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The history of the Telangana movement refers to the political and social conditi

ons under which the Telangana region was merged with Andhra State to form the st
ate of Andhra Pradesh and the subsequent demands to reverse the merger to form a
new state of Telangana.
Monarchy to Democracy
When India became independent from the British Empire in 1947, the Nizam of Hyde
rabad, a Muslim king, wanted Hyderabad State to remain independent under the spe
cial provisions given to princely states. The Hindus of the Hyderabad State who
accounted for 93 per cent of its population, launched the `Join India' movement
with the cooperation of a few patriotic Muslims for the integration of the State
with the rest of the country. The State Indian National leaders and Arya Samaj
leaders invoked themselves whole-heartedly in the movement. The peasants of the
state, influenced by Communist party, had also revolted against the Nizam, who t
ried to suppress their armed struggle against landlords. Qasim Razvi led private
Razakar Muslim army fighting for continuation of the Nizam's rule, did worst fo
rms of atrocities on people.[1][2][3] The Government of India liberated and assi
milated the Hyderabad State on 17 September 1948, in an operation by the Indian
Army called Operation Polo.
A Communist-led peasant revolt started in Telangana in 1946, which lasted until
1951. Hyderabad state included 9 Telugu speaking districts of Telangana, 4 Kanna
da districts in Gulbarga division & 4 Marathi speaking districts in Aurangabad d
ivision. Rangareddy district was carved out of Hyderabad district of Telangana i
n 1978. Now Telangana has 10 districts. The Central Government appointed a civil
servant, M. K. Vellodi, as First Chief Minister of Hyderabad state on 26 Januar
y 1950. He administered the state with the help of bureaucrats from Madras state
and Bombay state. In 1952, Dr. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao was elected Chief minist
er of Hyderabad State in the first democratic election. During this time there w
ere violent agitations by some Telanganites to send back bureaucrats from Madras
state, and to strictly implement 'Mulki-rules'(Local jobs for locals only), whi
ch was part of Hyderabad state law since 1919.[4]
In 1952, Telugu-speaking people were distributed in about 22 districts, 9 of the
m in the former Nizam's dominions of the princely state of Hyderabad, 12 in the
Madras Presidency (Andhra region), and one in French-controlled Yanam. Meanwhile
, Telugu-speaking areas in the Andhra region were carved out of the erstwhile Ma
dras state by leaders like Potti Sri Ramulu to create Andhra State in 1953, with
Kurnool as its capital.[5][6][7]
In 1952, there was a students agitation against non Mulkis (mulki meaning locals
). The agitation arose after many jobs were taken by people from coastal Andhra.
The popular slogans were Non-Mulki go back and Idli Sambar go back. During the
protests seven students were killed in police firing. Some sources claim that th
e Mulki Movement started as far back as 1927. Author-Cheekati Mallesh

Merger of Hyderabad State and Andhra

In December 1953, the States Reorganisation Commission was appointed to prepare
for the creation of states on linguistic lines.[8] The commission, due to public
demand, recommended disintegration of Hyderabad state and to merge Marathi spea
king region with Bombay state and Kannada speaking region with Mysore state.
The States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) was not in favour of an immediate mer
ger of Telugu speaking Telangana region with Andhra state, despite their common
language. Paragraph 382 of the States Reorganisation Commission Report (SRC) sai
d "opinion in Andhra is overwhelmingly in favour of the larger unit; public opin
ion in Telangana has still to crystallise itself. Important leaders of public op

inion in Andhra themselves seem to appreciate that the unification of Telangana

with Andhra, though desirable, should be based on a voluntary and willing associ
ation of the people and that it is primarily for the people of Telangana to take
a decision about their future". The people of Telangana had several concerns. T
he region had a less-developed economy than Andhra, but with a larger revenue ba
se (mostly because it taxed rather than prohibited alcoholic beverages), which p
eople of Telangana feared might be diverted for use in Andhra. They feared that
planned irrigation projects on the Krishna and Godavari rivers would not benefit
Telangana proportionately, even though people of Telangana controlled the headw
aters of the rivers. It was feared that the people of Andhra, who had access to
higher standards of education under the British rule, would have an unfair advan
tage in seeking government and educational jobs.
The commission proposed that the Telangana region be constituted as a separate s
tate with a provision for unification with Andhra state, after the 1961 general
elections, if a resolution could be passed in the Telangana state assembly with
a two-thirds majority. The Chief Minister of Hyderabad State, Burgula Ramakrishn
a Rao, expressed his view that a majority of Telangana people were against the m
erger.[9] He supported the Congress party's central leadership decision to merge
Telangana and Andhra despite opposition in Telangana.[10] Andhra state assembly
passed a resolution on 25 November 1955 to provide safeguards to Telangana. The
resolution said, "Assembly would further like to assure the people in Telangana
that the development of that area would be deemed to be special charge, and tha
t certain priorities and special protection will be given for the improvement of
that area, such as reservation in services and educational institutions on the
basis of population and irrigational development."[11] Telangana leaders did not
believe the safeguards would work.[12][13]
Hyderabad Chief minister in his letter to Congress President said Communist part
ies supported the merger for their political calculations. Hyderabad PCC chief s
aid overwhelming majority from Congress party opposed the merger and Communists
were elected in special circumstances in 1951 and Visalandhra was not a politica
l issue in 1951 and Assembly does not reflect people's view on this issue. He al
so said 80% of Congress delegates who were elected in 1955 opposed merger. Gover
nment had to provide the additional security for Communist leaders who supported
the Visalandhra.[12]
In Hyderabad assembly out of 174 MLAs On 3 December 1955, 147 MLAs expressed the
ir view. 103 MLA's (including Marathi and Kannada MLAs) supported the merger, 16
MLAs maintained neutral stand and 29 opposed merger. Among Telangana MLAs, 25 T
elangana MLAs disagreed with the merger, 59 Telangana MLAs supported the merger.
Out of 94 Telangana MLAs in the assembly, 36 were Communists(PDF), 40 were Cong
ress, 11 were Socialist party(SP), 9 were independents. Voting did not take plac
e on the resolution because Telangana proponents insisted on to including the ph
rase "As per the wishes of people" in the resolution.[14][15]
With lobbying from Andhra Congress leaders and with pressure from the Central le
adership of Congress party, an agreement was reached between Telangana leaders a
nd Andhra leaders on 20 February 1956 to merge Telangana and Andhra with promise
s to safeguard Telangana's interests.[16][17] This came to be known as the Gentl
emen's agreement. The agreement allowed the formation of the state of Andhra Pra
desh in 1956 itself, against the SRC's recommendations of waiting until 1961 to
get the approval of 2/3 of Telangana state assembly after the 2 cycles of electi
ons in Telangana state.
Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru initially was skeptical of merging Telangana wit
h Andhra State, fearing a "tint of expansionist imperialism" in it.[18][19] He c
ompared the merger to a matrimonial alliance having "provisions for divorce" if
the partners in the alliance cannot get on well.[20][21][22] Following the Gentl
emen's agreement, the central government established a unified Andhra Pradesh on
November 1, 1956.[5][23][24] The agreement provided reassurances to Telangana i

n terms of power-sharing as well as administrative domicile rules and distributi

on of expenses of various regions.