Thursday, December 10, 2009

The blunder of 1956 stands to be corrected.

“The central government decided to ignore the SRC recommendations and established unified Andhra Pradesh on November 1, 1956. However, a "Gentlemen's agreement" provided reassurances to the Telangana people as well to Andhra people in terms of power sharing as well as administrative domicile rules and distribution of expenses of various regions. This agreement is known as Gentlemen's agreement of Andhra Pradesh (1956).” This agreement and many other agreements and assurances given to Telangana were never implemented properly or they were scrapped.
Please read on!
In December 1953, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appointed the States Reorganization Commission to prepare for the creation of states on linguistic lines. This was headed by Justice Fazal Ali and the commission itself was also known as the Fazal Ali Commission. The efforts of this commission were overseen by Govind Ballabh Pant, who served as Home Minister from December 1954. The commission created a report in 1955 recommending the reorganisation of India's states.
The States Reorganization Commission (SRC) was not in favour of merging the Telangana region with the then Andhra state. Para 382 ofStates Reorganization Commission Report (SRC) said "..opinion in Andhra is overwhelmingly in favour of the larger unit, public opinion in Telangana has still to crystallize itself. Important leaders of public opinion in Andhra themselves seem to appreciate that the unification of Telangana with Andhra, though desirable, should be based on a voluntary and willing association of the people and that it is primarily for the people of Telangana to take a decision about their future...". The concerns of Telanganas were manifold . The region had a less developed economy than Andhra, but with a larger revenue base (mostly because it taxed rather than prohibited alcoholic beverages), which Telanganas 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 Telanganas controlled the headwaters of the rivers. Telanganas feared too that the people of Andhra would have the advantage in jobs, particularly in government and education. Para 386 of States Reorganization Commission Report (SRC) said "After taking all these factors into consideration we have come to the conclusions that it will be in the interests of Andhra as well as Telangana area is to constitute into a separate State, which may be known as the Hyderabad State with provision for its unification with Andhra after the general elections likely to be held in or about 1961 if by a two thirds majority the legislature of the residency Hyderabad State expresses itself in favor of such unification."
The central government decided to ignore the SRC recommendations and established unified Andhra Pradesh on November 1, 1956. However, a "Gentlemen's agreement" provided reassurances to the Telangana people as well to Andhra people in terms of power sharing as well as administrative domicile rules and distribution of expenses of various regions. This agreement is known as Gentlemen's agreement of Andhra Pradesh (1956).

Separate Telangana state movement
1969 Movement
In the following years after the formation of Andhra Pradesh state, however, the Telangana people had a number of complaints about how the agreements and guarantees were implemented. Discontent with the 1956 Gentleman's agreement intensified in January 1969 when the guarantees that had been agreed on were supposed to lapse. Student agitation for the continuation of the agreement began at Osmania University in Hyderabad and spread to other parts of the region. Government employees and opposition members of the state legislative assembly swiftly threatened "direct action" in support of the students. This movement, also known as Telangana movement, led to widespread violence and deaths of hundreds of people and students of this Telangana region. Approximately 360 students gave their lives in this movement.[3]
Although the Congress faced dissension within its ranks, its leadership stood against additional linguistic states, which were regarded as "anti-national." As a result, defectors from the Congress, led by M. Chenna Reddy, founded the Telangana People's Association (Telangana Praja Samithi). Despite electoral successes, however, some of the new party leaders gave up their agitation in September 1971 and, much to the disgust of many separatists, rejoined the safer political haven of the Congress ranks.[4]
Movement in 1990-2004
The emotions and forces generated by the movement were not strong enough, however, for a continuing drive for a separate state until 1990s when Bharatiya Janata Party, promised a separate Telangana state if they came to power. But the BJP could not create a separate Telangana state because of the opposition from its coalition partner, Telugu Desam Party. These developments brought new life into the separatist Telangana movement by year 2000. Congress party MLAs from the Telangana region, supported a separate Telangana state and formed the Telangana Congress Legislators Forum.[5][6][7][8][9] In another development, a new party called Telangana Rashtra Samithi (or TRS) was formed with the single point agenda of creating a separate Telangana state, with Hyderabad as its capital lead by Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao popularily known as KCR.[10][11][12]
Proponents of a separate Telangana state feel.. all the agreements, accords, formulas, plans and assurances on the floor of legislature and Lok Sabha, in last 50+ years, could not be honoured and Telangana was forced to remain neglected, exploited and backward. The experiment to remain as one State proved to be a futile exercise and therefore, separation is found to be the best solution.[13][14][15]
2004 and later
In 2004, for Assembly and Parliament elections, the Congress party and the TRS had an electoral alliance in the Telangana region with the promise of a separate Telangana State.[16] Congress came to power in the state and formed a coalition government at the centre. TRS joined the coalition government in 2004 and was successful in making a separate Telangana state a part of the common minimum program (CMP) of the coalition government.[17] In September 2006 TRS withdrew support for the Congress led coalition government at the centre on the grounds of indecision by the government over the delivery of its electoral promise to create Telangana.[18][19][20]
In December 2006, the TRS won the by-election to the Karimnagar parliamentary constituency with a record margin.[21]
There was pressure on the Congress party to create a Telangana state in 2008.[22][23][24]
All TRS legislators in Parliament and in State (4MPs, 16MLAs, 3MLCs) resigned in the 1st week of March 2008 and forced by-elections to increase the pressure on Congress party, and to intensify the movement.[25][26]
By-elections for the 16 MLA seats, 4 MP seats were held May 29, 2008. During the election campaign the TRS party said it is a referendum on a Telangana state but both Congress and TDP parties said it is not a referendum on Telangana and also said that they are not opposed to the formation of Telangana state.[27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36] To the disappointment of Telangana proponents TRS retained only 7 out of 16 MLA seats and 2 out of 4 MP seats after the by-elections.[37]
In June 2008, Devender Goud, who is considered number two in the TDP, a politbureau member and Deputy Leader of the Telugu Desam Legislature Party, resigned from the party saying he would devote his time and energy to the formation of a separate Telangana state.[38] In July 2008, Mr Goud along with some other leaders like Mr. E Peddi Reddy formed a new party called Nava Telangana Praja Party.[39]
On 9 October 2008, in a historical turnaround from its 26-year history TDP announced its support for the creation of Telengana.[40]
Symbolic declaration of statehood
The Nava Telangana Party, led by the former home minister of Andhra Pradesh, T Devender Goud, declared Telangana as a separate province within India on November 2, 2008. Konda Laxman Bapuji announced that "We solemnly declare statehood for Telangana on November 2, 2008." Goud released ten pigeons in the air symbolising the ten districts of the region, while he also unfurled the national flag on the occasion. Along with his party activists he was later arrested when they tried to barge into the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat to change the name plate -— from Andhra Pradesh to Telangana. A scuffle then followed between the police and the NTP workers before the party workers were taken to the Chikkadapalli police station. Other NTP workers soon descended on the scene and staged a dharna to protest against the arrest.[41]
2009 and later
Ahead of the 2009 General Elections in India all the major parties in Andhra Pradesh supported Telangana state.[42]
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) again announced their policy of having smaller states and will create 2 more states Telangana andGorkhaland if they win the election.[43] When the BJP was last in power, they created JharkhandChhattisgarh and Uttarkhand. They suggest smaller states create more competition for investment and are better governed.
Congress Party still says it is committed to Telangana statehood.[44] But it did not create any new states during its rule over the last 5 years, not did it have a convincing answer to why it could not create Telangana state.[45] Also it claims Muslim minorities are opposed to creation of separate state along with majority people...[46][47]
Telugu Desam Party(TDP) promised to work for Telangana statehood. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) joined a Mahakutami(or grand alliance) with TDP and left parties to defeat congress party for denying statehood for Telangana.[48][49][50]
Praja Rajyam Party(PRP), newly founded by film star Chiranjeevi, too supports Telangana statehood. Nava Telangana Party merged with PRP after it realized that there is not enough political space for two sub-regional Telangana parties with Telananga statehood as main agenda.[51][52]
Several political parties, including some Telangana congress leaders, criticized Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekahr Reddy (YSR), when he changed his stand from pro-Telangana and gave anti-Telangana statements after the polls.[53][54][55]
Congress returned to power both at center and state. TRS and the grand alliance lost the elections in overwhelming fashion.[56]
In the first week of Dec 2009, the TRS president, K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) started a fast-unto-death demanding that the Congress partyintroduce a Telangana bill in the Parliament.[57][58] [59][60] [61]Student organizations, employee unions and various organizations joined the movement. [62][63] [64] [65] The decline of KCR's health has contributed to a sense of urgency for the central government to take a decision on the issue of Telangana statehood. [66] On Dec 9th 2009, 11:30 PM, Mr. P. Chidambaram, Union Minister of Home Affairs, on behalf of the Government of India announced that a resolution in the Andhra Pradesh assembly for the creation of a separate Telangana state will be passed. Mr. Chidambaram also informed that process for the formation of a separate Telangana state will be initiated soon. KCR ending his 11 day fast said from his hospital bed that this a true victory of the people of Telangana.. [67].
On Dec 10, Thursday, Indian government has agreed to start the process of forming a separate Telangana.
If you are interested in more information on Telangana, its grand history and its long struggles you may visit: . The above article is an extract from this link.

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