Hyderabad: The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen has asked the Telangana and the Central governments to celebrate September 17, the day when the then Hyderabad State was merged with the Indian Union in 1948, as ‘National Integration Day’ and not as a Telangana, or Hyderabad ‘Liberation Day’.

Addressing a crowded press conference called for at short notice, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, released the letters he had written to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and Union home minister Amit Shah asking for the change of nomenclature.

Owaisi said his party, or any of his party leaders, were never opposed to September 17 celebrations and none from his party had ever spoken against holding such celebrations. “This day is commemorated in Maharashtra and Karnataka, did we ever oppose that,” he asked.

He made it clear that not only he, but all his party leaders and elected representatives would take part in the celebrations if the occasion was celebrated as ‘National Integration Day’ and not as ‘Liberation Day’. “They mean completely two different things. Hyderabad state was integrated into the Indian Union,” he said.

The AIMIM leader, who had been under attack for long for ‘opposing’ any such celebrations, rejected charges levelled by the BJP that AIMIM was a party that descended from the Razakars, opposed to Hyderabad State joining the Indian Union. He declared, “Those who opposed left

India. Those who stayed back did so because they loved India and were faithful to India.”

Owaisi said his party would celebrate the integration of Hyderabad into India with events on September 16, starting with afternoon prayer at Masjid-e-Abubakar in Mir Alam area, followed by a ‘Tiranga Yatra’ on two-wheelers that will culminate at Teegalkunta with hoisting of the National Flag, and a public meeting. “All our party leaders, elected representatives will join and take part. Everyone is welcome to join in the commemoration of the day,” he said.

The AIMIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, accompanied by his party legislators including Chandrayangutta MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi at the press meet, said, “There was no doubt whatsoever that the rule of the Nizams was autocratic. There is a difference between democracy and feudalism, the Nizams’ rule was autocratic. People wanted to be part of India, there can be no denial of that.”

He said both Hindus and Muslims struggled for freedom from the rule of the Nizam, something that was also documented by the Pandit Sunderlal Committee that toured the Hyderabad State and submitted its report to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Owaisi, following the state Cabinet decision to celebrate the Telangana National Integration Day, thanked the Chief Minister for accepting the AIMIM's proposal for naming the event.

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