Hyderabad state was initially a Subah in the Mughal Empire, in the Deccan Plateau. Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah was appointed Subahdar in 1713 by the Mughal Empire. Hyderabad’s effective independence is dated to 1724, when the Nizam won a military victory over a rival military appointee. In 1798, Hyderabad became the first Indian royal state to accede to British protection under the policy of Subsidiary Alliance instituted by Arthur Wellesley.

The State of Hyderabad under the leadership of its 7th Nizam, Mir Usman Ali, was the largest and most prosperous of all the princely states in India. With annual revenues of over Rs. 9 crore,it covered 82,698 square miles (214,190 km2) of fairly homogenous territory and comprised a population of roughly 16.34 million people (as per the 1941 census) of which a majority (85%) was Hindu. The state had its own army, airline, telecommunication system, railway network, postal system, currency and radio broadcasting service. Hyderabad was a multi-lingual state consisting of peoples speaking Telugu (48.2%), Marathi (26.4%), Kannada (12.3%) and Urdu (10.3%). In spite of the overwhelming Hindu majority, Hindus were severely under-represented in government, police and the military. Of 1765 officers in the State Army, 1268 were Muslims, 421 were Hindus, and 121 others were Christians, Parsis and Sikhs. Of the officials drawing a salary between Rs.600–1200 per month, 59 were Muslims, 5 were Hindus and 38 were of other religions. The Nizam and his nobles, who were mostly Muslims, owned 40% of the total land in the state

When the British departed from the Indian subcontinent in 1947, they offered the various princely states in the sub-continent the option of acceding to either India or Pakistan, or staying on as an independent state. Several large states, including Hyderabad, declined to join either India or Pakistan.

Hyderabad state had been steadily becoming more theocratic since the beginning of the 20th century. In 1926, Mahmud Nawazkhan, a retired Hyderabad official, founded the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (also known as Ittehad or MIM) in 1926. “Its objectives were to unite the Muslims in the State in support of Nizam and to reduce the Hindu majority by large-scale conversion to Islam”. The MIM became a powerful communal organization, with the principal focus to marginalize the political aspirations of Hindus and moderate Muslims .In 1938, Bahadur Yar Jung was elected “president” of the MIM. After the death of Bahadur Yar Jang in 1944, Qasim Rizvi was elected as the leader. Kasim Razvi was born in United Province and studied law at the Aligarh Muslim University. Fearing a Hindu civil uprising in his own kingdom, the Nizam allowed Razvi to set up a voluntary militia of Muslims called the ‘Razakars’. The Razakars – who numbered up to 200,000 at the height of the conflict – swore to uphold Islamic domination in Hyderabad and the Deccan plateau . The Razakars were a private militia organised by Qasim Razvi to support the rule of Nizam Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII and resist the integration of Hyderabad State into the Dominion of India. They also attempted to make the Nizam accede his princely state to Pakistan instead of India.

In late 1945, there started a peasant uprising in Telangana area, led by communists. The communists drew their support from various quarters. Among the poor peasants, there were grievances against the jagirdari system, which covered 43% of land holding. Initially, in 1945, the communists targeted zamindars and deshmukhs, but soon they launched a full-fledged revolt against the Nizam. Starting mid-1946, the conflict between the Razakars and the communists became increasingly violent, with both sides resorting to increasingly brutal methods. The Razakars cordoned off villages, captured suspected communists en masse and engaged in ‘absolutely indiscriminate and organised’ (according to one Congressman) looting and massacres.

From the beginning of 1948 the Razakars had extended their activities from Hyderabad city into the towns and rural areas, murdering Hindus, abducting women, pillaging houses and fields, and looting non-Muslim property in a widespread reign of terror.” “Some women became victims of rape and kidnapping by Razakars. Thousands went to jail and braved the cruelties perpetuated by the oppressive administration. Due to the activities of the Razakars, thousands of Hindus had to flee from the state and take shelter in various camps”. Precise numbers are not known, but 40,000 refugees have been received by the Central Provinces.This led to terrorizing of the Hindu community, some of whom went across the border into independent India and organized raids into Nizam’s territory, which further escalated the violence all, more than 150 villages (of which 70 were in Indian territory outside Hyderabad State) were pushed into violence.

Sardar Patel did not want to wait any longer. In the first week of September 1948, Patel called for a high level meeting with Indian Army to explore ways to march troops into Hyderabad and take control as a form of “police action”. Unfortunately, Nehru was not in favor of such “police action”, and even tried to delay the operation, but Patel who was determined to resolve this issue at any cost, bypassed Nehru & gave the green signal to Army to march ahead.In the early hours of 13th September 1948, under the code-name “Operation Polo”, Indian troops under Major General Chaudhuri started marching into Hyderabad. It was a two-pronged advance, with the main force along the Sholapur-Hyderabad road (186 miles), and a smaller diversion along the Bezwada-Hyderabad road (160 miles).However, the Hyderabad Army & Razakars still managed to put up a brave fight, but within 100 hours, “it was all over”. On 17th September 1948, the Nizam went on air & announced ceasefire. On 18th September 1948, the formal surrender ceremony was held at 4 pm in which he Hyderabad Army, led by Major General El-Edroos, surrendered to General Chaudhari leading the Indian Army.This was followed by a high level meeting between Sardar Patel & Nizam Osman Ali Khan, in which the Nizam assured that in spite of all that happened in the past, he shall now be loyal to the Indian Union and work in the closest collaboration with the Government of India for the benefit of his people. In this manner, Sardar Patel had strategically prevented Hyderabad from becoming an independent Islamic nation like Pakistan right in the middle of the Indian sub-continent.

Sardar Patel finaly made up his mind . In the first week of September 1948, Patel called for a high level meeting with Indian Army to explore ways to march troops into Hyderabad and take control as a form of “police action”. Unfortunately, Nehru was not in favor of such “police action”, and even tried to delay the operation, but Patel who was determined to resolve this issue at any cost, bypassed Nehru & gave the green signal to Army to march ahead.In the early hours of 13th September 1948, under the code-name “Operation Polo”, Indian troops under Major General Chaudhuri started marching into Hyderabad. It was a two-pronged advance, with the main force along the Sholapur-Hyderabad road (186 miles), and a smaller diversion along the Bezwada-Hyderabad road (160 miles).However, the Hyderabad Army & Razakars still managed to put up a brave fight, but within 100 hours, “it was all over”. On 17th September 1948, the Nizam went on air & announced ceasefire. On 18th September 1948, the formal surrender ceremony was held at 4 pm in which he Hyderabad Army, led by Major General El-Edroos, surrendered to General Chaudhari leading the Indian Army.This was followed by a high level meeting between Sardar Patel & Nizam Osman Ali Khan, in which the Nizam assured that in spite of all that happened in the past, he shall now be loyal to the Indian Union and work in the closest collaboration with the Government of India for the benefit of his people. In this manner, Sardar Patel had strategically prevented Hyderabad from becoming an independent Islamic nation like Pakistan right in the middle of the Indian sub-continent.