The Destruction of Hyderabad. A.G.Noorani. London: Husrt & Company, 2014. Pp. 338.


The Destruction of Hyderabad is an exhaustive constitutional discussion by A.G. Noorani, an Indian lawyer, and a distinguished political author. His in-depth research delves into rare and unexplored archives, such as Sunderlal Mission report on Hyderabad, and its forcible accession to India. Sunderlal Mission Report was concealed for over fifty years and contains the record of the massacre of up to 40,000 Muslims in Hyderabad in 1948. A rational advocacy based on appendices of historical, diplomatic, and journalistic documents by the author entice political scientists to an impartial modern, and revisionists discourse.

A brave and ‘forensic’ examination of testimonies further justifies his balanced post-communal and post-nationalist thesis, and challenges the erstwhile narratives on Hyderabad. His humanist and intellectual approach reflects the need for indigenised South Asian culture and Islam in a South Asian context. He holds Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, and Vallabhai Patel, the then Deputy Prime Minister of India, responsible for ruining the course of independence of Hyderababd, with one being an Indian nationalist and the other a Hindu nationalist, thus laying the seeds of continuing communal and territorial tragedies. “They had split the responsibilities. Nehru did the running on the Kashmir question while consulting Patel who disagreed with his policies. Patel did the running on Hyderabad. Consultation with Nehru was not as close (xxi).” Patel’s non-secular wish led to the ruinous path of shattering its rich social ethos, and served only to inflict the vibrant culture of Hyderabad. To Patel, it was an “ulcer in the heart of India” (p.15).

Read More