Thursday, December 10, 2009

BIRTH OF TELENGANA - HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF AT ANDHRA

Dear (s)


The Jain concept of fasting is renunciation of action but this has been a powerful tool immediately identifiable with demands of justice used to varying effects by many politicians in the annals of India’s political history. Some leaders have fasted for half a day and many a times ‘fast’ would be organised where people come to the podium having had stomach full meals and then going missing in between.





KCR the man who represents Mahboobnagar and was a cabinet minister earlier - (Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao) born on 17/2/1954 seem to have achieved his desired fruits. He went on indefinite fast and in 11 days, news of his deteriorating health spread leading to widespread riots and Centre on Wednesday (9/12/09) yielded; announcing the process of forming a separate State of Telengane to be initiated by moving an appropriate resolution in the AP assembly. Caught between a rock and a hard place, the ruling Congress blinked after a series of meetings in the face of escalating violence in Andhra Pradesh. This could have far reaching impact and could encourage other movements calling for new states like Gorkhaland, Harit Pradesh, one carved off south Tamilnadu ?

Life has thus come full circle: the state of Andhra Pradesh was carved out of the erstwhile Madras Principality in 1953 following another fast.

Our Nation is a union of States – of date there are 28 States and 7 Union Territories. The size of the States vary, have unique demography, history, culture, dress, festivals, languages etc., Before independence in 1947, the Congress was committed to redrawing state boundaries to correspond with linguistics. The States Reorganisation Commission was formed in 1953 to study the problems involved in redrawing state boundaries, viewed language as an important, although by no means the sole, factor. The final bill was passed in 1956 and amended several times thereafter has seen creation of several new states created out of existing states – there were only 14 States and 7 Union Territories in 1956.

The Andhra Desa finds a mention in many early scripts and can be traced to Ashoka, Satvahanas, Sakas, Ikshvakus, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas…….. the kingdoms of Vijayanagar and Qutub Shahi are of importance. At the time of independence there was composite Madras Presidency and before we read something on that first something about Telengana. Telangana means "land of Telugus". It corresponds to the Telugu speaking part of the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad. The region lies on the Deccan plateau to the west of the Eastern Ghats range, and includes the northwestern interior districts of Warangal, Adilabad, Khammam, Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Rangareddy, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Medak, and the state capital, Hyderabad. The Krishna and Godavari rivers flow through the region from west to east. This region is claimed to be mentioned in epic Mahabharatha and said to be inhabited by the tribe Telavana who fought alongside Pandavas. It is also believed that pandavas spent some time in exile in warrangal. Mythology also has it that Rama, Sita and Lakshmana spent their exile at Parnashala on the banks of Godavari about 25 km from the present day Bhadrachalam. This region has been the heartland for many dynasties – Kotilingala in Karimnagar was the first capital of Sathavahanas. When mughal empire began disintegrating Asafjahi dynasty established Hyderabad which later allied with British Empire. Today, Telangana is a region comprising 10 of Andhra Pradesh’s 23 districts. The region accounts for 119 seats of 294 in the assembly. As history would have it in 1948, the Govt. put an end to the rule of Nizams. The student driven telengana movement intensified in 1969 and no. of people died.

KCR was earlier a member of Telegu Desam and was deputy speaker in 1999 and has allied with both parties of prominence in AP. The capital of AP – Hyderabad has been a bone of contention between the votaries of Telengana and those against.



Now something about Potti Sreeramulu (16/3/1901 to 16/12/1952)

Way back in the nascent days of Indian Republic this devout follower of Gandhi went on fast unto death for over 58 days demanding formation of separate state for the telegu. He once ended his fast when PM J. Nehru promised to support but since there was no movement thereafter, he started fasting again in Maharshi Bulusu Sambamurthy’s house in Madras on 19 October 1952. 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 and he laid down his life trying to achieve his objective.

Following his death there was widespread frenzy in far off places like Vizianagaram, Vizag, Bezawada, Elluru, Anakapalle. The then PM Nehru announced formation of a separate state and 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. That was the visalandhra visualized mightily by many politicians on linguistic basis.

During those days of fasting, Rajaji Govt or the Union Govt did not intervene to force feed or shift him to a hospital. Though he is hailed as Amarajeevi, his main claim for the Madras City has remained elusive.

This political announcement by P Chidambaram would perhaps rankle ever.

With regards - S Sampathkumar




3 comments:

  1. This is recipt for disaster. Every district would head for a State and there would be so many small leaders who would spearhead such movements. Central Govt has acted without spine - Chidambaram

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  2. Here the issue is of mishandling since last 53 years. The central govt went against the then SRC recommendations to form a unified state not taking the apprehensions of the people from Telangana that they would be denied their right. After the unification and gentlemen agreement people from this region waited for around 10 - 15 years and found that their apprehensions were correct and majority of the government jobs were occupied by non-telangana people and their share of water from godavari and krishna is not distributed. Then started 1969 agitation in which 380 people died due to suppression of the agitation. Mr.Marri Chenna Reddy hijacked the issue for his political gains. This is history. The political approach of KCR was initially appreciated by Telangana people but they started doubting him for whimsical attitude and not taking the struggle/agitation route. But one thing is clear, he could ignite the discontent of the students and other leaders and convert it into an agitation. I don't think centre can sit on this problem like this for long. What ever the case may be, Telangana movement cannot be linked with other division of states and it has its own history of consistent suppression of the people in the area.
    What about Hyderabad ?

    While Geographically Hyderabad cannot be taken away from Telangana, it is like a mutton in a mutton biryani or a head of a person as far as Telangan people see it.

    What about people of Andhra and Rayalaseema ?

    If Hyderabad is another Patna or Lucknow these agitations would not have been there. Lot of stakes are there for Andhra Politicians and also big industrialists who have invested in Real Estate in Hyderabad. The rates would tumble like stock market and it is a concern for them.

    What about common people who migrated to Hyderabad from Andhra and Rayalaseema ?

    Life is same for any Bandi wala, shop wala, Govt employee.

    Its all the worry of Corporate schools, Corporate Textile Malls and Real Estate barons. They have to face the political risk.

    Sai Kumar, Hyderabad.

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  3. Thanks Sai for the very detailed inputs which makes us understand the issue better

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