of Hyderabad’s liberation and its subsequent integration with India.

Barely 75 years ago, Razakars, aided by the Nizam, his administration and his police forces, let loose a reign of pillage, loot and plunder on the hapless majority population of Hyderabad. There was a trail of death and destruction. Rape and disrobing of womanhood were the order of the day. Houses going up in flames and marauding razakars descending in drones were daily occurrences. Hindus fled from Hyderabad to neighbouring Maharashtra and Andhra region to save themselves. Had it not been for the Indian Army’s march into Hyderabad state, there would have been a massacre of the Hindus on the lines of the holocaust of the Jewish people.

Pertinently, the Jews were a minority in a vast sea of European Christendom, but the Hindus of Hyderabad state were actually a majority who suffered untold torture at the hands of an armed and ruthless ruling minority. And this was not a sudden and mindless partition-eve communal frenzy of the sorts witnessed on India’s eastern and western borders. This was methodical murder and cold-blooded mayhem performed with clinical precision and careful planning over two decades.

Painting Razakars in secular colours

Yet, attempts are afoot to obscure the tragic saga of Hindu subjugation. Take for instance, Chennai-based journalist Syed Ali Mujtiba’s article “Hyderabad’s fall and Sundarlal Report” published on pro-Left digital platform Counter Currents on September 23, 2013. He said thus in a clear attempt to absolve the Nizam: “Meanwhile, an armed militia called Razakar, sprung up to protect the Hyderabad state. Some say, it had tacit support of the ruler, but apparently, it was the armed wing of a Muslim political party, that had issues with the princely rule.” 1 Expressions such as protection of Hyderabad state tell a tale. He further rights: The members of the militia supposedly held drills in and around Hyderabad and terrorized the non-Muslim population. These incensed the people and New Delhi was seized of the matter. “2

According to the writer, the Razakars ‘supposedly’ held drills, when the fact is that there was a massive arms training and a humongous ‘arms procurement week’ programme ahead of the Operation Polo. In the same writeup, the author, who conveniently used the word ‘non-Muslim population’ used the word ‘Hindu armed gangs’ while describing the above-mentioned anti-Razakar retaliatory violence.

Another author Sheikh Mahmed Ali speaks glowingly about Kasim Rizvi, the chief of the Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM). Eulogising the supposedly heroic qualities of Rizvi, he writes: “When Bahadur Yar Jung appealed to the Muslims for funds, he donated all his properties to Majlis. Bahadur Yar Jung himself gave him the title of ‘Siddiq-e-Deccan’; for this act. By donating whatever he owned, he emulated the first caliph of Islam Hazrath Abu Bakar Siddiq who donated everything for Islam. Many historians described Qasim Razvi as an honest and brave person, but a highly emotional politician.”3

Similarly, MA Aziz, author of ‘Police Action’ tried to portray Kasim Rizvi as a subaltern whose meteoric rise was not to the liking of the Nawabs and Jagirdars. He claims that they have deliberately vilified Rizvi. Rizvi’s associate Mohammed Mazaruddin goes a step further in painting Rizvi as a pro-Hindu secular leader. He writes in his Urdu tome “Police Action Ke Khaufnaak Mahaul Mein” that Rizvi did not have any animosity towards the Hindus. He virtually gives a certificate of good conduct to Rizvi by claiming that he has asked the Razakars not to extort from the Hindus. 4

In his book “Muslim leadership in India,” Sheikh Mohammad Ali vouches of Rizvi’s ‘secular’ credentials. He quotes Rizvi’s address at Goshamahal in Hyderabad on September 13, 1948, the day when Indian Army launched its Operation Polo, to prove his ‘love’ for Hindus. The meeting was held to condole the passing away of Mohammed Ali Jinnah. According to Sheikh Mohammed Ali, Rizvi told the Muslims and the Razakars thus: “You should ensure that you do not harm any non-Muslims of our country (Hyderabad). Remember, our war is against the Indian Union, and not against Hindus. You should not attack women, children or elderly people. Don’t attack the unarmed and helpless enemy. Allah never helps those who do atrocities.” Despite the huge body of evidence available to the contrary, he goes on to argue that the trail of destruction and death that the Razakars unleashed was a mere concoction. 5

Narrative of Muslim victimhood

In addition to beatifying Rizvi and Razakars as paragons of secular virtues, a narrative is sought to be built about a ‘massacre’ of innocent Muslims. What is significant is that there is no mention of this ‘massacre’ in any of the literature that was published immediately after the police action. None of the Congress or even the Communist writers such as Basva Manayya, Vandemataram Ramachandra Rao, VH Desai , Devulapalli Venkateswara Rao, Ravi Narayana Reddy or Puchalapalli Sundaraiah talk about this. Even the MIM did not talk about them.

Suddenly in 2013, BBC correspondent Mike Thompson wrote an article claiming that there was a massacre of Muslims in the aftermath of Operation Polo. He claimed that this massacre was recorded in the Sundarlal Commission Report, which is kept in the Nehru Memorial Museum, Delhi. Soon, the MIM and other ‘secular’ groups picked up cue and began setting a narrative. Dr Omar Khalidi published “Hyderabad – After the fall” and included some paragraphs purportedly from the ‘report. Hyderabad-based Majlis-e-Tameer-e-Millat too published “Sukoot-e-Hyderabad” (fall of Hyderabad) quoting again excerpts from the same ‘report.’ There have since been demands for making the ‘report’ public.

Interestingly, there is no clarity in the number of people massacred. The so-called Sundarlal Committee report claimed that anything between 28000 and 40000 could have been killed. Sherman Tailor’s 2007 book on Hyderabad liberation said that over 50000 were killed. In the same book, she even said over 2 lakh people could have been killed. Journalist Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyer too claimed that over 2 lakh people died. He did not care to quote his source. Ironically, none of the media organisations have ever talked about either the massacre or about the so-called report. The anti-climax was when the Nehru Memorial Library in a written reply under Right to Information Act categorically told activist-author Capt. Panduranga Reddy that they do not have in their possession the claimed Sundarlal report. So, the whole thing is a classic case of much ado about nothing. 6

The so-called Sundarlal Committee is no committee or a commission of inquiry. There was no gazette notification or any GO announcing the formation of the report. It was a goodwill mission sent by Nehru to assuage the feelings of disempowerment and disentitlement among the Muslim community, which till then believed in the Nizam-Razakar dictum of “Un-al-Malik” (I am the ruler). The mission comprised Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh Pandit Sundarlal and nationalist Muslim leader Qazi Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar. They met the muslims of Marathwada, Bidar and Gulbarga during November-December 1948 and did not visit any part of Telangana. In a letter to both Nehru and deputy prime minister Sardar Patel, they categorically said that they were a mere goodwill mission and their only job was to create communal amity. They wrote:

“We clarified ourselves, whenever opportunity presented itself saying that ours was not a commission of investigation or inquiry into events preceding or following the police action and that ours was merely a goodwill mission charged with the task of restoring better communal relations.” Thus, this is neither committee and there was never any report. Even if it was there, it wasn’t submitted to the government. Even assuming that it was submitted to him, Pandit Nehru never ever felt it necessary to talk about it. 7

The story of victimhood flies in the face of the fact that the MIM was up and ready for the Hyderabad municipal elections by early 1950s. It not only contested, but won handsomely in the old city region. In fact, it is this success at the hustings that laid the path for subsequent firming up of the MIM’s Old City citadel. Today, the MIM can win seven MLA seats and an MP seat in Hyderabad, besides influencing the electoral outcome in more than 15 seats across Telangana. It continues to exercise considerable influence in the Kadapa and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh and the former Nizam state areas in Kalyana Karnataka and Marathwada.

Clouding the Hyderabad story

There is a clearly discernible attempt to paint the perpetrator as the victim in the erstwhile Hyderabad state. Regular publication of voluminous books with annotated bibliography and references on Hyderabad’s integration into the Union of India should be seen as part of this narrative building.

For instance, the banned 1962-vintage book ‘Tragedy of Hyderabad,’ written by last prime minister of Hyderabad state Mir Laik Ali, was republished and translated into Telugu by Enugu Narasimha Reddy in 2012. The very next year, AG Noorani’s ‘Destruction of Hyderabad ‘appeared. Migration, Citizenship and Belonging in Hyderabad by TC Sherman too was published. She also wrote ‘Muslim belonging in secular India’ and ‘From Subjects to citizens’ in association with William Gould and Sarah Ansari backing the same narrative. October Coup, a memoir of Mohammed Hyder, the last district collector of Latur, the bastion of Kasim Rizvi, was published in 2017. There is a concerted effort in the academia of Europe, Pakistan and the US to reopen the accession of Hyderabad story all over again. All this is part of the attempt to put forward a counter-history of the events of September 1948.

Relooking Hyderabad liberation history – major challenges

One of the major problems of understanding and appreciating Hyderabad liberation history, the Hindu struggle for emancipation and the untold reign of terror and atrocities perpetrated by the Razakars is that there is a conscious attempt on the party of the rulers that came to power post September 17,1948. The rulers, who looked at the Muslims as a vote bank, saw benefits in obfuscating the dark chapters of Razakar terror. The successive Congress governments did not talk about the Razakars. Arya Samajis who were vocal against the Razakar atrocities, were co-opted into the government. The Communists too stopped talking about the Razakars as it did not suit their overall narrative of haves and have nots.

The situation has come to such a pass that when the archives department published a five-volume history of freedom struggle in Hyderabad in early 1970s, there was not even a passing mention of the Razakars. Ironically, the volumes were published when PV Narasimha Rao was the chief minister and the occasion was the silver jubilee of independence. PV, an anti-Razakar freedom fighter, had in fact fought for the right of the Hindu students to wear Dhoti instead of the Nizam-imposed Sherwani-Pyjamas.

Another major challenge to an integrated approach to Hyderabad state’s liberation history lay in the trifurcation of the erstwhile Hyderabad state. The three Kannada-speaking districts of Raichur, Bidar and Gulbarga were amalgamated into Karnataka and the area was till recently called Hyderabad Karnataka. Marathi speaking districts, including Latur, Osmanabad, Beed and Nanded went to Maharashtra. Thus the historic struggle of Arya Samaj and the Congress in Hyderabad Karnataka remained confined to Karnataka. The historic links of anti-Nizam struggle with Pune and Mumbai based patriotic forces, including the Hindu Maha Sabha and the RSS, too faded in Telangana.

Thus, a truncated version of liberation history began to take shape in three separated regions. Books in Marathi by Anant Bhalerao, Vasant Poddar, BS Dangle, BG Kauthekar, Dharurkar, Lakshmikanth Deshmukh, Khanderao Kulkarni, Sobha Korrane, Yashwant Salgaonkar, Manohar Taksal and others remained unknown in Telangana. Similarly, the books on Hyderabad liberation written by Swami Ramananda Teertha, Madapati Hanumantha Rao, Ravi Narayana Reddy and several others remained inaccessible to the Marathi speakers. Thus, the liberative history of Hyderabad became truncated. Sadly, no attempt was made to bring out a unified history.

Third big challenge was that both in Kannada, Telugu and Marathi, the last books of the people’s version of Hyderabad came way back in early 2000s. Thus, there is no new literature based on substantive research after 2005 in the erstwhile Hyderabad state. On the contrary, the Razakarist versions began appearing from 2012. Thus, there is a crucial information gap about the Razakar atrocities.

Confusion over Telagnana Armed Struggle and Telangana Liberation Struggle

Another major challenge is the questionable narrative peddled by the Leftist school of thought. There were several strands of freedom struggles such as the Hyderabad-state Congress led movement of VH Desai, Swami Ramananda Teertha, the dalams formed by the Congress leaders such as Marri Chenna Reddy and KV Ranga Reddy, the agitational approach of Vandemataram Ramachandra Rao and Jamalapuram Keshava Rao, Arya Samajist fight by Keshav Rao Koratkar, Pandit Narendra Ji, Maharashtriyan-dominated struggle by Vaman Kaik, Mast Kalandar Keskar, Hindu Mahasabha-led struggle of Savarkar and the Communist-led struggle. With the truncation of the Hyderabad state, Telangana strand of struggle was dominated by three major forces – of the Communists, Congressites and Arya Samajists.

The Communists dominated the area encompassing Warangal, Janagam, Nalgonda, Bhongir and Suryapet. Their influence extended to parts of erstwhile Medak and Karimnagar too. They had without doubt waged a relentless battle against the Nizam and Razakars in these regions. But, once the state was liberated, they staunchly opposed the integration of Hyderabad into India and waged an armed struggle. The arms were obtained from the Razakars, whom they fought against till then. They fought against the Government of India and its army till 1951. Though there were dissenting voices like those of Ravi Narayana Reddy, the majority went with the party line. This struggle is known as Telangana Armed Struggle.

The anti-Indian Union struggle is sought to be portrayed as the Telangana liberation struggle by the Communists and there is a great amount of confusion in the Telangana region over this. The complete silence of the Congress leaders post September 1948 has only helped the Communists in building this narrative. The Arya Samaj story is largely in Hindi and as a result, remains largely unknown. The Arya Samaj today has considerably weakened and is a shadow of its former self. So, there is great obfuscation of history in Telangana, especially of the liberation struggle.

Hence, there is a great need for an integrated approach to history representing the various strands of freedom struggle against the Nizam. A united team of researchers needs to take a relook and come up with a comprehensive history of Hyderabad state. Similarly, the story of Razakar atrocities, which has never been recorded, needs to be brought out. Oral histories need to be collected, verified, authenticated, corroborated and brought out in a book form to pass on the story of Hyderabad to the generations to come.

There can be no better time to do this than during the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. It would be timely and much-needed as Hyderabad would be celebrating its diamond jubilee of liberation on September 17, 2023.







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Courtesy: Centre for South Indian Studies (CSIS) 


By: Sahadev K. Associate, Centre for South Indian Studies (CSIS), Hyderabad

1) What is Bhima Koregaon battle?

This battle refers to a one day battle between British East India Company (BEIC) and the Maratha army led by Peshwa Baji Rao II.

2) What led to war between BEIC and the Marathas?

The Maratha confederacy (comprising the Peshwa of Pune, Scindias or Shendes of Gwalior, the Holkars of Indore and the Gaekwads of Baroda) was one of the important native empires in India. The Anglo –Maratha Wars from 1770 – 1817 had seen the British slowly gain the upper hand. Following the Maratha defeat in the Third Anglo-Maratha War of June 1817, the Peshwa was forced to flee from Pune, their capital.

3) Was the Battlle of Bhima Koregaon a decisive battle?

No. The Battle of Bhima Koregaon took place on 01 January 1818. The Maratha army of Peshwa had already left their capital Pune on 17th Nov, 1817. On that day, the British flag – Union Jack was unfurled on Pune fort. A series of incidents along with this battle led to the downfall of the Maratha Empire and the complete colonisation of India by the British. Chhatrapati Pratapsinh Maharaj and Peshwa Bajirao II both were exiled to Benares and Bithoor respectively. The British Rule in India was a period of darkness that lasted for 150 years. In these 150 years, millions died due to barbaric British policies.

4) Where did the Maratha army led by Peshwa Baji Rao II go after leaving Pune ?

Peshwa Baji Rao II proceeded towards Satara where he collected a strong force of about 28,000 men at Satara comprising 20,000 cavalry and 8,000 infantry), to attack Pune, which was by now under the control of the British East India Company (BEIC).

5) Who is a Peshwa ?

The office of Prime Minister under the Maratha Empire was known as a Peshwa.

6) What led to the Battle of Bhima Koregaon?

The Maratha army of Peshwa Baji Rao II was pursued by a large British force under General Smith and Pune was placed under a garrison under Colonel Burr. As the Peshwa escaped from his pursuers, he retraced his steps and moved back towards Pune. Colonel Burr hearing of the arrival of the Marathas asked for help from the Company’s troops stationed at Shirur. A contingent of troops under the command of Lt Francis Staunton left Shirur to reinforce the Poona Garrison. Marching all night, they reached the village of Talegaon and at 10 a.m. on 1st January, 1818, they spotted the advance guard of the Peshwa Army across the Bhima River. Thus BK battle was a chance encounter between BEIC army and the Maratha army.

7) Which units of British East India Company’s army participated in the Bhima Koregaon Battle?

The total strength of the BEIC army was 824. 24 European Gunners, around 500 troopers of the 2nd Battalion of the Bombay Native Infantry, 300 horsemen of Poona Auxiliary Horse (later Poona Horse – one of India’s most illustrious Armoured Regiments) along with a contingent of artillery with two six-pounder guns, under the captainship of Francis Staunton. The British army comprised of Europeans, Muslims, Marathas, Mahars, Rajputs, and few Jews.

8) Which units of the Maratha army participated in the Bhima Koregaon Battle?

The total strength of the Maratha army which participated in the BK battle was 1,800. Three units of Maratha army comprising of

Arabs (Muslims) – 600

Gosains – 600

Marathas of all castes – 600

The three attack troops of the Peshwa detachment were led by Bapu Gokhale, Appa Desai and Trimbakji Dengle.

9) How long was the BK battle fought?

The battle of BK was fought for one day only, from about 10.00 am in the morning till 9 p.m. in the night.

10) What were the casualties of the BK battle?

Out of the 834 BEIC troops that fought in the Battle of Bhima-Koregaon, 275 were killed, wounded or missing. The dead included two European Officers – Assistant Surgeon Wingate and Lieutenant Chisolm, while Lieutenant Pattison died, later, of his wounds in Shirur. Among the infantrymen, 50 were killed and 105 wounded. Among the artillery, 12 were killed and 8 wounded. The dead BEIC soldiers of Indian origin included 16 Marathas, 22 Mahars, and 8 Rajputs, 2 Muslims and 2 Jews and 11 European soldiers.

Maratha army’s casualties were estimated at 500-600 killed or wounded.

11) Did any of the two sides claim victory?

No. By night the fighting had ceased and by day break the Maratha army had left the place. No official British record has called this battle a ‘victory’. Even the inscription on the pillar at Bhima Koregaon says that it was erected to commemorate the ‘defence of Corium’

12) Who erected the Bhima Koregaon Memorial pillar?

British East India Company.

13) When was the memorial erected?

On 6 July, 1818, Elphinstone in a letter to Warren Hastings, then governor-general, recommended the building of a war memorial in memory of the soldiers who lost their lives in the Bhima Koregaon battle. Accordingly, John Wiley, assistant surgeon of the Madras Artillery, was given the task of designing the memorial. It was finally built in 1822 and carried the names of all those who died or were injured in the battle.

14) What does the Bhima Koregaon Memorial pillar signify?

The pillar signifies “One of the proudest triumphs of the British Army in the East”. This victory pillar is a symbol of the victory of a foreign power against a local ruler.

15) What is inscribed on the BK Memorial pillar?

As soon as one enters the Bhima-Koregaon Memorial Complex, one sees two stone inscriptions – one placed by the BEIC giving a brief of the Battle of Bhima-Koregaon and the other more recent one giving a later “Roll of Honour” of the Poona Horse in various Battles.

On 2 sides of the memorial a narration of the battle in English together with the names of the Corps and list of European officers engaged and men killed or wounded in the Battle of Bhima Koregaon – the detachment of Madras Artillery, 110 Batt 1st Regt. Bombay Native Infantry and the Poona Auxiliary Horse. On two other sides of the memorial, details of the battle and the names of those who were killed/ wounded are inscribed in the Marathi language.

A close up of the names of European officers is inscribed on the memorial.


1) A History of the Mahrattas by James Grant Duff. Volume III published in 1918 by R Cambray & Sons.






By Sahadev K, Associate, Centre for South Indian Studies, Hyderabad. 

“..Promoting the prosperity and advantage of the people of Islâm, and of overthrowing the  unrighteous Infidels, you will do whatever may be in your power, to increase the lustre of  the firm religion of Mahommed… 

That all Musulmans should unite together; and, considering the annihilation of infidels as a  sacred duty, labour, to the utmost of their power, to accomplish that object” 

The massacre of Hindus, large scale conversion into Islam especially Hindus of Kerala and Kodavas  from Coorg are well documented in various literature. These actions of savagery were part of Tipu’s  open declaration of ‘Jihad’. He made it clear through his manifesto distributed to a large number of  Muslim religious heads that he has declared ‘Jihad’ on the infidels (kafirs) and sought the help and  co-operation of Muslims across the country. His letters to various Muslim clerics, nobles across India  reveal his clear cut plan for establishing an Islamic state in India, guided by the principles of Islam  and Shariah law. 

The barbaric manner in which Tipu went about killing innocent Hindus and Christians was well  documented by various sources. They are no less in their savagery to the killings of ISIS in recent  times, which thanks to modern technology, have been captured in great details. Fr. Paulinus of St  Bartholomew who spent 14 years in India was residing at the headquarters of the Catholic order in  South India at Veropoly when he came to know about the atrocities of Tipu Sultan. While Tipu Sultan  was on his way invading up to the borders of the allied states of Travancore and Cochin in 1789, and  when the invasion proceeded into these allied states, Veropoly (Varapuzha) was also at great risk  being an important location. 

Fr Paulinus has narrated in his book that he got the opportunity to communicate with several  Christians and Hindus who escaped from the fury and it’s most probably from them that he came to  know in detail about these atrocities. The book was published in Italian language in 1796 and in  German language in 1798. An English translation of the book titled ‘A Voyage to the East Indies’  translated by William Johnston in 1800. The book contains graphic details of the savagery unleashed  by Tipu on the hapless citizens of Calicut. In addition, Tipu’s own letters to his commanders and  officials confirm his actions in executions and forceful conversions into Islam. According to Fr  Paulinus: 

“…first mothers were hanged with their children tied to necks of mothers. That barbarian Tipu Sultan  tied the naked Christians and Hindus to the legs of elephants and made the elephants to move  around till the bodies of the helpless victims were torn to pieces. Temples and churches were ordered  to be burned down, desecrated and destroyed. Christian and Hindu women were forced to marry  Mohammadans and similarly their men were forced to marry Mohammadan women. Those  Christians who refused to be honoured with Islam, were ordered to be killed by hanging  immediately…“


In a letter  (Letter No 117) addressed to his Sipahdar, Tipu ordered that after the attack on Kodavas, both the slain  and the prisoners are to be converted to Islam.  

we have addressed another letter, which is enclosed. You are, in conjunction with him, to make a  general attack on the Koorgs, when, having put to the sword, or made prisoners of, the whole of  them, both the slain and the prisoners are to be made Musulmans. In short, you must so manage  matters, as [effectually] to prevent them from exciting any further sedition or disturbance” 

Through another letter (Letter No. 202), Tipu narrates that he had had converted into Islam 60,000 Kodavas and  incorporated them into his army. The Ahmedy regiment was made up entirely of converts in to Islam  from Hindus and Christianity.  

“BY the favour of the Almighty and the assistance of the Prophet, we have arranged and adjusted the  affairs of the Taalûk of Zufeerâbâd in the most suitable [and satisfactory] manner; the tribe of  Koorgs, to the number of fifty thousand men and women,* having been made captives, and  incorporated with the Ahmedy class.

Having accomplished this object, we returned prosperously and victoriously to the seat of empire at  Putn, on the 11th of Yoosûfy of the year Jullo. This being an event calculated to give strength to the  people of Islâm,* we wish that brother all joy on the auspicious occasion. 

This letter shows that victory over Kodavas was achieved through the favour of Almighty (Allah) and  Prophet Mohammed. Even before the attack was over, Tipu had taken a decision to convert Kodavas  into Islam and accordingly ordered his generals to execute his orders.  


The brutality of Tipu in his dealings with non-Muslims whom he invariably referred to as kafirs  (infidels) came as a shock to many contemporary writers and commentators. Killing thousands of  innocent fellow Indians just because they did not accept his condition of conversion to Islam is  hardly the quality of a person who is being projected as a ‘ freedom fighter of India’. The intentions  of Tipu become very clear when one studies the ‘Manifesto of Jihad’ prepared by Tipu and widely  circulated to a large number of Muslim religious chiefs across the country.  

In the preface to the book ‘SELECT LETTERS OF TIPPOO SULTAN TO VARIOUS PUBLIC  FUNCTIONARIES by William Kirkpatrick published in 1811, the author wrote: 

Thus, the various murders and acts of treachery, which we see him directing to be carried into  execution, were not criminal, but, on the contrary, just, and even meritorious, in his eyes. They might,  and most likely did, in a great degree, proceed from a disposition naturally cruel and sanguinary: but,  perhaps, an intolerant religious zeal and bigotry were not less active motives to them.  The Koran taught him, that it was not necessary to keep faith with infidels, or the enemies of the true  religion… With regard to the secret murder of his English prisoners, his dreadful slaughter of the  Koorgs and Nairs, and his forcible conversion of so many thousands of the two latter tribes to the  Mahommedan faith, he most probably thought such enormities no less warranted, both by the  example and precepts of the founder of his religion, than the infraction of oaths and engagements in  transactions with unbelievers” 


Through his letter ( Lettter No. 265) dated 28th Ahmedy ( 3rd May ), circulated to large number of Kazis, Bakshis,  Dewans and other officials, Tipu lamented the decline of the ‘true faith’ and non-promulgation of  divine commandments issued in the past under the seal of the last Prophet. In his manifesto replete  with quotations from the Quran, he clearly proclaimed his intentions to establish an Islamic state  through waging of the holy war (Jihad) on fellow non-Muslim Indians. He ordered recipients of his  manifesto to make more copies, explain and distribute it amongst as many ‘people of the faith’. In  other words, he wanted every Muslim in the country to understand that Jihad is his holy duty and all  should join him in implementation of this divine commandment of Jihad so that ‘the worthless kafirs  (infidels) may be chastised by the hands of the faithful, and made either to acknowledge the true  religion, or to pay tribute’. In his covering letter enclosing the manifesto, Tipu declared that: 

the persons most distinguished here for virtue and excellence, have extracted from the traditions,  theological tracts, and commentaries, certain religious doctrines, a copy of which we enclose for your  benevolent notice”  

Tipu’s manifesto for establishing Islamic state begins as follows:

IN the time of the seal [or last] of the Prophets (with whom be the blessing and peace of God) the  divine commands were promulgated. Since then, owing to the decline of the true faith under the  succeeding princes, they have ceased to be promulgated: we, therefore, with the help of Almighty  God, now issue the aforesaid commands; and, accordingly, the above mentioned commands are  enclosed, herewith, under our seal and signature, to serve as a guide to the true faith. 

You are, in the best [possible] manner to explain the same to all the people of Islâm, to the Kâzy, and  to the other superiors of your Kuchurry [or department], considering the communication thereof to  the ignorant as one of the most incumbent and obligatory duties of religion: for such is the  recompense of holy war (Jihad) “. You must cause numerous copies of the commands herewith sent  to be made, and must distribute the same among the people of the faith, the Kâzies and others  belonging to your department, to the end that they may obtain the utmost publicity

“WHEREAS, in conformity with the commands of God and the Prophet: 

Fight with those who do not believe in God, and in the last day; and who do not consider  those things as unlawful, which God and his Prophet have prohibited, and profess not the  true religion; and [fight] with those, unto whom the scriptures have been given, until they  pay tribute (Jiziya) by right of subjection, and be reduced low.’ 

(Quran 9:29) 

Tipu’s proclamation starts with the Quranic verse which calls upon Muslims to wage Jihad against  the unbelievers (Kafirs) and collect Jiziya. This sets the tone for the rest of the proclamation and also  makes it amply clear that Tipu’s ultimate aim was a not an India free from British rule in which there  will be equal respect for all religions and equal treatment of all citizens but a pure Islamic state  guided by the principles enshrined in Quran. This should be contrasted against attempts to project  Tipu as one of the earliest freedom fighters of India against the British rule in India.  

The Tafisir to this Quranic verse by Ibn Al Kathir makes it clear that paying Jizyah is a sign of Kufr and  disgrace. ‘The Kafirs should be disgraced, humiliated and belittled. Therefore, Muslims are not  allowed to honour the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable,  disgraced and humiliated. Do not initiate the Salam to the Jews and Christians, and if you meet any  of them in a road, force them to its narrowest alley. This is why the Leader of the faithful `Umar bin  Al-Khattab demanded his well-known conditions be met by the Christians, these conditions that  ensured their continued ‘humiliation, degradation and disgrace.’ 


….“it is our constant object and sincere intention, that those worthless and “stiff-necked infidels,  who have turned aside their heads from obedience to the “true believers, and openly raised the  standards of infidelity, should be chastised “by the hands of the faithful, and made either to  acknowledge the true religion, “or to pay tribute: particularly at this time, when, owing to the  imbecility of “the princes of Hind, that insolent race having conceived the futile opinion, that “the  true believers are become weak, mean, and contemptible; and not satisfied “even with this, but,  preparing for war, have over-run and laid waste the “territories of the Moslems, and extended the  hand of violence and injustice on “the property and honour of the faithful. 


Tipu declares that having come to the resolution of prosecuting a holy war [against them], deem it  expedient [agreeably to the text], deem it expedient (quotes Quran 7.157) to make known what is 

the pure Mahommedan law, to all and every class of Musulmans, both far and near, and thereby  to extract the cotton of negligence from the ears of their understanding”. We, trusting to the divine  power and aid, and supported by our holy religion (Quotes 61:10-13)


Continuing his appeal to fellow Muslim soldiers in service of his opponents as well as Muslim citizens  living under other rulers in India, Tipu quoting Quranic verses (Quran 2:9-15), reminds of the great rewards that await the faithful in after life-perpetual life, flowing rivers, great mansion to live in and other luxuries of life.  

Do not obey the unbelievers and hypocrites, for certainly God is omniscient and all-wise. They  seek to deceive God and those who do believe… “  

Reminding Muslims of Quranic verses calling upon them not to obey the unbelievers, Tipu made an open appeal to Muslim soldiers working in the armies of other dominions to follow Quran and break their contractual obligations with infidels and to defect to his army. Relying upon the Islamic  doctrine of Herat, he reminded fellow Muslims that it is their indispensable duty to quit the territories of the unbelievers. Herat is defined as ‘emigration from home or place to another land or  place for the sake of Allah’. This clearly defined in Quran 4:100 – “And whoever emigrates for the  cause of Allah will find on the Earth many [alternative] locations and abundance. And whoever leaves  his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him – his reward has  already become incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is ever forgiving and Merciful” 

Tipu’s manifesto goes on: 

More especially those persons “who, unmindful of the meaning of the sacred text, “have yielded obedience to the infidels, and engaged in the service of those miserable tribes. It is therefore  written to all those who reside in the dominions “of the infidels, …“and to whose situation the verse may be justly applied, that considering it to be their indispensable duty to quit the territories of the  unbelievers, “they should repair, with confident hearts and assured minds, to these parts, “where, by the Divine blessing, they shall be still better provided for than they “are at present, and their lives, honour, and property, remain under the protection of God: while such as are without the  means of subsistence there, shall “have a suitable allowance made to them here. 


Adopting a carrot and stick approach Tipu’s manifesto says;  

“We have accordingly issued pre-emptory orders throughout our dominions to “this effect: ‘Receive  into your protection all persons seeking refuge [in our “territories”] and report to the Presence the  particulars of their situation, in “order that, if it please God the Aider, due provision may be made  for them.’ 

“Whosoever shall refuse to give ear to these words, or shall contravene their “promulgation, shall  be considered as destitute of [every particle of] honour [or “zeal], as a stranger to [or no participator in] the bliss derived from [a steady] faith, “and as deserving to be banished from the presence of God, to be excluded from “the circle of the faithful, and to be accounted as one of the accursed  infidels.”

In another letter  ( Letter No. 277) addressed to Muslim religious heads at Aurangabad, Bajau and Hyderabad, enclosing his manifesto of Jihad on infidels, Tipu sought their assistance in doing whatever they can to promote Islam and overthrow the unrighteous infidels.  

“We, in the meanwhile, trouble your reverence with the present address, in the confidence that,  turning your mind, in an especial manner, to the means of promoting the prosperity and advantage  of the people of Islâm, and of overthrowing the unrighteous Infidels, you will do whatever may be in  your power, to increase the lustre of the firm religion of Mahommed. 

Actuated by similar motives, the persons most distinguished here for virtue and excellence, have  extracted from the traditions, theological tracts, and commentaries, certain religious doctrines, a  copy of which we enclose for your benevolent notice. We request of your reverence, also, to assist  the cause, by your admonitions to the faithful” 


In a covering letter ( Letter No. 277)enclosing the manifesto discussed above and which was addressed to different  Muslim religious figures at Aurangabad, Bajau and Hyderabad, Tipu made a fervent appeal to “Promoting the prosperity and advantage of the people of Islâm, and of overthrowing the  unrighteous Infidels, you will do whatever may be in your power, to increase the lustre of the firm  religion of Mahommed.  

… We request of your reverence, also, to assist the cause, by your admonitions to the faithful “ 

Tipu was, at all times, in communication with various Muslim clerics belonging to the different  shrines in peninsular India even though they were under other rulers. The fact that these religious  heads exchanged such risky correspondence with Tipu and accepted his regular gifts shows that they  were also committed to establishing an Islamic state in India. Motivated solely by their objective,  these Muslim clerics were indulging in promoting treason at great personal risk. This in turn encouraged Tipu to rope in their services to take the last Muslim, the message of overthrowing the  kafir rulers through Jihad and establishment of Islamic state.  


Tipu considered the army of the Nizam of Hyderabad as ‘renegade’ and the Maratha army as ‘infidel  army’. Perhaps no other king at that time classified his opponents based on religion as was done by Tipu for whom everyone had to be evaluated through the eyes of Islam and Quranic teachings.  

Tipu did not spare Shah Alam, the Moghul emperor of India, whom he contemptuously called ‘servant of the Marathas. In a letter addressed to Kutbudeen Khan dated 29th Daraey (1st August),  he questioned the reading of Khutbah in the name of Shah Alam terming it as ‘manifest sin, and repugnant to the laws [usages] of the Muselmâny faith’. He directed that the Khutbah should be read in his name alone. 

As to those idiots, who at this time introduce the name of Shâh Allum into the Khûtbah, they act  through ignorance; since the real condition of the above-mentioned is this: he is actually enslaved,  and a mere cypher; being the servant of Saindeah ( Scindia), at the monthly wages of fifteen thousand rupees. Such being the case, to pronounce the name of a dependent of infidels, in  reciting the Khûtbah, is a manifest sin, and repugnant to the laws [usages] of the Muselmâny faith. For these reasons it is written, that the Khuteeb* of that place [Adoni] must be directed to  introduce our name constantly in the Khûtbah. 


In a letter (Letter No. 71)to Shah Alam, the Moghul emperor at Delhi, Tipu once again reiterated his intention to firmly establish the ‘religion of Mahommed’ and determination to completely destroy the enemies of the faith (Islam).  

In a letter   ( Letter No.334) addressed to the Governor of Agra, Mohammed Beg Hamadani enclosing his manifesto of  Jihad against kafirs, Tipu once again reiterated his resolve to annihilate the infidels and establish an  Islamic state in India. He wanted to encash upon the opportunity offered by teetering Moghul empire in India, setbacks to the Marathas and use the same for ushering in Islamic rule. He also vent his  anger on fellow Muslim rulers who had joined hands with the kafirs (infidels).  

“I am now employed in chastising certain Musulman rulers; who, engaging in measures contrary to the rules of Islâm [or the institutes of the faith], are become the allies and supporters of the  reprobate(whose end is bad or calamitous) infidels. It is requisite, for the support of [our] religion,  that all Musulmans should unite together; and, considering the annihilation of infidels as a sacred  duty, labour, to the utmost of their power, to accomplish that object: to the end that the Ahmedy  faith may, day by day, acquire fresh lustre; that the weakness of the empire of Hindustan may be  changed for efficient dominion and power; that the abominations of the wicked may find neither habitation nor retreat* within the kingdoms of his Majesty (the Shadow of the Divinity), who is the  chief of the vicegerents of Mahommed; and [finally] that the rulers of Islâm may not be put to the  blush* before the holy Prophet, on whom be the peace and blessing of God. 


To NUBBY SHÂH, at BANGALORE; same Date. (14th September.) 

“YOU write, “that agreeably to [our] orders, the Pagoda which was “in front of the blessed Durgâh  [or shrine] has been demolished, but “that the Aumil will not resign [to you] the ground [on which it  stood].” It is known. The Aumil will make over the aforesaid ground [to you], when you must  annex the same to the premises of the Durgâh.” 


Tipu invariably described his victories as victory for Islam and flourishing of the religion of  Mohammed. For him, wars were not fought for territorial or strategic reasons but always for the  crushing of kafirs and establishment of an Islamic state.  

In a letter (Letter No. 385)addressed various Muslim religious heads and Peerzadeh, Tipu gloated over the victory of Islam over Kafirs and sent along a number of gifts to them. He sought their assistance in advancing  the religion of Mohamed and support for Islam.  

BY the blessing of God and the aid of the Prophet, the forces of the accursed having experienced a  signal defeat and chastisement, have turned their faces to flight, leaving the troops of Islâm  victorious over the enemies of the faith. Thus has the army of the accursed infidels been trodden under foot by the hoofs of the horses of Islâm, and rendered vile and miserable; while the religion  of Mahommed has been thereby made to flourish. You, Sir, are one of the elders [of the faith], and  will therefore apply, with all your heart, to the best means of advancing the religion of Mahommed,  and of administering to the support of Islâm.”

Thus it can be observed that Tipu was hardly a freedom fighter seeking to liberate India from the yoke of British rule. Tipu was a hard core Islamist committed to establishing a full-fledged Islamic state in India as proved abundantly by his manifesto of Jihad implemented through various acts of  barbarism and savagery. In the ruthless pursuit of his religious fanaticism, he unleashed massive  destruction of life and property on his fellow Indians.  



2) A Voyage to the East Indies: Containing an Account of the Manners, Customs, etc. of the Natives,  with a Geographical Description of the Country … Collection – Travel and Exploration in Asia) by  Paolino da San Bartholomaeo (Author), John Reinhold Forster (Editor), William Johnston (Translator).

3) Tipu Sultan the tyrant of Mysore by Sandeep Balakrishna


Nothing can be worse written than the original of this miserable circular. Though short, it is,  perhaps, as perplexed a production as any that ever proceeded from the pen of the Sultan, who, most probably, dictated every word of it. The proclamation to which it refers, and which  immediately follows it in my manu-script, is in a better style, and was, no doubt, drawn up by some of the Mahommedan theologians of his court. 

A translation of the proclamation here mentioned, appeared, in the year 1793, in the Appendix to  Major Dirom’s judicious and interesting Narrative of Lord Cornwallis’s last Campaign against Tippoo Sultan; and if that publication were not now become very scarce, it would be sufficient, perhaps, to refer the reader to it, for the document in question: it is proper, however, to observe, that the  Persian original, from which Colonel Read’s translation was taken, appears to have differed, in some  respects, from the copy recorded in the official register. Of the latter the following is a faithful  version, for which I am, in a great measure, indebted to the kindness of Mr. Stewart, Persian, Arabic,  and Hindostâny Professor at the Honorable the East-India Company’s Oriental College at Hertford.  The original abounds so much in quotations from the Koran, and my knowledge of the Arabic is so limited, that, without such assistance, I should have hesitated at submitting a translation of it to the reader. 

Although it is probable, that the immediate object of the Sultan, in the foregoing proclamation, or  manifesto, was to seduce from their allegiance, and draw over to his standard, the Musulman subjects of the two powers, with whom he was, at this time, at open war, yet there can be but little  doubt that the English, together with their dependants and tributaries, were also in his contemplation on the occasion. It is true, that the latter are not expressly named: neither are the  Mahrattahs nor the Nizâm. Indeed, with regard to the Nizâm, he could not have been distinctly  referred to without an apparent absurdity, since he was a Mahommedan as well as Tippoo; who,  nevertheless, certainly regarded him in the light of an infidel, because he had, more than once,  associated with infidels against the cause of Islâm, that is to say, in opposition to him (Tippoo). The  argument, therefore, was addressed generally to all Musulmans, in whatever manner subject to the  enemies, direct or indirect, of the true faith. There was no danger of its not being properly applied and understood by those for whom it was intended: ‘no Musulman is ever at a loss to comprehend’ The drift of such appeals. At the same time, if any exception had been taken to it by the English, the  vague and general terms in which it is expressed would have enabled him to maintain, with  sufficient plausibility, that he had only in view such Musulmans as were living under the authority of those with whom he was actually at war. 

There is one passage in the foregoing production, which appears to point more particularly than any  other to the English. It is that wherein he complains, not, as in Major Dirom’s translation, of ravages  committed in his peculiar territories, but (according to my copy of this paper) of the injuries and  losses which the Musulmans in general had sustained at the hands of the infidels; alluding  distantly (as on other occasions he has done more openly) to our establishment in Bengal, the  Carnatic, and other Mahommedan states of India. On the whole, it must be allowed, that the  extensive views of aggrandizement, entertained at this time by the Sultan, are abundantly  developed by this curious document. 

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No doubt, the proclamation, or manifesto, at page 293, is the enclosure here referred to, and which,  hitherto, had probably been circulated only in the territories dependent on Mysore. But as the chief design of the Sultan, in that address, was to draw to his standard the Musulman subjects of other  states, and particularly such as lived under the authority of his immediate enemies, it was necessary that it should be promulgated far and near. What means he adopted for this purpose, with respect to more distant countries, or whether he made any attempt to introduce the document in question  into the British dominions, does not appear: but here we see him selecting as his instruments for  publishing it, and promoting its proposed effect, within the dominions of the Mahrattahs and of the  Nizâm, persons actually residing under the protection of, and owing allegiance to, those very  powers; and who, consequently, could neither pray for the success of his arms, nor contribute their  endeavours to supply him with recruits (which was his chief object on the present occasion), without  a violation of their civil duties, or without exposing themselves to the most imminent danger.  Tip-poo, however, did not allow himself to be restrained by considerations of this nature. He was, at  all times, in communication with the priests belonging to the different shrines, or places of  peculiar sanctity among Musulmans, that are scattered over the Peninsula, but not one of which, I  believe, was included within his own dominions. The only thing to be wondered at, on this occasion,  is the temerity of the reverend personages who engaged in such a hazardous correspondence; for  though it does not appear how the present letter was received by the individuals to whom it was  addressed, the records found at Seringapatam afford abundant proof, that the Sultan, throughout  his reign, stood high in the favour of this particular class. For this distinction he might, in some  degree, be indebted to the gifts which he occasionally bestowed on them; but he, most probably,  owed it principally to their bigotry. He fought avowedly for the glory and extension of their  religion; and that, with zealots, would be a sufficient apology for treason, as well as a sufficient  motive for risking their personal safety in the advancement of his cause.