24 SEPTEMBER 1948, Page 2

The Fate of Hyderabad

With the Minimum of glory to her arms and considerable dis- credit to her rulers, India, using pretexts and methods which would have appealed more strongly to Hitler than to Gandhi, has occupied Hyderabad. The State, forces put up only weak and ill-organised opposition, and in the atmosphere of anti-climax which always attends a walk-over the threat of widespread communal disturbances throughout Southern India remains, providentially, in abeyance: though the proclamation by the Governor-General of a state of emergency throughout India when Hyderabad was invaded shows that this dangerous sequel to a wanton resort to violeace was no remote contingency. The fact that a crime has not pretipitated a catastrophe, though it is a fact to be devoutly thankful for, does not however lessen the crime's heinousness ; and the strictures delivered on Tuesday by the High Commissioner for India against the attitude taken with virtual unanimity by the British Press towards his country's aggression were singularly inept. India's action has been condemned by world opinion, and it is no good pretending that it has not or that it did not deserve to be ; though nothing very much can now come of Hyderabad's appeal to U.N.O., it is still on the agenda of the Security Council. In the State itself, meanwhile, Indian troops are reported to be mopping up the Razakars, but the situation generally is quiet. The best that India can now do by way of partial atonement is to ensure that the plebiscite and other arrangements for the setting up of constitu- tional government are carried out fairly and efficiently. Her conduct so far inspires little confidence in her will and ability to do this.