Operation Polo and Invasion of Hyderabad is one event in Indian history which some say was necessary while others mention that it could have been avoided. Operation Polo was India’s first military or police operation and a successful one as well. In order to understand Operation Polo and Invasion of Hyderabad we need to go back in time.
History of Hyderabad
Hyderabad’s Independence goes back to 1724 when the Nizam defeated his rival. British came to India around that time. In 1798 Hyderabad became the first princely state to get protection under the British rule under their subsidiary alliance. Hyderabad was at their peak of prosperity under the seventh Nizam who was Mir Osman Ali. It was under his leadership that Hyderabad had an annual revenue of around 9 crores. Hyderabad had everything which includes railways, postal network, radio broadcasting, telecommunication system and their own currency. At Midnight when India signed the Independence act and got freedom in 1947 it was made clear by the British that all the states would have a choice to go either with India or with Pakistan. If they wanted then they could remain independent also.
Events that lead to Operation Polo and Invasion of Hyderabad
- After Independence Nizam of Hyderabad approached Lord Mountbatten to make Hyderabad an independent constitutional monarchy under British commonwealth of Nations but it was refused completely.
- Nizam also approached United Nations but was again denied the request.
- It was said that Hyderabad secretly loaned 15 million pounds to Pakistan for building a semi private army.
- Nizam decided to Ban the Indian currency.
All these events did not go well with the Indian government and especially Sardar Patel and He said that it was time for Delhi to respond and it is for the betterment of India and Hyderabad.
In the summer of September Sardar Patel said it was time to Invade Hyderabad with Military force and Delhi knew that Hyderabad didn’t had the firework to survive. Operation Polo or Operation Caterpillar started on September 13 1948 and got done in 5 days time. Around 36000 Indian troops entered Hyderabad and did what they were asked to do. Nizam surrendered and after the success of Operation Polo and Invasion of Hyderabad, Sardar Patel said Hyderabad as an independent state was “an ulcer in the heart of India which needed to be removed surgically.” When Hyderabad surrendered to India much of Indian problems were solved and now we know why Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is called as the Iron Man of India.
Source: Wiki, The Hindu