Govt of India issued list of ‘desirable, undesirable’ persons soon after Operation Polo

The aftermath of the Operation Polo, also known as the Police Action, tore the warp and weft of Hyderabadi society, and marked the Muslim community, and some of those from other communities who were mildly sympathetic with the Hyderabad State, as suspects. A clear indication of this is that soon after annexation of Hyderabad State, the Additional Chief Civil Administrator of the Hyderabad – Dn (Deccan) D S Bakhle kept a secret list of ‘Desirable and Undesirable Elements’.

Official documents show that the Hyderabad — Dn government intended to use their services to suit their agendas.

But before delving into the list and the names on it, it would be remiss to briefly touch upon the events leading to the five-day military action known as Operation Polo. Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan had neither acceded to India, nor Pakistan by August 15, 1947. Coupled with this, was what the Indian State perceived as a communal threat, particularly of the Razakars, to Hyderabad and the country.

But it appears that scant attention was paid to the rabble rousing of the Arya Samaj, an organisation founded by Dayanand Saraswati, a 19th century ascetic who underscored the importance of the Vedas. His followers were inspired by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s Mohammadan Anglo Oriental College and embarked upon establishing the Dayanand Anglo Vedic (DAV) institution. Documents show that the Arya Samaj had riled up by means of its teaching and preaching both Muslims and the Sanatan Dharma following Hindus soon after it laid its foundations in Hyderabad in late 19th century. Later, the organisation turned militant, and also used religious processions as a tool to further their communal agenda.

The list of ‘desirables’ names has 100 officials, over two-third of whom were Hindus, posted as either First or Second taluqdars, secretaries and deputy secretaries of departments, executive engineers, academicians, and magistrates. There are 23 Muslims on the list. Those familiar with some of the names pointed out that they were victims of State harassment, and expressed surprise that the Indian State would want to engage their services.

“As desired, I am sending herewith a list of reliable officers employed in State service,” M T Raju, then a parliamentarian wrote to D S Bakhle. In the same letter, he also touches upon ‘prominent non-officials’ who could be trusted.

From a list of 37, a few names of these ‘prominent non-officials’ whose cooperation would be forthcoming is nothing short of eyebrow raising. This is due to the fact that they come from one of the most communal organisations, including none other than V D Savarkar’s Hindu Mahasabha. Some historians say that Savarkar was one of the first to propose a two-nation theory, before Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The Hindu Mahasabha also has the dubious distinction of having as a member Nathuram Godse, the killer of Mahatma Gandhi.

Therefore, it is interesting that Yashwant Rao Joshi, the President of the Hindu Mahasabha, is the twelfth name on this list. Prominent members of the Arya Samaj, including its President Vinayak Rao, and well-known worker Pandit Narender also find notable mention.

Among the notable Muslims on this list are Ali Yawar Jung, a former member of the Executive Council, who, after his resignation, served in the capacity of a diplomat and was posted in a couple of European nations. There are a dozen Muslims on this list.

Handwritten notes on the file mention at least five persons who have been listed as ‘undesirable’ from the judiciary.

Special emphasis has also been laid on what the Indian State said were Hyderabad Civil Services officers who had colluded with the Razakars, or even knew Ittehadul Muslimin leader Qasim Razvi. They cited news reportage as proof of their association, and even accused them of corruption.

The Hyderabad – Dn brought Raja Deen Dayal, the State Photographer, who immortalised the early 19th century Hyderabad, and his family into its cross-hairs, accused it of corruption. The government also disputed the need for a State Photographer.

Dr Farooq, Director of Public Health, under Laik Ali’s ministry too was spoken of in uncharitable terms. In internal communications, the government accused him of indulging in anti-India activities. The directors of the Hyderabad State Bank too were on the government’s radar, which then recommended a change of leadership.