Telangana History

Telangana or Telingana is a region in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It more or less corresponds to that portion of the state which was previously part of the princely state of Hyderabad. The region lies on the Deccan plateau to the west of the Eastern Ghats range, and includes the northwestern interior districts of Warangal, Adilabad, Khammam, Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Rangareddy, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Medak, and the state capital, Hyderabad. The Krishna and Godavari rivers flow through the region from west to east.

History of Andhra Pradesh

Telangana region was mentioned in the Mahabharata as the Telinga Kingdom which said to be inhabited by the tribe known as Telavana and said to have fought on the Pandava side in the great war of Mahabharata. It is also evident from the fact that there is Pandavula Guhalu in warangal district(wherein Pandavas spent their life in exile (Lakkha Gruham)). And, in Treta yuga, it is believed that Lord Sri Rama along with his consort Sita Devi and brother Lakshmana, spent their life in exile at Parnashala on the banks of Godavari river which is about 25 km from Bhadrachalam in Khammam District of Telangana. Telangana region has been ruled by many great dynasties like Sathavahanas, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas. Telangana came under Muslim rule in 14th century for the first time by Delhi Sultanate followed by Bahmanis, Qutb Shahis and Mughals. As the Mughal Empire began to disintegrate in the early 18th century, the Muslim Asafjahi dynasty established a separate state known as Hyderabad. Later Hyderabad entered into a treaty of subsidiary alliance with the British Empire, and was the largest and most populous princely state in India. Telangana was never under direct British rule, unlike Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh, which were part of British India's Madras Presidency.

Post-independence history

India became independent from the British Empire in 1947. The Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to retain his independence from India, but his state of Hyderabad was forced to become part of India in september 17 of 1948 as the Hyderabad State. When India became independent, the Telugu-speaking people Urdu is spoken in some parts of Telangana districts) were distributed in about 22 districts; 9 of them in the Telangana region of Nizam's Dominions (Hyderabad State), 12 in the Madras Presidency and one in French-controlled Yanam. Andhra State was the first state in India that has been formed on a purely linguistic basis by carving it out from Madras State in 1953. Andhra State was later merged with Telugu speaking area of Hyderabad State (Telangana), to create Andhra Pradesh state in 1956.

Merger of Telangana and Andhra

In December 1953, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appointed the States Reorganization Commission to prepare for the creation of states on linguistic lines. This was headed by Justice Fazal Ali and the commission itself was also known as the Fazal Ali Commission. The efforts of this commission was overseen by Govind Ballabh Pant, who served as Home Minister from December 1954. The commission created a report in 1955 recommending the reorganisation of India's states. The States Reorganization Commission (SRC) was not in favour of merging the Telangana region with the then Andhra state. Para 382 of States Reorganization Commission Report (SRC) said "..opinion in Andhra is overwhelmingly in favour of the larger unit, public opinion in Telangana has still to crystallize itself". The concerns of Telanganas were manifold. The region had a less developed economy than Andhra, but a larger revenue base (mostly because it taxed rather than prohibited alcoholic beverages), which Telanganas feared might be diverted for use in Andhra. They also feared that planned dam projects on the Krishna and Godavari rivers would not benefit Telangana proportionately even though Telanganas controlled the headwaters of the rivers. Telanganas feared too that the people of Andhra would have the advantage in jobs, particularly in government and education. Para 386 of States Reorganization Commission Report (SRC) said "After taking all these factors into consideration we have come to the conclusions that it will be in the interests of Andhra as well as Telangana area is to constitute 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 a two thirds majority the legislature of the residency Hyderabad State expresses itself in favor of such unification."

The central government decided to ignore the SRC recommendations and established unified Andhra Pradesh on November 1, 1956. However, a "Gentlemen's agreement" provided reassurances to the Telangana people.

Separate Telangana movement - 1969

In the following years after the formation of Andhra Pradesh state, however, the Telangana people had a number of complaints about how the agreements and guarantees were implemented. Discontent with the 1956 Gentleman's agreement intensified in January 1969 when the guarantees that had been agreed on were supposed to lapse. Student agitation for the continuation of the agreement began at Osmania University in Hyderabad and spread to other parts of the region. Government employees and opposition members of the state legislative assembly swiftly threatened "direct action" in support of the students. This movement, also known as Jai Telangana movement, led to widespread violence and deaths of hundreds of people and students of this Telangana region. Approximately 360 students gave their lives in this movement. Although the Congress faced dissension within its ranks, its leadership stood against additional linguistic states, which were regarded as "antinational." As a result, defectors from the Congress, led by M. Chenna Reddy, founded the Telangana People's Association (Telangana Praja Samithi). Despite electoral successes, however, some of the new party leaders gave up their agitation in September 1971 and, much to the disgust of many separatists, rejoined the safer political haven of the Congress ranks.