By: J R Janumpalli
The merger of erstwhile Hyderabad state with Andhra state was a historical blunder. The State Reorganization Commission had specifically recommended against it. Pandit Nehru opined that it was Andhra’s imperialistic design. But, agreed to it against his own judgment by the lobbying of Andhras and the bogey of communism. Justice Fazal Ali the Chairman of the SRC stated that Telangana and Andhra regions were very disparate. They differed very widely in their social, economic and political environment. He feared that Andhras will dominate and colonize Telangana in a big way. The political equation was also very much against Telangana – It is 119 MLAs of Telangana against 175 of Andhra. It was also against the will of Telangana people; hence the Gentlemen’s Agreement, Regional council, Mulki rules etc.The sixth sense of Nehru and Fazal Ali has so stunningly proved true that its veracity is manifested all over present day Telangana. The prophesy not only came true but the damage thereon exceeded their cautious estimates. The vulnerable life of Telangana people just liberated from centuries of feudal dominance was let loose to the political greed of Andhras. The result is for every body to see. In just 55 years, Telangana people are reduced to second class citizen status in their own native land.
Telangana struggle is older than the creation of any new state in India after independence. There was an agitation to send back Madrasi and Andhra non-mulkis imported by military and the civil administration between 1948 and 1952. 7 students were killed in Police firing. There was opposition to the merger in 1956. There was a massive uprising in 1969, the state government crushed it ruthlessly, killing 369 students and youth of Telangana. It was the most brutal police action on its own people in independent India. Now in the present phase, the struggle is going on since a decade. In this episode about 1000 youth have committed suicides because of the u-turn made by the central government on Telangana declaration in Parliament. This kind of self killings had never happened in world history.
14 new states were created in India after independence. No where such deplorable tragic events occurred for the creation of a new state. Some were so lucky that even without much ado their wishes were fulfilled. It is not known why Telangana is so jinxed? Even after such prolonged agitations and sacrifices of such magnitude their wish is never fulfilled. It is probably, an irony of fate. Telangana people came out of their feudal state, to experience the discrimination in the military and civil governments before 1952.They got their own state in the republic of India, as one of 14 original states. Then they had a brief interlude of 4 years of real democracy from 1952 to 1956 where Telangana was ruled by its own people. That is all. Then comes the forced merger with Andhra state, which had ushered in the era of neo-feudalism of Andhra hegemony. It is a real proverbial throwing in to the fire from the frying pan of pre 1952 regime. The people of Telangana in hindsight started feeling that Nizam’s government was looking more benevolent than the callous Andhra and central governments.
All the new states in India have performed well. Haryana region which was comparable to Telangana state was separated in 1966 and has overtaken the formidable Punjab. Gujarat which has seceded from Maharashtra in 1969 is now in the vanguard of development. Even the recently formed new states also are flourishing. But because of the historical blunder and insensitive power politics of central government, the destiny of Telangana was fully jeopardized If Telangana continued to be a separate state from 1952 it would be a premier state in the country to day. Even if it was separated in 1969 it would have developed like Haryana and Gujarat. The congress party in cahoots with Andhras have changed the destiny of Telangana. And continues to play its diabolic game even to day. Its freezing of 9 December 2009 declaration of Telangana state for the last 3 years is the height of its particular stranglehold on the future of Telangana. Andhras have not only stagnated the development of the region for the last 55 years but plundered its resources making an irrecoverable loss to its people in many vital areas. In a way 2-3 generations of Telangana people are adversely affected by the infamous merger.
But such day light like truths do not register with the Congress party and its proxy central government. They in concert with Andhras come up with any number of bogeys, to continue the misery of Telangana people. All the bogeys like consensus, small states, and encouraging divisions in other states are all hogwash. In fact Telangana is a unique case and has all the credentials to be a separate state. It got liberated from Nizam and joined Indian Union. Technically it was a different country at the time of its joining the Union of India in 1948.While whole of India got independence on 15 August, 1947.Telangana got its independence on 17th September 1948.It became a state of Indian Republic in 1950 along with other original states. Where as, Andhra at that time was a part of Madras and was the first state to secede on the basis of language in 1953, even before SRC was formed. Andhra’s separation from Madras has never had any relation with Hyderabad state.
Hyderabad the erstwhile Telangana state was a full fledged, economically viable state with its high land revenue and excise income. Though its hinterland was made backward, Hyderabad city was developed commensurate with its size and revenue by Nizam for his personal prestige among the Indian principalities. The penchant of Nizams for wealth also made Hydearabad a rich city with first class infrastructure and enormous public property. These riches had become a bane for Telangana and made the Andhras to covet these endowments. They came in with the excuse of one ethnicity and one language. Many people from Telangana also believed in an open-hearted way that Andhras are genuinely interested in forging a vibrant Telugu culture between Andhra and Telangana people. But it never came to that. The Andhra people in general have shown a subtle snobbery and kept Telangana people and their culture at an arms length in the beginning. Slowly and steadily they started asserting themselves using their political majority and completely dominated Telangana in all walks of life exhibiting their colonial hegemony as suspected by Justice Fazal Ali.
The political majority was used to make Andhra populace enjoy the benefits of infrastructure and revenue pushing the local people aside. There was a systematic exploitation of natural resources and other state level facilities for the advantage of Andhras. The culture and language of Telangana was ridiculed and roughshod over by Andhras. Telangana political leadership was made subordinate by buying the support of central leadership with the ill-gotten money from Telangana.Now in this phase of Telangana struggle all the things that were kept under wraps are coming out clearly. In fact the systematic looting of Telangana by Andhras has percolated in to Telangana folklore. Hundreds of folk writers, singers have cropped up at the grass root level and started to echo spontaneously the anguish of Telangana in a brilliant upsurge of ethos. That more than any thing is the testimony of the depth and spread of exploitation of Telangana in the united state,
As we can see from above the merger of Hyderabad state with Andhra was peculiar and differed with the formation of other new states in a radical manner. It was not an adjustment of areas as in case of other states, with mutual agreements. It was a forcible whole sale merger of Telangana with Andhra, with several pre-conditions. All the conditions were breached with out any exception. Even the conditions upheld by Supreme Court of India were also amended in Parliament. The new conditions advantageous to Andhras were promulgated with out consent of Telangana people. Even in that what ever little safeguards were there for Telangana were also broken with reckless abandon. Even at the height of the present statehood movement, they have rubbished the interests of Telangana like in river water, medical college seats, APPSC jobs etc., Their political imperialism as surmised by Pandit Nehru and colonization as envisioned by Justice Fazal Ali was total and complete. In fact they went overboard on both the counts.
The outlines of the issue as to why Telangana should be a separate state are as listed below:
1. Indian constitution gives power to Parliament to create new states with out looking into resolution in state assembly or consensus of people in the existing state.
2. The case of Telangana is radically different from other new states formed. Telangana was a full state in 1950 as part of Indian Republic, a self reliant entity unlike bankrupt, unstable Andhra State.
3. Telangana never agitated for merger with any state like many parts of other states as in Bombay, Punjab and HP, based on language.
4. The merger of Telangana with Andhra was forcible and with many pre conditions. All the pre conditions were broken by Andhra.
5. There was no effort to find out the grievances and address them. Genuine grievances were rubbished and ridiculed with the arrogance of political majority and manipulation of the central government.
6. There was an unprecedented loss of life in agitating against the ill advised forcible merger. The massacre of students in 1969 and self killings of youth in the present phase are the biggest events of death caused by government in independent India.
7. There is consensus on Telangana in the Parliament, where it really matters. Except Andhra Congress and Andhra TDP all parties in Parliament are supporting de-merger of Telangana.
8. The posture of central government on Telangana is diametrically opposite in letter and spirit to the opinion of Dr. Ambedkar and other stalwarts who had drafted the provisions of creation of new states in the Constitution of India.
9. It is unethical politics of Congress party supporting corrupt Andhra congress coming in the way of de-merger of Telangana state.
10.Telangana state is only a de-merger to restore its status as a separate state as it was in 1956.It can not have any influence on the other parts of the country, who are demanding a separate state de novo.
It was Congress party which has forced bankrupt, self-centered and manipulative Andhra on stable, self sufficient and ingenuous Telangana, which was quietly enjoying its new, found freedom and democracy in their own state after generations of suffering, struggle and sacrifice. It is the responsibility of the Congress party to rectify this humongous mistake. The whole world is watching its immoral intransigence. Telangana State formation is an imminent need; there is no other plausible alternative.