with inputs from J R Janumpalli
Whenever the issue of Telangana state takes the center-stage, some Seemandhra leaders try to portray it as a “complex” issue because it involves the “ownership” of Hyderabad city. They say that the residual Andhra state would be deprived of a capital city. This is nothing but a deliberate attempt to complicate an otherwise simple issue.
We have historical precedents that prove beyond any doubt that cities belong to natives and not to tourists and migrant investors. Cities belong to the region of which they are geographically a part of. And Hyderabad is linked not only geographically, but also historically to the Telangana region.
Andhra state existed for three years from 1953 to 1956 as an independent state with Kurnool as capital. Once Telangana is formed, Andhras can reinstate Kurnool as their capital city. By doing so, they can assuage the feelings of vocal Rayalaseema leaders like TG Venkatesh and Byreddy Rajasekhara Reddy, who are feeling bad that Rayalaseema had to ‘sacrifice’ Kurnool for the sake of a united Andhra Pradesh.
What’s more, Andhra has several large towns like Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Guntur, Nellore and Tirupati – one of which can be made as their new capital city.
That said, creating a new capital city for a new or existing state has been done many times in independent Indian history. Here are some such examples:
1. Andhra: Andhra was the first state that was formed on the basis of language, even before the First SRC was formed. It was separated from Madras Presidency in 1953 with Kurnool town as capital.
2. Madhya Pradesh: In 1956 the states of Madhya Bharat, Vindya Pradesh and Bhopal were merged to form the state of M.P. The Marathi speaking Vidarbha, which included Nagpur, the capital city, was ceded to Bombay state. Nagpur was the capital of Central Provinces since 1861.Bhopal city became the new capital of M.P.
3. Gujarat: The state was bifurcated from the bi-lingual state of Bombay in 1960. Gandhinagar was made its new capital, though Gujaratis wanted Bombay as joint capital.
4.Himachal Pradesh: Was made Chief Commissioner’s Province in 1948,with the inclusion of 28 Shimla hill states, 4 Punjab eastern hill states. It was made a ‘C’ class state. Bilaspur state was merged with H.P. in 1954. it became an UT in 1956. In 1966 some other areas of Punjab including Shimla were merged with H.P. Himachal Pradesh as a full-fledged state was formed in January 1971 with Shimla as its capital. Shimla was the capital of Punjab until it became the capital of H.P. in 1971.
5. Nagaland: Was part of greater Assam state. In 1963 it is separated from Assam and formed in to a state with Kohima as its capital
6. Meghalaya: Was carved out of Assam with Khasi, Jaintia and Garo hill areas in January 1972. Shillong was made its capital. Shillong was the capital of undivided Assam Province since 1874 till it was made the capital of Meghalaya. Assam had to build a new capital in Dispur, after the creation of Meghalaya.
7. Mizoram: Is another state created from greater Assam state. It was created in 1987, with Aizwal as its capital.
8. Arunachal Pradesh: Is one of the states created out of greater Assam. The state has come in to existence in 1987, with Itanagar as its capital.
9. Chattisgarh: The state is created with 16 chattisgarhi speaking southern districts of Madhya Pradesh in the year 2000. Raipur is made the capital of the state.
10. Jarkhand: The state is carved out of the tribal areas of southern Bihar in the year 2000. Ranchi was made its capital city.
11. Uttarakhand: It is created with the Himalayan and adjoining north-western districts of Uttar Pradesh in the year 2000. Its provisional capital is Dehradun. Permanent capital is contemplated at Gairsain.