Andhra Pradesh is the first state to be formed linguistically. In a world full of deceit, repression and opportunism, a state by name Andhra was formed in 1953 and was merged with another fledgling, Hyderabad after whipping up the passions of language in 1956. From day one, there was no sincerity in bridging the gap in development between both the areas, the simple proofs being the existence of the words Telangana and Andhra(with none talking about Andhra Pradesh) and the fact that whoever said separate Telangana won with a thumping majority in elections and separated again as a failed experiment after an uncomfortable bonhomie of just over half a century. The below data presents the election outcomes of all the results(not bypolls) in Telangana. Two or three main things to note are the 1957 elections were held because Hyderabad assembly’s five year term expired in 1957 which meant that Andhra’s first term in assembly was for seven years as against the usual five. I have given the list of top ten vote getters(assuming they won atleast a single seat). And the voting was always overwhelmingly in favour of victor, both in seats and in percentage of votes.
Nizam of Hyderabad administered the oath of office to Shri B. Ramakrishana Rao as Chief Minister of Hyderabad on March 5, 1952
Members of Hyderabad’s first popular ministry with H.E.H. the Nizam of Hyderabad after their assumption of office on March 5, 1952. Shri B. Ramakrishna Rao, Chief Minister is standing third from left and Shri M.K. Velodi, Adviser is standing third from right.
The British who ruled India for more than 150 years never thought of creating linguistic States although the problem was always there. They were more interested in creating a stable administration and maintaining law and order throughout the country than in catering to the cultural craving of people in multi-lingual areas. It is quite true that towards the end of their career they did realise that the administrative set-up which they had built required some adjustment from the point of view of linguistic considerations, at any rate in cases where the conglomeration was very glaring. For instance, they did create Bengal, Bihar and Orissa as linguistic States before they left. It is difficult to say whether if they had continued to rule, they would have followed the path of forming linguistic States to its logical conclusion.
But long before the British thought of creating linguistic provinces the Congress under the aegis of Mr. Gandhi had already in the year 1920 framed a constitution for itself on the basis of linguistic provinces. Whether the ideology underlying the constitution of the Congress as framed in 1920 was a well thought out ideology or whether it was a sop to draw people inside the Congress fold, one need not now stop to speculate. There is, however, no doubt about it that the British did realise that linguistic considerations were important and they did give effect to them to a limited extent.
Upto the year 1945, the Congress was, of course, not called upon to face the responsibility which it had created for itself by its constitution of 1920. It was only in the year 1945 when it assumed office that this responsibility dawned upon the Congress. Looking into the recent history of the subject the necessary momentum to the issue was given by a member of Parliament by moving a resolution for the creation of linguistic provinces in India.
The duty of answering on behalf of the Government to the debate fell on me. Naturally I took the matter to the higher authorities in order to ascertain what exactly their point of view was. Strange as it may appear, it became clear to me that the High Command was totally opposed to the creation of linguistic provinces. In these circumstances, the solution that was found was that the responsibility to answer the debate had better be taken over by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister in reply to the debate made statement promising the creation of an Andhra State immediately. On the basis of the statement made by the Prime Minister, the resolution was withdrawn. The matter rested there.
As Chairman of the Drafting Committee, I had to deal with the matter a second time. When the draft Constitution was completed, I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister asking him whether I could include Andhra as a separate State in Part A States of the Constitution in view of what he had said in the course of the debate on the Resolution. I have nothing with me here to refresh my memory as to what exactly happened. But the President of the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, appointed a Committee to investigate into the formation of linguistic States, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Dhar, a lawyer from U.P.
People will remember the Dhar Committee for one thing if not for any other. The Committee said that under no circumstances should Bombay City be included in Maharashtra ifMaharashtra was made a linguistic State. That report was then considered by the Jaipur session of the Congress. The Jaipur Congress appointed a Three-Man Committee consisting of the Prime Minister, Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel and Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya. They produced a report, the gist of which was that an Andhra province should be created immediately but the city of Madras should remain with the Tamils. A committee was appointed to go into the details. It produced a more or less unanimous report. But the report was opposed by substantial elements among the Andhras including Mr. Prakasam who were not prepared to relinquish their claim to Madras, and the thing lay dormant there.
After that comes the incident of Shri Potti Sriramulu who had to sacrifice his life for the sake of an Andhra province. It is a sad commentary on the ruling party that Mr. Sriramulu should have had to die for a cause the validity of which was accepted by all Congressmen. The creation of a new Andhra province now being thought of is only a pindadan to the departed soul of Mr. Sriramulu by the Prime Minister. Whether such action on the part of the Government would have been tolerated in any other country is a matter on which there is no use speculating.
There are, in my opinion, three conditions which must be satisfied before a linguistic State is brought into being. The first condition is that it must be a viable State. This rule was accepted as absolute when the question of the merger of the Indian States was under consideration during the making of the Constitution. Only those Indian States which were viable were allowed to remain as independent States. All others were merged into the neighbouring States.
A Sahara ?
Is the proposed Andhra State a viable State ? Mr. Justice Wanchoo had very candidly admitted that the annual revenue deficit of the proposed Andhra State will be of the magnitude of Rs. 5 crores. It is possible for the proposed Andhra State to reduce this gap either by increase of taxation or decrease in expenditure? The Andhras must face this question. Is the Centre going to take the responsibility of meeting this deficit ? If so, will this responsibility be confined to the proposed Andhra State or will it be extended to all similar cases ? These are questions which are to be considered.
The new Andhra State has no fixed capital. I might incidentally say that I have never heard of the creation of a State without a capital. Mr. Rajagopalachari (the staunchest Tamilian tribesman) will not show the Government of the proposed Andhra State the courtesy of allowing it to stay in Madras city even for one night—courtesy which is prescribed by the Hindu Dharma on all Hindus for an atithi. The new Government is left to choose its own habitat and construct thereon its own hutments to transact its business. What place can it choose ? With what can it construct its hutments ? Andhra is Sahara and there are no oases in it. If it chooses some place in this Sahara it is bound to shift its quarters to a more salubrious place, and the money spent on this temporary headquarters would be all a waste. Has the Government considered this aspect of the case ? Why not right now give them a place which has the possibility of becoming their permanent capital.
It seems to me that Warangal is best suited from this point of view. It is the ancient capital of the Andhras. It is a railway junction. It has got quite a large number of buildings. It is true that it lies within that part of Andhra which is part of Hyderabad State. As a matter of principle Hyderabad State which is a monstrosity should have been broken up and a complete Andhra State might have been created. But if the Prime Minister has some conscientious objection to the proposal, can he not create an enclave in the Andhra part of Hyderabad and join it to the new Andhra State and make a way to Warangal ? An enclave is not a new thing in India. But the Prime Minister wants to work against the will of God in Hyderabad as well as in Kashmir. I am sure he will very soon learn the consequences of it.
This is just incidental. My main point is that a linguistic State must be viable. This is the first consideration in the creation of a linguistic State. The second consideration is to note what is likely to happen within a linguistic State. Unfortunately no student has devoted himself to a demographic survey of the population of India. We only know from our census reports how many are Hindus, how many are Muslims, how many Jews, how many Christians and how many untouchables. Except for the knowledge we get as to how many religions there are this information is of no value. What we want to know is the distribution of castes in different linguistic areas. On this we have very little information. One has to depend on one’s own knowledge and information. I don’t think it would be contradicted if it is said that the caste set-up within the linguistic area is generally such that it contains one or two major castes large in number and a few minor castes living in subordinate dependence on the major castes.
Let me give a few illustrations. Take the Punjab of PEPSU. The Jats dominate the whole area. The untouchables live in subordinate dependence on them. Take Andhra—there are two or three major communities spread over the linguistic area. They are either the Reddis or the Kammas and the Kappus. They hold all the land, all the offices, all the business. The untouchables live in subordinate dependence on them. Take Maharashtra. The Marathas are a huge majority in every village in Maharashtra. The Brahmins, theGujars, the Kolis and the untouchables live in subordinate co-operation. There was a time when the Brahmins and the banias lived without fear. But times have changed. After the murder of Mr. Gandhi, the Brahmins and the banias got such a hiding from the Marathas that they have run away to the towns as safety centres. Only the wretched untouchables, the Kolis and the Malis have remained in the villages to bear the tyranny of the Maratha communal majority. Anyone who forgets this communal set-up will do so at his peril.
In a linguistic State what would remain for the smaller communities to look to ? Can they hope to be elected to the Legislature ? Can they hope to maintain a place in the State service? Can they expect any attention to their economic betterment ? In these circumstances, the creation of a linguistic State means the handing over of Swaraj to a communal majority. What an end to Mr. Gandhi’s Swaraj ! Those who cannot understand this aspect of the problem would understand it better if instead of speaking in terms of linguistic State we spoke of a Jat State, a Reddy State or a Maratha State.
The third problem which calls for consideration is whether the creation of linguistic States should take the form of consolidation of the people speaking one language into one State. Should all Maharashtrians be collected together into one Maharashtra State ? Should all Andhra area be put into one Andhra State ? This question of consolidation does not merely relate to new units. It relates also to the existing linguistic provinces such as U.P, Bihar and West Bengal. Why should all Hindi-speaking people be consolidated into one State as has happened in U.P. ? Those who ask for consolidation must be asked whether they want to go to war against other States. If consolidation creates a separate consciousness we will have in course of time an India very much like what it was after the break-up of Maurya Empire. Is destiny moving us towards it ?
This does not mean that there is no case for linguistic provinces. What it means is that there must be definite checks and balances to see that a communal majority does not abuse its power under the garb of a linguistic State.
This speech given by Sangam Lakshmibai on 01 Dec 1955 is a very beautiful composition in Telugu. It’s innocent, it’s sentimental and it’s powerful.
Some honourable members said, people from Telangana are backward, uneducated and they fear people from other states. Actually, people of this state don’t fear. There are no one here who fear. People here are not backward. The people of this area have got a special problem. This is a story. It has a history. The people of Telangana suffered from Communists, they suffered from Razakars. After suffering much, they are slowly trying to rise up now. People here are thinking of their future and are acting on various things to secure their future. Only now, they are trying to understand what is administration, what is government, what they are. Maharashtra(Marathwada) are ready to merge into Bombay and they are asking for it. What is Bombay? It’s a developed state. The land of Maharashtra is fertile. The people there are asking for merging with Bombay. But the goddess of Telanga is the goddess of rocks, the goddess of hills. This is a backward area. There are many great poets here. Potana is from here. His Bhagavatam is read by all in Andhra. Pillalamarri is from here. Bheemanna is from here. All these are from here. In what area is Telangana backward? The pure Telugu words used here are not used anywhere. That’s the culture here. There is good in Telangana. They know respect. What we have here is pure gold. People here don’t know deceit. Because our people are good, they don’t know how to crush others to advance. How can we keep a competition between a highly educated and an uneducated child? There are many people who are educated in Telangana. They are righteous. They don’t have the brain to snatch others’ oppurtunities. Some said people here are uneducated. There are people who are educated, there are very great people here. Our late Suravaram Pratapa Reddy wrote Andhrula Sanghika Charitra(The Social History of the Andhras). Government gave him a remuneration of five thousand rupees. I ask if there is anyone there who has got such accolades. Educated people here are many. But people here believe, the people there, with their talents and capabilities will create problems for the people here. People there are motivated. They are capable of deceit. That means they can cheat the people here. Thousands of people will come here with their familes and settle here. They will try to crush the locals and rise in the society. Andhra people will mesmerize Telangana. People from there will ascend by putting great pressure. We don’t know how to pressurize by shouting. We are telling the opinion of the people here. We are presenting their opinion here. How will things move on if you continuously scold and shout at us? What happened if you shout and say public opinion is for Visalandhra? The people of my constituency are demanding for a separate Telangana. Who ever want to come to my constituency are welcome. See whether they want Telangana or Visalandhra. Just because we said four words, it’s wrong to assume that people here are demanding for Visalandhra. Everyone in Tellangana wants the state of Telangana. The Government appointed a commission. Those people are good. They came here and asked the people of their opinion. What I stress is, for the next five to six years, that is till the next elections, create a new state of Telangana.
Some people here said Visalandhra. What one of the leaders asking for Visalandhra was, when there was a selection and when the selection committee elected two people from Telangana, using his power, he appointed his brother to that post and removed those two persons. These sort of things will happen frequently. They commit many atrocities to ensure the people here are backward. Excluding this, there is no difference between us and them. They are Andhras and we are Andhras. There areno walls between Bezawada and Hyderabad. There are no barriers between Guntur and Hyderabad. The people there are politically active. People here don’t have that. If there is a separate Telangana, people here will also become active like the people from Andhra. People here will develop. This is a political issue. This is a national issue. I strongly support for a separate Telangana.
Telugu original below.
కొందరు గౌరవ సభ్యులు ఏమన్నారంటే తెలంగాణా వాళ్ళు వెనకబడిన వాళ్ళు , చదువు లేని వాళ్ళు , బయటి రాష్ట్రం వాళ్ళని చూసి భయ పడుతున్నారు . అనేది . ఇక్కడ వాళ్లకు భయం ఏమి లేదు . ఇక్కడెవరు భయ పడే వాళ్ళు లేరు . ఇక్కడ వాళ్ళు వెనకబదినవారు కారు . ఇక్కడి వారికి తెలంగాణా రాష్ట్రం కావాలంటే ఇక్కడి వారికి తెలంగాణా వాళ్లకు ఒక ప్రత్యెక సమస్య ఉంది . ఇది ఒక కథ . ఒక హిస్టరీ ఉంది . తెలంగాణా ప్రజలు కమ్యునిస్టుల వలన బాధలు పడి రజాకార్ల వల్ల బాధలు పడి , అనేక కస్టాలు పడి , ఇప్పుడిప్పుడే నిమ్మళంగా పైకి లేవడానికి ప్రయత్నిస్తున్నారు . ఇక్కడి ప్రజలు ఇప్పుడిప్పుడే తమ భవిస్యత్తు గురించి కృషి చేస్తూ , భావి జీవితం కొరకు అనేక కార్యక్రమములు మొదలు పెడుతున్నారు . ఇప్పుడే అధికారం అంటే ఏమిటో , ప్రభుత్వం అంటే ఏమిటో ,తామంటే ఏమిటో ఇక్కడి ప్రజలు తెలుసుకోగలుగుతున్నారు . బొంబాయిలో కలవడానికి మహా రాష్ట్రులు సిద్దంగా ఉన్నారు . దానికొరకు వారందరూ మాట్లాడుతున్నారు . బొంబాయి రాష్ట్రం ఎటువంటిది ? అది అభివృద్ధి పొందిన దేశం . మహారాష్ట్ర ప్రాంతం లోని భూమి సత్తువకలది . మహారాష్ట్రులు బొంబాయిలో కలవాలంటున్నారు . కాని తెలంగాణా తల్లి రాళ్ళ తల్లి . గుట్టల తల్లి . ఇది వెనక బడిన దేశం . ఇక్కడ గొప్ప గొప్ప కవులు వున్నారు . మహాకవి పోతన ఇక్కడి వాడే . ఆయన భాగవతమును అందరూ అక్కడ ఉన్న ఆంధ్ర దేశం లోని అందరు కూడా చదువుతారు . పిల్లల మర్రి ఉన్నారు . భీమన్న కవి ఉన్నాడు . వీరంతా ఇక్కడివారే . ఈ తెలంగాణా ఎక్కడ వెనకబడి ఉంది ? తెలంగాణాలో ఉపయోగించే అచ్చ తెలుగు పదాలు ఎక్కడా ఉండవు . అంత సంస్కృతి ఉన్నది . తెలంగాణాలో మంచితనం ఉన్నది . తెలంగాణాలోని వారికి మంచి మర్యాద తెలుసు . ఇక్కడ ఉన్నదంతా అచ్చాబంగారం . ఇక్కడ వాళ్లకు కపటం లేదు మోసం లేదు . మా ప్రజలు మంచితనంగా ఉండడం చేత వారికి ఇతరులను అణగదొక్కి ముందుకు పోవడం తెలియదు . బాగా చదువుకున్నవాడికి , చదువుకోని పిల్లవాడికి పోటి పెడితే ఎట్లాగు ? తెలంగాణాలో చదువుకున్న వారు చాలామంది ఉన్నారు . వాళ్ళందరూ నిజాయితిగా ఉంటారు . ఇతరులను తోసి ముందుకు పోయే తెలివి తేటలు లేవు . ఇక్కడ చదువుకున్న వాళ్ళు లేరని కొందరన్నారు . ఇక్కడ చదువుకున్నవారు , పెద్ద పెద్ద వాళ్ళు ఉన్నారు . మన కీర్తి శేషులైన సురవరం ప్రతాప రెడ్డి గారు ఆంధ్రుల సాంఘీక చరిత్ర రాశారు . వారికి ఐదు వేల రూపాయలు గవర్నమెంట్ బహుమతిగా ఇచ్చింది .ఈ విధమైన గౌవరములు అక్కడి వారికి ఎవరికైనా వచ్చిందా అని అడుగుతున్నాను . ఇక్కడ కూడా చదువు కున్న వారు ఎక్కువే వున్నారు . కానీ అక్కడి వాళ్ళు చాకచక్యంతో , నేర్పుతో ,ఇక్కడవాల్లను సతాయిస్తారని ఇక్కడి వాళ్ళు అనుకుంటున్నారు . అక్కడి వారికి చైతన్యం ఉంది . ఇతరులను నమ్మించి బోల్తా కొట్టించే నేర్పు ఉంది . కాబట్టి వాళ్ళంతా వచ్చి ఇక్కడివాల్లను నమ్మించి బోల్తాకోట్టించడం జరుగుతుంది . అనేక మంది వేలదివేల ప్రజలు తల్లితండ్రులతో సంసారాలు , సంసారాలతో సహా వచ్చేస్తారు . ఇక్కడి వాళ్ళను అణిచి పైకి పోవడానికి ప్రయత్నిస్తారు . తెలంగాణకు ఆంధ్రులు వచ్చి జాదూ చేస్తారు . అక్కడి వారు ఇక్కడ గట్టి ఒత్తిడి తీసుకువచ్చి ముందుకు పోవడం జరుగుతుంది . గట్టిగా అరుస్తూ వత్తిడి చేయడం మాకు చేత గాదు . మేము ఇక్కడి ప్రజల ప్రజల అభిప్రాయం ఏమిటో తెలుపుతున్నాము . ఇక్కడి ప్రజల అభిప్రాయం మీ ముందర పెడుతున్నాము . ఊరికే తిట్టుతూ మాట్లాడితే ఎట్లాగు ? ప్రజల అభిప్రాయం విశాలంధ్రకు అనుకూలంగా ఉన్నదని గట్టిగా మాట్లాడినంత మాత్రాన ఏమైంది ? నా నియోజక వర్గంలోని ప్రజలు తెలంగాణా కావాలని అంటున్నారు . ఎవరు వస్తారో , నా నియోజక వర్గానికి రండి . వారంతా తెలంగాణా కావాలంటున్నారో , విశాలాంధ్ర కావాలంటున్నారో చూడండి . ఊరికే నాలుగు మాటలు గట్టిగా అన్నామని , ఇక్కడి ప్రజలు విశాలాంధ్ర కావాలని అంటున్నారని అనుకోవడం పొరపాటు . తెలంగాణాలోని ఆబాలగోపాలం తెలంగాణా రాష్ట్రం కావాలంటున్నారు . సర్కారు వారు ఒక కమిషన్ వేశారు . వారు బుద్ది మంతులు . వారు ఇక్కడకు వచ్చి తిరిగి ప్రజల అభిప్రాయం కనుక్కున్నారు ……నేను ఇప్పుడు ముఖ్యంగా కోరేదేమంటే ఐదారేండ్ల వరకు అంటే వచ్చే ఎన్నికల వరకు ప్రత్యెక తెలంగాణా ఏర్పాటు చేయాలని కోరుతున్నాను .
ఇక్కడి వారు కొందరు విశాలాంధ్ర అంటున్నారు . విశాలాంధ్ర కావాలనే నాయకులు ఒకరు ఏమి చేసారంటే ఏదైతే సెలక్షన్ ఉన్నదో , ఆ సెలక్షన్ తెలంగాణా వారిని ఇద్దరిని ఎన్నుకుంటే తనకు పదవి ఉన్నదని చెప్పి అందులో తన అన్నను తీసుకువచ్చి పెట్టి ఇదివరకు ఉన్నవాళ్ళను తీసివేసారు . ఇటువంటి అన్యాయాలు ఎన్నో జరుగుతాయి ….. ఇక్కడి వారు ముందుకు రాకుండా అఘాయిత్యాలు చేస్తారు . ఇటువంటి పనులు జరుగుతాయి తప్పితే మాకు వాళ్లకు భేదం లేదు . వాళ్ళు ఆంధ్రులే మేము ఆంధ్రులమే . బెజవాడ , హైదరాబాద్ ల మధ్య గోడలు ఏమీలేవు . గుంటూరు , హైదరాబాదుల మధ్య అడ్డుగోడలు ఏవిలేవు . అక్కడి వారికి ఎక్కువ రాజకీయాలు , దానిలో చలాకి తనం ఉంది . ఇక్కడి వారికి లేదు . ఈ ఐదు సంవత్సరాలు ప్రత్యెక తెలంగాణా ఉంటే ఇక్కడి వారు కూడా వాళ్ళ వలె చలాకి వాళ్ళు అవుతారు . ఇక్కడి వారు అభివృద్ధి చెంది వుంటారు . ఈ సమస్య ఒక రాజకీయ సమస్య . ఇది దేశ సమస్య .నేను గట్టిగా తెలంగాణా ఉండాలని కోరుకుంటున్నాను