“STATE OF TELANGANA”: REALITYOR MYTH
– Ankita Khare1
Unity in Diversityis aunique feature ofIndia.Butwhen this diversity lead to the diversion in peoples thought and country…..it’s ofno use… The issue of Telangana have been in news from along time.Weallknow it’s been like a game for political leaders that when elections come they promise a lot to general public but what after elections? So, Does these
promises are fulfilled after elections???? Now, another question is why the people of Telangana are demanding a New state. Is there any politics going on OR do they really need it???? Whatever shake is going on it’s the General Public which is passing through neither the leaders nor the Government.
As India has been known to theworld for number oflanguages, culture, religion, food, climate and of coursenot to forget differentstates. There exist a number of people which follow a particular culture or language at every corner of India which marks a different identity.
Andhra Pradesh is one of the state of India, which is surrounded by Maharashtra (North & North West), Karnataka(West), Chattisgarh (NorthEast), Orissa (East) include three regions- Telangana (North East),CoastalAndhra (East) and Rayalaseema(South).
To get into the present situation, one should take a quick look at the formation of the Andhra Pradesh and its politics.
FORMATION OF THE ANDHRA PRADESHAND POLITICS
The Telangana region of the erstwhile Princely State of Nizam called as Hyderabad state was demanding a separate state. In detail, the Hyderabad state comprise the present Telugu speaking Telangana region, and a few districts of present day Maharashtra and Karnataka, and the Andhra region (including Rayalaseema) with a sizable Telugu speaking population were a part of erstwhile Madras Province in the British India.
AfterIndependence in 1947, the Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to retain his hold overthe stateand wantto remain independent under the special provisions given to princely states. But the Government of India had other plans and amalgamated his state on 17th September 1948 by force in an operation by the Indian Army called Operation Polowhich government called Police action.2 However post independence Rayalaseema and CoastalAndhra were separated from the Madras State in 1953 and were merged with the Telangana region of Hyderabad in 1956 to form the state of Andhra Pradesh.
MERGER OF TELANGANAAND ANDHRA
Theremaining parts of theTelangana region were merged with Karnataka and Maharashtra. This was thefirst state that was carved outon linguistic lines in the country.3 In December 1953, To study the creation of states on linguisticbasis, The States Reorganization Commission(SRC) was appointed. Despite their common language SRC does not want the Telangana region to be merged with Andhra state.
The commission proposed that the Telangana region be constituted as a separate state with a provision for unification with Andhra state, after the 1961 general elections, if a resolution could be passed in the Telangana stateassembly with a two-thirds majority.4 Buta turn occur, The Chief Minister of Hyderabad State, Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, expressed his view that a majority of Telangana people were against the merger.5 He supported the Congress party’s central leadership decision to merge Telangana and Andhra despite opposition in Telangana. 6 However, in 1956, the Telangana region was merged with Andhra state to form Andhra Pradesh, with a specific assurance (Gentleman’s Agreement with promises to safeguard Telangana’s interest) and declarations by the then Prime Minister Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru.
SEPARATE TELANGANA MOVEMENT
The major Telangana movement started in 1969, 1972 and 2000s onwards which gained the momentum from decades becoming a widespread politicaldemand of creatinga new state from the Telangana region ofAndhra Pradesh.
(i) Political Crisis during 1969
After the specificassurance i.e.Gentleman’s Agreementand declarations by the then Prime MinisterMr. JawaharlalNehru. The assurances were hardly respected by the majorityAndhra which led to serious discontent among thepeople of Telangana leadingto agitateand demand a separate state in 1969.7 After being brutally crushed by the state government, the bruised people of Telangana understood that the political willis the need of the hour, but were exploited by a fellow Telangana politician and former chief minister Dr. M.Chenna Reddy for his personnel gains. By March 1969, an organisation had come into being to lead the agitation, the Telangana Praja Samiti.8
The situation detoriated when in April,1969 around 600 people lost their lives in a student’s protest in police firings just because the chief minister BrahmanandaReddy behaved like a demon.9 In those 3 years all the fault lines were left bare that indirectly led for the division of Andhra Pradesh. Reddy played an important role in aggravating the situation.
It did shake the state again, when Channa Reddy entered the fray and formed the Telangana Praja Samiti to lead the movement. But by November 1969, there was a split in the Praja Samiti when dissident Congress legislators realized thatthe Prime Minister Indira Gandhiwas not in favour of separate Telangana. The movement slowly petered out.The TelanganaPraja Samitiwas dissolved and its members rejoined the Congress.10
(ii) 1972-The Episode of ‘MULKIS’
During 1972, another agitation known as the JaiAndhra Movement was launched in the Andhra region.It was a sequel to the Telangana agitation which demanded that only `Mulkis’ (one who was born in the State of Hyderabad or resided there continuously for fifteen years and had given an affidavit that he abandoned the idea of returning to his native place). should be appointed to the posts in Telangana including the Hyderabad city.
As these rules stood in the way of the people of the Andhra region to compete forthe posts,their validity was challenged in the High Court.A full bench of the High Court by a one-fourth majority held that the Mulki rules were not valid and operative afterthe formation of Andhra Pradesh.11
But on an appealby theState Government, the SupremeCourt declared on 3 Oct, 1972 that the Mulki rules were valid and were in force. The judgement created a great politicalcrisis in the State. The people of the Andhra region felt that they were reduced to the status of second class citizens in their own State capital. They felt that the only way to uphold theirdignity was by severingtheir connection with Telangana and started amovement forthe separation ofAndhraregion fromAndhra Pradesh.12
As the agitation continued, President’s rule was imposed in the State on 10th Jan,1973. Finally, a political settlement was arrived at under the aegis of the Central Government.
On December 10, 1973, President’s rule in the State was revoked and a popular ministry with Sri Jalagam Vengala Rao as the Chief Minister was inducted. Withthis, normalcy returned and the Stateenjoyed political stability.
In the General Elections held in February 1978 for theA.P. Legislative Assembly,the Congress Party swept the polls and Dr.M.Channa Reddy became the sixth Chief Minister of A.P. He announced that separate Telangana was no longer an issue.13
(iii) Formation of New States -in 2000
However, the exploitation by Andhra elite in Telangana region was a never-ending story. In 2000, three new states (Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand) were created from the existing states butthe Telangana was not granted statehood because the ruling Telugu Desam Party in coalition with NationalDemocratic Alliance opposed such a move.14
In 2001, a new political party Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS)was formed under the leadership of K. Chandra sekhar Rao (KCR)which had a single point agenda, formation of a separate state.On the benefits of the politicalworld, KCR and his party TRS survived for few years. There was some support but never enough to influence the course of history.
(iv) Year 2009-Another Round of Pressure Politics
On a day in 2009,TRS chief embarked on his fast unto death. But he was arrested Rod on the outskirts of Karimnagar which angered the fellow Telangana people.15 For the next 11 days, while KCR under arrest physically weakened as he refused to eat, more and more people started taking up the chant for a separate Telangana state.Bandhs were common, road blockades and dharnas a must in every district every day. It was that a dam had broken and the people ofTelangana scented victory that suddenly seemed within reach on December 9, 2009.
That was the day when Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram announced that the process for the formation of Telangana state would be considered upon introduction and passageof a separation statement by the state assembly ofAndhra Pradesh.16
However, by December 23, Chidambaram had done a U-turn and the tangle of Telangana remained untangled and the people angry.
In 2011, there has been renewed hope that finally the tangle can be resolved. Time has transformed the cry of “Jai Telangana” from being one that celebrates distinctiveness to one that called men to battle. Ignorance, avoidance and politics added the necessary push to make matters worse.
February saw a 16-day non-cooperation movement ,In March Parliament session was disrupted for several days by Telangana representatives. In July number of MLAs in the state, Ministers, Telangana MPs in Lok Sabha, a Rajya Sabha member and MLCs resigned protesting delay in the formation of Telangana state.17
But, Again the Telangana issue erupted most violently in the months of September and October 2011, when close to 50,000 state government employees went on an indefinite strike which continued for 42 day resulting the estimated loss of 10000crore in support of their demand for a separate state. The strike ended but with no solution.18
The hope that Telangana people have that it would give them a better future that made people take to the streets, take salary cuts, accept delay in education.
The protest continued as it is in 2012,making the situation more aggregated. Meanwhile BJP put a question mark on congress stating that-“Congress is Betraying the sentiments of peopleand is not standing clear on the issue. At the end of the year 2012, TRS chief announced a BANDH as a protest the centre “indecision” on granting status to Telangana.19
The Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde promised that they’ll truly gave a final solution for the issue till Jan 28,2013.20 While the MPs, MLA,s of Telangana gave a final warning to the government that if no solution will be put forward they’ll resign.
MeanwhileGhulam NabiAzad Congress GeneralSecretary and Shinde indicated that they need more time for further consultations.
A day after a court in Andhra Pradesh directed the state police to probe charges of “cheating” people ofTelangana region on thestatehood issue against two top ministers of the UPA government,yet another court on Tuesday ordered the police to register another case under Sections 420 and 153 (a) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and file a report by the February end21 againstthree Union Ministers – SushilKumar Shinde, P. Chidambaram and Ghulam NabiAzad.
ISSUES OF TELANGANA
The issues why the Telangana people want their separate state is First the Water issue. The Telangana people suffer with drought every year. Always a political game is been played with the people. Nothing has been done till yet. The second issue rises the Question of Hyderabad, thecapitalofAndhra Pradesh that falls right in the middle of Telangana. If Telangana was to separate, Andhra would lose Hyderabad with all the millions that has ever been invested in the city. The present day argumentis that whoever cameto Hyderabad city or Telangana districts are not at allconsidered to be in public employments as locals. Negating allConstitutional provisions and Dividing the State and asking about 35 Lakh (Out of One crore city’s population) people residing in Hyderabad who came from Coastaldistricts ofAndhra Pradesh to go back (to where ?) would be just like enacting another Partition.22
Proponents of a separate Telangana state feelthat the agreements, plans, and assurances from the legislature and Lok Sabha over the last fifty years have not been honoured, and as a consequence Telangana has remained neglected, exploited, and backward. They alleged that the experiment to remain as one statehas proven to be a futile exercise and that separation is the best solution.23 ,24
Aseparate Stateis in the interestof neither Telangana norcoastalAndhra. Once Andhra Pradesh is divided, Telangana will become a land-locked State and remain as backward as it is now. It is possible to work out a packagewith greaterautonomy for Telangana. But there is no guarantee that a bifurcation of AndhraPradesh willsolve backwardness, the issue of farmers’ debt, Maoism etc. We cannot say ‘for 53 years they had not solve their problems’. The ruling elite are only too happy to divide people on the lines of region, religion, caste and language. Allissues in Andhra Pradesh have been drowned in the Telangana controversy, a proxy war between the Andhra and the Telangana elite.25
Andhra Pradesh was not the first State in India to be formed on the basis of language as stated by E. Muralidharan in his article for a Telangana State. In April 1936, the province of Odisha (now Orissa) was formed on the basis of language. Andhra Pradesh was the first linguistic State formed after Independence.26 But at the other side of the coin there is support in Telangana fora separateState, amajority of the people in CoastalAndhra and
Rayalaseema favour a united Andhra Pradesh. Even in Hyderabad, envisaged as the capitalof Telangana, many of theelected representatives havenot joined the resignation drama, an indication that statehood does not have the same resonance in the cosmopolitan capitalas it does in the rest of the region.27
A political consensus is therefore a must, and the central government should pro-actively work towards creating such a consensus instead of letting matters drift. So far as the people of India are concerned, what is at stake is the future of Andhra Pradesh, not the survival of the UPA or the Congress regime in the State.
5. Civil Services India Magzines
6. History and Culture – Post-Independence Era.
7. Article-The Compassionate Indian by Vijaya Bhashkar.
8. India today telangana tangle 50yrs of simmering-discontent 9. History and Culture – Post-Independence Era
10. Article on P ost Independence Era of Telangana. 11. The Compassionate Indian.
12. indiatoday-telanganatangle 50yrs of simmering discontent. 13. The Hindu Newspaper.
14. India Today Online Hyderabad, January 29, 2013 15. Article-Indian Telgu Jaati by Janardhan Prasad DVS
16. “Telangana issue sparks more turmoil”. Asia Times Online. 19 Oct2012.
17. The Hindu newspaper.