Deccan Lands

Telangana

Telangana is a region in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It has borders with the states of Maharashtra on the north and north-west, Karnataka on the west, Chattisgarh on the north-east, Orissa and Coastal Andhra region on the east and Rayalaseema region on the south.

The Telangana region has an area of 114,840 square kilometres (44,340 sq mi), and a population of 35,286,757 (2011 census) which is 41.6% of Andhra Pradesh state population.

The Telangana region has 10 districts: Adilabad, Hyderabad, Khammam, Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Nalgonda, Nizamabad, Rangareddy, and Warangal. The Krishna and Godavari rivers flow through the region from west to east.

History

Satavahana dynasty (230 BCE to 220 CE) originated from the lands between the Godavari and Krishna River. Kotilingala in Karimnagar was their first capital, before moving to Dharanikota. Excavations at Kotilingala revealed coinage of Simukha, the first Satavahana emperor. The Satavahana Empire was important in repelling foreign empires from India, such as the Indo-Greeks, and preserving Indian culture.

The region experienced its golden age during the reign of the Kakatiya dynasty, a Telugu dynasty that ruled most parts of what is now Andhra Pradesh from 1083 to 1323. Ganapatideva was known as the greatest of the Kakatiyas, and the first after the Satavahanas to bring the entire Telugu area under one rule. He put an end to the rule of the Cholas, who accepted his suzerainty in the year 1210. He established order in his vast dominion that stretched from the Godavari delta in the east to Raichur (in modern day Karnataka) in the west and from Karimnagar and Bastar (in modern day Chattisgarh) in the north to Srisailam and Tripurantakam, near Ongole, in the south. It was during his reign that the Golkonda fort was constructed. Rudrama Devi and Prataparudra were prominent rulers from the Kakatiya dynasty.

Telangana came under the Muslim rule of the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century, followed by Bahmanis, Qutb Shahis, and the Mughals. As the Mughal Empire began to disintegrate in the early 18th century, the Muslim Asafjahi dynasty established a separate state known as Hyderabad. Later, Hyderabad entered into a treaty of subsidiary alliance with the British Empire, and was the largest and most populous princely state in India. Telangana was never under direct British rule, unlike the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh, which were part of British India's Madras Presidency.

Telangana Rebellion

The Telangana Rebellion was a peasant revolt which was later supported by the Communists. It took place in the former princely state of Hyderabad between 1946 and 1951. This was led by the Communist Party of India.

The revolt began in the Nalgonda district and quickly spread to the Warangal and Bidar districts. Peasant farmers and labourers revolted against the local feudal landlords (jagirdars and deshmukhs) and later against the Osman Ali Khan, Asif Jah VII. The initial aims were to do away with illegal and excessive exploitation meted out by these feudal lords in the name of bonded labour (Vetti Chakiri). The most strident demand was for all debts of the peasants to be written off.

Among the well-known individuals at the forefront of the movement were leaders like Ravi Narayan Reddy, Nalla Narasimhulu, Sateesh Arjula, Anabheri Prabhakar Rao, Puchalapalli Sundaraiah, Chandra Rajeswara Rao, Suddala Hanumanthu, the Urdu poet Makhdoom Mohiuddin, Hassan Nasir, Bhimreddy Narasimha Reddy, Mallu Venkata Narasimha Reddy, Mallu Swarajyam.

The violent phase of the movement ended after the central government sent in the army. Starting in 1951, the CPI shifted to a more moderate strategy of seeking to bring communism to India within the constraints of Indian democracy.

Post-independence

When India became independent from the British Empire in 1947, the Nizam of Hyderabad did not want to merge with Indian Union and wanted to remain independent under the special provisions given to princely states. He even asked for a corridor, a passage from India. Rebellion had started throughout the state against the Nizam's rule and his army, known as the Razakars. The Government of India annexed Hyderabad State on 17 September 1948, in an operation by the Indian Army called Operation Polo. When India became independent, Telugu-speaking people were distributed in about 22 districts, 9 of them in the former Nizam's dominions of the princely state of Hyderabad, 12 in the Madras Presidency (Andhra region), and one in French-controlled Yanam.

The Central Government appointed a civil servant, M. K. Vellodi, as First Chief Minister of Hyderabad State on 26 January 1950. He administered the state with the help of bureaucrats from Madras State and Bombay State. In 1952, Dr. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao was elected Chief minister of Hyderabad State in the first democratic election. During this time there were violent agitations by some Telanganites to send back bureaucrats from Madras state, and to strictly implement rule by natives of Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, Telugu-speaking areas in the Northern Circars and Rayalaseema regions were carved out of the erstwhile Madras state on the fast unto death by Potti Sri Ramulu to create Andhra State in 1953, with Kurnool as its capital.

Merger of Telangana and Andhra

In December 1953, the States Reorganization Commission was appointed to study the creation of states on linguistic basis. The States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) was not in favour of an immediate merger of Telangana region of with Andhra state, despite their common language.

Paragraph 382 of the States Reorganisation 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 people of Telangana had several concerns. 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 people of Telangana feared might be diverted for use in Andhra. They feared that planned irrigation projects on the Krishna and Godavari rivers would not benefit Telangana proportionately, even though people of Telangana controlled the headwaters of the rivers. It was feared that the people of Andhra, who had access to higher standards of education under the British rule, would have an unfair advantage in seeking government and educational jobs.

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 state assembly with a two-thirds majority.

The Chief Minister of Hyderabad State, Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, expressed his view that a majority of Telangana people were against the merger. He supported the Congress party's central leadership decision to merge Telangana and Andhra despite opposition in Telangana. Andhra state assembly passed a resolution on 25 November 1955 to provide safeguards to Telangana. The resolution said, "Assembly would further like to assure the people in Telangana that the development of that area would be deemed to be special charge, and that certain priorities and special protection will be given for the improvement of that area, such as reservation in services and educational institutions on the basis of population and irrigational development." Telangana leaders did not believe the safeguards would work. With lobbying from Andhra Congress leaders and with pressure from the Central leadership of Congress party, an agreement was reached between Telangana leaders and Andhra leaders on 20 February 1956 to merge Telangana and Andhra with promises to safeguard Telangana's interests.

Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru initially was skeptical of merging Telangana with Andhra State, fearing a "tint of expansionist imperialism" in it. He compared the merger to a matrimonial alliance having "provisions for divorce" if the partners in the alliance cannot get on well.

Following the Gentlemen's agreement, the central government established a unified Andhra Pradesh on November 1, 1956. The agreement provided reassurances to Telangana in terms of power-sharing as well as administrative domicile rules and distribution of expenses of various regions.

Anti-Nehru politics emerged with the repression of the Telengana movement; many within the Congress Party extended their hands to leftist causes. Feroze Gandhi was among them.

Bhadrachalam Revenue Division a part of East Godavari District up to 1959, was merged into Khammam district for geographical contiguity and administrative ease. Same was he case with Ashwaraopet also a part of West Godavari District up to 1959.

Separate Telangana state movement

In December 1968 OU students organised a rally to protest against discrimination in government jobs against Telangana people. Keshav Rao Jadhav and Sudershan Singh both teachers supported the students.

Discontent intensified when some of the guarantees agreed upon were supposed to lapse in January, 1969. Student agitation for the proper implementation of the guarantees began at Osmania University in Hyderabad and spread to other parts of the region. This agitation came to an end in September 1972 with the merger of Telangana Praja Samithi with Congress and people realised that the Prime Minister was not inclined towards a separate state of Telangana.

Due to Jai Andhra agitation in the Seema-Andra region in 1973, protesting against the protections (mulki rules) given for Telangana region, the Government of India diluted the protections in Gentlemen's agreement by initiating the Six point formula.

Various political parties were formed on a platform of pursuing for separate statehood for Telangana region, including the Telangana Praja Samithi party in 1969, which won 11 out of 13 Parliamentory seats in 1971.

In the 1990s, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) promised a separate Telangana state if they came to power.

A new party called Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), led by Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), was formed in 2001 with the single-point agenda of creating a separate Telangana State with Hyderabad as its capital.

In the 2004 Assembly and Parliament elections, the Congress party promised a separate Telangana State and the TRS had an electoral alliance in the Telangana region. Congress came to power in the state and formed a coalition government at the centre. TRS joined the coalition government in 2004 and was successful in making a separate Telangana state a part of the common minimum programme of the coalition government.

In September 2006, TRS withdrew support from the Congress-led coalition government because of the failure of fulfilling the promise to create a separate Telangana state.

In July 2008, Devender Goud and E. Peddi Reddy resigned from Telugu Desam Party(TDP) and formed a new party called Nava Telangana Praja Party (NTPP) with Telangana formation as its main goal.

After extensive internal discussions, the TDP, the main opposition party in the state, announced its support for the creation of separate Telangana state on 9 October 2008. The Telugu Desam Party promised to work towards creation of separate Telangana state.

The Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), founded by Telugu Matinee cinema actor Chiranjeevi, supported Telangana statehood. The Nava Telangana Praja Party announced that it would merge with PRP after it concluded that there was not enough political space for two sub-regional Telangana parties that had Telananga statehood as their main agenda.

On 29 November 2009, TRS president K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) started a fast-unto-death, demanding that the Congress party introduce a Telangana bill in Parliament. He was arrested by the government of Andhra Pradesh. Student organizations, employee unions, and various organizations joined the movement. General strikes shut down Telangana on 6 and 7 December. Student organizations planned a massive rally at the state Assembly on 10 December. The government warned that the rally did not have permission and deployed police troops throughout Telangana. All opposition parties in the state favoured creation of Telangana state at an all-party meet held on 7 December.

On 9 December 2009, Union Minister of Home Affairs P. Chidambaram announced that the Indian government would start the process of forming a separate Telangana state, pending the introduction and passage of a separation resolution in the Andhra Pradesh assembly. KCR ended his 11-day fast, saying from his hospital bed that this was a "true victory of the people of Telangana."

Pro-Telangana supporters celebrated the central government decision, while those from the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions (Andhra region) protested. Due to protests in the Seema-Andhra region, On 23 December, the Government of India announced that no action on Telangana would be taken until a consensus was reached by all parties. Rallies, hunger strikes, and suicides continued throughout Telangana to protest against the delay in bifurcating the State. The all-party Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) started relay hunger strikes and threatened the resignations of all legislators on 28 January, demanding that the Centre spell out its intentions and create a timetable for change. On 3 February the government announced the five-member Srikrishna committee on Telangana that would look into the issue, with a deadline of 31 December 2010.

Srikrishna Committee report

The Srikrishna committee on Telangana submitted its report in two volumes to the Home Ministry of India on 30 December 2010. In an all-party meeting on 6 January 2011, the Home ministry made the 505-page Srikrishna committee report public. Section 9-3 (page 440) of the report discusses six solutions.

The Committee announced that they were recommending keeping the State united(one of option- which they testified is not possible in present situation), and advised constitutional and statutory measures for socio-economic development and political empowerment of Telangana region through the creation of a statutorily empowered Telangana Regional Council. Telangana leaders say the best option from the Sri Krishna committee report is the formation of separate Telangana state with Hyderabad as its capital. They plan to pressure the Central government to zero in on this option as the only workable one.

On March 23, 2011, Justice L Narasimha Reddy of Andhra Pradesh high court ordered central government to make contents of 8th chapter of Sri Krishna Committee, so called 'secret report'. Justice in his 60 page judgement said "The Committee travelled beyond the terms of reference in its endeavour to persuade the Union of India not to accede to the demand for Telangana". The judgement (in para 75, 80 94) also quoted the SKC report's 8th chapter which advised central govt on how to manage Telangana political parties, how to manage Telangana public opinion using local media virtually owned by Seema-Andhra industrialists and what kind of law and order methods to be used. The justice further said(in para 103) "The maneuver suggested by the Committee in its secret supplementary note poses an open challenge, if not threat, to the very system of democracy."

After the SKC Report

On February 17, 2011 noncooperation movement was started and it last for 16 days which was participated by 300,000 government employees and caused Rs 8 billion per day in revenue to government.

In February and March, Assembly session was boycotted for weeks and Parliament session was disrupted for several days by Telangana representatives.

Million March was organized by Telangana JAC in Hyderabad on March 10, 2011. In a move to disrupt the march, police shutdown and arrested over hundred thousand activists through out the region and closed down entry to Hyderabad city, stopped transportation services, traffic was diverted and no one was allowed to areas close to the venue 50 to 100 thousand people reached venue by hoodwinking police and organized the march. . Some Telangana activists damaged 16 statues of personalties hailed form Seema-Andhra representing Telugu culture language on Tank Bund, the venue. They threw some of the remnants into the lake. Top leaders of all political parties in the state including KCR and various organizations condemned the vandalism.

On July 4 and 5, 2011, 100 out of 118(1 vacant) Telangana MLAs in the state, 12 out of 15 Telangana ministers, 13 out of 17 Telangana MPs in Lok Sabha, 1 Rajyasabha MP(Congress), 20 MLCs resigned protesting delay in the formation of Telangana. Resigned included 44 out of 53 ruling Congress party's MLAs from Telangana, 9 out of 12 ruling Congress party MPs in Lok Sabha from Telangana. Except 18 MLAs; MIM(7), Congress(9) (including two ministers, Deputy speaker and Deputy CM) CPM(1), Lok Satta(1); the rest of the Telangana MLAs have resigned.

Starting Sectember 13, as part of 'strike by all section of people' supporting Telangana state formation, government exployees, lawyers, coal miners, health workers started indefenite strike. Within days, they were joined by teachers, state transport corportion employees, electricity board employees, sanitation employees, temples employees etc. Due to the strike, administration collapsed in Telangana, caused power cuts through out South India. Mean while Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Kiran Kumar Reddy, who is believed to be strongly against telangana is looking for various options to suppress the movement.

Geography

Telangana is situated in the central stretch of the eastern seaboard of the Indian Peninsula. Of the three regions of the state of Andhra Pradesh,[90] Telangana has the largest area, with 114,800 square kilometres (44,300 sq mi). The Deccan plateau is drained by two major rivers, the Godavari and the Krishna. 69% of the Krishna River and 79% of the Godavari River catchment area is in Telangana region. Telangana is also drained by other minor rivers such as Manair, Bhima, Dindi, Kinnerasani, Manjeera, Munneru, Moosi, Penganga, Praanahita, and Peddavagu and Taliperu.

The area is divided into two main regions, the Eastern Ghats and the plains. The surface is dotted with low depressions.