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Internal Violence: The “Police Action” in Hyderabad

  • Sunil Purushotham (a1)


Through an examination of the September 1948 event known as the “Police Action,” this article argues that “internal violence” was an important engine of state formation in India in the period following independence in 1947. The mid-century ruptures in the subcontinent were neither incidental to nor undermining of the nascent Indian nation-state project—they were constitutive events through which a new state and regime of sovereignty emerged. A dispersal and mobilization of violence in and around the princely state of Hyderabad culminated in an event of violence directed primarily at Hyderabad's Muslims during and just after the Police Action. This violent mediation of the incorporation of India's Muslims into the postcolonial order left significant legacies in subsequent decades. These events in the heart of peninsular India, and the processes behind them, have remained largely invisible or obscured in the historical record. Here I substantially revise the historiography of what happened in Hyderabad, and draw on my findings to offer an alternative perspective on decolonization in India.


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1 Judt, Tony, Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 (New York, 2005), 22–40.

2 Sunil Purushotham, Sovereignty, Violence, and the Making of the Postcolonial State in India, 1946–52, PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, 2013.

3 Chatterji, Joya, The Spoils of Partition: Bengal and India 1947–1967 (Cambridge, 2007); Mayaram, Shail, “Speech, Silence and the Making of Partition Violence in Mewat,” in Amin, Shahid and Chakrabarty, Dipesh, eds., Subaltern Studies IX: Writings on South Asian History and Society (New Delhi, 1996), 126–63; Copland, Ian, “The Further Shores of Partition: Ethnic Cleansing in Rajasthan 1947,” Past & Present 160 (1998): 203–39.

4 Hansen, Thomas Blom and Stepputat, Finn, eds., Sovereign Bodies: Citizens, Migrants, and States in the Postcolonial World (Princeton, 2005); Das, Veena and Poole, Deborah, eds., Anthropology in the Margins of the State (Santa Fe, 2004).

5 Menon, V. P., The Story of the Integration of the Indian States (New York, 1956); Munshi, K. M., The End of an Era: Hyderabad Memories (Bombay, 1957); Ali, Mir Laik, Tragedy of Hyderabad (Karachi, 1962); Benichou, Lucien, From Autocracy to Integration: Political Developments in Hyderabad State, 1938–1948 (Hyderabad, 2000); Pernau, Margit, The Passing of Patrimonialism: Politics and Political Culture in Hyderabad 1911–1948 (New Delhi, 2000); Raghavan, Srinath, War and Peace in Modern India (London, 2010).

6 Without further elaboration or evidence, Prabhat Patnaik recently described the Police Action as “the massacre of 40,000 innocent people by the Indian army,” in Modern India sans the Impact of Capitalism,” Economic and Political Weekly 48, 36 (7 Sept. 2013), 30; Noorani, A. G., The Destruction of Hyderabad (New Delhi, 2013).

7 Cited in Copland, Ian, The Princes of India and the Endgame of Empire, 1917–1947 (Cambridge, 1997), 222–23.

8 Nehru to Ministry of States, 20 June 1948, National Archive of India, Ministry of States (MoS), files 3(2)-H/48; Shukla to Nehru, 11 July 1948; MoS, 3(22)-H/48.

9 Nagendra Bahadur, “A Short Note on the Refugee Problem of Hyderabad,” MoS, file 103-H/48.

10 Ibid.

11 Ambedkar statement, 17 June 1947, in Sever, Adrian, ed., Documents and Speeches on the Indian Princely States, vol. 2 (New Delhi, 1985), 628–34.

12 Cited in Gauba, K. L., Hyderabad or India (Delhi, 1948), 146–47. A lakh equals one hundred thousand and a crore ten million.

13 Nehru to Sheikh Abdullah, 10 Oct. 1947, in Singh, Neerja, ed., Nehru-Patel: Agreement Within Differences. Select Documents and Correspondences, 1933–1950 (New Delhi, 2010), 142.

14 Record of Interview between Rear-Admiral Viscount Mountbatten of Burma and Mr. Jinnah, 12 July 1947, in Mansergh, Nicholas, ed., The Transfer of Power, vol. 12 (London, 1983), 121.

15 Appadurai, Arjun, Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger (Durham, 2006).

16 Prasad, S. N., Operation Polo: The Police Action against Hyderabad, 1948 (New Delhi, 1972).

17 Home Secretary, Government of Hyderabad to Ministry of States, 1 Aug. 1952, MoS, 18(22)-H/52.

18 Kennedy, Jonathan and Purushotham, Sunil, “Beyond Naxalbari: A Comparative Analysis of Maoist Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Independent India,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 54, 4 (2012), 832–62.

19 Ali, Mir Laik, Tragedy of Hyderabad (Karachi, 1962).

20 “Ana'l-Malik” could be translated as “I am king” or “We are rulers.” Bahadur Yar Jung opened all Ittehad functions with this invocation: “We are the Kings of the Deccan; the Throne and Crown of the Deccan are symbols of our own political and cultural sovereignty; His Exalted Highness is the soul of our Kingship and we form the body of his Kingship; if he ceases to exist, we cease to exist; and if we are no more, it will be no more.” Benichou, From Autocracy, 108–9.

21 The important theorist of the Islamic state, Maulana Abul A'la Maududi, compared the fall of Hyderabad to the Mongol capture of Baghdad in 1258, the expulsion of the Moors from Spain in 1492, and the fall of the Mughal Empire in 1858. Nasr, Syed Vali Reza, Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution: The Jama'at-I Islami of Pakistan (Berkeley, 1994), 225.

22 Omvedt, Gail, Dalits and the Democratic Revolution: Dr. Ambedkar and the Dalit Movement in Colonial India (New Delhi, 1994), 281314; Yagati, Chinna Rao, Dalits' Struggle for Identity: Andhra and Hyderabad, 1900–1950 (New Delhi, 2003).

23 The Indian Express, Madras edition, 4 Oct. 1947, MoS, 2(5)-PR/47, pt. II.

24 Syama Prasad Mookerjee, prominent Hindu Mahasabhaite and minister of industry and supply in the Union Cabinet, forwarded a December 1947 report to Patel claiming, “Within a short time over a lakh of poorer class Hindus would have been butchered.” Mookerjee to Patel, 11 Dec. 1947, MoS, 2(5)-PR/47, pt. II.

25 Das, Durga, ed., Sardar Patel's Correspondence, 1945–50 (Ahmedabad, 1974), vol. 7, 236–37. Aside from being the deputy prime minister, Patel headed the powerful Home Ministry as well as the Ministry of States, which oversaw all matters relating to the former princely states. See also, Nehru, “Statement in the Constituent Assembly, Sept 7, 1948,” Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, vol. 7, 231.

26 Shukla to Nehru, 11 July 1948, MoS, 3(22)-H/48.

27 D. Mishra to Patel, 29 June 1947, in Das, ed., Sardar Patel's Correspondence, vol. 7, 34. Morarji Desai was home minister, Government of Bombay; Swami Ramanada Tirtha was president of the Hyderabad State Congress; Dr. Subbarayan was minister for home and police, Government of Madras; Gupta was speaker of the C.P. and Berar Legislative Assembly.

28 Roosa, John, “Passive Revolution Meets Peasant Revolution: Indian Nationalism and the Telangana Revolt,” Journal of Peasant Studies 28, 4 (2001): 5794, 74.

29 Tirtha, Swami Ramananda, Memoirs of Hyderabad Freedom Struggle (Bombay, 1967), 192; Roosa, “Passive Revolution,” 75.

30 M. Narsing Rao et al., to President, Indian National Congress, 11 Nov. 1948, file 72, All India States Peoples' Conference papers, Nehru Museum and Memorial Library.

31 “List of Camps of the Hyderabad State Congress,” n.d. (ca. late 1947 or early 1948). John Roosa kindly provided a copy of this document. See also, The Socialist Party's Hyderabad Struggle Committee, The Hyderabad Problem: The Next Step (Bombay, 1948); Desai, V. H. and Kumar, Pretti, eds., The Democrat: Saga of a Jail Journal of Hyderabad Freedom Struggle, 1947–1948 (Mumbai, 1998).

32 “Note by Deputy Inspector General of Police, CID,” MoS, 2(5)-PR/47, pt. II.

33 Roosa, “Passive Revolution,” 20. See also, for example, MoS, 3(20)-H/48.

34 Michael Witmer, The 1947–1948 India-Hyderabad Conflict: Realpolitik and the Formation of the Modern Indian State, PhD thesis, Temple University, 1996, 232.

35 In the pamphlet, the State Congress claimed to have destroyed 182 customs nakas (posts), forty-seven police stations, and sixty Razakar centers. Further, they distributed the grain of twenty-three government-owned godowns (storehouses), damaged railway lines at thirty-five different places, derailed two train wagons, set two government buses on fire, blew up four bridges, destroyed four government buildings and six railway stations, and exploded five bombs near police stations. They claimed to have killed forty-two police officials, 205 constables, 361 Razakars, and thirty-six “Rohilas & Arabs,” for a total of 844, while seventeen “martyrs” were “killed in actions.” Moreover, they said they had organized 214 “Village Kisan Dals” and “liberated” the people of 250 villages by August 1948. “Thus Fought Marathwada,” by Hyderabad State Congress, Maharashtra Provincial Office, Bombay, MoS, 337-H/48.

36 Munshi to Patel, 21 May 1948, in Das, ed., Sardar Patel's Correspondence, vol. 7, 156.

37 Times of India, 30 Apr. 1948, and 11 June 1948.

38 Razvi, S. M. Jawad, Political Awakening in Hyderabad: Role of Youth and Students (1938–1956) (Hyderabad, 1985), 8485; Gour, Raj Bahadur et al. , Glorious Telengana Armed Struggle (New Delhi, 1973), 8.

39 Razvi, Political Awakening, 85; Desai and Kumar, eds., Democrat, 147–48.

40 The Case of Arya Samaj in Hyderabad State (Delhi, 1938).

41 Leonard, Karen, “Hyderabad: The Mulki–Non-Mulki Conflict,” in Jeffrey, Robin, ed., People, Princes and Paramount Power (New Delhi, 1978), 65106; Kate, P. V., Marathwada under the Nizams (Delhi, 1987).

42 Ramesan, N., ed., The Freedom Struggle in Hyderabad, Volume IV (1921–1947) (Hyderabad, 1997), 98; Joseph, T. Uma, Accession of Hyderabad: The Inside Story (Delhi, 2006), 134.

43 Joseph, Accession, 127–38.

44 As late as 1943, approximately half of the seventy-six thousand members of the RSS lived in C.P. and Berar. Mojumdar, Kanchanmoy, Saffron versus Green: Communal Politics in the Central Provinces and Berar, 1919–1947 (New Delhi, 2003), 102–3, 187.

45 Vellodi to V. P. Menon, 8 Apr. 1950, MoS, 5(5)-H/50.

46 Datla, Kavita, The Language of Secular Islam: Urdu Nationalism and Colonial India (Honolulu, 2013), 146.

47 See especially V. D. Savarkar, Hindu Rashtra Darshan, http:/// (accessed 13 Jan. 2015).

48 Times of India, 21 Nov. 1938; Godse, Gopal, May It Please Your Honour: Statement of Nathuram Godse (Pune, 1977).

49 “Extract from the CIO [chief intelligence officer] Nagpur's review of the political situation for the first half of September 1947,” MoS, 2(5)-PR/47.

50 V. T. Dehejia to Ministry of States, 5 Dec. 1947, MoS, 111-PR/47.

51 Dehejia to Ministry of States, 8 Dec. 1947, MoS, 111-PR/47.

52 For long-term processes, see Tilly, Charles, Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990–1990 (Oxford, 1990). For the interwar period, see Gerwarth, Robert and Horne, John, eds., War in Peace: Paramilitary Violence in Europe after the Great War (Oxford, 2012).

53 Bombay was the first province to enact a Home Guards Act, in 1947.

54 Nehru to Chief Ministers, 2 Nov. and 19 Dec. 1947, cited in Parthasarathi, G., ed., Jawaharlal Nehru: Letters to Chief Ministers 1947–1964, Volume I, 1947–1949 (New Delhi, 1985), 7, 10, 41.

55 Nehru to Chief Ministers, 17 Jan. 1948, Letters to Chief Ministers, 53–54.

56 Baldev Singh to Ravi Shankar Shukla, 13 Apr. 1948, National Archives of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, 10/37/48-Police.

57 D. S. Bakhle, Secretary to the Government of Bombay, Home Department to Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, 31 May 1948, National Archive of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, 19/8/48-Police.

58 Colonel Ganguly, General Officer Commanding the Home Guards in C.P. and Berar, paraphrased in Times of India, 14 July 1949.

59 Appadurai, Arjun, “Full Attachment,” Public Culture 10, 2 (1998): 417–50, 447.

60 Kahn, Paul W., Sacred Violence: Torture, Terror, and Sovereignty (Ann Arbor, 2008).

61 Speech in the Constituent Assembly, 5 Mar. 1948, Jawaharlal Nehru's Speeches, Volume One: September 1946–May 1949 (New Delhi, 1963), 176; Nehru to General Hiralal Atal, 27 Oct. 1947, cited in Wolpert, Stanley, Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India (Oxford, 2009), 185.

62 Nehru speech commemorating Gandhi's birthday, 2 Oct. 1948, Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, vol. 7, 143.

63 D. S. Bakhle, Secretary to the Government of Bombay, Home Department to Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, 31 May 1948, Ministry of Home Affairs, 19/8/48-Police.

64 Times of India, 9 Aug. 1948.

65 V. T. Dehejia to Ministry of States, 5 Dec. 1947, MoS, 111-PR/47; see also Times of India, 9 Aug. 1948.

66 Times of India, 24 May 1948.

67 Times of India, 16 May 1948, and 4 Aug. 1948.

68 Kamat, Manjiri N., “Border Incidents, Internal Disorder and the Nizam's Claim for an Independent Hyderabad,” in Ernst, Waltrund and Pati, Biswamoy, eds., India's Princely States: People, Princes and Colonialism (London, 2007), 217.

69 Times of India, 14 Feb. 1948.

70 Ravi Shankar Shukla speech, 27 Apr. 1946, cited in Khan, Yasmin, The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan (New Haven, 2007), 53; fortnightly report for first half of April 1948, Government of C.P. and Berar, MoS, 3(21)-H/48. The Home Guards worked in conjunction with the Indian military forces. Times of India, 24 July 1948, and 15 June 1948.

71 Chief Secretary to Government, C.P. and Berar, Political and Military Department, to the Secretary to Ministry of States, 1 July 1948, MoS, 3(2)-H/48.

72 Times of India, 3 Aug. 1948. Patel approvingly inspected the uniformed and fully armed C. Home Guards at Nagpur in December 1947. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, For a United India: Speeches of Sardar Patel, 1947–1950 (New Delhi, 1967), 145.

73 Times of India, 17 May 1948.

74 Letter from R. S. Shukla, 21 July 1947, in Das, ed., Sardar Patel's Correspondence, vol. 7, 36–37. Shukla initially ordered the confiscation of arms from all licensees both Hindu and Muslim. With Patel's approval, he returned the arms to the Hindus, while refusing to do the same for Muslims, arguing that they “could create trouble.”

75 New York Times, 16 Sept. 1948. See also Sherman, Taylor C., “The Integration of the Princely State of Hyderabad and the Making of the Postcolonial State in India, 1948–1956,” Indian Economic and Social History Review 44, 4: 489516, 496.

76 Times of India, 22 Sept. 1948.

77 Hindu, 4 Oct. 1948; Joseph, Accession, 42–43.

78 The official casualty statistics were: 1,373 Razakars killed, 42 wounded, and 1,911 captured; Hyderabad Army: 807 killed, 64 wounded, and 1,647 captured; an additional 43 Hyderabadi combatants were killed. On the Indian side only ten were killed. Benichou, From Autocracy, 243.

79 Nehru, “Note to the Ministry of States,” 14 Nov. 1948, Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, vol. 8, 103.

80 Nehru, “Note to Ministry of States,” 26 Nov. 1948, Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, vol. 8, 106–7.

81 Azad to Nehru, 23 Nov. 1948, MoS, 1(11)-H/48.

82 A 29 Nov. 1948 diary entry, cited in Chopra, P. N. and Chopra, Prabha, eds., Inside Story of Sardar Patel: The Diary of Maniben Patel: 1936–50 (New Delhi, 2001), 234.

83 Khalidi, Omar, ed., Hyderabad: After the Fall (Wichita, 1988), 95.

84 Smith, Wilfred Cantwell, “Hyderabad: Muslim Tragedy,” Middle East Journal 4 (1950): 2751.

85 A. G. Noorani, “Of a Massacre Untold,” Frontline 18, 5 (3–16 Mar. 2001), (accessed 13 Jan. 2015).

86 Omar Khalidi, “A Report on the Post-Operation Polo Massacres, Rape, and Destruction or Seizure of Property in Hyderabad State by Pandit Sundarlal and Qazi Muhammad Abdulghaffar, Introduced by Omar Khalidi,” in Khalidi, ed., Hyderabad, 99.

87 Benichou, From Autocracy, 237–38; Pernau, Passing of Patrimonialism, 336.

88 Noorani, “Massacre Untold”; and Destruction of Hyderabad.

89 “Communal Frenzy in Hyderabad, 1948. Reports of the Goodwill Mission which Visited Hyderabad to Find out the Damages Done in Hyderabad Owing to the Communal Frenzy and the Possible Remedies for Overriding Future Outbreaks,” Pandit Sunder Lal Papers, file 2, Nehru Museum and Memorial Library, New Delhi (hereafter “SL Reports”)

90 SL Reports.

91 Government of Hyderabad, Hyderabad Reborn: First Six Months of Freedom (September 18, 1948—March 17, 1949) (Hyderabad, 1949).

92 Prasad, Operation Polo, 37.

93 Hyderabad Reborn, 101.

94 Ibid., 106.

95 Ibid., 107.

96 Ibid.

97 SL Reports.

98 Hyderabad Reborn, 119–20.

99 SL Reports.

100 “Complaints against the Workers of the Hyderabad State Congress and Certain Officials of the State Administration,” MoS, 1(61)-H/49.

101 “Confidential Report of the Rehabilitation Committee Appointed by the Government of Hyderabad,” MoS, 17(1)-H/52.

102 Rahman to Nehru, 9 Jan. 1950, MoS, 1(71)-H/49.

103 SL Reports.

104 Ibid.

105 Hyderabad Reborn, 112.

106 Ibid., 112.

107 Ibid., 124.

108 Ibid., 124.

109 Ibid., 128.

110 Rahman to Nehru, 1 Jan. 1950, MoS, 1(71)-H/49.

111 Sundarayya, Puchalapalli, Telengana People's Struggle and Its Lessons (New Delhi, 1972), 188–89.

112 Ravi Narayan Reddy, “The Naked Truth about Telengana,” 15 Mar. 1951, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Archive of Contemporary History, 1951/94.

113 MoS, files 260-H/48, 5(5)-H/50, 1(15)-H/49, 19(12)-H/50, 6(17)-H/51, and 1(44)-H/50.

114 Patel to K. M. Abdul Gaffar, 4 Jan. 1949; Nandurkar, G. M., ed., Sardar's Letters: Mostly Unknown (Ahmedabad, 1981), 6970.

115 Military Governor J. N. Chaudhuri to V. P. Menon, Secretary, Ministry of States, 21 Dec. 1948, MoS, 12(6)-H/49.

116 Chaudhuri to Ministry of States, “A Report on Certain Aspects of the Situation in Hyderabad as on 19 Nov 48,” MoS, 1(11)-H/48.

117 Nehru to Patel, 19 Oct. 1950, MoS, 1(44)-H/50.

118 “Note on the Situation in Hyderabad State,” Central Intelligence Officer, Madras, forwarded to Ministry of States by B. N. Mullick, Deputy Director, Intelligence Bureau, 20 Oct. 1948, MoS, 260-H/48.

119 M. K. Vellodi, Chief Minister, Government of Hyderabad to N. M. Buch, Joint Secretary, Ministry of States, 13 June 1951, MoS, 6(17)-H/51.

120 Vellodi to S. Narayanaswamy, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of States, 20 Feb. 1950, MoS, 1(71)-H/49.

121 Fortnightly report for second half of Jan. 1950, L. C. Jain, Chief Secretary, Government of Hyderabad to Buch, 20 Feb. 1950, MoS, 19(12)-H/50.

122 Hyderabad Reborn, 30.

123 Nagendra Bahadur, Home Secretary, Government of Hyderabad to S. Narayanaswamy, 4 Jan. 1952, MoS, 17(1)-H/52.

124 SL Reports.

125 Sherman, Taylor, “Moral Economies of Violence: Partition and the Anti-Muslim Purge in Hyderabad State, 1948,” Deccan Studies 8, 2 (2010): 6590.

126 Nagendra Bahadur, Revenue Department Circular, n.d., MoS, 1(71)-H/49.

127 D. S. Bakhle, Chief Civil Administrator, Government of Hyderabad, 28 Nov. 1948, MoS, 112-H/48, vol. I.

128 Chaudhuri, “Report on Certain Aspects.”

129 Nehru to Dr. Paul Ruegger, 30 July 1949, MoS, 1(15)-H/49.

130 Nehru to Patel, 19 Oct. 1950; and Patel to Nehru, 26 Oct. 1950, both MoS, 1(44)-H/50.

131 N. M. Buch, Ministry of States, 8 Oct. 1948, MoS, 327-H/48.

132 D. S. Bakhle to V. P. Menon, 3 Oct. 1948, MoS, 327-H/48.

133 Vellodi, 16 June 1949, MoS, 1(50)-H/49.

134 Chaudhuri to Ministry of States, 17 June 1949. At the time of the amnesty, the “number of cases arising out of retaliation of Police action” was 875, including 114 murders and involving 3,031 accused; NIA, MoS, 1(50)-H/49.

135 Vellodi to A. V. Pai, 2 June 1949, MoS, file 1(15)-H/49.

136 Bakhle to Patel, 6 Nov. 1948, Sardar Patel's Correspondence, vol. 7, 275; Nagendra Bahadur to Ministry of States, 4 Jan. 1952, MoS, 17(1)-H/52.

137 Ministry of States' telegram to Military Governor, MoS, 103-H/48.

138 SL Reports.

139 Ibid.

140 Chaudhuri, “Report on Certain Aspects.”

141 Tirtha to V. P. Menon, cited by Chaudhuri to Vellodi, 31 May 1949, MoS, 1(50)-H/49.

142 Tirtha to Patel, 10 May 1949, ibid.

143 M. Narsing Rao et al. to President, Indian National Congress, 11 Nov. 1948, AISPC Papers, Nehru Museum and Memorial Library, file 72.

144 Chaudhuri to Ministry of States, 17 June 1949, MoS, 1(50)-H/49.

145 “Note on the Situation.”

146 Times of India, 30 Sept. 1948.

147 Chaudhuri to Ministry of States, 17 June 1949, MoS, 1(50)-H/49.

148 Mohammed Hyder, October Coup: A Memoir of the Struggle for Hyderabad (New Delhi, 2012), 79.

149 SL Reports.

150 Chaudhuri to Vellodi, 29 May 1949, and “Supplementary Note on Visit to Osmanabad,” 29 May 1949, MoS, 1(61)-H/49. See also MoS, 1(11)-H/48.

151 Bindu to Nehru, 21 Dec. 1950, and Bindu to Patel, 21 May 1950, both in MoS, 1(5)-H/51. See also, Hyderabad State Congress to President, Indian National Congress, 11 Nov. 1948, AISPC Papers, Nehru Museum and Memorial Library, file 72.

152 SL Reports.

153 “Note on the Situation.”

154 “Inner C.C. No. 6,” Jawaharlal Nehru University, Archive of Contemporary History, 1949/56.

155 Zamindar, Safeena, Ehsan, and Mahgrabi Pakistan all made such claims. Press Intelligence Reports, 28 Oct. and 6 Nov. 1948, Punjab State Archives, East Punjab Liaison Agency records, LVI/16/23-G, pt. II.

156 Chaudhuri to Vellodi, 31 May 1948, MoS, 1(50)-H/49.

157 Chaudhuri, “Report on Certain Aspects.”

158 SL Reports; Rahman to Nehru, 1 Jan. 1950, MoS, 1(71)-H/49; “Report of the Rehabilitation Committee Appointed by the Government of Hyderabad,” MoS, 17(1)-H/52.

159 Omvedt, Dalits, 298.

160 Ibid., 313.

161 SL Reports. Choties are the tuft of hair left unshaven by Hindu men to signify their twice-born status.

162 Extract from Civil Intelligence Report, 11 Nov. 1948, MoS, 112-H/48, vol. I.

163 Abstract of Intelligence, Hyderabad Police, 24 Mar. 1949, MoS, 11(9)-H/49.

164 Munshi, K. M., End of an Era (Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1957), 1; Patel speech, 30 Oct. 1948, cited in Nandurkar, G. M., ed., Sardar Patel—In Tune with the Millions—I (Ahmedabad, 1975), 37.

165 Patel speech, 16 Sept. 1948, cited in Nandurkar, Sardar Patel—In Tune, 115.

166 Appadurai, Fear of Small Numbers.

167 Patel insisted “mere declarations of loyalty to the Indian Union” would not suffice; what was needed was “practical proof of their declarations.” Speech at a public meeting, Lucknow, 6 Jan. 1948, cited in For a United India, 64–70. See also Pandey, Gyanendra, “Can a Muslim Be an Indian?Comparative Studies in Society and History 41, 4 (1999): 608–29.

168 Roy, Srirupa, Beyond Belief: India and the Politics of Postcolonial Nationalism (Durham, 2007).

169 Rajni Kothari, Politics in India (Boston, 1970), 14.

170 Patel to Nehru, 26 Oct. 1950, MoS, 1(44)-H/50.

171 Pandey, Gyanendra, “The Prose of Otherness,” in Arnold, David and Hardiman, David, eds., Subaltern Studies VIII (Delhi, 1994), 188221.

172 Sarkar, Sumit, “Popular Movements and National Leadership, 1945–47,” Economic and Political Weekly 17, 14/16 (Apr. 1982): 677–89.

173 For more on violence and the political in India, see Kapila, Shruti, “A History of Violence,” Modern Intellectual History 7, 2 (2010): 437–57.


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