Hyderabad: The Telangana struggle has been a long battle and it finally may come to an end soon. Here's a brief look at the Telangana story so far.
Telangana is a region comprising 10 of Andhra Pradesh's 23 districts. Originally, the region was a part of the erstwhile Nizam's princely state of Hyderabad. In 1948, India put an end to the rule of the Nizams and a Hyderabad state was formed. In 1956, the Telangana part of Hyderabad was merged with the Andhra state.
The Andhra state had been carved out of Madras Presidency in 1953 after Potti Sreeramulu's agitation for Telugu statehood. The people from Telangana were against merger with Andhra as they feared job losses. That is because education levels and development in Andhra were better than in Telangana
There were cultural differences too. Under Nizam's rule, the culture and language in Telangana bore influences of North India. In 1969, the Telangana movement intensified under the leadership of Marri Chenna Reddy and the Telangana Praja Samithi. There was widespread violence and over 350 protesters were killed in police firing and lathicharge.
However, the movement could not last long as Chenna Reddy went on to merge his party with Congress and was eventually made chief minister by Indira Gandhi. In 2001, the movement revived once again when K Chandrasekhar Rao quit the Telugu Desam and formed the Telangana Rashtra Samithi. In 2004, the Congress joined hands with Rao, promising separate Telangana but later backtracked. In 2009, Chandrashekhara Rao's fast unto death forced the then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to announce the creation of a separate state of Telangana.
The Centre appointed a commission headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, BN Srikrishna to look into the matter of bifurcation. The commission submitted its report in December 2010 and it was rejected by the TRS. The late chief minister YS Rajashekhara Reddy's son YS Jaganmohan Reddy's decision to quit the Congress to launch his own outfit YSR Congress Party once again revived the Telangana debate.
The Congress's diminishing fortune in Andhra Pradesh is said to be the main reason behind its decision to bite the Telangana bullet.