Thursday, June 1, 2000

The Story of Kasim Razvi

Legends and Anecdotes of Hyderabad --58

The Story of Kasim Razvi
By Narendra Luther

Kasim Razvi was the one man for giving Hyderabad its only traumatic experience in its history. More than anybody else, he invited the ‘Police Action’ on Hyderabad.

Razvi hailed from Uttar Pradesh and became a lawyer in Latur in Osmanabad, a district of the Hyderabad State. He became a member of the Majlis-e- Ittehad-ul Mussalmeen of which Bahadur Yar Jung was the president. Razvi was a highly emotional person. Once when the Bahadur Yar Jung came to Latur to set up the Party office there, Razvi offered his house for that purpose and starting throwing out his furniture in the street to vacate it.

President of the Majlis

On the sudden and untimely death of Bahadur Yar Jung in 1946, Razvi succeeded him as President of the party. He imparted a sharp militancy to it and delivered highly provocative speeches. He exhorted Muslims to remember that they had conquered India by sword and that they were destined to rule.

When India became independent in 1947, Nizam tried to become an independent ruler. Razvi encouraged him in his ambition. He declared that the waters of the Bay of Bengal would wash his feet. He also bragged that the Nizam’s flag would flutter on the Red Fort at Delhi.

‘Razakars’

Razvi fanned communalism in a State, which was generally known for its communal harmony. He created a para- military force composed of volunteers called ‘razakars’. Every razakar had to take pledge that he would lay down his life for the leader and the party and he would fight to the last to maintain the Muslim hegemony in the State. The razakars were given military training and they were armed with sticks, swords, and some with guns. Razvi was the Field Marshal of the outfit and like his followers wore khaki uniform.

When after protracted negotiations, the Nizam and the Government of India decided to enter a Standstill Agreement in 1947, Razvi’s razakars prevented the members of the State delegation from leaving for Delhi to sign it. They also manhandled the Prime Minister and others. They spread a reign of terror in the State and Razvi issued severe threats to everyone who dared to oppose or even differed from him. A young journalist, Shoebullah Khan was murdered by razakars because he wrote in favour of State’s integration with India.

Razvi’s power grew and he and his people came to wield increasingly greater influence with the Nizam and the his government. The moderate Prime Minister, Sir Mirza Ismail was hounded out of the State. So was Nawab Chhatari who had returned to Hyderabad for a second term as Premier in 1947.

In January 1948, Razvi imposed a new government on the State. Mir Laik Ali was appointed its Prime Minister. The Muslims affected by the Partition riots were encourage to come to Hyderabad. Many harassed Hindu families left the state for the safety of India.

Police Action

The Government of India launched the ‘Police Action’ against Hyderabad on 13 September 1948. Four days later, the Nizam declared an unconditional surrender and General J.N. Choudhuri was appointed the military Governor of the State.
All ministers and some prominent leaders of the Ittehad including Razvi were taken into custody.

After detailed investigation, three criminal cases were filed against Razvi and six others: the Aland Murder Case; the Shoebullah Khan Murder Case; and the Bibinagar Dacoity Case. A special tribunal with three judges -- one Christian, one Muslim, and one Hindu was constituted to try the accused. Later, the Government withdrew the Aland Murder case for want of sufficient evidence. Askar Yar Jung, a former member of the State Judicial Committee was appointed the defense counsel along with some others to assist him. At the argument stage, Razvi asked for the removal of the counsels and argued his own case.


Jail for Razvi

On 10 September 1950 the Tribunal awarded Razvi seven years hard labour in the case of the Bibinagar Dacoity Case, and life sentence in the Shoebullah Khan Murder Case. On appeal in the High Court, the life sentence was quashed but the sentence for seven years hard labour was upheld. The Razkar supremo was sent to the Chanchalguda Jail in the city, put in fetters and asked to cut grass in the jail compound.

Zahid Ali Kamil was a young advocate and an admirer of Razvi. On his own admission, he used to smuggle messages to and from Razvi in the jail. A copy of Razvi’s strong letter written to Nehru, the Prime Minister of India was smuggled out. So was his threat to resort to hunger strike for the harsh treatment meted out to the razakars by the Government. To put a stop to that, the Government shifted Razvi to Yervada Jail in Pune in 1954. He served the rest of his term there.

Deserted by followers

Razvi was released on 11 September 1957. Kamil went to Pune and drove him to his house in Adikmet in his car. He summoned a meeting of the general body of the party. Only about forty of the 140 members responded to the invitation. At the meeting he invited leading members of the Party to take up the Presidentship of the party. No one came forward. Razvi was so disappointed that he declared that he was willing to offer the job to any male Muslim above the age of twelve! Finally, Abdul Wahid Owaisi was made the president of the Party. Now his son, Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi is the president of the party. Thereafter, at a press conference, he announced that having no future in India, he would be leaving for Pakistan.

Leaves for Pakistan

Having settled the issue of party presidentship, Razvi left for Pakistan on 18 September –exactly to the day of the completion of the Police Action nine years ago. Kamil flew with him up to Mumbai and then saw him off.

Razvi received no reception in Pakistan, not even support, or recognition. He set up his legal practice amongst the refuges from India in Karachi. He died at the age of sixty-seven on 15 January 1970, unwept and unwept in a land far distant from the one which he had dreamt about making an independent Islamic kingdom.


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12 comments:

ALI said...

THE HISTORY OF MAJLIS ITTEHADUL MUSLIMEEN PARTY IN HYDERABAD

The grip of the Majlis-e-ittehadul Muslimeen on the community remains strong, With a Member representing Hyderabad in the Lok Sabha, five members in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, 40 corporators in Hyderabad and 95-plus members elected to various municipal bodies in Andhra Pradesh, the All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen is one of the foremost representatives of the city’s Muslims and the most powerful Muslim party in India and one can see the partys strenghth if it goes to Hyderabad old city and Parts of Muslim Dominated Villages of Andhra Pradesh everywhere u look u can see MIM written on walls ,lightpoles and buildings leaving aside green flags and posters of its Leadership and there small Offices . The Majlis has brought lot of development to the Old part of the city even after it is said it hasnt done anything by its opponents who are mostly Ex Majlis workers.The Majlis was formed in 1927 “for educational and social uplift of Muslims”. But it articulated the position that “the ruler and throne (Nizam) are symbols of the political and cultural rights of the Muslim community… (and) this status must continue forever”.The Majlis pitted itself against the Andhra Mahasabha and the communists who questioned the feudal order that sustained the Nizam’s rule. It also bitterly opposed the Arya Samaj, which gave social and cultural expression to the aspirations of the urban Hindu population in the Hyderabad State of those days.By the mid-1940s, the Majlis had come to represent a remarkably aggressive and violent face of Muslim communal politics as it organised the razakars (volunteers) to defend the “independence” of this “Muslim” State from merger with the Indian Union.According to historians, over 1,50,000 such `volunteers’ were organised by the Majlis for the Nizam State’s defence but they are remembered for unleashing unparalleled violence against Communal Hindus and the communists and all those who opposed the Nizam’s “go it alone” policy. It is estimated that during the height of the razakar `agitation’, over 30,000 people had taken shelter in the Secunderabad cantonment alone to protect themselves from these `volunteers’.But the razakars could do little against the Indian Army and even put up a fight. Kasim Rizvi, the Majlis leader, was imprisoned and the organisation banned in 1948. Rizvi was released in 1957 on the undertaking that he would leave for Pakistan in 48 hours. Before he left though, Rizvi met some of the erstwhile activists of the Majlis and passed on the presidentship to Abdul Wahed Owaisi, a famous lawyer and an Islamic scholar from jamia nizamia who also was jailed for nearly 10 months after he took over the Majlis leadership as the then govt wanted to abolish the Majlis party but Owaisi refused to do so and was seen as a person who had financially supported the party when it was a bankrupt and weak one after the Police Action in Hyderabad State.Owaisi is credited with having “re-written” the Majlis constitution according to the provisions of the Indian Constitution and “the realities of Muslim minority in independent India”, and fought the legal case for winning back darrusslam mim headquarters for years according to a former journalist, Chander Srivastava. For the first decade-and-a-half after this “reinvention”, the Majlis remained, at best, a marginal player in Hyderabad politics and even though every election saw a rise in its vote share, it could not win more than one Assembly seat.The 1970s saw an upswing in Majlis’ political fortunes. In 1969, it won back its party headquarters, Dar-us-Salaam — a sprawling 4.5-acre compound in the heart of the New City. It also won compensation which was used to set up an ITI on the premises and a women’s degree college in Nizamabad town. In 1976, Salahuddin Owaisi took over the presidentship of the Majlis after his father’s demise who also was also Jailed Various times .This started an important phase in the history of the Majlis as it continued expanding its educational institutions,Hospitals,Banks, including the first Muslim minority Engineering College and Medical College. Courses in MBA, MCA ,Nursing, Pharmacy and other professional degrees followed and now a daily newspaper known as Etemaad Daily. The 1970s were also a watershed in Majlis’ history as after a long period of 31 years, Hyderabad witnessed large-scale communal rioting in 1979. The Majlis came to the forefront in “defending” Muslim life and property Majlis workers could be seen at these moments defending the properties of Muslims in the wake of riots and these workers were very hard even for the police to control them even now it is a known fact that there are nearly about 2500 units of strong members who only act if there is a seirous threat to the Owaisi family and these members are under the direct orders of the Owaisi family which leads the Majlis party leaving aside thousands of workers and informers throughout the State and even outside the country far away till America and the Gulf countries.Salahuddin Owaisi, also known as “Salar-e-Millat” (commander of the community), has repeatedly alleged in his speeches that the Indian state has “abandoned” the Muslims to their fate. Therefore, “Muslims should stand on their own feet, rather than look to the State for help'’, he argues.This policy has been an unambiguous success in leveraging the Majlis today to its position of being practically the “sole spokesman” of the Muslims in Hyderabad and its environs.Voting figures show this clearly. From 58,000 votes in the 1962 Lok Sabha elections for the Hyderabad seat, Majlis votes rose to 1,12,000 in 1980. The clear articulation of this “stand on one’s feet” policy in education and `protection’ during riots doubled its vote-share by 1984. Salahuddin Owaisi won the seat for the first time, polling 2.22 lakh votes. This vote-share doubled in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections to over four lakhs.The Majlis has since continued its hold on the Hyderabad seat winning about five-and-a-half lakh votes each time.Despite remarkable economic prosperity and negligible communal violence in the past decade, the hold of the Majlis on the Muslims of Hyderabad remains, despite minor dents. And despite widespread allegations of Majlis leaders having “made money”, most ordinary Muslims continue to support them because, as one bank executive put it “they represent our issues clearly and unambiguously'’. An old Historian Bakhtiyar khan says the Owaisi family was a rich family even before entering Politics and he says he had seen the late Majlis leader Abdul Wahed Owaisi in an American Buick car at a time when rarely cars were seen on Hyderabad Roads and the family had strong relations with the ersthwhile Nizams of Hyderabad and the Paighs even now the family is considered to be one of the richest familes in Hyderabad.A university teacher says that the Majlis helped Muslims live with dignity and security at a time when they were under attack and even took the fear out of them after the Police action and adds that he has seen Majlis leaders in the front at times confronting with the Police and the Govt. Asaduddin Owaisi, the articulate UK educated barrister from Lincolns Inn College son of Salahuddin Owaisi and Former leader of the Majlis’ Legislature party and now an MP himself who has travelled across the globe meeting world leaders and organizatons and even in war zones compares the Majlis to the Black Power movement of America.The Majlis that emerged after 1957 is a completely different entity from its pre-independence edition, he says adding that comparisons with that bloody past are “misleading and mischievous”. “That Majlis was fighting for state power, while we have no such ambitions or illusions”.He stoutly defends the need for “an independent political voice” for the minorities, which is willing to defend them and project their issues “firmly”.“How can an independent articulation of minority interests and aspirations be termed communal,” he asks and contests any definition of democracy which questions the loyalty of minorities if they assert their independent political identity. “We are a threat not only to the BJP and Hindu communalism, but also to Muslim extremism,” Asaduddin claims. “By providing a legitimate political vent for Muslims to voice their aspirations and fears, we are preventing the rise of political extremism and religious obscurantism when the community is under unprecedented attack from Hindu communalists and the state'’. He can be seen in his speeches speaking against terrorism in the Country and says if the time arises Majlis will stand side by side in defending the Nation and Recently Majlis ittehadul Muslimeen MP Asaduddin Owaisi has Visited Lebanon after the war with israel and met the leaders of the resistance group Hezbollah and he has even visited Bombay and Malegaon Muslims and raised there issues in Parliament and has even represented the police torture victims to the Prime Minister and has given aid From Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen Party Fund.

Dr. Satish Kadam said...

more than great sir.

Amir Richard said...

This is creepy, Kasim Razvi is my older ancestor! I'm not kidding!

arun gadi said...

excellent article..

arun gadi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BHANU PRATAP Mishra said...

Nice sir it is more than sufficient about kasim rizvi n his love for his community

Unknown said...

why rizvi declared tretor in those days, because oh him still we suffer and can not feel hydrabad secular

Unknown said...

why rizvi not declared tretor in those day. we are still suffering from that fellows pro muslim work

Unknown said...

why rizvi declared tretor in those days, because oh him still we suffer and can not feel hydrabad secular

sudhir chaudhary said...

Rizvi was a muslim communalist and harrassed innocent hindus in Nizam's state. He and his coward razakars were the main responsible for the rapes and murders in rural hyderabad state. They lay siege to entire state of hyderabad. No on can deny it. For details and proof u can read the newspapers like Times of India and Time International.Thanks to Sardar Patel the snake Rizwi was crushed. He was granted amnesty and permitted to leave India and go to Pakistan which shows the large heart of Indians inspite of his deeds as Chief of Razakars. He should have hanged.

sudhir chaudhary said...

Rizvi was a muslim communalist and harrassed innocent hindus in Nizam's state. He and his coward razakars were the main responsible for the rapes and murders in rural hyderabad state. They lay siege to entire state of hyderabad. No on can deny it. For details and proof u can read the newspapers like Times of India and Time International.Thanks to Sardar Patel the snake Rizwi was crushed. He was granted amnesty and permitted to leave India and go to Pakistan which shows the large heart of Indians inspite of his deeds as Chief of Razakars. He should have hanged.

sudhir chaudhary said...

Rizvi was a muslim communalist and harrassed innocent hindus in Nizam's state. He and his coward razakars were the main responsible for the rapes and murders in rural hyderabad state. They lay siege to entire state of hyderabad. No on can deny it. For details and proof u can read the newspapers like Times of India and Time International.Thanks to Sardar Patel the snake Rizwi was crushed. He was granted amnesty and permitted to leave India and go to Pakistan which shows the large heart of Indians inspite of his deeds as Chief of Razakars. He should have hanged.