December 20, 2009

"The Memoirs of United Andhra"

With the recent exertion in the state I was pretty much irked upon the political episodes which disrupted the life of the people to a maximum extent. The political substance which led to the annoyance in all the regions of the state also shook some of the regions in Delhi.

When I asked myself to summarize the history of our state, Andhra Pradesh has 23 districts, 1 language and 3 regions, I just counted. I only know some numbers!! Soon, I googled the antiquity of Andhra since Independence. I distilled the web and print for a week to educate myself and further develop the article. Though it wasn’t mandatory knowing…..the motivation, the unity, the progress and the achievement was majestic.

The Andhra State formation

16 December 1952, when the procession reached Mount Road in Chennai, thousands of people joined and raised slogans hailing “Sriramulu”. The news spread like wildfire and created uproar among the people in far off places like Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur, Tenali and Nellore.This is when Potti Sriramulu died and laid down his life trying to achieve a separate “Andhra” state. On the basis of an agitation, on October 1, 1953, 11 districts in the Telugu-speaking portion of Madras State(Coastal Andhra and Rayala Seema) voted to become the new state of Andhra State with Kurnool as the capital. Andhra Kesari Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu became first Chief Minister of thus formed Telugu State.

The Merger with Telangana

On November 1, 1956 Andhra State merged with the Telangana region of erstwhile Hyderabad State to form a united Telugu-speaking state of Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad, the former capital of the Hyderabad State, was made the capital of the new state Andhra Pradesh.

In early 1950s, there was “Visalandhra movement” in both Andhra and Telangana regions which called for the merger of Andhra and Telangana region to form a single Telugu speaking state. The movement is stronger in Andhra region than in Telanagana region. Andhra mahasabha was a powerful organisation existing in Telangana which advocated as "Visalandhra"(larger Andhra). However there were concerns about the merger in Telangana during the movement.

The concerns about Telangana were complex. The region had a less developed economy than Andhra, but a larger revenue base (mostly because it taxed rather than prohibited alcoholic beverages), which Telanganites 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 Telanganites controlled the headwaters of the rivers. Telanganites feared too that the people of Andhra would have the advantage in jobs, particularly in government and education.

Advantage case for Visalandhra

States Reorganization Commission which is known as SRC, submitted its report to the central government in 1955 for Telangana-Andhra. It pictured many advantages for being a merger. It also stated the individual benefits of the regions.

• The advantages of a larger Andhra State including Telangana are that it will bring into existence of 3 crore population, with large water and power resources, adequate mineral wealth and valuable raw materials. The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are very well suited to be the capital of Visalandhra.
• The Krishna and the Godavari projects rank amongst the most ambitious in India, which can be brought under unified control.
• Telangana has in years of scarcity in food supplies. The Andhra State, however, has a surplus which Telangana may be able to use. Andhra has likewise no coal, be able to get its supplies from Singareni (which was spread around 4 districts).
• Finally, formation of linguistic states is the most important.

Advantage case for Telangana

• The existing Andhra State had a huge financial problem ever since it was formed and in comparison with Telangana the existing Andhra State has low per capita revenue.
• One of the major principal causes of opposition of Vishalandhra is a concern felt by educationally backward people of Telangana that they may be exploited by the more advanced people of the coastal areas.
• One important reason is, that the existing Hyderabad State and Telangana as part of Hyderabad have benefited from the Finance Commissions' recommendations in 1952.
• The financial position of Telangana need not cause anxiety.

What led to the join?

Andhra and Telangana have common interests and language. These interests will tend to bring the people closer to each other. The commission also concluded that the feelings of the people of Telangana and the fears entertained were dispassionate.

Fact: The Prime Minister of the time, Jawaharlal Nehru, 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).

Development in Telangana in 60’s

• Education institutions in the region were greatly expanded, but Telanganites felt that their enrolment was not proportionate to their numbers.
• With an ample development, there was a massive migration of people from Andhra into Telangana with the selection of Hyderabad as capital.

The rise of Telangana movement in 1969

Telanganites felt discriminated against in education-employment. The deputy chief minister position was never filled. Discontent with the 1956 Gentlemen’s agreement (Read Gentlemen’s agreement given below) was not implemented. The state government told that most non-Telanganites (Andhra) had been hired on the grounds that qualified local people were unavailable. In addition, the unification of pay scales between the two regions appeared to disadvantage Telangana civil servants. So, this discontent had amalgamated broke apart by region. This led to Separate Telangana Movement with a student agitation in Osmania University in 1969. Approximately 360 students gave their lives in this movement

The Gentlemen's agreement of Andhra Pradesh (1956)

The agreement provided safeguards with the purpose of preventing discrimination against Telangana by the government of Andhra Pradesh. The alleged violations of this agreement are cited as one of the main reasons for demands of a separate telangana.

What is in the agreement?

• A Regional Standing Committee members of the State Assembly belonging to that region including the Ministers from telangana region but not including the Chief Minister.
• Telangana area will be treated as one region for more convenient transaction for government.
• Distribution of expenditure between Telangana and Andhra Regions. A balance of income should be reserved for expenditure on the development of Telangana area.
• The cabinet will consist of members in proportion of 60:40 percent for Andhra and Telangana respectively, out of 40 % of Telangana ministers, one will be a Muslim from Telangana. If the Chief Minister is from one region the other region should be given Dy Chief Ministership.
The Regional Committee will deal with following matters:
Development and economic planning, Local Self Government, that is to say, the Constitutional powers of Municipal Corporations, Some basic eminities like Public health and sanitation, local hospitals and dispensaries, Primary and secondary education, Prohibition, Sale of agricultural lands.

Developments after 1969

Telangana Praja Samithi, a political party was formed in 1969, fighting for the statehood of Telangana region. The main leader of the party was the former Congress leader Marri Channa Reddy, who later on became the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh twice.

The Lok Sabha elections took place in 1971, TPS won 11 of the 13 seats in Telangana. That was obviously the result of the 360 lives lost in police firing in 1969. The assembly elections followed in 1972. By that time, Chenna Reddy had entered into a deal with Indira Gandhi and merged TPS with Congress. P V Narasimha Rao was brought in as CM. The merger of the TPS with Congress, without realizing its basic objectives, was seen as a betrayal. Frustrated and cheated by the politicians, many young educated people and students joined the Naxal movement. It was sad.

For 50 years, Andhra Pradesh was united and developed to become one of the major state with maximum industrialization. It was in 2001, the united slogan shifted to divided.
My next post will be on current political scenario, very soon.

Source :

Note: This article may have little discrepancies from the real facts unintentionally. Corrections are always welcome. This article tried to be neutral as an issue always has two stories.

I would feel happy if the blog had advantaged everyone in knowledge!!



<...divya...> said...

It was very useful........thank you.

Srujan said...

Thanks divya!! Do i know u??

Keerthy TSB said...

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