What is Telangana?

New Delhi: What is Telangana?

Today, Telangana is a region comprising 10 of Andhra Pradesh's 23 districts. Originally, it was a part of the erstwhile Nizam's princely state of Hyderabad. The region accounts for 119 seats of 294 in the assembly.

When did Telangana merge with Andhra?

In 1948, India put an end to the rule of the Nizams and a Hyderabad state was formed. In 1956, the Telangana part of Hyderabad was merged with then Andhra state (carved out of Madras Presidency in October, 1953). The remaining parts of the Nizam's empire merged with Karnataka and Maharashtra. Andhra Pradesh became the first linguistically carved state in the country after Gandhian revolutionary Potti Sreeramulu, on a hunger strike over the issue, died on December 16, 1952.

When did the movement for a separate Telangana kick off?

The first Telangana movement intensified in 1969. There was a distinct difference between Andhra and Telangana regions. Since Andhra was part of a colonial Madras Presidency, education levels and development of this region were better than in feudal Telangana. People from Telangana were against merger with Andhra state as they feared they would lose jobs to them.

Cultural differences, too, remain. Under Nizam's, and before that, under the Qutb Shahi rule, the culture and language in Telangana bore influences of north India. Emphasis on festivals are also different.

What happened in the 1969 agitation?

Primarily a student-driven protest, it turned historical for the number of people who took part in it. Over 350 students were killed in police firing and lathi charge. Osmania University was the movement's hotbed. Congress leader Marri Channa Reddy, who raised the 'Jai Telangana' slogan, diluted the movement by merging his Telangana Praja Samithi Party with Congress -- Indira Gandhi made him the chief minister after this. That's how the movement collapsed: a result of Indira Gandhi's masterstroke. P V Narasimha Rao, too, was made CM in 1971 because he was from Telangana region.

What's K Chandrasekhar Rao's role?

In the 90s, KCR, then a member of the Telugu Desam Party, was hopeful of a ministerial post in the state government but was made deputy speaker after the 1999 elections. He quit TDP in 2001 to champion the cause of a separate Telangana state and founded Telangana Rashtra Samithi.

All this while, with faster development in the rest of Andhra, a strong feeling was gaining ground in Telangana that it was being exploited and that the region's surplus was being transferred to finance development in the rest of the state. In 2004 election, Y S Rajasekhara Reddy joined hands with KCR, promising a separate Telangana. But YSR got cold feet and backtracked, triggering resignations of TRS MLAs. KCR quit his Union ministry post.

What's the stand of other political parties on Telangana?

Congress and TDP continue to flip-flop. BJP and CPI support Telangana while PRP is against the formation of a new state.

Who stands where
  • The Congress and the TDP are a divided house.
  • TRS, the party spearheading the Telangana movement, the BJP and CPI are for a separate Telangana state
  • Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam and CPM are for a unified Andhra Pradesh
  • While the MIM is against a separate Telangana
What's the Hyderabad angle?

Hyderabad, which is within the Telangana region, is a bone of contention between votaries of Telangana and those against it. The issue of AP capital remains a stumbling block in the creation of Telangana.

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