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October Coup, A Memoir of the Struggle for Hyderabad

Masood Hyder

Rolibooks, December 2012

October Coup: A Memoir of the Stuggle for Hyderabad cover

It is 1948. A newly independent India is trying to persuade Hyderabad to join the Indian Union. Negotiations are difficult for both sides. The State Congress, now operating from Indian territory, has launched a campaign of violent raids, designed to cripple civil administration in the border areas, and provoke an annexation. The leading Islamic party in Hyderabad, in an equally rash move, has created a para-military body, the Razakars, to counter the threat to Hyderabad's borders.

For Mohammed Hyder of the Hyderabad Civil Service, the newly- appointed Collector of Osmanabad District, both the wayward State Congress and the Razakars are a threat to law and order.

In September 1948, its patience at an end, India invades Hyderabad and sets up a military government. Many senior officials are suspended, Hyder included. In due course he is arrested, and 23 cases are filed against him, including 14 murders, arson, and loot.

With grace and wit, this memoir gently assails our preconceptions while supporting its claims with telling evidence from government and court records.