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Arya Samaj Movement in the erstwhile Hyderabad State (1938-39)

By : Arya Samaj Movement in the erstwhile Hyderabad State (1938-39)

August 05, 2021

Keshav-Rao-Koratkar

Among the major socio-religions movements of India, the Arya Samaj played a pivotal role in spreading the socio-political renaissance in Nizam's dominion. The Arya Samaj Movement took a political colour in Hyderabad State. The centre of Arya Samaj came into existence in the city of Hyderabad in the year 1892. Sultan Bazar became active centre of the Arya Samaj. With the election of Pandit Keshav Rao Koratkar (a great patriot and Chief justice of Hyderabad High Court) as the president of Hyderabad state Arya Samaj in 1905, it received a new magnitude in creating political consciousness in the minds of people against the autocratic rule of the Nizam.

By 1938 Arya Samaj had 250 branches in the State, twenty of which were located in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It started launching renaissance movement and opposed the cruelties of the Nizam rule. In due course of time, the great political leaders of Hyderabad State namely Swami Ramanand Tirth, Kamble Wale of Udgir, M. Channa Reddy, P.V. Narasimha Rao, Ramachandra Veerappa of Bidar, K.V. Narasing Rao, Vidyadhar Guruji of Gulbarga, Pandit Taranath of Raichur and so many nationalists in Osmanabad, Warangal, Zahirabad, Adilabad, Basavakalyan, Aurangabad and Beed were influenced by the activities of Arya Samaj and joined its movement to assert civil and religious rights of the nonMuslims.

The Nizam Government in a bid to establish the Islamic State denied opportunities for the people of non-ruling class to enjoy basic civil and human rights. Arya Samaj, under these circumstances could not be a silent spectator. The Nizam mixed religion and politics and encouraged the 'Ittehad' to start Tableegh, and issued farman (order) and passed the acts called Mafusa and GayarMafusa. It the first one protected the property of the Muslims and those of converted, the second Act empowered muslims have enslaved the Hindus, by purchasing the lands of the Hindus who mortgaged them on their debts. Many of the Hindu people agitated against the orders of the Government through Arya Samaj. They propagated the message of Arya-Samaj; (a) Equality of all human beings, (b) Condemnation of caste system, (c) Equal opportunities of education and refinement, (d) The message of 'Satyarth Prakash' i.e., “Back to Vedas”. Inspired the enthusiastic and fearless patriots of Hyderabad Karnataka, like Pandit Dattatreya and Bhimanna Khandre of Balki, Narendraji of Bidar, Bansilal and Shyamlal of Hallikhed, Rama Chandra Veerappa, Sivachandraji, Lakshman Veerappa of Humanabad, Hakeekat Rai of Chitguppa, Dattatraya Rao Avaradi, Vyajanath Irivi, Amarasimha Rathod and Chandrasekhar Patil of Gulbarga, Manik Raoji of Raichur, Lakshmana Gudi of Koppal, Vakil Ganapati Sastri, Udayabhanu, Mohan Singh. R. Arya, Sri Gopaldev Shastri of Basavakalyan, Ananta Sharma of Chincholi, Vedaprakashji Gunjotti, R. V. Bidap and others to plunge into the Arya Samaj Movement.

These workers dedicated their lives to educate the people in Arya- Samaj Mandirs. They opened schools at Bidar, Udgir, Chitaguppa, Gulbarga and Raichur. At Udgir Shamlal opened a hospital for untouchables. The advocates of Arya Samaj in Hyderabad took pledge to devote their free service to the poor Hindus in their struggle to restore the civil and religious liberties. They fought for the establishment of casteless and classless society.

The Arya Samaj used to give fitting reply to the Nizam’s operations during 1930’s. The attitude of the police towards Arya Samaj was stiffened. Nizam Administration issued Circular No. 53, which forbidden all annual meetings of Arya Samaj in 1937. But the Arya Samajists protested against it by making celebrations without any prior sanction. As a result, the main centres of Hyderabad State like Gulbarga, Udgir, Bidar, Osmanabad, Nizamabad, witnessed communal riots. But the Samaj determined to assert the civil and religious rights of the people. The Sarvadeshika Arya Pratinidhi Sabha decided to offer Satyagraha movement in the State under the directions of Mahatma Narayana Swamy. He instructed the branches of Arya Samaj to observe 'Hyderabad Day' in 1936-37, to oppose the conversion policy of the Government and to propagate the principle of Arya Samaj. When Nizam turned a deaf ear to the demands of the Arya Samaj on 24th October 1938, the Arya Samaj decided to offer Satyagraha against the Nizam Government. Arya Samajists from Hyderabad Karnataka, participated in Satyagraha under the leadership of Mahatma Naryana Swami and Kunwar Chandrakaranji at Gulbarga on 4 February and 2 March, 1939 respectively. They were arrested and imprisoned at Central Jail, Gulbarga. Hakeekat Rai Chitgupkar was arrested and imprisoned at Chanchala Gudda Jail, Hyderabad. However, later on, he was released.

In order to mobilise public opinion against the despotism of the Nizam government, the Arya Samaj conducted annual meetings inviting people from various parts of Country.

When Nizam Government did not permit non-Hyderabadis to enter the State, Arya Samajists defied the orders and entered the State to support the movement against Nizam through Sholapur, Vijayawada, Barsi, Ahmadnagar, Manmad, Poona and Chand. They were arrested and imprisoned in various jails of the State and some of them died out of starvation to uphold the cause of patriotism.

The spirit of martyrdom of Arya Samajists continued to be exhibited in 1942 “Do or Die” movement, “Join Union” movement of 1946-47 and “Border” movement of 1947-48. This saga of sacrifice provoked the sentiments of the people and inspired them to develop the political consciousness. About seventy per cent of the nationalists of Hyderabad Karnataka belonged to the Arya Samaj. Arya Samaj served as a training ground for the nationalists of this region.

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