A dying feudalism is only a part of the problem. After all, feudalism has been a national problem. But in Telangana, it received hammer blows at the hands of the Socialist and Communist struggles of the forties. It received a fillip at the hands of Andhra rulers in the fifties and sixties who pushed the Hyderabad Tenancy Act under the carpet. But now it is on its last legs slowly getting converted into elitist professions and an incipient capitalism. Caste too is a part of the problem, though the Arya Samaj Movement of the thirties and forties tried to resolve it in its own manner. The weakness of the movement was that it was largely an urban movement, failing to effectively penetrate the countryside. Communalism too is a part of the problem, albeit a small part, being basically an urban phenomenon bound up with history and race memory. The basic problem of the Deccan, of which Telangana is a part, was and is total denial of participation to local people in the affairs of the state. It was not always so. Tribal kingdoms and the Kakatiyas Empire were, to the extent possible then, participatory systems, based on the concept of the welfare of people.
The attack on the participatory system came during Bahmani rule which was basically a military and imperial system. Such a system which depended on foreign mercenaries for its survival had to be exploitative, cruel and anti-local. It depended on foreign recruits even though local soldiers were available. It had to because its aim was not the welfare of people but a luxurious style of life for the foreign ruling class. Locals, both Muslims and Hindus, revolted against this, resulting first in the massacre of foreigners, Iranians and Turks, followed by decimation of local soldiers and subjugation of the countryside. The valiant Yadava queen of Golkonda fought against the Bahamanis with a small force against overwhelming odds and died a martyr. The revolt of the locals in Bidar and the Golkonda battle can be described as the first stirrings for self-rule in the Deccan. Most Qutub Shahis, on the other hand, tried to reconcile their political interests with the well-being of people. The use of the Telangana language as a vehicle both in cultural and administrative matters brought about a sense of participation in the local population. The martyrdom of Akkanna and Madanna at the hands of traitors, the resistance of Abdul Razzak Laari and the arrest and detention of Abul Hasan Tanasha, the last Qutub Shahi king, by Aurangazeb, reversed the process. The system relapsed into imperialism and the militant mentality and people into sullen silence.
The Asafjahis were aliens and their support base was mainly the north Indian gentry. They brought thousands of north-Indians to man the administration. Though Mahbub Ali Pasha, the Sixth Nizam, was a folk king, the process continued till it was challenged during the reign of the Seventh Nizam, by local Muslims who launched what is described as the Mulki (local) movement. The movement was successful and the Nizam created Mulki rules to protect local interests. During the same period Gonds of Adilabad revolted against oppressive rule. The Nizam invited Hammendorf, a reputed German anthropologist, to report on the state of affairs in tribal areas and suggest reforms. His proposals were accepted and martyrdom of Bhim did not go in vain.
Though it was laudatory that Urdu, an Indian language, was used as the language of administration and education, other language like Telugu, Marathi and Kannada also should have been used. It did not happen. The Arya Samajis too taught Hindi in their night schools, avoiding local languages. Local people, both Hindus and Muslims, were ridiculed for not knowing proper Urdu which of course meant Urdu of Lucknow and Delhi and not the Dakhani language. The Dakhani language, a beautiful product of interaction between Iranian settlers and the people of the Deccan speaking Telugu, Marathi and Kannada was totally ignored.
Events before the police Action and after were traumatic. Five thousand socialists, communists and common people died fighting Nizam`s feudal system and the Razakars, a paramilitary organisation of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslameen. Policemen and Razakars also suffered heavy casualties. Then came the Police Action. While there was not much violence in Telangana after the Police Action, Hyderabad-Karnataka and Marathwada presented a different picture.
From 1948 to 1956 Telangana passed through several phases-Military rule, Velodis rule and the induction of a popular government after elections in 1952. with Burugul Ramakrishna Rao as Chief Minister. The Hyderabad Tenancy Act, one of the most progressive acts in the history of modern India, was passed and partly implemented. The period between 1952 to 1956 can be described as the happiest period for the people of Telangana for a long time. The Hyderabad State could have continued its happy existence but for the decision to form linguistic states. Nehru and Lohia, in fact, advocated its continuance. But, as on many occasions in the past the people of Telangana were betrayed by a section of its leadership. Ostensibly on caste grounds. Brahmins belonging to the Congress raised the bogey of Reddy rule. Thus was formed Andhra Pradesh, much against the recommendations of the Fazal Ali Commission and advice of Nehru and Lohia.
The Andhra leadership still smarting at the ill-treatment meted out to them by the Tamil ruling ruling class in the old Madras Presidency, transferred the injury to the people of Telangana. But it was not merely a collective psychological problem. What was important was the lust for power and money of the feudal classes of the Andhra area, Kammas, Reddys and Brahmins. While Brahminic influence was eliminated by kammas, Reddys their own lust for land, power and money increased. They agreed lusted for the river waters of Telangana. Kammas, for a long time had been lusting for power. Their anti-Brahminism had nothing to do with the elimination of the caste system. They only wanted to replace Brahminic rule with their own dispensation. But Reddys of Rayalaseema, in alliance with the frustrated feudal elements of Telangana, checkmated them. Thus, Telangana Reddys of Rayalaseema continued to hold on to their lands and despotic power inspite of land reforms. They subjected Telangana feudals to every type of humiliation imaginable. Yet a character from this class betrayed the great peoples` movement for Telangana of 1968-1972.
As early as 1952, people of Hyderabad had revolted against alien rule. Six students laid down their lives in the anti-non-Mulki agitation. This agitation too was betrayed as also the 1956 agitation against the merger of Telangana with the Andhra State. Such is the character of Telangana leadership. Let the people beware!
The Naxalite movement itself was a product of the betrayal of the 1968-1972 movement as also tardy implementation of land reforms by the Coastal area-Rayalaseema feudal coalition. It is absurd to say that there is no feudalism in Andhra area. It is in fact along with north Bihar, the most despotic feudal system of India. Like North Bihar, it is a totally castist system too. can anybody imagine anything like Karamchedu and Chundur happening in Telangana? While both the feudal system and the caste system in Telangana have become extremely weak, they have been strengthened in the Andhra area with the influence of film capital and misuse of Telangana resources for agricultural development. A marauding capitalism has been superimposed on a casteist and feudal society. The ill-gotten film wealth and colonial exploitation of Telangana water and power resources have created an insane society. This can be seen in the casteisation and feudalisation of the communist parties. The Congress and Telugu Desam of course are the official representatives of this insanity. An attempt is being made to paper over contradictions in the Andhra area by throwing some crumbs to other castes and turning them into a comprador class. All the contradictions of the Andhra area are sought to be resolved by involving oppressed sections into a wholesale exploitation of Telangana link what was done by the ruling classes of West Pakistan in the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Wholesale exploitation of Telangana resources for the benefit of the Andhra area is accompanied by attacks on the way of life of Telangana people. In fact, the insistence on the formation of Andhra Pradesh was itself with the intention of taking control of Telangana resources. A separate Hyderabad State or Telangana would have prevented such a take-over. But people can be totally enslaved only when their language and culture are destroyed. The Andhra burden is a continuation of the notion of white man’s burden. Those humiliated by the British and the Tamil ruling class have not learnt any lessons. They imagine that they can lord it over Telangana indefinitely. The British also thought so. The sun however has set on the British empire.
Telangana language is no Telugu, Telangana people are lazy, and they are also fools and criminals at the same time: Such are the officially sanctioned Andhra attitudes. While the entire country lauds Hyderabad and its way of life the Andhra rulers are never tired of saying that Telangana people are uncultured. Thus, the suicidal attempt to subjugate Telangana permanently continues. Even the recent outburst of kapu anger after the planned killing of Mohan Ranga has been forgotten. It is one of ironies of history that oppressors do not seem to learn anything from the searing experience of history.
What is described as the Telangana movement of 1969 actually commenced in December 1968 On 6th December1968, students took out a procession from Vivek Vardhini College in Hyderabad. The procession was attacked both by rowdies recruited by so-called integrationists and the police. In the melee that ensued along, several students were injured. Thus commenced the movement. Soon in Khammam and Warangal demonstrations were organised which later spread to Nizamabad and other parts of Telangana. Integrationists decided to organise a public meeting on 6th April 1969, at Buru Mahadev Hall, Secunderabad. Students gave a call for boycott of the meeting. The meeting to be addressed by a few Congressmen and Communists, was finally held but it was a very small gathering in a small hall. But thousands hand gathered outside the hall denouncing the holding of the meeting. Policemen opened fire on a totally peaceful crowd killing several young men. The martyrdom of young men was the spark that lit the fire all over Telangana. A little before this, at a meeting of intellectuals, it was decided to from an organisation called Tellangana Praja Samithi. Pratap Kishore and Raghuvee Rao were the prime movers behind this move. A.Madan, an advocate, was elected as President. Madan Mohan had no experience in politics and was chosen mainly because most others were employees in some organisation or the other. Under the banner of Telangana Praja Samithi, the movement spread to all corners of Telangana. A remarkable feature of this movement was its totally decentralised character. Praja Samithi and Students` Action Committees were formed everywhere without any direction from above. Whenever funds were required collections were made at the local level. By March 1969, the organisation was in shape to take on the Andhra Government.
After the police firing of 6th April the agitation began building up. Finally, the Praja Samithi decided to take out a rally to Raj Bhavan on 1st May 1969 which can be described as the golden day of the movement. The Government banned the rally. For about a kilometer on all sides of Charminar, movement of people was banned. Yet a night before hundreds had left their localities and taken shelter in Ghansi Bazar, Alijah Kotla, Kali kaman and Pathargatti areas around Charminar. Most of them were from the old city. The writer himself could reach Charminar after persuading armed policemen that he was going to offer pooja at the Charminar “Gudi’ (temple). For that purpose he carried coconut, arti karpoor and agarbattis. Of course, the pooja was performed, the only pooja he preformed in his life. Parikrama too was performed around Charminar and not merely around ‘Gudi’. By that time K.V.Ranga Reddy had arrived. He had become so weak that he could be taken to the Chabutra with the greatest difficulty. He was almost blinded and deaf. Yet when he spoken his voice was firm, not betraying old age. By the time he started speaking hundreds had gathered at the site defying thousands of armed policemen. He spoke very briefly. The last sentence of his speech will ever remain etched in my memory-”Ghulami Ki Zindagi se mouth acchi hai” (death is preferable to a life of slavery). Even before he could be escorted out of the place teargas cylinders were bursting all around.
The grand old man of Telangana had spoken and people spoken with their blood. More than a hundred teargas shells were fired at the procession. But there was no stopping the procession and by the time it reached Afzalgunj it had swelled to a few thousand. The police started firing at Siddiambar Bazar area which continued all along the procession route, till it reached Raj Bhavan. But even then firing continued intermittently and Umrender Rao, President of Secunderabad College Union (Evening), fell to a bullet near Raj Bhavan. It was said later that a section of Telangana policemen had refused to open fire in the Raj Bhavan area. Yet in spite of all the tear-gassing and firing the procession continued to swell and by the time it reached Raj Bhavan there were more then fifty thousand people. It was an amazing spectacle. Generally crowds disperse as soon as policemen open fire. But here was a procession which was swelling with every round of firing. By March itself Congressmen had started infiltrating the movement. Later they proved to be Trojan horses. They started propagating the pernicious thesis that the movement needed a `leader of stature` whatever it might mean. And they started canvassing for Channa Reddy, suggesting the resignation of Madan Mohan from Presidentship. Alternatively, they threatened to form a parallel samiti. At this critical juncture, courage and common sense were needed. White Madan Mohan proved to be totally spineless, B.Satyanarayana Reddy and Badri Vishaal Pittie supported Channa Reddy`s plans. Others followed him. On 21st May 1969, six months after the agitation was launched Channa Reddy who had nothing to do with the movement, became the President of Telangana Praja Samiti. The Trojan horse had entered the organisation. He started dismantling the organisation at every level, disbanding student, trade union, NGOs and women`s Committees. Centralised collection of funds started. Corruption seeped in. Yet the movement continued since it was still alive at the grassroots level. A call had been sent out to boycott examinations to be held from 1st June onwards. The NGOs` strike was continuing. The entire administration had been paralysed.
There was heavy police firing on 1st and 2nd June. Aruna a high school student, who was picketing an examination centre near Chandarghat was killed on 1st June, 1969. Several more student fell to police bullets all over Telangana. It was then that Indira Gandhi, healding a weak minority Government, paid a flying midnight visit to Hyderabad to pacify people, perhaps also to purchase some leaders. In the meantime a parallel Samiti was formed with M. Sridhar Reddy as Chairman who soon left for America. Channa Reddy announced the suspension of the movement even though Nagam Krishna Rao and Madan Mohan had been elected to the Assembly as people’s candidates. With the approach of 1971 midterm poll, the TPS decided to contest the election and won, inspite of Channa Reddy`s leadership. Channa Reddy in a volte-face announced the merger of TPS with the Congress. Students stormed the TPS office but Channa Reddy had escaped. The merger was a stunning blow to the people of Telangana and their aspirations. More than 370 had fallen to police bullets., hundreds more had been crippled. The people of Telangana were overcome with a sense of despair and hopelessness. They had made immense sacrifices even the movement was with drawn. What else were they expected to do ?
The Socialist Party, the Republican party and a few unattached intellectuals revived the agitation under the banner of TPS and gave a call for Telangana Bandh on 23rd November 1972, which was total. A young man was killed in police firing near Charminar. In the meantime, an agitation had been started for a separate Andhra State. Congressmen soon took over the reins of that movement also which was originally led by Tenneti Vishwanathan and Gouthu Lachanna. In fact. a joint committee to fight for two separate states of Andhra and Telangana was formed of which the writer was a member. Using the Channa Reddy model Congressmen took over the Jai Andhra movement, sabotaged it and demanded cancellation of all Telangana safeguards. Channa Reddy and his Congress followers collaborated with them and all the safeguards were taken away to be replaced later by the six Point Formula.
In the meantime 1972 Assembly elections had arrived and Sampurna Telangana Praja Samiti whose President was B.Satyanarayana Reddy and the writer, the Secretary, decided to contest 49 seats. Three candidates of STPS were victorious and a large number lost with narrow margins. All this without any resources. But the decline had started and by the end of 1972 the agitation petered out. It was the longest, most spontaneous, non-party, toughest, most-intense and the greatest movement of free India. It was a totally peaceful movement. Yet those who are never tired of calling themselves followers of Gandhi unleashed the most terrible violence on the movement. Telangana had been turned into a National Police Museum. Malabar Special Police, Maharashtra Armed Police, Uttar Pradesh Armed Constabulary, Jammu Kashmir Militia, Karnataka Armed Police, Tamil Nadu Armed Police, Bihar Armed Police companies were posted all over Telangana. The Gorkha Marhatta regiments of the army were also deployed. In fact officers of the Gorkha Regiment were amazed at the ability of Telangana people to improvise new forms of agitation. Gorkhas came face to face with a 8 feet high barricade in Hussaini Alam area and could not believe that it was erected by civilians !
Yet most horrible atrocities were inflicted on the citizens. Lakhs went to jail. Most school and college buildings in Telangana had been turned into prisons. With Telangana jails full, detainees were sent to Rajahmundry and Vizag jails. White no Andhra was touched in Telangana two Telangana citizens were burnt alive in the Andhra area. We were witnessing the unfolding of regional fascism of the worst kind.
I cannot forget a few incidents. In the 1952 agitation the shirt of a slain student had been turned into a flag-the red flag of anger, martyrdom and relentless battle was fluttering in the air and policemen were firing at the procession on the Abids Chowrasta. On women’s satyagraha in 1969 day I saw hundreds of women, from the age of 15 to 75 marching along the Puranapul-Hussaini Alam road towards Charminar and being lathicharged by policemen, On another day about twenty young men singing, an Urdu song “Telangana, Telangana Telangana ki Jai” were marching towards a police platoon posted near Charminar to stop processions. There are thousand of such stories. A leaderless agitation head emerged morally victorious even though politically betrayed. But the movement continued, undaunted by betrayals. Twice every year large numbers gathered at the Martyrs Memorials in Secunderabad and Hyderabad and paid tributes to martyrs. In January, 1986 some activists decided to form `Telangana Information Trust`. Soon “Ma Telangana” was launched, which was closed down after seven months due to financial troubles. More then a thousand people had gathered at its inaugural function at Basant Talkies, Kachiguda,. Around 1991 two organisations, Telangana Student Front and Telangana Liberation Students Organisation were launched in Osmania Universty. In 1992 the Kakatiya Unit of Telangana Students Front was formed. A national seminar on small state was held in Landscape Gardens and Tagore Auditorium in August 1993 . Surendera Mohan inaugurated the conference and Justice Madhav Reddy addressed the gathering. George Fernandes addressed the concluding session. Delegates from various parts of the country including Vilas Bhongade from Vidarbha and Laxman Dasti from Hyderabad-Karnatak attended the conference. Both TSF and TLSO organised demonstrations on and outside O.U.campus and forced Osmania University to sanction 15 per cent supernumerary seats to Telangana students.
Stirrings of a new movement could be clearly seen in Warangal on 1st November 1996 at the Telangana Praja Samiti convention attended by more than five thousand delegates from all parts of Telangana. The Hyderabad convention was held on 1st December 1996 and after that a series of conferences, group and public meetings have been held at Godavarikhani, Karimnagar, Siddipet,Jangaon, Aler, Ghanpur, Nizamabad, Khammam, Nalgonda, the old city of Hyderabad and Bhongir. The Bhongir conference and the public meeting proved to be a turning point. The Bhongir conference was addressed among other by Kaloji Narayan Rao, Dr. Jayashankar, Prof.P.L. Vishweshwer Rao, Dr.Srinivasulu, Sidda Reddy, Dr.Simhadri and many others who had come from all parts of Telangana. The public meeting presided over by shri Mallayya Gupta, a respected Communist leader and addressed by Gaddar among others was a huge gathering, much beyond the expectations of organisers. Gaddar called upon the people to launch a totally peaceful agitation for achievement of a separate state while the writer called for a new type of leadership from grassroots upwards, emphasizing total control over leaders by masses. A mong parties opposing the Telangana movement of 1969 were the Communist party, Jan Sangh and Majlis-Ittehadual-Muslimeen. While the first two represented upper-caste, upper-class section of the Andhra area, the Majlis represented upper-caste, upper-class, and non-Daccani section. However both Hindus and Muslims supported the movement and dealt a crushing blow to all the above mentioned parties in the 1971 Lok Sabha elections. The role of Daccani and Urdu in the Telangana movement cannot be ignored. While Telugisation is a historical and necessary process it would be a folly to ignore Urdu and Daccani. Such an act would be a repetition of Nizam`s mistake in ignoring Telugu, Marathi, Hindi and Kannada. Hindi and Urdu are based on Dahhani and Khadi Boli. They are a part of our heritage. Who can forget the part played by Maqdoom Mohiuddin, Ibrahim Jalles, Sulaiman Areeb, Raja Dube, Jeelani Bano, Om Prakash Nirmal and many others who have enriched the politics and culture of Telangana through their. writings. The Andhra elite in their linguistic chauvinism of regarding Guntur Telugu as the only Telugu have tried to rodeo roughshod over Telangana Telugu and Daccani as also Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, and Kannada, Similarly tribal language were sought to be destroyed. New Telangana will nurture all these languages which are a part of our cultural and literary heritage.
Telangana now stands on the verge of another movement for liberation from aliens and for participatory politics. What the people of Telangana do now and how colonialists react will decide the future course of Indian politics. The demand for small states is a demand for responsible and participatory politics. The Telangana movement of 1969 was the first Indian struggle for economic and cultural autonomy. The movement going on now has added a demand for social emancipation. This is as it should be. The whole world is moving towards liberation from racism, sexism and casteism. Telangana has stood in the vanguard of such movements for the last fifty years and awaits correct leadership. What then shall we do now? The job is not to liberate Telangana from a colonial system but also to liberate Andhras from their selfishness and greed which is increasing in leaps and bounds. The liberation of Andhras, however, can only commence with the formation of a separate state of Telangana. How do we visualise Telangana? Because people are asking us for whom Telangana is sought to be formed? What is the point in fighting for Telangana if nothing is to change? One thing that will change for sure is that we will have control over our resources, jobs and education. But, that has to be only the beginning. Other policies have to be visualized and projected.
A Historical Perspective
The people of Telangana are once again restive, reiterating their demand for a separate state.
The States Reorganization Commission (SRC) set up by the government of India in early 50s to
The Commission came to this conclusion after a dispassionate assessment of feelings of the
The Demand for a Separate State
K. Jayashankar garu..
A Historical Perspective
The people of Telangana are once again restive, reiterating their demand for a separate state.
The demand of the people of this region for a separate state is not a new development. It was
voiced much before the formation of Andhra Pradesh and continues to be raised even thereafter.
The reason for the opposition of people of Telangana to join Visalandhra (metamorphosed to
Andhra Pradesh) was fear of neglect and injustice in the enlarged state and the reason for their
refusal to continue in the present state is the actual experience of becoming victims of neglect
The States Reorganization Commission (SRC) set up by the government of India in early 50s to
examine the question of reorganization of states of the country was, in fact, not in favour of
merging the Telangana region with the then Andhra state. After a very careful examination of
the issues involved the SRC recommended:
“... It will be in the interest of Andhra as well as Telangana if, for the
present, the Telangana area is constituted into a separate state which may be
known as the Hyderabad state, with provision for its unification with Andhra
after the general elections likely to be held in or about 1961, if by two-thirds
majority the legislature of the residuary Hyderabad state expresses itself in
favour of such unification”. (SRC Report: Para 386)
The commission further recommended:
“Andhra and Telangana have common interests and we hope these interests
will tend to bring the people closer to each other. If, however, our hopes for
the development of the environment and conditions congenial to the
unification of the areas do not materialize and if public sentiment in
Telangana crystallizes itself against the unification of the two states,
Telangana will have to continue as a separate unit”. (SRC Report: Para
The Commission came to this conclusion after a dispassionate assessment of feelings of the
people of Telangana and the fears entertained by them. Elaborating the reasons for
recommending statehood for the Telangana region the Commission observed:
“One of the principal causes of opposition to Visalandhra also seems to be
the apprehensions felt by the educationally backward people of Telangana
that they may be swamped and exploited by the more advanced people of the
Coastal areas...The real fear of the people of Telangana is that if they join
Andhra they will be unequally placed in relation to the people of Andhra and
in this partnership the major partner will derive all the advantages
immediately while Telangana itself may be converted into a colony by the
enterprising Andhras”. (SRC Report: para 378)
*Former Vice Chancellor of Kakatiya University, Warangal
Further, the SRC cautioned the nation against the dangers involved in reorganizing the Indian
states solely on linguistic considerations. One of the rational criteria recommended by the
Commission, while reorganizing the states, was:
“…to reject the theory of ‘one language one state’ which is neither justified
on grounds of linguistic homogeneity, because there can be more than one
state speaking the same language without offending the linguistic principle,
nor practicable, since different language groups, including the vast Hindi
speaking population of the Indian Union, cannot always be consolidated to
form distinct linguistic units”. (SRC Report: para 163)
In addition, the Prime Minister of the time, Jawaharlal Nehru, also was not in favour of merging
Telangana with the Andhra state. He ridiculed the demand for Visalandhra as an idea bearing a
“tint of expansionist imperialism”. (Indian Express, October 17, 1953).
Yet, paradoxically, the state of Andhra Pradesh was formed on 1st November 1956 - ignoring the
wishes of people of Telangana, against a categorical recommendation of the SRC and contrary to
the views of the tallest leader of the time, Jawaharlal Nehru. It was the outcome of manipulative
The merger of Telangana with Andhra was, however, not unconditional. It was facilitated by a
number of solemn promises made and constitutional safeguards given to the people of the region
as a protective umbrella against the possible exploitation in the enlarged state. These promises
were made not once. They were made umpteen times (and were also broken umpteen times).
Nor the merger of Telangana with Andhra was considered eternal. No less a person than
Jawaharlal Nehru himself compared it with matrimonial alliance having “provision for divorce”
if the partners in the alliance cannot get on well. (Deccan Chronicle, March 6, 1956). As feared,
nothing could prevent the successive governments from exploiting this region in every spear –
economic, political, administrative, cultural and linguistic.
The Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1956, which was an assurance of fair play given to the people of
Telangana to facilitate the formation of Andhra Pradesh, was scuttled the very same day on
which the state was born, by the very same “Gentlemen” who were signatories to the agreement.
The result was a massive revolt of the people of the region in 1968-69 demanding separation of
Telangana from the state of Andhra Pradesh. It has come to be known as Jai Telangana
Movement. The governments of the time in the state and at the centre then woke up and tried
(or pretended) to undo the damage done to the region. The first step taken in that direction was
the All Party Accord of January 1969 arrived at a meeting of the leaders of all political parties in
the state convened by the then chief minister Brahmananda Reddy. But it was shelved in less
than six months time. Thereafter, a couple of packages were announced by the prime minister of
the time, Indira Gandhi, styled as Eight Point Formula and Five Point Formula. When the
modalities of giving effect to these packages were being worked out the supreme court of India
gave a historic judgement validating, what were then known as, Mulki Rules. This judgement
upheld the rule of reserving employment and educational opportunities available in Telangana
exclusively for the residents of this region. But the political elite of Andhra region did not digest
these corrective measures. The result was another agitation for a separate state, and this time for
a separate Andhra state. It is referred to as Jai Andhra Movement. The leaders of Jai Andhra
Movement demanded either scrapping all the safeguards given to the people of Telangana
including the judgement of supreme court of India on the validity of Mulki Rules or bifurcating
Andhra Pradesh into Andhra and Telangana states. It may not be out of place to recall that
Venkaiah Naidu and Chandrababu Naidu, among others, were in the forefront of Jai Andhra
Movement. The government of India yielded to the pressure of political might and money power
of the majority region and nullified, by an act of parliament, almost all the safeguards given to
the people of Telangana including the annulment of judgement of the highest judicial authority
of the country on Mulki Rules. As an alternative, the so-called Six Point Formula, a diluted form
of safeguards, was foisted on the people. Even this formula has been, and continues to be,
violated with impunity, robbing the people of Telangana of whatever little was left in the name
All these exercises ultimately turned out to be futile as they were, at best, attempts to treat the
symptoms rather than the malady. Consequently, the exploitation of the region and its people
continued (and still continues) unabated under the patronage of political leadership irrespective
of the region it hailed from and irrespective of the party it belonged to. In this process the socalled
concept of Telugu Brotherhood has become an empty rhetoric placing the people of
Telangana in an extremely unenviable position. Deprived of their legitimate share in the fruits of
development, marginalized in the political process and administrative setup, belittled on the
cultural and linguistic fronts they are virtually reduced to the status of second-rate citizens in
their own homeland. Therefore, the demand for a separate state continues to persist.
The objective of following paragraphs is to present a comparative account of region-wise
development achieved in some of the vital sectors. The sources of data are the reports published
by the state government and other official agencies.
It is to be noted in this context that when the state of Andhra Pradesh was formed there were
only two recognized regions - Andhra and Telangana - since Rayalaseema was considered a part
of Andhra. After the Andhra Agitation of 1972 and the resultant imposition of Six Point
Formula, the state was divided into seven zones, within the framework of three regions, namely,
Coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema, and Telangana, treating the capital city as a separate entity. The
rationale underlying this decision was to make the capital city equally accessible to the people
living in all parts of the state. This has the appearance of fairness, but in reality it has deprived
the people of Telangana of their legitimate right by a subtle play, which made the twin cities of
Hyderabad and Secunderabad more accessible to the people of Coastal Andhra and
Rayalaseema, and more inaccessible to the people of Telangana. It is, therefore, necessary not to
mistake the development of capital city with the development of Telangana region or any other
region for that matter.
The main factors that generally form a basis for evolving strategies of development of a region
are its geographical area and population, besides resource endowment and levels of development
already achieved. Geographically, Telangana is the largest region of the state covering 41.47%
of its total area, while Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema Cover 33.75% and 24.51%,
respectively. It is inhabited by 40.54% of the state’s population, coastal Andhra accounting for
41.69% and Rayalaseema for 17.77%. The contribution of Telangana to the state’s revenues has
all along been more than 50%. The region is literally encircled by two major rivers of south
India, Krishna and Godavari, and is traversed by a large number of tributaries of these rivers. It is
one of the largest coal producing areas of the country and is rich in forest wealth and other
natural resources. It has inherited from the much-maligned feudal regime fairly well developed
assets like railway system, industrial units and the capital city. In spite of all these advantages the
region has remained backward not only because of the neglect meted out to it but also because of
the unending exploitation of its resources, natural as well as financial, for the development of
other regions of the state. The development of Telangana region has, therefore, to be assessed
keeping these basic factors in view.
The Development Scenario
A comparative picture of development that has taken place in different sectors over the last 47
years, highlighting the imbalances that still persist in the levels of development between different
regions of the state, is given hereunder:
One of the major grievances of the people of Telangana has all along been, and continues to be,
the raw deal meted out to the region regarding the allocation and utilization of river waters. It is,
however, not an unexpected development. It has happened as was feared at the time of merging
Telangana with Andhra. The States Reorganization Commission also noted this fact by
“When plans for future development are taken into account, Telangana fears
that the claims of this area may not receive adequate consideration in
Vishalandhra. The Nandikonda and Kushtapuram (Godavari) projects are,
for example, among the most important which Telangana or country as a
whole has undertaken. Irrigation in the coastal deltas of these two great rivers
is, however, also being planned. Telangana, therefore, does not wish to loose
its present independent rights in relation to the utilization of the waters of the
Krishna and the Godavari”. (SRC Report: Para 377)
Telangana is encircled by two major rivers of south India i.e., Krishna and Godavari. Within the
state of Andhra Pradesh, 68.5% of catchment area of river Krishna and 69% of catchment area of
river Godavari are in the Telangana region. In addition, most of the tributaries of these rivers
traverse its length and breadth. If waters of these rivers flowing through the region are utilized,
almost every acre of cultivable land available in Telangana could be provided with assured
irrigation facilities and every village could be provided with assured drinking water facilities.
But Telangana has been denied its rightful share in the river waters by the successive
governments over the last four and a half decades, irrespective of the political parties and leaders
While determining the share of waters of river Krishna among the three riparian states i.e.,
Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the Bachawat Tribunal allocated 811 TMC ft. of
water to Andhra Pradesh. The allocation of water among different regions of the state has,
however, been the prerogative of the state government. If catchment area is taken as the principal
criterion for allocation of waters between different regions of the state, as is normally done
between different states of the country, Telangana should get 68.5% of the 811 TMC ft. If
cultivable area, rainfall, subsoil levels of water, backwardness, etc., also are taken into account
Telangana region would be entitled to not less than 70% of the total quantum of water allocated
to the state. But the allocation made for the projects in the Telangana region was only around
32%. If the actual utilization of water is taken into account it is only about 10 to 11%. It has
happened so because:
i. Prakasam Barrage which is meant exclusively for the benefit of Coastal Andhra is
getting two times more water than what is legally allocated to it. Therefore, it is able
to irrigate more than 12 lakh acres of land for the first crop and more than half of it
for the second crop – all water-intensive wet crops.
ii. Nagarjuna Sagar meant to benefit Andhra and Telangana regions equally is modified
in such a way that 75% of the benefit is accruing to Coastal Andhra reducing the
share of Telangana region to just 25%. Consequently, an area of more than 15 lakh
acres is getting irrigation facilities for the first crop and more than half of it for the
second crop in the coastal districts – again all water-intensive wet crops. But the
Telangana area gets this facility hardly for 5 lakh acres. Further, settlers migrating
from the Andhra area own nearly half of these lands.
iii. Srisailam Project which was originally a power project is now converted into a multipurpose
project. Yet the Telangana region does not get even a single drop of water
from it. It has only a right bank canal to facilitate irrigation in the Rayalaseema
region. Further, its capacity has been increased by 3 times when compared to what
was originally contemplated. It has now three sluices - one for the Srisailam Right
Branch Canal, one for the Telugu Ganga Project and the other styled as Escape
Channel. Except for the Srisailam Right Bank Canal there is no clearance for the
other two from the government of India. This project has the potential to irrigate 6 to
7 lakh acres of land in the Rayalaseema region and Nellore district besides providing
drinking water to Chennai city. But the left bank canal meant for the benefit of
Telangana region has been abandoned. The canal which is now styled as the Srisailam
Left Bank Canal (SLBC) and rechristened as Alimineti Madhava Reddy Project is a
missnomer. It is neither on the left bank of Srisailam Project nor does it draw water
from the Srisailam Reservoir. It is, infact, a lift irrigation project on the Nagarjuna
Sagar dam. When completed it can irrigate hardly about 1.5 lakh acres. Further it is
also contemplated to draw water from this canal to meet the drinking water
requirements of capital city. If it happens the SLBC will become another Singur. It
should be remembered that Singur project was built to meet primarily the irrigation
needs of Medak and Nizamabad districts. But it is now solely used for meeting the
requirements of capital city leaving the farmers of Medak and Nizamabad in a lurch.
iv. Jurala Project which is the first project on river Krishna meant for Telangana, is the
smallest of all the projects built on this river. The Bachawat Tribunal allocated just
17.5 TMC ft. water for this project, and the state government reduced its storage
capacity to 11 TMC ft. But the actual utilization so far has not been more than 2
TMC ft. This is the fate of the first project on river Krishna – the only project meant
exclusively for Telangana - from which the state is drawing 811 TMC ft. of assured
water and 200 to 300 TMC ft. of surplus water.
v. Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme, taken up before the formation of Andhra Pradesh by
the then government of Hyderabad was envisaged to provide irrigation facilities to
87500 acres in Mahabubnagar district of Telangana region. The Bachawat Tribunal
also allocated 15.90 TMC ft. of water for this project. This water has to pass through
a canal in Raichur district of Karnataka State. After the formation of Andhra Pradesh
some landlords of Kurnool district have not been allowing this water to reach
Mahabubnagar. They break the gates of the reservoir and divert water to their fields.
Some of these landlords belong to the ruling party and one of them is also a member
of the state assembly. As a result, the land which was to be irrigated by this facility
has become more or less a desert. All this is happening with the connivance of
people in authority.
Consequently, out of nearly 35 lakh acres being irrigated under the projects built on river
Krishna, hardly 5 lakh acres are benefited in the Telangana region and rest in the other regions.
While this is the scenario regarding the region-wise utilisation of Krishna waters the powers that
be are contemplating to construct Pulichintala on the down stream of Nagarjuna Sagar to further
augment irrigation facilities in the already developed Krishna delta. This project will immensely
benefit the coastal districts while the Telangana will not get even a drop of water out of it. Not
only that, more than 30,000 acres of developed ayacut in the Nalgonda district of Telangana
region will be submerged.
It is at this stage that the question of allocation of Krishna waters between three riparian states
i.e., Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is coming up for review. It is also the stage to
review the allocation and utilization of Krishna waters among three regions within the state of
Andhra Pradesh. If the injustices done in the past are not rectified by reallocating water, it will
inflict immense damage especially on the Telangana region which would be beyond rectification
in future. Therefore, the people of Telangana are insisting that before going to the new tribunal
the state should sort out the issues involving allocation of waters between different regions of the
state. But, the state government argues that we should not take up the problem of internal
allocation at this stage. First we should protect the interest of the state and sort out inter-regional
problems later. This argument hardly carries any conviction with anybody not only in the
Telangana region but also in the Rayalaseema region. Because of the flouting of moral and legal
commitments made in the past and discriminatory policies followed all through the past 47 years,
the people of the region cannot take these promises seriously. When the government says
“protecting the interest of the state” it actually means “protecting the interest of Coastal Andhra”
alone. It has been the sad and bitter experience of the people of this region right from day one of
the formation of the state.
No debate on utilization of river waters in Andhra Pradesh can be complete and comprehensive
unless the position regarding the utilization of Godavari waters also is examined. The Bachawat
Tribunal allocated 1480 TMC ft. of water to Andhra Pradesh, but half of this water is yet to be
utilized. The Coastal Andhra region has been the major beneficiary of the water already utilized.
Under the Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage in Dhawaleswaram more than 12 lakh acres of land is
getting irrigation facilities with nearly half of it growing more than one crop. But in the
Telangana region, the area irrigated with the Godavari waters is not even 5 lakh acres. Therefore,
the people of this region demand that the remaining water still available in Godavari should be
utilized mostly, if not solely, for the benefit of Telangana region. The government has been
making only promises, day in and day out on this score, but nothing has been done so far and is
not likely to be done in near future. The construction of much publicised Devadula Project for
which foundation stone was laid in the midst of election campaign in June 2001, and promised to
be completed by 2003 by the Chief Minister himself, is yet to commence. It is really not
understandable as to how a project proposed to irrigate 5 lakh acres could be completed in less
than 3 years, when even after 40 long years the Sriramsagar Project is yet to be completed and at
present is able to irrigate just 4 lakh acres. It is one of the umpteen number of empty promises
made to the people of Telangana.
The other two major projects proposed on river Godavari are Ichampally and Polavaram.
Ichampally is meant for Telangana and Polavaram for Coastal Andhra. Prima-facie it appears to
be fair. But the facts are different. The irrigation potential of Polavaram Project would be 6 to 7
times more than the irrigation potential of Ichampally. Further, Ichampally is going to be
primarily a power project because of the inter-state issues involved. If that is going to happen,
Ichampally would ultimately become a balancing reservoir to ensure a perennial flow of water
into Polavaram first and Dawaleswaram next. Consequently Telangana would be permanently
doomed. The other projects that are talked about are Sri Ram Sagar Project Stage II, Sri Ram
Sagar Flood Flow Canal and barrages at Yellampalli and Dummagudem. Even if they are
completed –which is a big if- all of them put together will not have a capacity to utilize more
than 50 TMC ft. of water.
Added to this, there is a proposal to interlink all major rivers of the country to form a national
water grid. It is claimed that it would augment the flow of water in river Godavari which in turn
could be flown into river Krishna to meet the requirements of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema,
besides further extending it down south into Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kelara. This is a
fantastic proposition. It was infact rejected twice in the past. When the government has failed to
fully utilize even the water still available in Godavari which is to the tune of more than 700 TMC
ft. what does it proposes to do with a further inflow, which in any case is imaginary? The real
intention of the ruling sections is to divert the untapped water of river Godavari to Coastal
Andhra and Rayalaseema regions depriving the Telangana regions of its due share in Godavari
waters as well.
Because of the factors enumerated above the benefit of irrigation through the canal system under
major irrigation projects is accruing substantially, i.e. 74.25%, to the Coastal Andhra region.
While the share of Telangana is just 18.20%, the remaining 7.55% goes to the Rayalaseema
region. Consequently, the farmers in Telangana depend mostly on well irrigation which is
becoming prohibitively expensive day by day. Table I gives more details in this regard.
Area Irrigated by Sources, Region-wise, 2000-2001
Other Other Area Irrigated S.No. Region Canals Tanks Tube Wells Gross Area
more than once Irrigated
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 Costal 1,224,559 401,708 341,209 131,002 123,366 2,221,844 674,359 2,896,203
Andhra (74.25) (55.27) (32.00) (14.75) (62.72) (49.07) (49.16) (48.95)
2 Rayalseema 124,567 55,609 261,739 168,077 13,515 623,507 154,846 778,353
(7.55) (7.65) (24.55) (18.93) (6.87) (13.77) (11.29) (13.16)
3 Telangana 300,261 269,492 463,390 588,884 59,811 1,682,378 542,528 2,241,591
(18.20) (37.08) (43.46) (66.32) (30.41) (37.16) (39.55) (37.89)
Andhra 1,649,387 726,809 1,066,338 887,963 196,692 4,527,729 1,371,733 5,916,147
Pradesh (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00)
Note : 1. One hectare equals to 2.47 acres.
2. Figures shown in brackets are percentages of total area irrigated in the State by the sources concerned.
Source: Bureau of Economics and Statistics, Andhra Pradesh
While this is the scenario with regard to canal irrigation, the situation regarding the other two
sources of irrigation i.e., tanks, as also wells is equally bad.
At the time of formation of Andhra Pradesh the area irrigated under tanks in the Telangana
region was more than 11 lakh acres. During the last 47 years the state government must have
spent several thousands of crores of rupees for the maintenance and development of minor
irrigation facilities. Therefore, the area under Tank Irrigation should have substantially increased.
But it is going down steeply year after year and now stands at hardly 6.5 lakh acres. Details
regarding the pace of this decline are given in Table II.
Area under Tank Irrigation in Telangana
Decline between 1956 & 2001
(Area in Hectares)
Area irrigated by % increase (+) or
S.No. Year decrease (-) from
1 2 3 4
1 1956 447,236
2 1961 411,494 - 07.10
3 1971 448,368 + 00.25
4 1981 349,730 - 21.80
5 1991 392,212 - 12.30
6 1997 284,919 - 36.30
7 1998 107,715 - 75.92
8 2001 269,492 - 39.74
Note: One hectare equals to 2.47 acres.
Source: Statistical Abstracts of A.P. for the years concerned
published by the Bureau of Economics and Statistics, A.P.
It has happened so because silt accumulated in the tanks is not removed, breached tanks are not
repaired and some of the tanks that were operational have been deliberately damaged to promote
urbanisation in and around major towns and cities especially the capital city of Hyderabad. In
this process small and marginal farmers became helpless, abandoned cultivation and sold their
lands in distress, at a throw away price, to the rich migrants from Coastal Andhra. These lands
became a goldmine for the migrant settlers to do real estate business. Development of areas in
the name of Film City, Hi-Tech City, East City and proposed International Airport in these lands
has thrown the local people not only out of their profession but also out of their homes.
In this situation the farmers of Telangana are left with only one alternative i.e., well irrigation.
But the well irrigation has many disadvantages as compared to canal irrigation. canal irrigation is
ensured by the government by spending on construction of dams, digging of canals and
supplying water to the fields every season. The entire cost is borne by the government i.e.,
spending tax-payers money. In return the farmer pays about 200 to 250 rupees per acre per
annum as water charges. It is extremely negligible when compared to the huge amounts spent by
the government. This practice is necessary to support agriculture sector in any region or in any
state for that matter. Therefore, no one will grudge this. But the same facility is not extended to a
majority of farmers in Telangana who depend mostly on well irrigation. The farmer will have to
pay from his pocket for sinking well and for buying a pump-set. In addition he has to pay power
tariff which is increased every year. He has to also incur huge expenses on getting the water
pumps repaired as they are frequently damaged because of erratic fluctuations in voltage. As a
result, a farmer in the Telangana region depending on well irrigation is compelled to spend 2 to 3
thousand rupees per acre per annum in addition to capital investment on sinking well and
installing pump-set. Consequently, most of the farmers in Coastal Andhra get water at a heavily
subsidised rate of 200 to 250 rupees per acre per annum besides not spending anything on the
infrastructure. On the other hand, most of the Telangana farmers spend huge amounts ranging
from 2000 to 3000 rupees per acre per annum besides investing heavily on infrastructure.
How can this unjust disparity be justified? It is because of this reason that the farmers of
Telangana region are demanding free supply of electricity for agricultural operations at least
until they are provided with the facility of canal irrigation. It is not a question of charity. It is a
question of establishing parity between different regions of the state with regard to the cost of
getting water for irrigation.
The ongoing debate on irrigation facilities, especially on utilisation of river waters in Andhra
Pradesh has, therefore, many dimensions – economic, political, moral, legal and also emotional.
It has the potential to determine the future of the state itself.
At the time of formation of Andhra Pradesh it was assured that disparities in the levels of
development in different regions of the state, including the field of education, would be removed
in five to ten years time. But even after 47 years the literacy rate in Telangana continues to be
lowest in the state. The region-wise details are given in Table III.
Literacy Rates (2001 Census)
S.No. Region Literacy Rate
Persons Males Females
1 2 3 4 5
1 Coastal Andhra 63.58 71.38 55.69
2 Rayalseema 60.53 72.68 48.04
3 Telangana 58.77 69.49 47.77
Andhra Pradesh 61.11 70.85 51.17
Notes: 1. Literates exclude children in the age group 0-6 years who were by definition
treated as illiterate in the Census of India, 2001
2. Literacy rate is the percentage of literates to population aged 7 years and above.
Sources: 1. Census of India, 2001
2. Bureau of Economics & Statistics, AP.
Comparative Position: National Average: 65.38, A.P. Average: 61.11, Ranking of
Telangana vis-à-vis 35 states and Union Territories: 32
This has happened because of uneven distribution of educational facilities in different regions of
the state. A region-wise breakup of facilities available at the crucial levels of education is given
here under. The important point to be kept in view in this regard is the percentage of population
spread over different regions of the state, i.e. Coastal Andhra 41.69%, Rayalaseema 17.77% and
Telangana 40.54%. This is necessary to assess the adequacy or otherwise of the facilities of
education created vis-à-vis the size of population and the levels of literacy achieved.
The data chosen for this analysis pertains to the year 2001- the latest made available by the
government. During this period there were 60,60,394 students in the state enrolled in the
primary schools run by the government, local bodies and private managements (aided and
unaided). The region-wise breakup is: Coastal Andhra 27,57,269 (45.50%), Rayalaseema
13,02,673 (21.49%), Telangana 20,00,452 (33.01%). It should be realized that unaided primary
schools do not reflect endeavor of the government, and if such institutions were not taken into
account the position would be much worse in Telangana. More details are furnished in Table IV.
Primary Education, Region-wise
(As on 30.09.2000)
Sl.No Region/Management No.of schools Enrolment Teachers
Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total Men Women Total
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
1 Coastal Andhra
a. Government & 23,230 94 23,324 1,181,394 1,192,478 2,373,872 35,547 20,005 55,552
Local bodies (44.47) (25.13) (44.33) (43.20) (43.88) (43.54) (44.70) (52.22) (47.14)
b. Aided 1,642 10 1,652 139,016 142,559 281,575 2,341 2,773 5,114
(83.06) (66.67) (82.93) (79.06) (79.63) (79.35) (77.85) (76.20) (76.95)
c. Un-aided 527 1 528 57,639 44,183 101,822 1,608 2,040 3,648
(40.88) (16.67) (40.77) (40.04) (40.56) (40.27) (41.74) (39.17) (40.26)
Total 25,399 105 25,504 1,378,049 1,379,220 2,757,269 39,496 24,818 64,314
(45.76) (26.58) (45.62) (45.11) (45.89) (45.50) (45.72) (52.63) (48.16)
a. Government & 11,887 57 11,944 595,699 595,584 1,191,283 16,635 8,609 25,244
Local bodies (22.75) (15.24) (22.70) (21.78) (21.91) (21.85) (20.92) (22.47) (21.42)
b. Aided 207 2 209 22,757 23,836 46,593 417 460 877
(10.47) (13.33) (10.49) (12.94) (13.31) (13.13) (13.87) (12.64) (13.20)
c. Un-aided 325 1 326 37,672 27,125 64,797 918 1,395 2,313
(25.21) (16.67) (25.17) (26.17) (24.90) (25.62) (23.83) (26.79) (25.53)
Total 12,419 60 12,479 656,128 646,545 1,302,673 17,970 10,464 28,434
(22.37) (15.19) (22.32) (21.48) (21.51) (21.49) (20.80) (22.19) (21.29)
a. Government & 17,123 223 17,346 957,849 929,654 1,887,503 27,350 9,694 37,044
Local bodies (32.78) (59.63) (32.97) (35.02) (34.21) (34.62) (34.39) (25.31) (31.44)
b. Aided 128 3 131 14,067 12,626 26,693 249 406 655
(6.47) (20.00) (6.58) (8.00) (7.05) (7.52) (8.28) (11.16) (9.86)
c. Un-aided 437 4 441 48,631 37,625 86,256 1,326 1,773 3,099
(33.90) (66.67) (34.05) (33.79) (34.54) (34.11) (34.42) (34.04) (34.21)
Total 17,688 230 17,918 1,020,547 979,905 2,000,452 28,925 11,873 40,798
(31.87) (58.23) (32.05) (33.41) (32.60) (33.01) (33.48) (25.18) (30.55)
5 Andhra Pradesh
a. Government & 52,240 374 52,614 2,734,942 2,717,716 5,452,658 79,532 38,308 117,840
Local bodies (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00)
b. Aided 1,977 15 1,992 175,840 179,021 354,861 3,007 3,639 6,646
(100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00)
c. Un-aided 1,289 6 1,295 143,942 108,933 252,875 3,852 5,208 9,060
(100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00)
Total 55,506 395 55,901 3,054,724 3,005,670 6,060,394 86,391 47,155 133,546
(100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00)
Note: Figures shown in brackets are percentages of totals of the state under the heads concerned
Source : 1. Bureau of Economics & Statistics, A.P.
2. Directorate of School Education, A.P.
Regarding the facilities available for collegiate education (degree colleges) the position is more
or less the same. If the salary component paid to the teachers is taken as the basis for assessing
the spread of these facilities between different regions of the state, Telangana’s share in the total
expenditure incurred by the state government would be 37.85% in respect of government
colleges and 21.59% in respect of aided colleges. Further details can be seen in Table V.
Collegiate Education - Degree Colleges (2001)
Colleges Enrolment Teachers
Boys Girls Total Men Women Total
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
(Andhra & Nagarjuna
a. Government 57 16483 13794 30277 946 301 1247
(32.39) (22.07) (25.10) (23.36) (28.48) (38.64) (30.41)
b. Private aided 93 80777 44358 125135 3447 1255 4702
(51.38) (57.37) (53.00) (55.74) (63.14) (53.91) (60.38)
c. Private unaided 236 42095 32110 74205 3004 1089 4093
(36.80) (33.95) (34.94) (34.37) (36.75) (32.28) (35.44)
Total 386 139355 90262 229617 7397 2645 10042
(38.68) (41.05) (39.15) (40.29) (43.63) (40.80) (42.85)
(S.V. and S.K.D. University
a. Government 54 25103 15262 40365 1078 232 1310
(30.68) (33.61) (27.78) (31.14) (32.45) (29.78) (31.94)
b. Private aided 33 28455 13181 41636 1119 285 1404
(18.23) (20.21) (15.74) (18.54) (20.50) (12.24) (18.03)
c. Private unaided 118 17833 9406 27239 1527 422 1949
(18.41) (14.38) (10.23) (12.62) (18.68) (12.51) (16.88)
Total 205 71391 37849 109240 3724 939 4663
(20.54) (21.03) (16.42) (19.16) (21.96) (14.50) (19.89)
(Osmania & Kakatiya
a. Government 65 33103 25890 58993 1298 246 1544
(36.93) (44.32) (47.12) (45.50) (39.07) (31.58) (37.85)
b. Private aided 55 31573 26176 57749 893 788 1681
(30.38) (22.42) (31.26) (25.72) (16.36) (33.85) (21.59)
c. Private unaided 287 64058 50388 114446 3644 1863 5507
(44.77) (51.67) (54.83) (53.01) (44.57) (55.21) (47.68)
Total 407 128734 102454 231188 5835 2897 8732
(40.78) (37.92) (44.43) (40.55) (34.41) (44.70) (37.26)
a. Government 176 74689 54946 129635 3322 779 4101
b. Private aided 181 140805 83715 224520 5459 2328 7787
c. Private unaided 641 123986 91904 215890 8175 3374 11548
Total 998 339480 230565 570045 16956 6481 23436
Note: 1. Figures furnished by the government are university-wise. They, however, conform to the figures
relating to respective regions with a little overlap in respect of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema areas.
2. Figures shown in brackets are percentages of totals of the state under the heads concerned.
Sources: 1. Commissionerate of Collegiate Education, A.P.
2. Directorate of Economics and Statistics, A.P.
Private colleges getting grant-in-aid from the government are playing a crucial and dominant role
in the realm of collegiate education in the state. The state government has been admitting year
after year several private colleges into grant-in-aid. The details regarding the admission of
private colleges into grant-in-aid between 1985 and 2000 are given in Table VI.
Admission of Private Degree Colleges to Grant-in-Aid
(Between 1985 and 2000)
No Region No. of Colleges No. of Sections No. of Posts
1 2 3 4 5
1 Coastal Andhra 96 98 523
(60.38) (49.49) (42.25)
2 Rayalaseema 32 61 511
(20.13) (30.81) (41.28)
3 Telangana 31 39 204
(19.50) (19.70) (16.48)
159 198 1238
(100.00) (100.00) (100.00)
Note: Figures given in brackets are percentages of totals of the state under the heads concerned
Source: Department of Higher Education, A.P.
As could be seen the share of Telangana continues to be lowest, i.e. less than 20% in the total
quantum of grant-in-aid. All this is happening inspite of the claim of the government that it is
trying to remove disparities and do justice to Telangana.
It is very often argued that all the state-level and national-level universities located in the capital
city belong to the Telangana region. If it were to be so what benefit this region has derived from
their location in Hyderabad? Atleast what percent of staff recruited by these universities belongs
to Telangana? It is not even 10%. Further, some of the state-level and national-level universities
are located in the other regions of the state as well, but none in Telangana districts. The details
are as under:
There are six universities, two in each of the three regions, with their jurisdiction restricted to the
regions concerned. The Osmania University, however stands on a different footing because of
its location in the capital city and also for historical reasons. The imposition of Six Point
Formula has, in a way, nullified its regional character.
In addition to the six universities with regional jurisdiction there are seven more universities with
their jurisdiction over the entire state. None of these universities is located in Telangana
districts. Of these seven universities, the University of Health Sciences is located in Coastal
Andhra, the Women’s University and University of Dravidian Languages are situated in the
Rayalaseema region. The other four universities, i.e. Agricultural University, Technological
University, Open University and Telugu University are in the capital city. Agricultural and
Technological Universities have campuses and colleges in the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema
regions as well, but no such campus or college exists in Telangana districts.
It may be recalled that the Technological University was actually started in Warangal but was
subsequently shifted to Hyderabad under the pretext of locating all state-level universities in the
capital city. Similarly, the Open University was orginally launched at Nagarjuna Sagar in
Nalgonda district but was later shifted to Hyderabad again under the pretext of locating this
state-level university in the capital city. There are two more institutions of higher learning,
deemed to be universities namely the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences and Sri
Venkateshwara Institute of Medical Sciences. The former is in the capital city and the latter is at
Tirupati in the Rayalaseema region. In addition, a Sanskrit University funded by the government
of India and Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, a deemed university in private sector, also
are in the Rayalaseema region.
There are three more institutions in the capital city that are fully funded by the University Grants
Commission. They are: The Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, The University
of Hyderabad and Urdu University. The University of Hyderabad established in the year 1975 is
an offshoot of the Six Point Formula. The primary objective of establishing this university in
Hyderabad was to augment the facilities of university education to compensate, atleast partially,
the loss sustained by the Telangana region under Six Point Formula. But no one, neither in the
government nor in the university, seems to remember this fact of history and thereby the very
purpose of starting this university has been defeated. Today the University of Hyderabad is as
good -or as bad- as any other central university in the country in so far as giving preferential
treatment to any particular region in matters of admission of student and recruitment of staff is
concerned. Consequently, out of 21 universities and university-level institutions funded either
by the state government or the federal government or self-financed, 3 are located in Coastal
Andhra districts, 7 in Rayalaseem districts, 10 in the capital city and only 1 in Telangana
Location of a university in a district place facilitates and contributes to the development of that
area. For instance, the University of Health Sciences has considerably improved the medical
facilities in and around Vijayawada city, besides providing employment opportunities to the
locals. Similarly the University of Dravidian Languages has changed the very face of Kuppam
village in the Rayalaseema region. No one grudges this. But the question is as to why the
Telangana districts are deprived of such facilities. When Technological University and Open
University were shifted to Hyderabad from Warangal and Nalgonda the reason given was to
locate the state-level universities in the capital city. But the same logic is not applied in respect
of University of Health Sciences, Women’s University and the University of Dravidian
Languages. They too are state-level universities.
Development of education affects, and in turn gets affected by, the pace of economic
development. There is a bi-directional linkage, and in this process the low rates of literacy and
economic backwardness sustained each other. This is precisely the problem of Telangana.
- No major industry worth its name has been setup in any of the districts of Telangana region
as compared to the establishment of several industries in Visakapatnam, Vijayawada,
Kakinada, Nellore, Tirupati, and Cuddapah.
- Quite a few major industries established in the Telangana region during the period of much
maligned Nizam are being closed one after the other by the successive governments.
Important among the closed industries are: Azamjahi Mills (Warangal), Sir Silk Factory
(Sirpur), Antargaon Spinning Mills (Adilabad), DBR Mills (Hyderabad), Allwyn Factory
(Hyderabad), Republic Forge (Hyderabad). Further, the famous Nizam’s Sugar Factory
(Nizamabad) is put on sale.
- Twelve milk chilling plants established by the erstwhile Telangana Regional Committee in
different parts of Telangana have been abruptly closed down.
- The fertilizer factory at Ramagundam is closed because of, among other factors, inadequacy
of power supply and poor quality of coal made available. This fertilizer plant is in the coal
belt of the region and large quantities of good quality coal available here are diverted to
other regions for feeding thermal plants there. A national super thermal power plant is
situated in Ramagundam itself and its operation is solely dependent on coal and water
supplied by the Telangana regions, ignoring other pressing requirements of the people of the
region. These major inputs available locally are, ironically, not accessible to a locally
situated fertilizer plant. Coinciding with the decision to close down the plant, a decision is
taken to set up a new fertilizer plant at Nellore in Coastal Andhra.
- The industrial development that has taken place in and around the capital city has not
benefited the people of Telangana in any way. The land, water, power and other
infrastructure facilities made available to these industries belong entirely to Telangana; yet
the migrants from other regions grab more than 95% of the jobs offered by these industries.
- The environmental pollution caused by the industries in and around Hyderabad is going
unchecked because the sufferers are mostly Telanganites.
- There are about 15 lakh jobs in the government and government-funded offices and
establishments. Based on the size of population at least 40% of these job, i.e. 6 lakhs,
should have gone to the job seekers from Telangana. But the total number of jobs now
occupied by them is less than 3 lakhs.
- There are more than 5,000 employees in the state’s secretariat. Out of them not even 10%
belong to the Telangana region.
- There are more than 130 posts of heads of departments. Out of them only 7 or 8 are held by
the officers belonging to the Telangana region.
- There are 23 district collectors. One rarely finds an officer from the Telangana cadres
holding that position.
- The state government issued orders - the much publicized G.O. 610 - as back as in the year
1985 to remove all the non-locals appointed in the vacancies meant for the youth of
Telangana and to appoint only Telangana locals against all resultant vacancies. Besides not
implementing these orders further recruitment of non-locals in the Telangana region is
One of the doubts expressed about Telangana, if it is made a separate state, is regarding its
financial viability. The fact is that the financial viability of state of Andhra Pradesh itself is
dependent on the contribution of Telangana to the revenues of the state. It might sound
incredible to those who entertain doubts about the viability of Telangana as a separate state. It is,
therefore, necessary to know the region-wise contribution to the state’s exchequer under major
heads of revenue. It is also necessary to have a look at the conditions prevailing at the time of
formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956. For this purpose one has to once again look at the report
of the States Reorganisation Commission which had categorically stated:
“The existing Andhra state has faced a financial problem of some magnitude
ever since it was created; and in comparison with Telangana, the existing
Andhra state has a low per capita revenue. Telangana, on the other hand, is
much less likely to be faced with financial embarrassment… Whatever the
explanation may be … the result of the unification will be to exchange some
settled sources of revenue, out of which development schemes may be
financed, for financial uncertainty similar to that with which Andhra is now
faced. Telangana claims to be progressive and from an administrative point of
view, unification, it is contended, is not likely to confer any benefit on this
area” (SRC Report: para 376)
What had happened to Telangana because of its merger with Andhra is precisely what was
predicted by the SRC. Even now the contribution of Telangana to the state’s revenues under
some major heads continues to be far higher than the contribution of other two regions. For
instance, sales tax and excise collections constitute about 43% of total revenue of the state. The
region-wise contribution is explained in Table VII.
Important Sources of State's Income - Region-wise
2000 - 01
(Rs. in Lakhs)
A - Sales Tax
Sl Collectable Demand Collection Balance
Arrear Current Arrear Current Arrear Current
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 Coastal Andhra 34,397.65 127,492.82 1,524.53 120,879.95 32,873.12 6,612.87
(20.92) (20.60) (8.80) (21.07) (22.34) (14.62)
2 Rayalaseema 9,760.68 22,366.29 151.27 18,963.38 9,609.41 3,402.91
(5.94) (3.61) (0.87) (3.31) (6.53) (7.52)
Telangana 120,295.24 469,012.24 15,657.66 433,796.29 104,637.58 35,215.95 3
(73.15) (75.79) (90.33) (75.62) (71.12) (77.86)
Andhra Pradesh 164,453.57 618,871.35 17,333.46 573,639.62 147,120.11 45,231.73
(100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00)
B - Excise Collections
Sl Collectable Demand Collection Balance
Arrear Current Arrear Current Arrear Current
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 Coastal Andhra 1,601.76 306.23 19.96 294.22 1,581.80 -
(24.86) (24.64) (22.03) (23.90) (24.90) -
Rayalaseema 1,392.45 123.42 13.17 123.42 1,379.28 - 2
(21.61) (9.93) (14.54) (10.03) (21.71) -
Telangana 3,449.00 813.31 57.46 813.31 3,391.55 - 3
(53.53) (65.43) (63.43) (66.07) (53.39) -
Andhra Pradesh 6,443.21 1,242.96 90.59 1,230.95 6,352.63 -
(100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) -
Note: Figures shown in brackets are percentages of total receipts of the state under the heads concerned.
Source: Bureau of Economics and Statistics, A.P.
These figures clearly show that nearly 75% of receipts under the head ‘sales tax’, the single
largest source of revenue, and more than 55% of excise collections are contributed by Telangana
to the state’s exchequer.
The other major head of revenue consists of state’s share in central taxes and grants-in-aid. In
determining this share, backward regions of the state facilitate higher allocation by the
successive Finance Commissions. Therefore, Telangana is entitled to a higher share in these
revenues as well. Even if population, and nothing else, is taken as the criterion Telangana’s
share would be more than 40%.
It is evident that the overall contribution of Telangana to the state’s revenue will in any case be
more than 50%. But, the expenditure incurred on this region has never been more than 25% to
30%. For instance:
Expenditure incurred in different regions on construction and maintenance of major irrigation
projects should be normally in proportion to the potential created in the respective regions.
Telangana’s share on this score is just 18.20% (by the end of 2001).
Revenue expenditure on education consists mostly of salary component paid to the staff working
in government institutions and private aided institutions. The share of Telangana as a percent of
the total expenditure of the state on salaries of staff in educational institutions in 2001 is as
i. Primary schools (government): 31.44%
ii. Primary schools (aided): 9.86%
iii. Degree colleges (government): 37.85%
iv. Degree colleges (aided): 21.79%
These are only samples. The situation in other sectors is also more or less the same.
The state has been borrowing heavily from the World Bank and other international and national
agencies said to be for developmental activities. The quantum of loan has already exceeded
50,000 crores of rupees. But there is no transparency with regard to region-wise allocation of
these funds, atleast broadly, for the development of those regions. Even if 1/5 of these
borrowings were spent on irrigation projects most of the projects would have been completed by
Demographic Variation and Colonisation
The rate of growth of population of the state during the decade 1991-2001 was significantly low
(13.86%), as compared to many other states and also the national average (21.36%). So far so
good. Where does Telangana stand in this regard? It makes an interesting -may be an
intriguing- study. During this decade, Telangana registered a growth of 17.66% against 9.88%
by Coastal Andhra and 15.19% by Rayalaseema. The rate of growth in Telangana is also higher
as compared to other south Indian states, namely, Kerala (9.42%), Tamil Nadu (11.19%) and
Karnataka (17.25%). In fact, the rate of growth of population of Telangana has all along been
higher than the rate of the other two regions during the last five decades. The details are given
in Table VIII.
Population: Decade/Region-wise Growth (1951-2001)
No Region 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
1 Coastal Andhra
a. Population 14433481 16338804 19724599 23742657 28733203 31570722
b. Growth Rate of the Decade 13.20% 20.72% 20.37% 21.02% 9.88% 118.73%
c. % of Total Population of
the State 46.17 45.41 45.34 44.34 43.20 41.69
a. Population 6074320 6932858 7960214 9625931 11685725 13460253
b. Growth Rate of the Decade 14.13% 14.82% 20.93% 21.40% 15.19% 121.59%
c. % of Total Population of
the State 19.43 19.27 18.30 17.97 17.57 17.77
a. Population 10752332 12711785 15817895 20181085 26089074 30696566
b. Growth Rate of the Decade 18.22% 24.43% 27.58% 29.27% 17.66% 185.49%
c. % of Total Population of
the State 34.40 35.33 36.36 37.69 39.23 40.54
a. Population 31260133 35983447 43502708 53549673 66508008 75727541
b. Growth Rate of the Decade 15.11% 20.90% 23.10% 24.20% 13.86% 142.25%
c. % of Total Population of
the State 100 100 100 100 100
Sources: 1. Directorate of Census Operations, A.P.
2. Bureau of Economics and Statistics, A.P.
This phenomenon has been causing demographic imbalances between Telangana and other
regions of the state. At the time of formation of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana region accounted
for 34.40% of total population of the state. It has now gone upto 40.54%. During this period, the
component of Coastal Andhra has gone down from 44.17% to 41.69% and of Rayalaseema from
19.43% 17.77%. It is happening not because of a higher rate of fertility or a lower rate of
mortality in the Telangana region. It is the result of a continuous influx of Andhra migrants to
this region. To put it the other way, it is the result of a planned process of colonisation. In
addition to socio-economic factors there is also a political dimension to it. These migrant
settlers are so deeply entrenched in the region that they are able get elected as the representatives
of people of this region. Nearly 10% of the members elected from Telangana to the state
assembly and union parliament belong to this category. Quite a few of them also become
ministers claiming to represent Telangana region. There may not be anything wrong about it
under the constitution of the country. But there is a moral dimension to it, which cannot be
ignored. If they are loyal to the people and the area responsible for their induction into the
power structure, no body can find fault with them. But the problem with this brand of leaders is
that their loyalties are always with the place of their origin and not with the place that has
facilitated their growth in political field. Most of them do not like to even utter the expression
The Capital City:
An impression is sought to be created that the development of twin cities of Hyderabad and
Secunderabad took place after they became the capital of Andhra Pradesh. It is a travesty of
truth. The fact is that the plight of erstwhile Andhra state in locating its capital could be
mitigated only because of the formation of Andhra Pradesh and giving to it, on a silver platter, an
already well developed capital of erstwhile Hyderabad state. The States Reorganization
Commission also was very clear on this issue. Listing out the arguments put forth by the
votaries of Vishalandhra the Commission observed
“This will also solve the difficult and vexing problem of finding a permanent
capital for Andhra, for the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are
very well suited to be the capital of Vishalandhra”. (SRC Report: para 371)
The development that has taken place in and around the capital city, after the formation of
Andhra Pradesh, is natural and is comparable to the development that has taken place in other
major cities of the country. It is to be realized that at the time of formation of Andhra Pradesh,
Hyderabad was the fifth largest city in the country and even now it continues to be in the same
position. On the other hand, the growth of Visakhapatnam has been faster than the growth of
Hyderabad and Secunderabad cities. People who maintain that the development of Hyderabad
and Secunderabad took place because it is a part of Andhra Pradesh seem to believe that the
development of Visakhapatnam took place inspite of it being a part of Andhra Pradesh.
Whatever be the development that has taken place, the real question is as to who are its
- The imposition of Six Point Formula has deprived the people of Telengana, among other
things, of their legitimate rights on the facilities developed in the capital city by their
forefathers over a period of four hundred years.
- The facilities available in the capital city are now more accessible to the people migrating
from Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions and more inaccessible to the people of
Telangana. In this process non-locals have become locals and the locals have become nonlocals.
- The development taking place in and around the capital city cannot be an indicator of
development of Telangana region as mostly the settlers and migrants from the other regions
of the state reap its fruits.
- Construction of flyovers, widening of roads, development of Hi-Tech cities etc., will not
address the serious problems confronting the people in the other nine districts of Telangana.
Cholera deaths in Adilabad, spread of malaria in the tribal belt, suicides by farmers in
Warangal, Karimnagar and Khammam, suicides by weavers in Karimnagar, eternal famine
conditions in Mahabubnagar, flurosis in Nalgonda, fall of ayacut under Nizamsagar,
pollution in Ranga Reddy and Medak and so on need to be attended to on a priority basis.
But they never get the attention they deserve.
- The film industry that has flourished in the capital city because of innumerable concessions
given to it in terms of allocation of land, water, electricity etc., depriving the common man
of Telangana of these facilities, is solely controlled by the Andhra migrants.
- The film industry monopolized by the Andhras does not allow Telangana talent to flourish
and the industry also indulges in a sustained game of making fun of linguistics and cultural
variations of this region.
- The near monopoly control enjoyed by the Andhra settlers on real estate transactions and
land speculation in and around Hyderabad and Secunderabad has already spread to a radius
of nearly 100 kilo meters around the capital city resulting in the displacement of thousands
of poor farmers and farm workers of the local areas.
- The identity of Telangana - its history, culture, language, polity etc.- is fast getting eroded
because of the Andhra onslaughts. Examples: erecting at important places the statues of
only Andhra leaders like N.T. Rama Rao, Kasu Brahmananda Reddy, Damodaram
Sanjeevaiah, Puchalapalli Sundaraiah including those who never had anything to do with
Hyderabad or Telangana, or even Andhra Pradesh for that matter, like Tanguturi Prakasam,
Potti Sri Ramulu, Alluri Sitarama Raju, Tripuraneni Ramaswamy Chowdary, Raghupati
Venkataratnam Naidu etc; re-christening places and institutions as Sanjeeva Reddy Nagar,
Vengal Rao Nagar, Potti Sri Ramulu Nagar, Sanjeevaiah Park, Brahmananda Reddy Park,
Sundaraiah Park, NTR stadium NTR. Ghat, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy Sagar, Potti Sri
Ramulu Telugu University, N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, Kaleshwar Rao Bhavan;
naming structures after Balayogi, Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy and so on. The ruling classes
totally ignore the Telangana stalwarts like K. V. Ranga Reddy, Dasarathi Krishnamacharya,
Vattikota Alwar Swamy, Komuram Bhim, Ravi Narayana Reddy, Shoebulla Khan,
Baddam Yella Reddy, Arutla Kamala Devi, Kaloji Narayan Rao and a host of others. Even
Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, who was primarily responsible for the merger of Telangana with
Andhra state, was also forgotten for a long time. The ongoing debate on Telangana seems
to have influenced the state government to erect his statue recently in the city - 35 years
after his death. But the place chosen for that is not commensurate with the stature of
Burgula and his contribution to the state.
SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
The demand for a separate state of Telangana is naturally raising a number of questions. Some
are raised out of ignorance, some out of bias and some out of genuine concern for maintaining
status quo. In any case these questions need to be answered. An attempt is made here:
Why the issue of separate Telangana is being raised once again?
The demand of the people of Telangana for a separate state is not a new development. It was
voiced much before the formation of Andhra Pradesh and continues to be raised even thereafter.
The reason for the resistance of people of Telangana to join Visalandhra was fear of exploitation
in the enlarged state and the reason for their reluctance to continue in the present state is the
actual experience of being exploited.
Is it not a bogey raised, off and on, by the disgruntled politicians?
If it were to be so, how could the demand sustain itself for nearly five decades? Opportunistic
elements do infiltrate in to any movement of the people. But such aberrations cannot under-mine,
every time, the genuine aspirations of the people. When formulations ranging from the extreme
left (PWG) to the extreme right (BJP) of the political spectrum support - or claim to support - the
demand for a separate state, in some form or the other, does it not reflect popular urge of the
people? Can it be brushed aside for ever? What about the voice being constantly raised by the
intelligentsia and practitioners of learned professions who do not have any vested interest in
practical politics? Is it of no consequence? Can it be ignored just like that?
Is there no alternative to the demand for a separate state?
All possible alternatives have already been experimented with – The Gentlemen’s Agreement,
The All Party Accord, The Eight Point Formula, The Five Point Formula, The Six Point Formula
and what not? Were they not experiments to safeguard the interests of Telangana within the
integrated state of Andhra Pradesh? Have any of these agreements been implemented? Have any
of these solemn pledges been redeemed? Have any of the judicial pronouncements including the
verdict of Supreme Court of India been honored? Now what else is left to be further
What did the Chief Ministers who belonged to this region do while they were in power?
P. V. Narasimha Rao, M. Chenna Reddy and T. Anjaiah did become Chief Ministers of the state.
But what was the duration of stewardship of all of them put together? It was hardly 5 years, in
the state’s history of 47 years, that too in bits and pieces - to be precise, in four spells and each
spell spanning a few months. It should be noted that J. Vengal Rao was a migrant from Coastal
area. He never came out of his moorings and he never identified himself with the hopes and
aspirations of people of Telangana. Some of his decisions caused immense damage to the
P. V. Narasimha Rao made a feeble attempt in 1972 to implement the verdict of Supreme Court
validating the Mulki Rules. The verdict was in favour of Telangana. But the reaction from the
other regions was so instantaneous and so wild that in the process P. V. Narasimha Rao lost his
Chief Ministership and the Telangana region lost all its safeguards. Even the verdict of the
highest judicial authority of the country was nullified. This can happen to any leader from
Telangana in that position. Because, their survival depends upon the support of the area which
has a numerical majority in the political setup and has greater money power to influence the
political process and administrative machinery. The problem, therefore, lies essentially in the
nature of political equations between the developed and backward regions and not necessarily in
the persons holding positions of power. The States Reorganization Commission eloquently
commented upon this as well.
Even if it is assumed that the leaders of a region becoming chief ministers can contribute to the
development of that region, then why do the people of Rayalaseema complain of backwardness?
This state has been ruled for two decades, and continues to be ruled even now, by the chief
ministers hailing from that region. And that too not by ordinary men, but by stalwarts like N.
Sanjeeva Reddy (twice), D. Sanjeevaiah, K. Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy (twice) and N. Chandra
Babu Naidu (already twice). They too could not - and would never - go against the dictates of
the affluent region for their political survival.
Rayalaseema and North Coastal Andhra also are backward. What is so special about
Telangana to ask for a separate state on this score?
It is true that these two regions also are backward. They too have been, like Telangana, victims
of neglect. But Telangana has an additional problem i.e. diversion of its resources, which
legitimately belong to it, for the development of other regions. Best - or worst - examples are
diversion of river waters and other natural resources, financial resources, employment
opportunities and so on. This has been going on unabated. The other two regions do not have
such problem. That Rayalaseema is relatively better developed than Telangana in several aspects
is a different story. So is the case with regard to industrial development of Visakapatnam in
North Coastal Andhra.
Further, Telangana can be a viable unit as a separate state and can be better developed. This was
also endorsed by the SRC. Above all, the people of the region want to have it. Why should the
people of Telangana keep quiet even if their counterparts in Rayalaseema and North Coastal
Andhra are contented with whatever is given to them?
How many smaller states can this country have?
More than half of the states in the country are smaller than Telangana. They are: Assam,
Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Jammu &
Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Goa, Chatteesgarh, Jarkhand and Uttaranchal.
Further, West Bengal and Kerala also are smaller than Telangana in geographical area. Then
why all doubts about and objections to conferring statehood on Telangana, which would be the
largest of the smaller states in the country?
What about linguistic unity and cultural identity?
Next to Hindi, largest number of people in India speak Telugu. If there can be nine Hindispeaking
states with the possibility of some more coming up, what is wrong in having more than
one state for Telugus? It may be recalled that the SRC recommended the creation of separate
Telangana state in addition to the already existing Andhra state. The SRC, in fact, never wanted
language to be the sole criterion for reorganizing Indian states. The most intriguing part of the
whole argument of the so-called linguistic unity is that the Telangana dialect is ridiculed with
impunity especially by the cine field and mass media. Who controls them is an open secret. Can
such things go on without the connivance of ruling classes? Otherwise what hell the agencies
expected to censor films and TV serials are doing? In such humiliating conditions what is the
significance of linguistic and cultural unity? Has it not become totally meaningless?
Are the Naxalites responsible for the backwardness of Telangana?
Of late, this question has become some sort of a political slogan of the ruling classes. Therefore,
it needs to be examined dispassionately. While doing so one need not agree with the philosophy
of Naxalites and certainly need not endorse their acts of violence. The issue on hand is different.
If the argument of the government is based on facts it should be substantiated with empirical
evidence. How does one explain the following facts?
- Mahabub Nagar district is less affected by the Naxalite Movement as compared to the North
Telangana districts. Then how is it that Mahabub Nagar is more backward than all the
districts of North Telangana? It is not only the most backward district in the region and the
state but is also one of the backward districts in the entire country.
- Kothagudem Thermal Plant and Ramagundam Thermal Plant are in the areas where the
Naxalites have been very active for the last three and a half decades. How is it that various
stages of development of Kothagudem Thermal Plant are being completed ahead of the
schedule? How is it that Ramagundam Thermal Plant is getting awards year after year for
its good performance?
- The entire coal belt is in Naxal-effected areas of the Telangana region. The coal produced
here is transported on a large scale to other regions without any hindrance. Have the
Naxalites stopped this activity any time?
- Even a private sector industry, the AP Rayons, is functioning well in the midst of
Warangal forests - the nerve centre of Naxalite activity. How is it functioning if Naxals are
- Visakhapatnam district also is an important centre for Naxals. How is it that Vizag has
emerged as a major industrial town not only in the state but also in the entire country?
- Besides not starting any new industries in the region, several industries established by the
much-maligned Nizam are being closed one after the other. Examples: Azamjahi Mills, Sir
Silk Factory, Anthargaon Spinning Mills, Republic Forge and DBR Mills. The Alwyn
factory has already been sold. The Nizam’s sugar factory is also put on auction. Are the
Naxalites responsible for the closure of all these industries?
- The Telangana Movement of 1968-69 was a massive revolt of the people against the
exploitation of the region. Where were the Naxalites then?
It should be realized that the growth and spread of Naxalite Movement in Telangana is a
consequence of backwardness of the region and not a cause for its backwardness. But the
powers that be are trying to reverse the causal relationship. The people of the region have a
feeling, and justifiably so, that the ruling sections will see to it that the issues emanating from the
Naxalite Movement are never attended to with the seriousness and earnestness they deserve.
They have a vested interest in doing so. They can use it as a pretext to further neglect the region
in the realm of development.
What is the role of political parties in this regard?
- The Congress party and its leaders of the region have the reputation of talking about
Telangana when they are out of power and forgetting about it while in power.
- The Telugu Desam and its leaders of the region have the unique distinction of not talking
about Telangana whether in power or out of it. In fact, most of them are not even capable of
understanding the issues involved.
- The Communist parties boast of their preparedness to fight injustice and discrimination
found anywhere in the world. But, what has happened in Telangana during the last four and
a half decades never bothered the comrades.
- The BJP has excelled all other parties in playing hide and seek with this issue.
If political parties and political leaders fail to protect the interests of the people whom they claim
to represent, should the people subject themselves to misery and suffering forever? History tells
us that it is the will of the people that ultimately prevails. It is only a question of time.
Hanamkonda, 506 011
Warangal, (AP) INDIA