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This Life magazine contains history some good and one very terrible. Good was the report how egrets made a come back in US. I came to know as early as 1948 color photography was there in US.
But the terrible and horrible part was this: A prosperous welfare State called Hyderabad was illegally invaded and conquered by her neighbor India who had no business to invade a neighboring country against the wishes of its people which was living peacefully there for about 250 years.
Wishes of the people were never taken into consideration. They were never ascertained because the invader knew nobody would want an invasion on themselves. So they went ahead with tanks and airplanes and knocked out a peaceful State with no justification and authority. Pure unprovoked aggression. They strafed the only all weather airport in Bidar on September 9, 1948 then tanks sent in from all sides. An illegal blockade for nine months was already in place on a land locked country. Hundreds of thousands were massacred but New Delhi managed to sweep every thing under the carpet, the news of the atrocities annihilation of human rights were totally throttled. And they did it for 70 years and may do it for ever.
I am lucky to see this issue of Life and thank you.
The invasion was purely communal and racist. Just because the ruler professed a different religion than their own gave no right to the outsiders to look at a different state with their own colored glasses and be the illegal aggessor. The same colored glasses and utter greedy mismanagement that divided the country into India and Pakistan which came about due to one guy called Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Congress President then and the Prime Minister later.
They invaded they killed, they plundered and made hundreds of people jobless and homeless and millions had to migrate leaving their beautiful lives, livelihood and homes and properties. The richest country in the world was left to the mercy of an aggrandizing neighbor thanks to the betrayal by a British Viceroy called Mountbatten who was sold to one party, Nehru and simply "the most faithful ally" The State of Hyderabad headed by The Nizam VII of Hyderabad was abandoned.
H.E.H. The Nizam VII MIr Osman Ali Khan was a brilliant ruler, read Time magazine February 22, 1937 who having inherited a bankrupt State turns it around barely in 20 years with, till then unheard of Developmental Activities. But Hyderabad development and riches were the eyesore for neighbors who had inherited all the arms of The British left after the World War II.
In comparison Hyderabad was unarmed because of an earlier treaty Hyderabad was not allowed to keep arms. The British left with no safe guards and giving no time to Hyderabad to organize its defenses. This was a treachery. For UN they were early years and it could not properly act in time. A great State was lost to UN inaction.
Alas they destroyed a peaceful state under totally false alibi. No journalists were allowed. No information was allowed to go out - inside India or abroad. No books were allowed to be written that told the true story. Two were written "Tragedy of Hyderabad" by her Prime Minister Mir Laik Ali and "Murder of a State" by Qutbudin Aziz which were promptly banned.
One has just come out "Hyderabad 1948, an avoidable invasion" by Syed Ali Hashmi which throws some light on the tragedy that struck Hyderabad and millions of people suffering till today.
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Thoroughly enjoyed the Sept. 27th 1948 issue of Life magazine. Doak Walker was my hero. Thanks so much for the memories. John