The BJP's youth wing is building a martyrs' memorial at Gorata, 65 km from here in northern Karnataka, as a tribute to about 200 freedom fighters who were massacred by Nizam soldiers (Razakars) in the village in 1948 when it was part of the erstwhile Hyderabad state.
The BJP's Yuva Morcha (youth wing) is also constructing a statute and a building in the sleepy hamlet in memory of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, who was instrumental in liberating the Hyderabad state from Nizam's suzerainty.
A spot in Gorata is also known as the 'Jallianwala Bagh of Karnataka' after the massacre, as many women and children were also killed for demanding merger of the state's northern districts, which was part of the Nizam kingdom, with the Indian state a year after independence.
"The historical memorial is being built in recognition of the supreme sacrifice of the freedom fighters of this village and will be an inspiration for the country's youth about the martyrs who laid down their lives to free India from the British rule," BJP's national president Amit Shah said after the ground-breaking ceremony for the three structures at Gorata, about 790 km from Bangalore.
About 2.7 lakh members of the party's youth wing have pledged to contribute Rs.10 each to meet the cost of the memorial and the building at the historic spot in the village.
Recalling that about 300 other princely states merged with the Indian state soon after independence, Shah said some feudal states like Nizam's Hyderabad, which included parts of Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra could attain freedom only 13 months after the country was liberated from the British in August 1947 due to the courage and leadership of Sardar Patel.
"Sardar Patel ensured that India remained a single entity and not in bits and pieces the colonial rulers had conspired to leave behind," Shah said on the occasion in the presence of the party's state leaders and hundreds of the village folks.
Sep 17 is also celebrated as the 'Hyderabad-Karnataka Liberation Day' every year to mark the Indian Army's entry into the erstwhile Hyderabad state and the eventual overthrow of the Nizam ruler.
According to old-timers, Gorata was also known as the cradle of Hindustani music and for its rich cultural heritage.
Located on the border of Karnataka-Maharashtra, the village was part of the Nizam's kingdom along with Bidar, Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur and Koppal districts in the northern region of this state.
Leading the uprising against the Nizam, the martyrs sung "Vande Mataram" verse, which annoyed the king and ordered his troops to shoot them when they refused to disperse from the spot May 9-10, 1948.
The Razakars also looted the people and destroyed hundreds of homes in the village.