On July 30, 2013 the ruling UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government made a decision that can one day have far reaching impact on the national integrity of India as a whole. The effects can already be felt to a certain extent with people in the Darjeeling district calling an indefinite bandh in order to press their claims for a separate state and one feels that further such movements will be making their presence felt in the coming days. Now for people, who have only heard of the movement and do not know much about it, the obvious question would be that why was Telangana announced to be the 29th state of India?
During December 1953 the States Reorganization Commission (SRC) was tasked with making suggestions on how the state boundaries, across the country, could be reorganized. Incidentally, the SRC did not favour the union of Telangana with Andhra Pradesh as they had seen that there were several apprehensions among the people in the region regarding the possible union. At that time Telangana felt that the revenue generated by itself could be used for the benefit of Andhra and very less may come its way. They were also afraid that they will not be benefited by any irrigation project on rivers Godavari and Krishna in spite of controlling the headwaters.
At that time Andhra also had the advantage of English education and this meant, as far as people in Telangana were concerned, that they would have an advantage when it came to government jobs. The Commission had proposed that the region should be allowed to remain a separate state with a provision that it could be united with Andhra Pradesh after the general elections of 1961, should the state assembly of Telangana vote for it with a 2/3rd majority. However, the state was eventually formed on February 20, 1956 with a Gentleman’s Agreement signed between the leaders of both the region whereby special attention was to be given to the development of the region and reservations were to be provided in areas like education and services.
Over the years, the Telangana leaders have had several issues over unequal distribution of water resources, discrepancies in jobs as well as budget allocations. Even though this region has the highest amount of the catchment area of Godavari and Krishna, the Andhra region gets the maximum part of the benefits resulting from the irrigation projects. There have also been complaints of non-spending of the funds meant for Telangana. Professor Jayashankar has also pointed that out only a handful of people from this region have ever been a part of the state administration.
They also feel that the various agreements, promises and projects meant for the development of the region have never really been honoured and this has left Telangana a backward region that is both neglected and exploited. Till date more than 300 people have given their lives and 16 of these people have died by setting fire on themselves. This goes to show the amount of resentment and general disenchantment people have regarding the Andhra administration and how fierce their will for emancipation is.
Officially, it could be that the boundaries of the state are being rearranged in accordance with the times when it was under Nizam rule but one feels that the reasons run much deeper.
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