Monday, June 2, 2014

Telangana, India's 29th State is Born

Monday sees the end of six decades of struggle for self-rule and the birth of Telangana, the 29th state of the country.

“We achieved Telangana. The long cherished dream of the people, and mine too, has come true. It’s now a new beginning. Like the Telangana movement, there is a need for another movement for reconstruction and development of Telangana state,” said TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who will take oath as the first Chief Minister of Telangana on Monday, June 2, the Appointed Date for the formation of Telangana.

Today is a new dawn in the history of the Indian Union. For the first time — outside the Hindi- and Bengali-speaking areas — two states speaking the same language have been created. Both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the two successor states to Andhra Pradesh, that come into existence on Monday, swear by Telugu.

Telangana, which comprises 10 districts — Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Adilabad, Warangal, Khammam and Nalgonda — will soon have 24 districts if Mr Rao has his way.

By Sunday, Hyderabad had turned into a “Pink City” with TRS flags everywhere. The celebrations, which started from morning, reached a feverish pitch by evening as the darkening sky was lit by dazzling displays of fireworks, and the city was ablaze with lights. TRS, Congress and other political parties as well as pro-Telangana groups lined up a series of programmes to celebrate the formation of the new state.

The streets were full of dancing youth. Prominent landmarks like the Secretariat, Assembly, Charminar, Secunderabad Railway Station, Kacheguda Railway Station, Tank Bund, and People’s Plaza, besides other parts of the state, were lit up. People celebrated the formation of Telangana with dazzling fireworks and by distributing sweets among in Hyderabad and other parts of the newly-formed state.

Telangana supporters also took out victory rallies and distributed sweets to celebrate the occasion.

Congress leaders took out a rally on Sunday night, hailing their party president Sonia Gandhi for making separate statehood for Telangana a reality.

Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan was sworn in as the Governor of Telangana, the country's 29th state, on Monday.
Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta administered the oath to Narasimhan, who will be the common Governor to Telangana and residuary Andhra Pradesh.
Hyderabad will be the joint capital of Telangana and residuary Andhra Pradesh.

This knocks down the basis on which the internal map of the Indian Union was redrawn in the first decade after Independence. With the linguistic basis of states — language being assumed as the indicator of a homogeneous culture — being challenged, there is scope for another exercise to redraw the internal map of India. Whether this will happen or not is a moot point but the question is why did this "Telugu state" break down.

Although there was a demand for a composite Telugu state from before Independence, the Nehru-led government created Andhra Pradesh due to Congress's political interests. History has thus come full circle. In Andhra state (which was carved out of the Telugu speaking areas of then Madras state in 1953), the Congress was facing a tough electoral contest from the Communists.

So it was decided to merge Andhra with the Telugu speaking areas of the dominion of the deposed Nizam of Hyderabad. This would create a larger entity where the communists could be defeated.

The exercise created a monopoly In the 1977 post-Emergency elections, the Congress was soundly thrashed nationally but won 41 of the 42 seats in AP! The following year, Indira Gandhi romped home to the Lok Sabha from Medak.

The second unstated reason was that the Nehru government, chastened by the experience of the integration of Kashmir, did not want to leave the territories of the Nizam as they were. Therefore, while the Telugu-speaking areas went to Andhra Pradesh, the Marathi and Kannada speaking areas went to Bombay and Mysore provinces.

But the Congress chief ministers did little to promote rural empowerment or land reforms. The only chief minister who tried — Narasimha Rao — faced opposition from vested interests and was axed. Growing rural angst led to Maoism striking deep roots.

The Congress was replaced in 1983 by the Telugu Desam Party, whose founder NT Rama Rao gave a clarion call to "Telugu pride" His son-in-law Chandrababu Naidu became the first chief minister anywhere in India to latch on to economic reforms. Soon capital Hyderabad became swanky with Microsoft and others setting shop. But the countryside was neglected and farmers' suicides increased. In Telangana region, which had been bearing the burden of the Nizam's feudal rule earlier, the situation was worse.

Soon a separate state movement caught on: the people of Telangana believed that they would be better off as a separate state. Naidu lost power and was replaced by Congressman YS Rajasekhara Reddy in 2004 who started a regime of "free-ships" (free power, fee reimbursements to students, free houses, free medical treatment et al).

These moves taxed the exchequer but translated into heavy electoral gains for Congress, enabling it to form a government in New Delhi in 2009. After the sudden death of YSR, the Congress was in a tizzy even as the separate state movement gathered steam.

Then on the eve of the 2014, to beat the nationwide anti-incumbency and cash in on perceived political gain, Congress bosses passed a bill to divide the state. Unfortunately for the Congress, the move failed to reap it political dividends and it was soundly rejected in both regions.

History of Telangana explained in 10 points by indiatoday

1. The name Telangana is derived from the word Telugu Angana, which means a place where Telugu is spoken. The Nizams (1724-1948) used the word Telangana to differentiate it from the Marathi speaking regions of their kingdom

2. From 230 BC to 220 AD, the Satvahanas ruled this region between Krishna and Godaveri rivers.

3. The region experienced a Golden Age, in between 1083-1203, under the reign of the Kakatiyas who established Warangal as their capital

4. In 1309 AD, Allaudin Khilji's general Malik Kafur attacked Warangal, which led to the decline of the Kakatiyas. The region came under the Delhi Sultanate till 1687, when Golconda (near Hyderabad) fell to Aurangzeb

5. In 1724, Nizam-ul-mulk Asif Jah (Asif Jahin Nizam dynasty) established his independence and made Hyderabad the capital of the empire in 1769.

6. In 1799, the British sign an alliance with Nizam Asif Jah. The Nizam ceded coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions to the British.

7. The region remained under the British and the Nizams till 1946, the year of Telangana rebellion, which was quelled by the Nizam's Razakars (mercenaries)

8. After India's independence in 1947, the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Osman Ali Khan, refused to join the Indian Union despite repeated requests from Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel. The Indian army annexed Hyderabad and the Nizam surrendered to Sardar Patel on 17th September, 1948. Hyderabad State accedes to the Indian Union.

9. In December 1953, the States Reorganisation Commission was appointed to recommend the reorganisation of state boundaries. The panel was not in favour of an immediate merger of Telangana with Andhra state, despite their common language. With the intervention of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Telangana and Andhra states were merged on November 1, 1956. Nehru termed the merger a "matrimonial alliance having provisions for divorce".

10. In 2013, the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh clears the formation of Telangana. On June 2, 2104, K Chandrasekhar Rao takes oath as the first chief minister of Telangana, India's 29th state.

No comments:

Post a Comment