Every year, 17 September is marked as Marathwada Liberation Day in the state of Maharashtra. The day, also known as Marathwada Mukti Sangram Din, observes the anniversary of the region’s accession to the Indian Union after the Nizam of Hyderabad was defeated by Indian troops.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray offered tribute to the martyrs who helped the region gain independence from the Nizam. The chief minister also participated in a flag-hoisting ceremony as well.
मुख्यमंत्री उद्धव बाळासाहेब ठाकरे यांनी मराठवाडा मुक्तीसंग्राम दिनानिमित्त पुष्पचक्र अर्पण करून हुतात्म्यांना विनम्र अभिवादन केले. pic.twitter.com/o7XsLTIyGq
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) September 17, 2021
After India gained independence on 15 August 1947, the princely states were given the option to join either of the newly created nations - India and Pakistan. Barring a few states like Hyderabad, Junagadh and Kashmir, most princely states merged into the Indian Union.
Hyderabad, then under the rule of Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadoor, chose to remain independent. To prevent any challenges to the unity of the Indian Union, the government launched “Operation Polo” to incorporate the princely state, which included the areas of Telangana, Marathwada, and four districts of Karnataka.
On 13 September 1948, the Indian troops infiltrated from Solapur, rapidly gaining territory. On 17 September, Jan Al Idris, the army chief of the Nizam’s forces surrendered. The Nizam surrendered as well on the same day and Hyderabad was annexed to the Indian Union.
The Marathwada Liberation Day is a state holiday in Maharashtra, with rallies and seminars being held every year across the region. Karnataka also observes the day every year. While the state of Telangana does not mark the day as of yet, people have demanded the government observe the day.
This year, several notable politicians marked the Marathwada Liberation Day, including Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Amit Shah.
मराठवाडा मुक्ती संग्राम दिनाच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा. मुक्ती संग्राम लढ्यातील सर्व हुतात्म्यांना सादर नमन. pic.twitter.com/E1b1EG8cQ2
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) September 17, 2021
Union Home Minister Amit Shah marked the occasion, saying that he bows to the " brave martyrs who fought against the cruelties of Razakars and Nizams".
Greetings to the people of Telangana and the Marathwada region on #HyderabadLiberationDay.
On this historic day, I bow to the brave martyrs who fought against the cruelties of Razakars and Nizams.
Nation will always remain indebted for their supreme sacrifices. pic.twitter.com/zy4LJDGlKf
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) September 17, 2021