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Razakars: Hyderabad's Anti-Integration Militia



  May 02, 2024

Razakars: Hyderabad's Anti-Integration Militia



They were a paramilitary force organized by the princely state of Hyderabad’s ruler, Nizam Osman Ali Khan, in 1948 to resist the integration of Hyderabad into the newly independent India. Here are some frequently asked questions about the Razakars:

What were the Razakars?

The Razakars were a volunteer militia in the princely state of Hyderabad, formed to support the rule of the Nizam and oppose the accession of Hyderabad to India. The militia was led by Qasim Razvi, the leader of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), which was a political party that supported the continuation of Nizam rule.

What was their role during the integration of Hyderabad into India?

During the period of political unrest in Hyderabad before its integration into India, the Razakars played a significant role in trying to maintain the Nizam’s rule and resist the democratic and nationalist movements that advocated for the state’s accession to India. They were known for their aggressive campaigns against those supporting integration and were accused of committing atrocities against the local Hindu population as a means to suppress the growing demand for union with India.

What happened to the Razakars after Hyderabad’s accession to India?

After the Indian military intervention in Hyderabad in an operation known as “Operation Polo” or the “Police Action” in September 1948, Hyderabad was integrated into India. Subsequently, the Razakars were disbanded, and their leader, Qasim Razvi, was arrested and later imprisoned. Razvi eventually migrated to Pakistan after being released from prison.

How are the Razakars viewed in historical context?

The Razakars are generally viewed negatively in Indian historical narratives due to their opposition to Indian integration and the violent tactics they employed against civilians. They are often cited as an example of sectarian violence and resistance to democratic processes.

What is the legacy of the Razakars today?

The legacy of the Razakars remains a sensitive and controversial topic in Indian history, particularly in the regions that were part of the former Hyderabad state, such as parts of modern-day Telangana, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. Discussions about the Razakars often evoke strong reactions and are part of broader conversations about the history of communalism and regional identities in India.

These FAQs provide a brief overview of the Razakars and their role during a pivotal moment in India’s history as the country transitioned from colonial rule to independence and faced challenges of integration and communal harmony.


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