Monday, December 07, 2009

History of Telangana

The issue of a separate statehood for the Telangana region in the state of Andhra Pradesh has suddenly arisen from the ashes with the fast onto death "satyagraha" by the President of Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Mr. K Chandra Sekhar Rao (popularly known as KCR) reaching 9th day today.

His Son, K.Taraka Rama Rao (named after our famous former Chief Minister, N T Rama Rao) says that his father's health is critical but stable.

Why had KCR suddenly started the indefinite fast onto death ?

Till now, the only person who was against the formation of Telangana state was our former chief minister, Mr.Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy. He recently died in a helicopter crash in the Nallamala forest. With the elimination of YSR, the chances of getting a separate state has increased. This is one main reason why KCR had started the fast.

From the beginning, YSR was against Telangana as he felt that his powers would be limited only to a very small area of the state. He would lose his bargaining power in the Congress Party.
He cultivated a group of Telangana legislators in his own party who are against the formation of Telangana for their own personal reasons. He used these legislators in fighting against those who were strongly supporting Telangana in his party.
Congress had fought elections in alliance with TRS on several occasions and even going to the extent of supporting a separate state in their manifesto. But Congress ditched TRS and also the people of Telangana and never took the issue forward.

How many districts are there in Telangana ?

Here is a list of the districts that form Telangana:
* Adilabad
* Nizamabad
* Karimnagar
* Warangal
* Khammam
* Medak
* Hyderabad
* Ranga Reddy
* Nalgonda
* Mahaboobnagar

Hyderabad City is completely surrounded by the Ranga Reddy District and the nearest border to Andhra is around 150 Kilometers away.

How many districts are there in Andhra?

Here is a list of the districts that form Andhra:

* Srikakulam
* Vizianagaram
* Vishakhapatnam
* East Godavari
* West Godavari
* Krishna
* Guntur
* Prakasam
* Nellore

How many districts are there in Raayalaseema?

Here is a list of the districts that form Raayalaseema:

* Kurnool
* Ananthapur
* Kadapa
* Chittoor

Entire Andhra Pradesh is as big as England and all the three regions of of the state namely, Telangana, Andhra and Raayalaseema are backward. It is more than 50 years since Andhra State and Hyderabad State were merged to form Andhra Pradesh and all the three regions are backward. Is the merger worth ??

Is it not better if we split to out original areas and see how we can develop all the three regions ? The experimentation of a combined state flopped and why not try another experiment by splitting up ??

Formation of Andhra State:

The great Gandhian, Amarajeevi Potti Sri Ramulu went on a fast onto death in Madras(presently Chennai) demanding a separate state for Telugus to be carved out of Madras State where Tamil is spoken.

In an effort to unify the Telugu people, and preserve the unique culture of Telugu people, he attempted to force the government to listen to public demands for the unification of Andhra based on linguistic lines. He went on a lengthy fast, and only stopped when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru promised to support unification.

However, there was no movement on the issue for a long time. He started fasting again for attaining statehood for Andhra in Maharshi Bulusu Sambamurthy’s house in Madras on 19 October 1952. It started off without fanfare but steadily caught people’s imagination despite the disavowal of the fast by the Andhra Congress committee.

The government of the day however did not make a clear statement about the formation of a new state despite several strikes and demonstrations by Telugu people. On the midnight of 15 December (i.e. early 16 December 1952), Potti Sreeramulu died and laid down his life trying to achieve his objective.

In his death procession, people shouted slogans praising his sacrifice. When the procession reached Mount Road, thousands of people joined and raised slogans hailing Sriramulu. Later, they went into a frenzy and resorted to destruction of public property.

The news spread like wildfire and created an uproar among the people in far off places like Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Eluru, Guntur, Tenali, Ongole and Nellore. Seven people were killed in police firing in Anakapalle and Vijayawada. The popular agitation continued for three to four days disrupting normal life in Madras and Andhra regions. On 19 December, the Prime minister of the country Jawaharlal Nehru made an announcement about formation of a separate state.

On 1 October 1953, the state of Andhra was established with Kurnool as capital carving it out from Madras State. However, the Telangana region existed prior as a separate state before merging with Andhra state. On November 1, 1956, Telangana was merged with Andhra and as a result Andhra Pradesh was formed with Hyderabad as its capital, against the States Reorganization Commission Report (SRC).

Kerala and Karnataka states were formed the same day in 1956, followed by Gujarat and Maharashtra in 1960. The formation of linguistic states is the single most important event in the history of South Indian languages, as it provided an opportunity for these languages to develop independently, each of them having a state to support.

While Sri Potti Sriramulu has done a great sacrifice to achieve Andhra state from Madras Presidency, its noteworthy for the readers to understand that at that time, Telangana existed as a separate state and his efforts were mislead to the layman's understanding that he sacrificed his life for the formation of the present Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh is formed based on linguistic base and that is when Hyderabad State (Burgula Ramakrisha Rao, Chief Minister for Hyderabad State from 17 September 1948 till merged in Andhra Pradesh) is merged.

Potti Sriramulu fasted in the heart of Madras (Chennai) city for over 58 days for an Andhra state with Madras as the capital. He described "Andhra without Madras as a dead body without a head. The reasons as to why the Rajaji government, Union government led by Nehru or police did not intervene to force feed or shift him to a hospital remain unclear.

History of Telangana:

The meaning of Telangana literally means "Land of Telugus". The Telugu language originated in Telangana.

Telangana region was mentioned in the Mahabharata as the Telinga Kingdom which said to be inhabited by the tribe known as Telavana and said to have fought on the Pandava side in the great war of Mahabharata. It is also evident from the fact that there is Pandavula Guhalu in warangal district(wherein Pandavas spent their life in exile (Lakkha Gruham)).

And, in Treta yuga, it is believed that Lord Sri Rama along with his consort Sita Devi and brother Lakshmana, spent their life in exile at Parnashala on the banks of Godavari river which is about 25 km from Bhadrachalam in Khammam District of Telangana.

India became independent from the British Empire in 1947. The Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to retain his independence, but the Indian Government amalgamated his state of Hyderabad by force on September 17, 1948 after the successful execution of Operation Polo by the Indian Army. When India became independent, the Telugu-speaking people (although Urdu is spoken in some parts of Telangana districts) were distributed in about 22 districts; 9 of them in the Telangana region of Nizam's Dominions (Hyderabad State), 12 in the Madras Presidency and one in French-controlled Yanam.

Social conditions then immediately after independence were drastically opposite in Telangana and the Costal andhra districts and to a some extent, when compared to Rayalaseema.

Being under Tyrannical,feudalistic,oppressive and religiously discriminative regime and years long of brutal oppression and cultural abuses by the Nizam and also due to constant fighting in the latter years of the Nizam rule, education, awareness and lingo(accent in some parts, especially Hyderabad) to an extent were seriously effected.Only after Telangana's Liberation, people felt they were safe after years living as second grade citizens under Nizam.

Where as in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema being under British rule enjoyed freedom to some extent than the Telangana people.They were educated and were generally more aware of whatsoever in the society.Under the British, they benefited by the development which the British had done to the region by laying roads , promoting education by the universities and colleges, reservoirs like Cotton Barrage, Prakasam Barrage and also are the language and cultural development by the likes of Charles Philip Brown, Campbell, Galletti, and reformers like Veereshalingam Panthulu etc.

They enjoyed religious freedom and cultural freedom except political freedom. The poor Telangana Telugus suffered a lot from cultural, linguistic and religious and political freedom, where Urdu was taught forcefully at schools( though they are very few schools as such), Islam was the state religion and Muslims were considered as masters over the other religions, religious freedom was almost nil, worst form of feudalism being prominent in Nizam state and literally no efforts in social and cultural reformation as in Rest of India.

Under these antipathetic and violent conditions ,the people were defensive and were Ignorant when compared to the outside world. ( Though after Operation Polo, Muslims of Nizam state suffered violent backlash of religious violence when many of the innocent Muslim families were killed or went missing. Most of the events took place in Marathi speaking areas and in a couple of Kannada speaking areas of the Nizam rule. In the Marathi speaking areas the revolt was led by AryaSamaj, a Hindu reformist organization. In Telangana, this was led by Communists and so didn't witness such violent backlash.)

Meanwhile Telugu speaking areas were carved out of erstwhile Madras state by popular agitation by the then leaders like Potti Sri Ramulu etc.

Merger of Telangana and Andhra

In December 1953, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appointed the States Reorganization Commission to prepare for the creation of states on linguistic lines. This was headed by Justice Fazal Ali and the commission itself was also known as the Fazal Ali Commission. The efforts of this commission was overseen by Govind Ballabh Pant, who served as Home Minister from December 1954. The commission created a report in 1955 recommending the reorganization of India's states.

The States Reorganization Commission (SRC) was not in favour of merging the Telangana region with the then Andhra state. Para 382 of States Reorganization Commission Report (SRC) said "..opinion in Andhra is overwhelmingly in favour of the larger unit, public opinion in Telangana has still to crystallize itself. Important leaders of public opinion in Andhra themselves seem to appreciate that the unification of Telangana with Andhra, though desirable, should be based on a voluntary and willing association of the people and that it is primarily for the people of Telangana to take a decision about their future...".

The concerns of Telanganas were manifold. The region had a less developed economy than Andhra, but with a larger revenue base (mostly because it taxed rather than prohibited alcoholic beverages), which Telanganas feared might be diverted for use in Andhra. They also feared that planned dam projects on the Krishna and Godavari rivers would not benefit Telangana proportionately even though Telanganas controlled the headwaters of the rivers. Telanganas feared too that the people of Andhra would have the advantage in jobs, particularly in government and education.

Para 386 of States Reorganization Commission Report (SRC) said "After taking all these factors into consideration we have come to the conclusions that it will be in the interests of Andhra as well as Telangana area is to constitute into a separate State, which may be known as the Hyderabad State with provision for its unification with Andhra after the general elections likely to be held in or about 1961 if by a two thirds majority the legislature of the residency Hyderabad State expresses itself in favor of such unification."

However, the Congress party was strong in Andhra than in Telangana because the Nizam who ruled till then did not allow Congress activities in Telangana. The strong Congress lobby in Andhra lobbied with central congress leadership for the merger. So, the central government decided to ignore the SRC recommendations and established unified Andhra Pradesh on November 1, 1956. However, a "Gentleman's agreement" provided reassurances to the Telangana people as well to Andhra people in terms of power sharing as well as administrative domicile rules and distribution of expenses of various regions.

At the time of merging parts of Hyderabad State, with Andhra, and forming Andhra Pradesh state, Hyderabad State had an excess revenue due to alcohol excise duty, and The Indian government confiscated enormous wealth accumulated by Nizams provided the resources in creation of larger state.

Separate Telangana state movement:

In the following years after the formation of Andhra Pradesh state, however, the Telangana people had a number of complaints about how the agreements and guarantees were implemented. Discontent with the 1956 Gentleman's agreement intensified in January 1969 when the guarantees that had been agreed on were supposed to lapse.

Student agitation for the continuation of the agreement began at Osmania University in Hyderabad and spread to other parts of the region. Government employees and opposition members of the state legislative assembly swiftly threatened "direct action" in support of the students. This movement, also known as Jai Telangana movement, led to widespread violence and deaths of hundreds of people and students of this Telangana region. Approximately 360 students gave their lives in this movement.

Although the Congress faced dissension within its ranks, its leadership stood against additional linguistic states, which were regarded as "anti-national." As a result, defectors from the Congress, led by M. Chenna Reddy, founded the Telangana People's Association (Telangana Praja Samithi). Despite electoral successes, however, some of the new party leaders gave up their agitation in September 1971 and, much to the disgust of many separatists, rejoined the safer political haven of the Congress ranks.

Geography, Culture & Identity of Telangana:

Of the three regions of the state, Telangana has the largest area, with 1,14,800 km2.The Telangana plateau is composed of Archean Gneissic rocks and drained by Godavari and Krishna rivers. The entire region is divided into two main regions namely ghats and peneplains. The surface is dotted with low depressions.

Centuries of independent existence has given Telangana its own distinctive culture and identity. The Telugu language spoken here has evolved into a new dialect with a liberal mixture of words from Urdu. Festivals: Eid al-Adha (Bakr Eid), Dassera, Eid-ul-Fitr and Ugadi are prominent festivals in Telangana. The region celebrates distinctive festivals like Bathukamma, and Bonalu. The other festivals, such as, Deepawali, Holi, Moharram and Vinayaka chaturthi are also celebrated with equal enthusiasm as in northern India. The national festival Sankranti is also celebrated in the beginning of harvest season on 14 January every year.

Note: Please find the recommendations of the SRC in Image formats on the right. This proves that despite opposition from Telangana people, Hyderabad State (Telangana) is forcefully merged along with Andhra State to form Andhra Pradesh.

Resources: Wikipedia

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good information

9:16 AM  
Blogger manick said...

excellent informaton.
formation of telungana has been justified.....
state can be formed to fullfill the needs of the people

5:34 PM  
Blogger madhu said...

hey awesome da..excellent effort ...hope we get telangana soon...

10:38 PM  

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