How Partition Shaped One Family
The state of Hyderabad, situated in the Deccan, was not impacted by Partition as much as it was by what was termed “Police Action.” Even so, Brigadier Ali Ahmed of the Hyderabad State Forces was determined to keep his family together and in India. During Police Action, he commanded the southwestern sector against the invasion of Indian forces. As member of the Hyderabad delegation in the Standstill talks with India, he had advised against the confrontation, relying on military knowledge from his days as the first State Forces officer to undergo training at the Quetta Staff College.
Though he chose not to take up the Indian Army’s offer to join, he sent his son who had been escorted back from the Royal Indian Military College during Partition, along with other Muslim cadets, to rejoin the school. Two younger sons soon followed their brother into the military. Their three sisters married officers of the security forces. From the next generation, three joined the Services. By the early nineties, their immediate family had members serving at every rank, from second lieutenant to lieutenant general. Today, while the rest have retired, a Major General commands a formation on the China front. Thus, Brigadier Ali Ahmed ended up patriarch of the Indian Muslims largest Services family.