The Telangana demand basically sprang from the identity of the Telangana people, culture, and dialect and their overall character. It is not based on the grievances of backwardness. For, the districts of what forms Telangana today were well developed even before the formation of the state. For example, they are considerably more developed than north-coastal Andhra such as Vijayanagaram and Srikakulam. Therefore, the claim that the Telangana demand was based on the grievances of economic backwardness, as is popularly believed, is somewhat misconstrued. What was important in the demand for a separate state was the identity of the Telangana people.
The seeds for the formation of Telangana as a separate state were sown in 1955 when the States Reorganization Commission recommended forming Hyderabad as a separate state, but it was not considered by the union government in its proposal while organizing the states. Telangana intellectual class and politicians accused Andhra people for colonizing the Telangana regions, for looting the land, jobs and other employment opportunities. On 1 November 1955, Telangana was merged with the Andhra region to form Andhra Pradesh and to unite all the Telugu-speaking regions into one state
With the exploitation of the Andhra region on Telangana, a violent separate Telangana agitation was started in 1969, primarily led by social groups, students and government employees. The union government interfered in the matter and framed a 6-point formula and an 8-point formula to please both the regions of the Andhra Pradesh. In spite of the provisions set by the union government, the exploitation of Telangana region continued in spheres of irrigation facilities, jobs and budget allocations and developed into a political movement in the final phase of the Telangana State formation movement in the 1990s. The rival factions formed within the Congress party demanded separate states, and the people leading these factions were also crucial in the functioning of the party
1969 to 1973: This period was marked by two political kranthi namely ‘Jai Telangana’ and ‘Jai Andhra’ movements. Social tensions arose due to influx of people from the Coastal Andhra region. Protests started with the hunger strike of a student from Khammam district for the implementation of safe-guards promised during the creation of Andhra Pradesh. The movement slowly manifested into a demand for a separate Telangana.
Some students protested for “implementation of the safe guards from Andhra Pradesh” while some protested for a “Separate Telangana”. The local newspaper Indian Express reported that the latter group were dominant.According to the 19 January 1969 edition of The Indian Express, the agitation turned violent when a crowd attempted to set fire to a sub-inspector’s residence. 17 were injured in police firing. Discussions about the promised safe-guards were held. The Telangana Regional Committee was, however, not fully convinced of the outcome. This agitation was met by a counter agitation by the Andhra students accusing the transfer Andhra employees as a discrimination between one region and the other. The transfers were eventually challenged in the high-court.
The army had to be called in. After several days of talks with leaders of both regions, on 12 April 1969, Prime minister put forth, an eight-point plan. Telangana leaders rejected the plan and protests continued under the leadership of newly formed political party Telangana Praja Samithi in 1969 asking for the formation of Telangana. Under the Mulki rules in force at the time, anyone who had lived in Hyderabad for 12 years was considered a local, and was thus eligible for certain government posts.
Telangana Praja Samithi was formed under the leadership of Pratap Kishore with the intention of leading the movement. The party however, split in November 1969 with the exit of dissident Congress leaders.
1971: In the May 1971 parliamentary elections, Telangana Praja Samithi won 10 out of the 14 Parliament seats in Telangana. Despite these electoral successes, some of the new party leaders gave up their agitation in September 1971 after realising that the Prime Minister was not inclined to towards a separate state of Telangana, and rejoined the safer political haven of the Congress ranks.Chief Minister Brahmananda Reddy resigns to make room for a Telangana Chief Minister. On 30-September-1971, P.V.Narasimha Rao – who would later become the Prime Minister of India – was appointed the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. “The Telangana Praja Samiti was dissolved and its members rejoined the Congress.”
1972: When the Supreme Court upheld the Mulki rules the Jai Andhra movement, with the aim of re-forming a separate state of Andhra, was started in Coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions. The movement lasted for 110 days. The Supreme Court upheld the implementation of Mulki rules. The people from the Andhra region viewed the Mulki rules as “treating them like aliens in their own land”.
1973: a political settlement was reached with the Government of India with a Six-Point Formula. It was agreed upon by the leaders of the two regions to prevent any recurrence of such agitations in the future. To avoid legal problems, constitution was amended (32nd amendment) to give the legal sanctity to the Six-point formula.
In 1985, when Telangana employees complained about the violations to six-point formula, government enacted government order 610 (GO 610) to correct the violations in recruitment. As Telangana people complained about the non-implementation of GO 610, in 2001, the government formed the Girglani commission to look into violations.
The people of Telangana and the political leaders of Telangana were long denied political representation within the politics of united Andhra Pradesh. This means that even though the formal structures of liberal democracy were there, the elected representatives never were taken seriously, and given positions of power or responsibility to take care of the constituencies and the people who they represented within the united AP. Political power always belonged to leaders from Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra . With the triumph of Telangana demand, what succeeded was the political representation of an area in real terms and not just in formal terms
Key Leaders of Telangana Movement
Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao
TRS president KCR is credited with breathing life back into Telangana movement after 30 years in 2000. As the dynamics of state politics changed after YSR’s death in September 2009, KCR launched his fast unto death in November 2008 to press for separate state
Fast culminated in then Union Home minister P Chidambaram announcing that the Centre would initiate the process of carving out Telangana out of AP, on December 9 2009, before backtracking again.
But KCR took the issue up on 23 December 2009, and launched Telangana Political Joint Action Committee (TJAC), which later saw pro-Telangana parties like TRS, BJP and New Democracy becoming constituent members.
A wily politician, KCR, was able to split Congress and pulled out a couple of MPs to his side while offering a merger of TRS with the grand old party.
A political science professor, M Kodandaram, with a background of civil liberties movement is a proponent of Telangana. Apart from being the academic face of T movement, he gave the much-needed traction by leading movements like Sakalajanula Samme and Million March for T. Playing the role of binding factor between the self-centered political parties like TRS and BJP, Kodandaram, a JNU product has been credited with making the Telangana voice heard in Delhi.
S Jaipal Reddy
Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy has been the man behind the scene on Telangana, a seasoned politician and real mentor for T Congress leaders went vocal from the beginning. While his camp members, including K Jana Reddy and Ponnala Lakshmiah held the T flag high, Jaipal even earned ire of the Congress high command for allegedly fanning trouble, when all partymen were asked to remain mum on T. His ego clash with CM Kiran Kumar Reddy even cost petroleum portfolio and was shifted to Science and Technology portfolio.
K Keshav Rao
Former PCC president K Keshava Rao angered over denial of RS seat in 2012 fanned T sentiments, quit Congress and lured two party MPs to TRS in June this year. This is seen as one of the main factors that forced Congress to hasten decision on Telangana.
Seen to be close to Sonia Gandhi, former PCC chief D Srinivas pulled the strings in Congress and was instrumental in organizing a mammoth rally at Nizam College Grounds on June 30 which not only showed Cong strength in Telangana region, but also convinced the Congress high command on the importance of the issue.
K Jana Reddy
Senior most in Kiran Kumar cabinet, Jana Reddy is credited to have lent a mature leadership to T Congressmen who were otherwise restive with party being unsure on statehood issue. His oranganisational skills earned accolades during the Nizam College rally, while his diplomacy appears to have moved party high command to finally take a call on Telangana.
C Daomodar Raja Narasimha
Deputy CM C Damodar Raja Narasimha was the one who represented Telangana in Congress Core Committee meet on July 12, and is credited to have pitched for the separate state as against the powerful arguments in favour of the united AP put forth by CM Kiran Reddy and PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana. While CM’s attractive financial package for T and a roadmap to keep state united appeared to have almost convinced party leaders, it was the Damodar’s 11-page report that is believed to have convinced Sonia to take a decision in favour of Telangana.
G Kishan Reddy
State BJP chief G Kishan Reddy contributed his bit to T movement by his protests. He launched the Telangana Poru Yatra, earlier this year, and travelled across the region to mobilize masses, launched fasts in Hyderabad and Delhi to draw nation’s attention.
CPI state secretary K Narayana launched protests tours across Telangana earlier this year. Keeping equal distance from TRS and BJP, CPI contributed in its own way to T movement.
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