Tag Archives: 1948

Hyderabad 1948: India’s hidden massacre

By Mike Thomson Presenter, Document, Radio 4

When India was partitioned in 1947, about 500,000 people died in communal rioting, mainly along the borders with Pakistan. But a year later another massacre occurred in central India, which until now has remained clouded in secrecy.

In September and October 1948, soon after independence from the British Empire, tens of thousands of people were brutally slaughtered in central India.

Some were lined up and shot by Indian Army soldiers. Yet a government-commissioned report into what happened was never published and few in India know about the massacre. Critics have accused successive Indian governments of continuing a cover-up.

The massacres took place a year after the violence of partition in what was then Hyderabad state, in the heart of India. It was one of 500 princely states that had enjoyed autonomy under British colonial rule.

When independence came in 1947 nearly all of these states agreed to become part of India.

But Hyderabad’s Muslim Nizam, or prince, insisted on remaining independent. This refusal to surrender sovereignty to the new democratic India outraged the country’s leaders in New Delhi.

After an acrimonious stand-off between Delhi and Hyderabad, the government finally lost patience.

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Who orchestrated the exodus of Sindhi Hindus after Partition?

By Haider Nizamani

Excerpts;

….. The lone source Ajmal sahib has cited is not a thoroughly researched book but a ‘polemical brochure’ written by the then-secretary of the Sindh Assembly Congress Party, PV Tahalramani, in November 1947 to persuade the Indian state to intervene in Sindh. Let’s look at the role the Sindhi leadership in the days immediately following Partition and compare it with the role of some key figures of the central government on the matter of anti-Hindu riots. Because of space constraints I will only briefly refer to the political leanings and the role of the Sindhi Hindu leadership of that time in facilitating the migration of Hindus from Sindh. The exodus of Hindus from Sindh cannot be seen in isolation from the influx of refugees in Sindh and the setting up of the central government of the newly-founded state of Pakistan in Karachi, Sindh.

Sindh’s governor, Francis Mundie, described Sindh in the days leading up to Partition as a place which “characteristically carries on almost as if nothing had happened or was about to happen”. It changed when, according to Hamida Khuhro, Karachi rapidly became “a vast refugee camp”, making Jinnah “extremely worried about the mass exchange of population which was taking place and the bloodshed that accompanied it…. In fact Jinnah told Ayub Khuhro, premier of Sindh, categorically that he expected to retain the minority communities in Pakistan. Khuhro fully agreed with Jinnah. Hindus, he felt, ‘were an essential part of the society and economy of the province’. The events took an ugly turn in Karachi and Hyderabad (where) the new arrivals were entering and occupying houses where the owners, particularly Hindus, were still living, and throwing out the owners”.

Congress leaders advised Hindus to leave Sindh which was viewed by the Sindhi Muslim leadership as a ploy to deprive Sindh of its merchants, bankers, and sanitation workers. According to Brown University’s associate professor of history Vazira Zamindar’s book The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia (Columbia University Press, 2007): Ayub Khuhro, the premier of Sindh, and other Sindhi leaders also attempted to retain Sindh’s minorities, for they also feared a loss of cultural identity with the Hindu exodus.” The Sindh government “attempted to use force to stem” the exodus “by passing the Sindh Maintenance of Public Safety Ordinance” in September 1947. On September 4, 1947 curfew had to be imposed in Nawabshah because of communal violence. It turned out that the policies of a local collector resulted in the exodus of a large Sikh community of Nawabshah to make room for an overflow of refugees from East Punjab. The Sindh government took stern action to suppress the violence.

The Sindh government set up a Peace Board comprising Hindu and Muslim members to maintain order in the troubled province. PV Tahilramani was secretary of the Peace Board. He is the one who rushed to Khuhro’s office on January 6, 1948, at around 11 am to inform the chief minister that the Sikhs in Guru Mandir areas of Karachi were being killed. According to Khuhro, senior bureaucrats and police officials were nowhere to be found and he rushed to the scene at around 12.30 pm where he saw “mobs of refugees armed with knives and sticks storming the temples”. Khuhro tried to stem the violence and Jinnah was pleased with his efforts.

The prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, was angry with Khuhro when he went to see him on January 9 or 10. Liaquat said to Khuhro: “What sort of Muslim are you that you protect Hindus here when Muslims are being killed in India. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself!In the third week of January 1948, Liaquat Ali Khan said the Sindh government must move out of Karachi and told Khuhro to “go make your capital in Hyderabad or somewhere else”. Liaquat said this during a cabinet meeting while Jinnah quietly listened. The Sindh Assembly passed a resolution on February 10, 1948, against the Centre’s impending move to annex Karachi. The central government had already taken over the power to allotment houses in Karachi. Khuhro was forced to quit and Karachi was handed over to the Centre in April 1948.

The above facts made me write that the violence against Sindhi Hindus and their mass migration to India was a tragic loss scripted, orchestrated and implemented by non-Sindhis in Sindh. I will happily withdraw my claim when furnished with the evidence to the contrary.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/388663/who-orchestrated-the-exodus-of-sindhi-hindus-after-partition/

Ram Jethmalani, the former Law Minister & Chairman of Bar Associations of India is proud on the Secular Sufi values of Sindh

Ram Jethmalani, was born September 14, 1923, in Shikharpur, Sindh (now in Pakistan)) is an eminent Indian lawyer and politician. He spoke about Sindh & Jinnah. He said that “When Jinnah qualified for the Bar, he came to Karachi to practice. Jinnah belonged to the community of Khojas who were rich merchants and he expected to have a ready-made clientele in Karachi, Sindh. He (Jinnah) went to a firm of Hindu lawyers in Hyderabad called Harichandra and Co., Old Harichandra had interviewed him and once he said that he was perfectly qualified to practice, they had to settle the terms. Jinnah wanted hundred rupees, but the old Hindu miser was unwilling to go above seventy-five. I have always said, even in public, that Jinnah was not the cause of India’s partition, but that old Hindu miser.”

Ram Jethmalani also spoke about Sindh being the cradle of Sufism, the gentlest and finest of the fine form of Islam. He said that it was synonymous with the Kashmiriyat of Kashmir. Shah Abdul Latif, one of the greatest poets, was a product of Sindh. “We had developed a great synthesis between the two communities, that as a Hindu youngster, I would get my new clothes on Eid (a Muslim festival) and Muslin youngsters would get their clothes on Deepavali ( a Hindu festival). Even when Partition had happened, and hundreds of thousands of people were getting killed in Punjab, but the Sindhi Muslim never killed a single Hindu.”

“Speaking for myself, for the sake of safety, I had brought my family to Bombay, but I had gone back to Sindh and continued my practice in the hope that things would become normal. I stayed till February 1948 and by that time a large influx of Muslims had came from Bihar and other places from India to Sindh and that was the cause of great tension because they wanted Hindu properties.

“In February, when I was arguing a case in the Magistrate’s court, my Pathan driver came in and said that the locality where I was living was in danger. I found on the way back that nobody was being hurt physically, but preparations had been made to rob all the property by new comers from India, to create fear and force Hindus to migrate. That is exactly what happened.”

He said his partner during his practice in Karachi was a secular Sindhi Muslim gentleman and a great scholar – A. K. Brohi, who later piloted the first Constitution of Pakistan. “Seeing the incidents of February 1948, Ram Jethmalani said that he could no longer bear the responsibility of my safety. Then I left and settled down in Bombay and started practice.”

You Tube Link

Speech of Dr. Zafar Baloch (BHRC) to the conference on South Asia

The conference on South Asia was organized by International Center for Peace & Democracy (ICFPD) in collaboration with Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada). The conference took place at Hotel Radisson Toronto, Canada on December 11, 2010.

SOUTH ASIAN PERSPETIVE ON REGIONAL STABILITY THE ROLE OF THE STATE: DEMOCRACY, DICTATORSHIP, AND EXTREMISM

ICFPD

Following is the speech delivered by Dr. Zafar Baloch, president of Baloch Human Rights council (Canada) in the conference.

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