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Telangana's long journey from dream to reality

July 30, 2013 20:06 IST

Telangana's long journey from dream to reality

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Following is a brief history of Andhra Pradesh and chronology of the movement for Telangana state:

The region, now being called Telangana, was part of the erstwhile Hyderabad state which was merged into the Indian Union on September 17, 1948.

Central government appointed a civil servant, M K Vellodi, as the first chief minister of Hyderabad state on 26 January 1950. In 1952, Burgula Ramakrishna Rao was elected chief minister of Hyderabad state in the first democratic election.

Andhra was the first state to be carved out (from erstwhile Madras state) on linguistic basis on November 1, 1953. It had Kurnool town (in Rayalaseema region) as its capital after the death of Potti Sriramulu who sat on a 53-day fast-unto-death demanding the new state.

The proposal for amalgamation of Hyderabad state with Andhra state came up in 1953 and the then chief minister of Hyderabad state, Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, supported the Congress central leadership’s decision in this regard though there was opposition in Telangana region.

Accepting the merger proposal, Andhra assembly passed a resolution on November 25, 1955 promising to safeguard the interests of Telangana.

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Image: Cultural artists from Telangana participate in a protest rally in Hyderabad
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

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Telangana's long journey from dream to reality

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An agreement was reached between Telangana leaders and Andhra leaders on February 20, 1956 to merge Telangana and Andhra with promises to safeguard Telangana's interests. A“Gentlemen’s Agreement” was then signed by Bezawada Gopala Reddy and Burgula Ramakrishna Rao to the effect.

Eventually, under the States Re-organisation Act, Telugu-speaking areas of Hyderabad state were merged with Andhra state, giving birth to the state of Andhra Pradesh on November 1, 1956. The city of Hyderabad, the then capital of Hyderabad state, was made the capital of Andhra Pradesh state.

In 1969, an agitation began in Telangana region as people protested the failure to implement the Gentlemen’s Agreement and other safeguards properly.

Marri Channa Reddy launched the Telangana Praja Samiti espousing the cause of a separate state. The agitation intensified and turned violent with students in the forefront of the struggle and about 300 of them were killed in violence and police firing that ensued.

Following several rounds of talks with leaders of the two regions, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi came up with an eight-point plan on April 12, 1969. Telangana leaders rejected the plan and protests continued under the aegis of Telangana Praja Samiti.

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Image: Members of the Telangana Joint Action Committee protest in Hyderabad
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

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Telangana's long journey from dream to reality

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In 1972, Jai Andhra movement started in Andhra-Rayalaseema regions as a counter to Telangana struggle.

On September 21, 1973, a political settlement was reached with the Centre and a 6-point formula put in place to placate people of the two regions.

In 1985, employees from Telangana region cried foul over appointments in government departments and complained about ‘injustice’ done to people of the region.

The then Telugu Desam Party government, headed by N T Rama Rao, brought out a Government Order to safeguard the interests of Telangana people in government employment. Till 1999, there was no demand from any quarters for division of the state on regional lines.

In 1999, Congress demanded creation of Telangana state. Congress was then smarting under crushing defeats in successive elections to the state assembly and Parliament with the ruling Telugu Desam Party in an unassailable position.

Yet another chapter opened in the struggle for Telangana when Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao, who was seething over denial of Cabinet berth in the Chandrababu Naidu government, walked out of TDP and launched Telangana Rashtra Samiti on April 27, 2001.

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Image: Pro-Telangana protestors shout slogans during a demonstration in New Delhi
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Telangana's long journey from dream to reality

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Following pressure applied by Telangana Congress leaders, the Central Working Committee of Congress in 2001 sent a resolution to the then NDA government seeking constitution of a second States Re-organisation Commission to look into Telangana state demand, which was rejected by the then Union Home Minister L K Advani saying smaller states were “neither viable nor conducive” to integrity of the country.

TRS started gradually building the movement for a separate state.

Congress forged an electoral alliance with TRS by promising to create Telangana state.

Congress came to power in 2004, both in the state and at the Centre, and TRS became part of the coalition governments at both places.

Protesting delay in carving out the separate state, TRS quit the coalition governments in the state and at the Centre in December 2006 and continued an independent fight.


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Image: Pro-Telangana students clash with police personnel during an agitation in Hyderabad
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

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Telangana's long journey from dream to reality

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In October 2008, TDP changed its stance and declared support for bifurcation of the state.

TRS launched an indefinite hunger-strike on November 29, 2009 demanding creation of Telangana. The Centre budged and came out with an announcement on December 9, 2009 that it was "initiating the process for formation of Telangana state".

But the Centre announced on December 23, 2009 that it was putting Telangana issue on hold. This fanned protests across Telangana with some students ending their lives for a separate state.

The Centre then constituted a five-member committee on February 3, 2010, headed by former judge Srikrishna, to look into statehood demand. The committee submitted its report to the Centre on December 30, 2010.

Telagana region witnessed a series of agitations like the Million March, Chalo Assembly and Sakalajanula Samme (general strike) in 2011-12 while MLAs belonging to different parties quit from the House.

With its MPs from Telangana upping the ante, Congress made Union home ministry to convene an all-party meeting on December 28, 2012 to find an “amicable solution” to the crisis.

 


Image: TRS president K Chandrashekhar Rao eats lunch during a sit-in agitation for Telangana in Hyderabad
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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