Telangana People’s Movement: the Unfolding Political Culture – Prof. G. Haragopal

Abstract:The Telangana people’s movement is rooted in a historical context and a developmental model that the Indian rulers have been pursuing. The regional disparities-economic, social, cultural -are a part of this process. After formation of the linguistic State, every economic or developmental mode-be it green revolution or neo-liberal globalization-ended up with sharpening of the differences and widening of the disparities. Added to it is the reckless Urbanization leading to imbalanced and unplanned growth of the city of Hyderabad. This city is geographically in backward Telangana region but attracted a lot of capital investment giving rise to endemic claims and counter claims on the city. This entire direction of development sharpened multi layered contradictions. The ongoing movement is a search for some resolution of the contradictions without the necessary political creativity or capacity in responding to the challenge. This is the dialectic of development one discerns in one of the ongoing movements in a backward region of India.

I feel it a privilege to deliver Prof. B. Janardhan Rao memorial lecture for varied reasons, firstly, I had the privilege of being a teacher of Janardhan; secondly, Janardhan has grown into a scholar in his own right; thirdly, Janardhan combined in his approach of studying the society a conceptual framework and painstaking field based research. Above all he had a passionate involvement in the upliftment of the marginalized sections,                                    tribals being the most neglected segment of the society. Janardhan was also an activist concerned and engaged with politics of transformation. At the time he passed away, he was deeply involved in Telangana statehood movement. He persuasively argued with me and did all that was possible to convince me when I had some reservations about the desirability and the final outcome of such a movement. His life has been cut short and the immense potential and promise he held remained unexpressed. It is not only a personal loss to some of us but a social loss. It is also sad and unusual that a teacher should be delivering the memorial lecture of a younger colleague. The topic chosen for the memorial lecture is the Telangana People’s Movement: The Unfolding Political Culture. This is an area that is close to Janardhan’s heart, an area that I would have liked to discuss with him, if he were alive.

The Historical Background:

In the ongoing Telangana movement for a separate statehood and counter movement in the Andhra region for a status quo, one of the lively debates relates to the history of the Telugu speaking people. Such debates have the propensity to go to the root or origin of the problem: the Telangana leaders and activists are arguing that Telangana has had a distinct history and to lump their history in the common history of the Telugu people is more an attempt to marginalize its uniqueness and distinctness. It fails to present the totality of the story. This argument is also taken to an extreme point of arguing that the common history is simply a myth. The movement in Andhra region in contrast, is tracing the unity and unified history of the people to Atreya Brahmana or Mahabharata and maintains that this long history is far more important than the separation for a very short period. Both the sides, of course, are marshalling the facts and information in support of their argument. This may not be the place to debate the reliability or otherwise of these arguments: what is important is the way the arguments are presented. It is a fact that a large section of people in Telangana region do believe that they are different and differentiated and it is that feeling that is sustaining the ongoing movement.

It is true that Telugu speaking people have had twists and turns in their history, but the origins of the ongoing movement could be traced to separation of the people when the coastal Andhra and later the ceded districts of Rayalaseema were surrendered by the then Asafjahi rulers to the British in the last quarter of eighteenth century.  From 1776 to 1956 till the linguistic states were created as a part of Reorganization of the States on the recommendations of States Reorganization Commission popularly known as Fazal Ali Commission, the Telugu speaking people of Telangana were a part of feudal princely State of Hyderabad and the people of the Andhra region were a part of the Madras Presidency under the British. These two different political and administrative regions-one feudal the other colonial-shaped the history of people in terms of economic changes, political developments and cultural consciousness. This is more so in the case of coastal Andhra comprising Krishna, Guntur, and the two Godavari districts who are vociferous in arguing for the status quo.

It was sheer economic compulsions of the colonial regime and chronic problems of the delta districts to go for anicut across the Krishna and Godhavari rivers in the year 1852 just before the crown had taken over the governance of India from the East India Company. This construction of anicut, in a way, marks the beginning of modern Andhra. The wonders of water made a significant difference to the politics, economics and culture of the region. Economically the coastal belt experienced rise of the productive forces, the land that was prone to chronic floods, problems of water logging and drainage or famines, became a land capable of generating surplus. This led to urbanization, spread of education and rise of entrepreneurial peasant castes. The land witnessed a range of political and social movements influencing the consciousness of the people, this could be in a classical Marxist framework change in relations of productions though of a quantitative nature as they were not very radical and revolutionary, but reformistic. This region, as a part of the Madras Presidency also participated in the freedom movement and there are a number of places Gandhi visited and inspired the people. There was also the rise of the communist party organizing the huge army of the landless labourers- the product of assured water mainly for rice-cultivation which is highly labour intensive.

In contrast the Telangana region as a part of feudal oppression, not only not witnessed any of these changes but suffered large scale deterioration in economy and social relations. The Nizams, the rulers of the Hyderabad state, extracted rural surplus through very oppressive landlords. The labouring class and peasantry were so utterly helpless in the absence of rise in the productive forces, that the nature of relations between the feudal landlords and these helpless masses were totally brutalized. All cruel forms of extraction of surplus were used. Any and every account of these relations is utterly shocking. The cumulative anger and anguish got expressed through the tribal revolts and later the rise of Telangana Armed struggle under the leadership of the Communist Party that shook the base of Feudal Nizams and the oppressive landlords. The Armed struggle qualitatively was far superior and the height of sacrifices was far higher than all the movements of Andhra region put together. It is this history of struggles and sacrifices that influenced, if not shaped, the economy, politics and culture of the Telangana region. It is these two different paths of change and political development that are dormant at one level and dominant at another level in the ongoing two movements that Telugu speaking people are carrying at the present juncture.

The History of Linguistic State: The Demand and Doubts

The demand for the linguistic states came from Andhras almost in the very beginning of 20th century. The main cause for the demand was the topography of rivers more than the language. Language, in a way, was the cultural or symbolic expression of river water. It is well recognized that rivers constitute the centrality of many of the world civilizational process, but politics of water forms the essence of those civilizations. Andhra region having experienced the value of the water perhaps felt that Telangana located in Hyderabad state can be a perpetual source of conflict and tension given the flow and direction of the rivers. In fact this demand for a separate linguistic state was one of the most controversial demands immediately after the Independence. The historic fast unto death by Potti Sriramulu and the riots that followed his death forced the central government and Jawaharlal Nehru, who was otherwise not favorably inclined towards the idea of the linguistic states, to finally concede the Andhra State in 1953 and also appoint the first State Reorganization Commission to look into the whole problem of the linguistic basis for the reorganization of states.

The demand of Potti Sriramulu for a separate state to start with was mainly a demand to get out of the Tamilian economic, social and cultural stranglehold. The Tamilians carried a Dravidian movement against the Brahminical hegemony, they eulogized the Dravidian origins and their autonomy from the Brahminical fold revived all their cultural symbols and castigated the Brahminical symbols. This emphasis on Dravidian cultural identity and the militancy of the movement was so strong and wide spread that the Telugu people of the Andhra region were terribly uncomfortable. Added to it was the rise of new class of rich peasantry from the irrigation who were looking for new avenues for development saw Tamilian dominance as a hurdle to their growth. This could be the reason why the poetry, Art and Architecture, the other literary forms of Telugus during these times were romanticized. This imparted a sense of superiority among the Andhras. This streak continued even after the formation of the State. This could be one explanation for the condescending attitude towards the Telangana dialect and other cultural forms of life. This overall behavioural pattern of Andhras towards the Telanganites smacks a form of superiority, if not ‘cultural arrogance’.

The Telangana political class which survived the armed struggle was not favourably disposed towards the idea of integration of the two regions. The middle classes were not enthusiastic. Nehru himself was opposed to the idea of linguistic states. This opposition to the linguistic state from the Telangana elite was based on fears and suspicion that the new state with very aggressive entrepreneurial class will swamp the Telangana region and stifle the possibilities of its development. The Reorganization Commission that looked into the demand for the linguistic states did note the fears and apprehensions of the Telangana side. Consequently they debated the pros and cons of integration or otherwise of the two regions and observed that the Telangana may become a colony of the Andhra region and therefore suggested that the merger of the State should not be an unqualified option: they suggested that the two regions could be together for a period of five years and popular mandate could be sought in ensuing 1961-62 elections and then a final decision on the merger could be arrived at.

Addressing the fears of the Telangana people a “Gentlemen Agreement” was worked out. The agreement included several protections including a provision that the agricultural land in the Telangana region could not be bought by outsiders except by the prior permission of Telangana Regional Committee consisting of all the elected representatives of the region. In addition the Mulki rules in force from 1920s for protecting the local interest in public employment was also incorporated. In respect of sharing of political power, the understanding was that if the Chief Minister is from the Andhra, the Dy. Chief Minister would be from the Telangana region and vice-versa. Some of these provisions whether enforced or not suggest that the merger was not a very smooth affair. Those political elite of the Andhra region who are arguing that India is one country and people could choose to settle in any part of India as a part of right to movement forget that these questions were not raised at the time when the Gentleman Agreement was signed. This entire agreement in practice was violated in letter and spirit. This is one of the persisting tensions underlying the discourse of the 1960s and the present ongoing movement. This raises a very serious question that whether the political elite of a backward region would ever have the political capacity to ensure enforcement of an agreement of this kind when they get subordinated to the dominant elite of the relatively advanced region in a system where the power has an inherent propensity to get hierarchised and concentrated. This process resulted in breakdown of coalition of interests leading to a   sharp clash of interests and unresolvable tensions. The merger of the two regions, looking retrospectively was, in haste. In the ongoing movements there is a controversy on whom to lay the blame for the merger: each region putting the blame on the other.

One important factor that is somehow overlooked in the debate is role of the Communist Party which played a very critical role in the formation of the state. The rise of the Communist Party in the region during the hungry decade of 1930s was an important political development. The party came to organize the huge army of landless agricultural labourers against the Rajas-the revenue farmers who controlled thousands of acres of the land. The Communist Party was supported by the rising entrepreneurial Kamma rich peasantry. The party at that point was very strong and influential, commanded a mass following and some of the leaders like Sundarayya had a legendary image in both the regions. On the integration of the region, the party was guided by its ideological understanding of Marxist notion of nationality. In fact there was widespread belief that in the Second General Election, the party would be voted to power in the integrated state.

The congress party, to a large extent, hijacked the policies of the left and Nehru’s government moved closer to the Soviet Union which publicly expressed its appreciation to Nehru and his policies. In the process while the dream of the Communist Party for Visalandhra became true, their hopes of coming to power were totally belied. This is partly on account of the nexus between the peasantry and the laboring class, while that initially proved to be very effective, became counter-productive when the rich peasantry moved out of the fold of Communist Party immediately after the formation of the state of Andhra Pradesh.

It is tragic that while the rich peasantry deserted the communist party, the party is historically struck and not able to get out of its earlier mode of thinking. This party which played a historic role in the formation of the State has been so marginalized that neither it is able to mobilize the masses in Telangana for integration nor educate the masses in Andhra region of the aspirations of people of Telangana region. The rich peasantry of coastal Andhra which constituted earlier the social base of the party continues to condition the thinking of the CPI (M) till to-day. This was coupled with the major failure of the central government which agreed to be an umpire for enforcement of the gentlemen agreement but did not keep up its promise, when there were blatant violations of the agreement. The opposition to the merger by Telangana Mahasabha was right from 1957.

The Green Revolution and its Impact on Regional Inequalities

In the mid 1960s India under the influence of Ford Foundation encouraged the farmers to go for new agrarian technology in terms of using high yielding varieties: seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, mechanization so on. This led to breakthrough in agricultural production but the darker side of the choice was abandoning of hundreds of years of time tested local technologies and cumulative wisdom of the local peasantry. This led to dependency of agriculture on market forces. Apart from agriculture losing its autonomy, the whole technology was highly water-centric. In an inequitous economy where natural endowments are unevenly distributed, democracy requires technology be used to correct the imbalances. This choice of technology obviously accentuated the inequalities; the fallout was widening gap between the coastal region which had had the advantage of assured irrigation and the rain dependent dry land cultivation of the other regions-Telangana, Rayalaseema and North Andhra. These regional imbalances over a period of time went on increasing. This is not only the experience of this state but experience all over India. This is one cause for a spate of demands for separate Statehood from different backward regions in India. The compulsions of times seem to be leading to the demand for another State Reorganization Commission.

The green revolution did create surplus in the coastal region which could not be ploughed back into agriculture as capital absorption by agriculture, unlike industry, is inelastic. The coastal capital in search of greener pastures started moving to those areas of Telangana region wherever there were sources of irrigation particularly tanks or river water. This process that started much earlier got accentuated with the green revolution. The Telangana farming community was finding it increasingly difficult to compete with enterprising farmers of the Andhra region. The surplus also started moving to Hyderabad city into industries as Hyderabad had the necessary infrastructure and industrial culture. The capital mainly of Punjabis, Gujaratis and Marvaris felt threatened by the new capital. Added to this was the expanding educated middle class competing for the limited opportunities in public employment. The “subordinated” political elite of Telangana were in no position to represent these growing interests and fears of the region. This led to 1969 Separate Telangana Agitation.

The 1969 agitation was started by the students followed by the government employees. These two sections were in the forefront and the political elite of the region were compelled to fall in line. The political leadership lacked the capacity to carry the movement to its logical end. What all the Telangana political leadership had done was to hijack the movement and surrender it to the dictates of Mrs. Gandhi who was personally opposed to the division of the State. She was willing to concede anything short of formation of the State. As a part of the concessions and compromises the important leaders of the movement including Chenna Reddy who was supposed to be the key leader of the movement were accommodated in the power structure. Another move she made was to shift the Chief Minister Brahmananda Reddy- a most powerful Chief Minister at that point and make P.V. Narasimha Rao- a telanganite hailing not from the powerful peasant communities-the Chief Minister.

This was also the phase that saw the birth of Naxalite movement which took up the agenda of radical agrarian changes. This movement was partly to complete the unfinished agenda of the 1940s Telangana armed struggle. It first rose in North Andhra and had spread to those places of Telangana where the 1940s armed struggle was at its height. This was also a result of failure of the Congress promise in 1950s to carry out land reforms peacefully through state measures. The movement challenged the political elite of the state and more specifically the Telangana elite. A section of the youth disillusioned with the leadership of separate Telangana movement and its outcome were attracted to radical politics which held promise for an alternative society. This movement brought back the question of land reforms on to the political agenda. Mrs. Gandhi’s political rhetoric was, in a way, an echo to these political developments.

P.V. Narasihma Rao who was one of the most reliable members of Mrs. Gandhi’s private political army went ahead with the idea of land reforms. This was a part of Mrs. Gandhi’s strategy to tame the powerful agrarian communities all over India. Enraged by the shift of leadership and threat of land reforms, the powerful Andhra political elite built Jai Andhra agitation in 1971-72 demanding bifurcation of the state. The leaders of the Jai Andhra agitation, who could not directly question the land reforms, took up validity of mulki rules in the city of Hyderabad, the state capital. To start with some of the Andhra employees went to the High Court questioning the legality and legal validity of the mulki rules. The High Court in its verdict declared mulki rules ultra-vires but Supreme Court upheld the mulki rules. The leadership of Andhra region was so influential that they made the Indian parliament amend the law and declare mulki rules not valid. The Telangana political leadership remained mere spectators to the whole episode.

The Andhra elite attempted to hit the social base of Mrs. Gandhi’s power structure as the masses were getting gravitated to Mrs. Gandhi because of the appeal of land reforms were drawn into Jai Andhra movement. It was exceptional solidarity of the Andhra leaders and effective mobilization of masses that Mrs. Gandhi-otherwise a powerful leader- had to backtrack and the Chief Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao was asked to step down. Notwithstanding this challenge that the powerful leadership of the Andhra region posed, the overall dominance of Mrs. Gandhi remained intact. Basically rise of Mrs. Gandhi in 1970s was a result of combination of several factors. Of them a few welfare-centric target group oriented programme weaned away the masses from the stranglehold of the local leadership. Mrs. Gandhi emerged in mass imagination as their chief patron replacing all the local patrons. This made the leadership in general and Telangana leaders in particular heavily depend on the high command. This shift in the nature of power relations marginalized the influence of local leadership of both the regions. They were never able to regain their autonomy in the congress politics. The Telangana political leadership became much more subservient than ever before, and their survival depended more on the grace of Delhi leadership than the mass base. This uproot of local leaders changed the nature and character of Congress party in a substantial way.

Mrs. Gandhi was also a product of the widespread rural unrest that Nation witnessed by late 1960s. The unrest coupled with increasing claims and counter claims of the dominant classes on the slow growing economy, that it became difficult for her to govern the country. She resorted to authoritarian and coercive methods by imposing emergency in 1975 by suspending the fundamental rights. During the dark days of emergency the state machinery, particularly the police and other law enforcing agencies became arbitrary in exercise of their power both with the masses and also the classes. This led to massive erosion of her support structure all over India that reflected in 1977 general election when she lost the power and the Janata party a non-congress coalition rose to power for the first time after independence. While Mrs. Gandhi lost power all over India, her congress party was returned to power in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. For the first time there were two different governments: one Janata party rule at the centre and the congress party in the State. The Janata party which was an amalgamation of contending interests was subjected to endemic pulls and counter pulls and the stress on the system was so high that the Janata coalition experiment collapsed in less than three years. This is one of the tragedies of Indian pluralistic parliamentary democracy.

Mrs. Gandhi was back in power in less than three years. Although Mrs. Gandhi was voted to power by the masses of the Country, the 1980s Mrs. Gandhi was different: her rhetoric shifted from Garibi Hatao to unity and integrity of India. This shift in essence is suggestive of the shift in the balance of political forces. While giving a clear signal that she was abandoning the earlier rhetoric, she was attempting to find a workable formula for unifying the multi-class interests. The poorer sections of Andhra Pradesh particularly of the OBCs who stood by her till 1970s started getting away from her charismatic fold.


Another striking development in the political economy of the state of Andhra Pradesh is the rise of the lumpen or mafia class that rose from the leakages of huge resources that the state invested in irrigation, roads, public enterprises, mining and other infrastructural development. This pattern of public expenditure through contractors gave rise to a neo-rich class and a wide range of middlemen as they were the direct beneficiaries of the leakages of public funds. This class of people is neither organically linked to agricultural activities nor are they engaged in industrial or manufacturing sector: a class which makes money without risking neither labour nor capital turn into a class of lumpens or mafia who lack a basic value framework in public affairs. Thus a set of opportunistic, money hunting power elite have been let loose by a faulty developmental model. They became an important component of the political processes of the state.


This was also the period during which the ideological politics were almost abandoned and replaced by identity politics. The target group approach of Mrs. Gandhi in public policy was one of the causes and also the consequence of identity politics. These politics built around the caste, an institution which Dr. Ambedkar thought should be annihilated, started fortifying an endemic division of the society.  Identity politics are democratic to the extent that members of the Community are organized and mobilized around the dignity and self respect, as it leads to organization of the community and psychologically provides protection to the individual member and politically a space for articulation of their common community needs and interests. This process also led to linguistic, religious identities which buttress the regional and sub-regional identity. The Telugu Desam Party was a product and reinforcement of linguistic identity at one level and regional identity at another level


Rise of Telugu Desam Party: The Question of Telugu Identity

In terms of economic changes in 1970s there was considerable central government investment in Hyderabad and there was overall expansion of industrial and infrastructural base. The Andhra political elite felt more encouraged, empowered and reassured of their investment after the Jai Andhra agitation. As the Telangana leadership could not protect the mulki-rules, nor could protect the Chief Minister office for Telanganite, the Andhra elite came to believe that once for all the demand for a separate Telangana State was over. This has enthused them to invest more freely in industry and infrastructure in the city of Hyderabad. The agrarian surplus and leakages of public funds through contracts made the class more prosperous almost suggesting an arrival of some brand of regional bourgeoisie. The rich farmers, powerful peasant community and regional industrial class coupled with the restless masses laid a new base for the rise of alternative political force. There was realignment of political forces at the state and national levels. In a multi-class society, alignment and realignment of political forces is an unending process. The lumpen mafia class became a political force to reckon with. It is in the wake of these developments, the TDP – a regional party under the leadership of NTR – was born.


NTR hailing from powerful Kamma peasant community was a very popular movie hero who played several mythological and social roles in Telugu cinema. He was equally popular in both the regions; his popularity coupled with his rhetoric on welfare programmes, which Mrs. Gandhi was abandoning, made him a great ballot box-office hit. It was a record that a political party came to power in less than a year’s time after it was formed. This resounding success of NTR and his unquestioned leadership in the TDP further pushed the Telangana political leaders to margins of politics and political power. Their political survival depended on the vagaries of capricious NTR. Identical to Mrs. Gandhi’s style was the despotic or monarchic style of NTR. There was no single cabinet minister or political leader from the Telangana region who could have talked to him as a colleague in the cabinet. This style of NTR not only marginalized the political leaders but politics itself. It reduced cabinet system of government into a caricature of parliamentary democracy.


The Telugu regional identity was so articulated that the Telangana identity got submerged in the larger Telugu identity. The self respect of Telugus which TDP raised as an important issue obviated the Telangana identity for the time being. It is not that what happened through the rhetoric of Telugu identity was integration of the regions but subjugation. It is always the case with such identity politics that instead of negotiating with the sub-identities, it leaves the space and scope for the aggressive reemergence of the identities. The rise of Telangana identity in late 90s was a part of this social and political dynamic of societal change.


The style of NTR and his arbitrary impulsive decision making left all the political elite of the state desperate but it was more so in the case of the helpless Telangana representatives. Their entire mass base was lost. It was this political void in Telangana region that was gradually occupied by militant politics of CPI (ML) movement which questioned the political relevance of parliamentary democracy. The political leadership lacked moral and mass base to confront a militant movement. This made the weak Telangana political elite insecure and they came to depend on police force to such an extent that the Superintendent of Police or even a subordinate police officer would decide whether a MLA or a Minister would attend a meeting or not, visit a village or not.


During this phase amassing of wealth and grabbing of land around the city of Hyderabad was one major “political” activity of the mafia class. NTR either allowed this activity or was indifferent to it. This led to fattening of the lumpen mafia class. They saw that sale of liquor or Arak liberalized, private capital allowed in education particularly professional education and opens more and more corporate hospitals. A neat nexus between the contractors, land mafia, liquor mafia, cinema industry, corporate hospitals and corporate educational institutions has been struck. The media provided the necessary support and propaganda for these classes. In fact the media became a part of this nexus: the role of one news paper baron during this period is something that all the Telugu people are fully aware of. He was called Raja Guru by the political circles. The Telangana political elite on the margins of this economic activity were contented with a few sub-contracts, land deals, liquor licenses and land grabbing. The power of this nexus has become so formidable that there was no countervailing democratic force.


The monarchic style narrowed the scope to carry on the other powerful community- Kapus who aspired for greater share in power when they aligned with the TDP. The killing of one of the Kapu leaders in Vijayawada led to serious hostilities and there was a violent backlash on the Kamma community. There was also the rupture with the Dalit community with the Karamchedu massacre which led to a vibrant dalit movement not only in the Andhra region but whole of the state. There was opposition because of reckless liquor sales from women, thus the antagonism from women, kapus and dalit hit the social base of the TDP resulting in its setback in 1988-89 elections. The rhetoric of Telugu identity proved to be too inadequate to hold the people together and so called unity of Telugus cracked and left scope and space for the revival of the sub-identity. The law of identity politics seems to be that either it has to transcend the identity to strike linkages with similar or larger identities to pursue larger interests or they get struck in the identity which has a propensity for internal fragmentation. This seems to be true of linguistic politics, caste politics and regional politics. Rise of sub-regionalism is a part of this political phenomenon.

The Telugu Identity: Ups and Downs

The congress party in its five year term (1989-1994) under the faulty model of development triggered by LPG misruled and mismanaged the governance to such a point that it scripted its own defeat in the 1994 elections. The two major causes for its defeat were that it tampered with the two rupees rice scheme and also further encouraged and patronized liquor sales. This withdrawal from peoples’ welfare programme was under the pressure of global market forces. Congress had no imaginative policy framework. The lumpen mafia class that has fattened during the Telugu Desam period was in a position to dictate the policy choices to the government. With the result the distinction between the Congress Party and TDP in reality was largely blurred. In a situation of this kind where the social base is common and policy choices are externally forced upon, the changes in political leadership through electoral politics carried no meaning whatsoever. This could be seen nowhere more strikingly than in the agricultural sector. The neglect of agriculture has been so phenomenal that it lost its voice in the policy process and its significant place in the economy giving rise to electoral jolts. Taking advantage of the Congress Party’s misdirected development, NTR promised total prohibition and also restoration of two rupees rice scheme which proved to be electorally gainful and got TDP and its leader NTR back to the power.


Given NTR’s disposition and style he was adamant on implementation of these two programmes. As they were enforced it dented into State revenues and was adversely hitting the dominant economic interests particularly of the lumpen class. This approach was also not to the liking of global economic interests. The power of this class was so decisive that when NTR went ahead with these two schemes, they got him overthrown. It is ironical that those MLAs and MPs who won with the help of NTR’s charisma and populist promises turned against him overnight and humiliated him when he personally went (Vice-Roy hotel was the place where the conspiracy was hatched) to appeal to the party MLAs not to let him down. It is in this shady palace politics, Chandra Babu Naidu –his son-in-law –manipulative and cunning became the obvious choice of these classes. This formidable power of the lumpen class along with the other interests remains unquestioned till to-day and it is they who are calling the shots.


The power in the state is so structured and manipulated that the linkages at the national level are so worked out that within no time the image of Chandra Babu Naidu was built. A large section of Indian middle classes believed that he was a potential Prime Ministerial candidate. His assuming of power may not be illegal but certainly it was immoral. His governance was ruthless, it was during his regime two civil liberties leaders were hacked to death and the president of A.P. civil liberties committee was kidnapped by a vigilante group which was fully patronized by the state police and backed by the Chief Minister. He projected himself as a CEO and not CM. Politics have come to be seen through the techno-managerial prism. This was greatly useful to the classes in amassing the wealth in whatever form that was possible. Politics have come to be reduced to wealth chasing power and power chasing the wealth. This approach facilitated the easy entry of the global capital which treated the Andhra State as guinea pig for its experiment.

It is paradoxical that while identity politics were gaining momentum all over India, there was the super imposition of globalization on a backward, iniquitous and unevenly developed economy. This model was sold to the Indian people under the guise of serious balance of payment crisis. The people were told that there was no alternative except to borrow from the International Agencies and open up the Indian market to foreign capital. The state which is expected to be a protector of the sovereign power of the people and resources has turned into a facilitator of the movement of the global capital- a shift in the very role and character of the Nation-State. This model of development is intrinsically undemocratic and against the core values of Indian Constitution. Since there was no viable opposition the process led to widening of inequalities across the castes, classes, gender, rural, urban, and forward and the backward regions. It is these widening inequalities between the agriculture and service sector, between metropolitan Hyderabad and rest of the State, between the backward regions and relatively advanced regions that unleashed new political forces. The TDP was not opposed to global capital. This means their identity politics were more cultural in their approach than opposing the swamping of Telugu identity in economic terrain. The revival of the Telangana movement is a direct fallout of this path of development-the process on which rulers have had no control.


The determination with which Naidu ‘encountered’ the problems and wielded ruthless power is unbelievable. The TDP had 29 Members of Parliament, which was critical for the survival of NDA government at the national level. He very cleverly used this number and the BJP had not many options except to concede whatever Chandra Babu demanded. The NDA government had no moral qualms about the globalization as BJP’s nexus, notwithstanding all the RSS postures and claims about nationalism and patriotism, with imperialism was smooth and strong. In the normal course it would have been problematic for a state government to deal directly and enter international agreements without much of intervention from the national government. The ruthless suppression of all the democratic voices was possible with the backing of the bank and sangh parivar.

The Structural Adjustment: Further Widening of Inequalities

The speed with which the state of Andhra Pradesh opened up its economy to global economic forces particularly Multi-National Corporations is astounding and the jet speed through which the neo-liberal agenda was forced on the people of Andhra Pradesh caught them totally unaware. The economy which is essentially agricultural is, in no way, prepared for rapid globalization. For Globalization is not only adversarial to the agrarian economy but to the entire rural and also urban poor. The shocks of the model are very clear to see. The State was coerced to withdraw subsidies, extension support services to agriculture and investment of any kind in agriculture. On the top of it, the poor farmers were enticed to go for commercial crops like BT cotton. The commercial crops are water-centric and capital intensive is well known. The State sold a dream of quick prosperity to the poorer farmers who went in for massive loans for tapping ground water through bore-wells which proved to be not only debt-traps but death-traps. The human price for Structural Adjustment was very high. This withdrawal of state support to an agrarian economy, particularly the subsistence economy of rain fed dry land agriculture and shift of the cropping pattern led to a series of farmers’ suicides. There was a political price that the TDP had to pay in the defeat of Chandra Babu Naidu and rejection of his model.


The propaganda –national and global- carried to build the image of Chandra Babu Naidu came to a grinding halt with his defeat in 2004 general elections. Given the image trap and massive propaganda, he firmly believed that there would be no challenge to his power at least till 2020: a vision document to that effect was prepared. This document replaced plan exercises. A.P had no Five Year Plan document. The only political challenge to Chandra Babu was the then CPI (ML) People’s War which challenged his power and neo-liberal policies. NTR played hide and seek with the movement but Chandra Babu was clear and had the pressure from the global economic forces to ‘remove the hurdle’ for pushing through the neo-liberal agenda. This is something that is repeating at the national level under the leadership of Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram. The language and the rhetoric of the Nation’s Home Minister sounds so familiar to anybody in this part of India. As the economic reforms were being implemented, the spiral of violence and counter violence particularly in the Telangana region continued unabated.


Seeing the deteriorating situation, a group of citizens (Committee of Concerned Citizens) took an initiative to facilitate a dialogue between the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Naxalite Movement. The committee met the then Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu who initially evinced some interest but soon realized that his mission was something different. The top three revolutionary party leaders with whom the committee had initial dialogue were “encountered”. Enraged Peoples War party determined to avenge the killings attacked Babu’s convoy going to the Tirupathi temple. Babu survived the attack. He decided to dissolve the Assembly and go to the polls seeking a popular mandate to put down the movement. He believed that the popular sympathy that the attack evoked would also help his party in winning the elections. The anger that his model engendered particularly in the rural sector was so intense and widespread that the deadly attack on him produced no electoral sympathy whatsoever.


In the process of globalization and implementation of neo-liberal agenda the global economic forces coerced many developing countries to cut down the state expenditure and leave the development to market forces and welfare to Non-Governmental Organizations. During this phase the State of Andhra Pradesh withdrew from several of its earlier activities particularly from the services like education and health. They were opened for private, what they prefer to call, providers. The way the government run hospitals have been strangulated and the way the school education got corporatized and the higher education stifled, it presented a tragic spectacle to watch. The gradual collapse of Osmania University, Andhra University known for their eminent position on the national and international map were robbed of their vibrancy. The fact that the college service commission has been closed sounded death knell of higher education in the public domain.


The World Bank gave liberal loans partly because the state of Andhra Pradesh is politically turbulent with an ongoing armed struggle. In fact one would suspect that the Bank, in the normal course, would hesitate risking the capital in a politically turbulent part of the world. It can be surmised that for the Bank A.P was a laboratory to experiment whether greater flow of capital can contain and combat an armed resistance to a neo-liberal economic model. One cannot otherwise explain the extra ordinary interest of these global agencies and high international dignitaries including American President visiting the state.


The space that was getting vacated by the public institutions was occupied by either global capital or capital from the coastal Andhra region. A few corporate bodies monopolized education mainly intermediate education, professional education-engineering and medical. The commercialization of education and health had adversely impacted on the vulnerable sections and backward regions. The expansion of IT sector and the NRI investment in the city of Hyderabad brought in new wealth and generated some surplus in the economy. But this development further widened the economic disparities. The rapid growth of the city of Hyderabad with its malls, cinema theatres, five and seven star hotels, and international airport presents a picture of prosperity. It was this success drama of which Chandra Babu was considered the Hero. There was the darker side of the story, the discontentment, distress and disillusionment of the marginalized section of the people. The surrounding Telangana districts of the city of Hyderabad- Mahaboobnagar, Ranga Reddy, Medak and Nalgonda– hold ample testimony to how development of a centre rocks the resources of its periphery. Forgetting the contribution of the poor living in the slums of Hyderabad city, they were ruthlessly evicted from their little huts. The invasion of the global and coastal capital could be seen in the destruction of parks, occupation of beautiful tanks, blasting of fantastic rock formations, dismantling of palaces, old resting places, and picnic spots. They have not spared even grave yards for nostaligic person it was violent violation of all rights including right to memory. The ongoing Telangana movement has its deep seeds in this faulty disastrous model of development which is intrinsically uneven and un-equalizing.

The Discontentment of a Backward Region – the Rise of TRS

The Telangana Rastra Samithi emerged from this deep rooted discontentment and deprivation: in fact the movement for a separate State was taking a shape in the womb of the neo-liberal model of development. For the demand came up at a time when there were objective material conditions maturing leading to the revival of the Telangana self-identity which was dormant and subdued for almost two decades. It was K. Chandrashekar Rao who sensed the mood of the sub-region and gave a political vent to it. A sizeable section of Telangana people rallied around the demand and it did become a political force by 2004 elections. Sensing this trend the congress party which was desperate to unseat TDP from power entered into an alliance with TRS without even properly assessing the implications and consequences of such an alliance. The congress party, as opportunistic as it has ever been since independence, maintained that it would revisit the economic policies and under no condition would submit itself to the dictates of the World Bank. It called Chandra Babu Naidu slave of the World Bank. It also promised a peace dialogue with the Naxalite parties. Y. S. Rajsekhar Reddy undertook a Padayatra through the rural Andhra Pradesh to instill some confidence in the rural masses and the peasantry that agrarian problems would receive utmost attention of the congress party. These tours included the Telangana rural areas with TRS along with their slogans and symbols. The Congress party won the elections.


In this election the TRS won five parliamentary and 29 legislative constituencies. K. Chandra Shekhar Rao and one of his colleagues Naredra became members of the central cabinet. The president of India in his address to the parliament acknowledged the aspirations of the Telangana people and a committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Pranab Mukharji for working out a consensus of political parties at national level for the separate statehood to Telangana. All these moves not only raised high expectations but legitimized the demand at the national level.


It should be recalled with dismay that the political elite of the Andhra region maintained strategic silence which was taken almost as consent and nobody at that point thought that there would be a counter movement against the Telangana state formation. It is difficult now to interpret this silence except to surmise that they pitched their hopes on the dishonesty and manipulative ability of the Congress leadership. They were right in one sense and one gets increasingly convinced that how the congress party could dilly dally and deploy such linguistic skills that every statement made could be interpreted in multiple ways. This skill is such that every statement that the Centre made sounded in favour of status quo for the Andhra region and separate statehood for the people in Telangana region. The promise kept on dragging in suspended animation. The crisis ridden young minds of the Telangana region who saw a solution to all their problems, rightly or wrongly, in the State formation resorted to self immolation or suicides as a form of protest against the disgusting political culture. These suicides made no difference to self –seeking Telangana political elite.


The Congress party took no steps for the formation of the state and Pranab Mukharji committee proved to be a tragic joke on the Telangana people. The TRS which had a single point formula gave no programme to party cadres except periodically resigning from the elected posts and going for the polls seeking electoral mandate from the people. The TRS evinced no interest in the overall direction of development, in peace dialogue with the Naxalite parties, did not oppose Special Economic Zones, kept quiet when Grater Hyderabad was announced and was totally indifferent when thousands of acres of government land in and around Hyderabad was openly auctioned. The major buyers of the land were the lumpen economic class from the Andhra region. The economic elite of the Andhra region literally bought up Hyderabad city and acquired private ownership rights and their interests got deeply entrenched into the economy of Hyderabad city. There is a section of Telangana self-seeking elite who have been allowed to share the booty. The two prominent Telangana leaders of the Congress in the city of Hyderabad are very vociferous for the integrated state or autonomous status for Hyderabad.


As these developments were alarming, the Telangana aspirations were getting increasingly deepened outside the electoral and parliamentary framework. It was turning into a people’s movement of which even TRS had no clue. The movement was sustained and nurtured by a wide range of committed artists, singers, poets, writers, educated elite, intellectuals, democratic voices and journalists. This range of men and women of integrity and commitment present a panorama of Telangana democratic ethos which has no parallel in the entire nation. These men and women are fruits of people’s struggles and the sacrifices they made in the cause of liberation of people   all through the twentieth century. This will remain a part of rich socio-political legacy of the people and hopefully remain the cultural resources of the Telangana state.



Rise of Rajshekhar Reddy: Setback to the Telangana Movement

In the period of five years, Y.S. Rajsekhar Reddy- a product and a propeller of Rayalaseema factional politics- knew too well the mechanics and machinations of power and knew how to hit his adversaries at vulnerable points. He literally stifled all the opposition to his power, managed to distance the Delhi High Command from all the leaders particularly senior Telangana leaders who were left with no choice except repeating and reiterating their loyalty to the high command without any reciprocation from the other side. He nurtured sizable young goons and political lumpens who were personally loyal to him. YSR fortified his position to an extent that he became indispensable for the congress party both at the national and the state level.


Y.S.R saw to it that the peace talks, which he promised in the elections, collapse and ‘hounded’ the Maoists with such ruthlessness that the movement got a serious set back. The only difference between Babu and Y.S.R. styles is that the later tilted the economic reforms slightly in favour of rural economy in terms of building irrigation infrastructure writing off of the agricultural debt, free power supply to farmers and a few pro-rural poor measures. This shift from the high metropolis-centric IT dominated thrust to agrarian concerns turned Y.S.R. into almost a welfare symbol and his sudden death evoked popular sentiments and the media made him an icon out of the context.


Y.S.R’s death was followed by a big drama in Andhra politics; the lumpen forces that were solidly rooted in politics and intensely engaged in amassing wealth by all means felt orphaned and were looking for an alternative in wilderness. There was no single congress man respectable and reputed to take over the mantle. It was in this utter despair they propped up his son Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy whose political career was less than a hundred days at that time. Many congress men of all hues loudly claimed and openly argued that he was the only proper successor to YSR.


The young Jaganmohan Reddy triggered by ambition let loose the money and musclemen and created law and order problem in the state. Any name of a Telangana leader mentioned for the post of C.M. invited immediate protest and burning of the effigy of those leaders in their respective districts. The media which is also largely lumpenised lent wide publicity to every incident magnifying the protest that passed for public support to the young man. It created terrible fear all around and no congress man dared to even comment on what was happening around. Balagopal in his last address to Human Rights Forum just before he passed away, expressed his deep concern about this fear that gripped the state. This only suggests that Y.S.R. or his supporters built such an anti-social force that this drama would have been enacted if high-command had ever touched Y.S.R for any reason. It took this sequence to happen for the high command to realize that it enjoyed no support in this state and all the rhetoric used in praise of the high command was hollow. The seasoned congress politicians in Delhi wanted to do as much of damage control as possible and send a message to Y.S.R’s followers and to the Congress Party in the state that the power of High Command matters.


The Ongoing Movement and Unfolding Political Culture:

As the movement for a separate statehood picked up, after the death of Rajsekhar Reddy, one trend noticed relates to the increasing disjunction between the electoral politics and societal movements: that there rose a strong popular movement in Telangana region in less than three months after the General elections suggests the rupture between form and essence of politics. This was revealed by a study just before the elections where the Telangana voters preferred the congress party to TRS: there was less than 10% Telangana electorate who were inclined to vote for TRS, but 60 % of the Telangana voters held that the Congress Party deceived the Telangana people. That they were all supportive of the Telangana demand but were not inclined to vote for TRS, indicates de-linking of formal electoral politics and substantive popular demands. This explains the rise of varied movements parallel to or outside the electoral politics creating endless pressure on the state structure.


The Telangana movement also sharply brings out the politics of dishonesty and manipulations of parliamentary political parties. The two major political parties; the Congress and the Telugu Desam and several other smaller parties openly committed to the Telangana demand and even campaigned for it during 2009 elections without any conviction and consensus within the party. This is a case where each pitched hope on the dishonesty of the other. This was so clear that as the demand for a separate statehood picked up, each party blamed the other for not being sincere about the commitment. For instance Chandra Babu Naidu stated categorically on the floor of the Assembly that his party would unhesitatingly vote for the Bill for a separate State, if only the congress party dares to introduce the Bill. The Chief Minister Rosaiah called for all party meeting to elicit the views of all the parties; the TDP in the meeting promised to extend its full support if the Congress initiates the process. But the minute Chidambaram made the announcement that the process for Telanagana State formation would be initiated, the TDP backed out arguing that the announcement on 9th December 2009 was made at midnight without any proper debate. In fact the demand for a debate could have been raised when the issue came up in the State Assembly or when the CM convened all party meeting. This U turn reveals that TDP did not carry any conviction: the TDP is sharply and vertically divided and the leaders of the party in the two regions keep on making diametrically opposite statements but yet belong to the same political party. Till today no one knows whether TDP has any categorical stand on the issue, if it has it is not clear to the people of the two regions. When asked what the stand of the party is, one of the senior TDP leaders said privately that they were advised by their leader to do exactly double of what the congress does? He further said as the stand of the congress party is divided so is the case with the TDP, the congress manipulate so will TDP do, if Sonia Gandhi is silent so is their leader Chandra Babu, if congress concede Telangana, the TDP will gracefully accept. They are maintaining that there will be the party units in both the new states as their party is a national party and not regional party as it is made out to be.


The same is the story with the congress party. All the members of the party unanimously in one voice repeatedly promised that they would abide by the decision of the High Command on the issue. This included leaders of the congress party of both the regions. It is because of this posture, the Telangana people rejoiced the statement of Chidambaram about the formation of the State on 9th December 2009. The uproar from the leaders of the Andhra region and threatening postures and tendering of resignations to their MLA positions came to an uncritical observers or innocent people as a great surprise. The elected representatives of the Andhra region started arguing that they did not properly assess the sentiments of members of their constituencies, the decision by the centre was hasty, that centre succumbed to the pressure of KCR and his gang, separation of people is negation of the principles of linguistic state, that it would lead to the fragmentation and may ultimately lead to the disintegration of the nation so on. They added that Telangana will be taken over by the Maoists, there would be endemic communal tension in the city of Hyderabad. The list of arguments is not unending.


The issue is not whether these arguments have some validity or not, it raises the question; why these apprehensions were not raised when the congress party entered the alliance with TRS in 2004 elections? Why in 2009 elections the congress manifesto did not reflect these concerns? How that this great ‘wisdom’ dawned only on the midnight of 9th December? Was it that their continuous expression of loyalty to the High Command was hollow? This open defiance of the High Command only brings out the height of hypocrisy that the party suffers from. With the result the stand of the Congress Party and its behaviour is amazingly identical to the TDP. And both the parties are divided on regional lines and Sonia Gandhi from Delhi and Chandra Babu Naidu from Hyderabad are watching the unfolding drama with unusual amusement without either taking a categorical stand or disciplining the party.


This culture of parliamentary political parties and their blatant division on a serious policy question defy all conceptual categories of the party system. Nowhere one can think of a political party allowing its members to take opposite stands and fight or quarrel with each other without the party leadership intervening in the process. It calls for totally an innovative conceptual category to explain the split political culture of party system. It is widely said that the British adopted divide and rule but to day it is not dividing the others but getting internally divided to rule. They may reflect the fractured and fragmented nature of politics but this ambiguous stand by two major political parties in the state created enough of confusion leaving a large political void. It is into this open political space several other sections entered and formed political and non-political Joint Action Committees to take forward the movement.


The JAC Experiment: The Political Culture.


There emerged any number of Joint Action Committees from different walks of life including political Joint Action Committees. The political Joint Action Committees included all political parties supporting the demand in the respective regions. The Telangana political Joint Action Committee chose Kodand Ram, a Political Science professor from Osmania University as its Chairman, similar to this Committee was the Andhra Joint Action Committee headed by professor Samuel of Nagarjuna University. That the Chairmen of these political Joint Action Committees were from outside the political sphere speaks volumes about political culture. It is refreshing that the Chairmen are drawn from the academia. That the political masters willing to work with an academic while is a sad reflection on their political credibility, it adds a modicum of dignity to the academic profession. There is, however, the debate going on whether academics be allowed to play such a direct political role at all? This question is raised not only by some of the political elite but this is being debated in the academic circles also. That an academic can take a political stand on public affairs is a long and well established western liberal tradition.

Given the conflict ridden unhealthy competitive politics, this experiment lasted for a very short time in the Telangana region. The first party to get out of the political JAC was the Congress Party on the plea that they are the ruling party both in the State and Centre and it is their government that has to finally concede the demand. Their main anxiety seems to be not to lend any credit for creation of a new state to any other party other than the Congress Party. The second party to get out of the JAC was the Telugu Desam party. They got out blaming the Chairman Kodand Ram that he was too proximate to TRS and was carrying only the TRS mandate. In a competitive political culture rooted in the game of electoral gains or losses, concerted political action for a cause, however popular the cause could be, seems to be not working. Thus the political JAC which looked as a rallying point did not last long and the political crisis continues.


That there is a wide spread suspicion of the political parties, there sprung a number of other Joint Action Committees–the JACs of students, journalists, employees, writers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, democrats, developmentalists, women, SCs, BCs and local Committees including village level Joint Action Committees. The JACs organize not only meetings of their own members but public meetings popularly called Dhoom-Dham. Dhoom Dham is a folk form where highly talented artists particularly those who can sing and dance participate. They render songs relating to the demand for separate state and the injustices done to the region. Some of the artists also combine speech and song. They make scathing attacks on the politicians of different hues. These attacks are sometimes very pungent with humour and satirical evoking massive applause from the people. In quite a number of these meetings the elected public representatives are not allowed by the gathering to speak: they are heckled and humiliated. Several representatives of the Congress and the TDP are facing this popular anger in the Telangana region. Their confidence seem to be that finally the state formation is a political act, and once such decision is made all their political space would be restored back. They are also confident that none of these organizations can partake in the complex and expensive political game called electoral politics. What is puzzling is the total disjunction between the civil societal democratic articulations and the parliamentary political culture. How do these processes get connected whether they will get connected at all is the question. It is this disjunction that accounts for the parallel social movements along with the parliamentary election-centric political processes. The implications of these developments in the long run will have to be further explored.


There is yet another significant development in the ongoing movement; HMTV, one of the electronic channels has been organizing a live telecast of the debate called Dasha-Disha (direction and destination) on ongoing movements in both the regions which has become immensely popular. They have been organizing it in different districts of the State in both the regions. They invite important opinion makers from different walks of life to air their views with unfettered freedom. In these debates one or two persons known for their clear stand point are invited to present the other point of view for separation or status quo depending upon the district of the region where the programme is organized. This exercise, if not an experiment, is fairly effective. Members of one region listen to the arguments of the other region with some interruptions from the passionate and impatient supporters. This programme is popular and people in the entire state watched this live telecast lasting for six to ten hours. This viewership behaviour fairly compares itself with day and night cricket matches.


The presence of elected representatives of the two political parties – Congress and TDP – in the live telecast is resented, sometimes loudly protested. There are instances when they were physically prevented from presenting their views when the whole state is watching the programme. The implications of such an exercise are not yet clear. This programme has thrown up to the public view of the State some of the organic intellectuals or public men whose work and reputation otherwise remained confined to their respective district boundaries.


This is, by any standards, a new development in the mass media and an eye opener to different electronic channels that general public is open to views and serious democratic debates, if only media cares for it. This is a lesson to foreign supported National English channels which are totally partial, partisan and one sided. Watching these national channels has been a disgusting experience. That is one reason which makes this experiment at the regional level in local language very refreshing.


The Telangana region witnessed a wide ranging democratic movement which has created men and women of courage and conviction. The creativity level of these sections is remarkable. This region distinctly presents two cultures: one the people–centric democratic culture and the maneuvering political culture. There is some interface between the two and one has to watch the outcome of encounter of these two cultures. The question is whether the democratic culture would be able to make difference to formal politics or the maneuvering culture will vitiate the democratic culture.


P.S. As this paper was being given finishing touches, there was a by-election caused by the resignation of twelve MLAs from their positions as a part of the concern for the spate of suicides of young persons mostly students for the cause of a separate State. The MLAs of all the parties in the Telangana region took an oath on the dead bodies of these young persons that they would resign from their positions, but only TRS MLAs and one BJP MLA resigned and rest of the MLAs backed out under one pretext or the other. The election campaign for the candidates who resigned was done by all the Joint Action Committees. There was a view point that the Congress and Telugu Desam should not field the candidates in expression of solidarity with the cause, but it was turned down by respective party high commands. The result was that all the TDP candidates and four Congress candidates lost their deposits including the PCC president D. Srinivas. It was quite an impressive victory for the candidates and more so for the separate state demand. It suggests that the demand has percolated far deeper in popular consciousness than ever before. The contribution of non-political Joint Action Committees, which enjoy far higher legitimacy, has been very substantial. It is a convergence of legitimate non-political civil societal formations and devalued electoral politics. The question still remains which culture will become predominant in influencing the future of unfolding culture in the Telangana region.


Note: This is a revised version of ‘Prof B. Janardhan Rao Memorial Lecture’ delivered at Kakatiya University, Warangal, on 3rd May, 2010. I thank Prof. V.S. Prasad, Dr. G. Vijay for their useful comments on this paper. I also thank B. Jagannatham research scholar, Department of Political Science, University of Hyderabad for his assistance in finalizing this paper.


Srinivasulu, K. and Sarangi, Prakash (1991): “Political Realignments in Post- NTR Andhra Pradesh”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vo. 34, Nos. 34 &35, pp.2449-58.

Hanumantha Rao, Ch (2010): “Regional Disparities, Smaller States and Statehood for Telangana”, Academic Foundation, New Delhi.

Haragopal, G (1985): “A Socio Economic Study of Modern Andhra, Social Science” Probings, Vo. 2, No.1, March.

Haragopal, G (1987): “Dimension of Regionalism, Nationality Question in Andhra Pradesh”, TDSS, Pune.

Krishna Reddy, G (2002): “New Populism and Liberalism: Regime Shift under Chandra Babu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXVII, No. 9, 2-8 March, pp. 871-883.

Pingle, Gautham (2010): “The Historical Context of Andhra and Telangana-1949-56”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLV, No.8, pp. 57-65.

Balagopal K. (1999): “The Man and the Times”, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. XXXIV, No.26, June 26.

Balagopal, K. (2004): Andhra Pradesh: Beyond Media Images, The Economic and Political Weekly, June, 12.

Kalpana Kannabiran, Sagari R Ramdas, N. Mudhusudan, Ashalatha and M. Pavan Kumar, (2010): “On the Telangana Trail”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLV, No. 13, March 27, pp-69-82.

Bharath Bhushan, M and Venugopal, N (2009):  “Telangana: The State of Affairs”, AdEd Value Ventures, Hyderabad.

M. Kodanda Ram (2007): “Movement for Telangana State: A Struggle for Autonomy”, Economic and Political Weekly, Jan-13, pp.90-94.

Srinivasulu. K, (1997): “The Thesis on the Question of Small States”, in Simhadri, P & Vishweshwer Rao, P.L, ‘Telangana: Dimensions of Underdevelopment’, Centre for Telangana Studies.

Professor, Centre for Human Rights, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad;



For more Reading on this  subject. . .

Print Friendly



About the author

More posts by



  1. Sai Krishna says:

    Excellent article. Very well compiled and a comprehensive collection on Telangana issue ever seen!


  2. KALESWARA RAO says:

    great discription.

  3. anil says:

    Nice article.very informative.

Leave a Comment




Chief Editor

Executive Editor

Latest News Updates Globe FaceBook FaceBook check pr
Google Groups
Subscribe to indiacurrentaffairs
Visit Indiacurrentaffairs group

వార్తలూ వ్యాఖ్యలూ


Recent Comments