let's look at what P.Sundarayya had to say about the only industry that hyderabad could truly brag about, exploitation, in feudal telangana in (the very first chapter) Telangana's People's Struggle and its Lessons:
The basic feature that dominated the socio-economic life of the people of Hyderabad and especially in Telangana was the unbridled feudal exploitation that persisted well-nigh till the beginning of the Telangana armed peasant struggle.and so on. hyderabad was built with such loot from the countryside. a history of exploitation, written in sweat and blood, forms the foundation of the claim of the people of telangana on the city of hyderabad. is the claim of the people from andhra-rayalaseema on hyderabad any different, 53 years after merger? i don't think so. only the methods used, and the exploiters, are different. i think the claim of the ordinary people of andhra-rayalaseema should also be measured in the same light. but more on that later.
Out of the 53,000,000 acres in the whole of Hyderabad State, about 30,000,000 acres, i.e., about 60 per cent, were under governmental land revenue system, (called diwani or khalsa area) ; about 15,000,000 acres, i.e., about 30 per cent, under the jagirdari system, and about 10 per cent as the Nizam's own direct estate, i.e., sart khas system. It was only after the police action that the sarf khas and jagirdari systems were abolished, and these lands were merged in diwani (brought under governmental land revenue system).
The income or loot from the peasantry, from the sarf khas area, amounting to Rs. 20,000,000 annually was entirely used to meet the expenditure of the Nizam's family and its retinue. The whole area was treated as his private estate. He was not bound to spend any amount for economic and social benefit or development of people's livelihood in that area. If anything was spent, it used to be from other general revenues of the state. In addition, the Nizam Nawab used to be given Rs. 7,000,000 per annum from the state treasury.
After the police action when the sarf khas area was merged in the diwani area, the Nizam and his family offspring were to be paid Rs. 5,000,000 per annum as compensation, apart from another Rs. 5,000,000 as privy purse. The peasants in these areas were nothing but bond-slaves, or total serfs under the Nizam. Even whatever little rights existed in the diwani area were denied
The jagir areas constituted 30 per cent of the total state. In these areas, paigas, samsthanam, jagirdars, ijardars, banjardars, maktedars, inamdars, or agraharams, were the various kinds of feudal oppressors. Some of these used to have their own revenue officers to collect the taxes they used to impose. Some of them used to pay a small portion to the state while some others were not required to pay anything. In these areas, various kinds of illegal exactions and forced labour were the normal feature. Some of these jagirs, paigas and samsthanams, especially the biggest ones, had their own separate police, revenue, civil and criminal systems ; they were sub-feudatory states, under the Nizam's state of Hyderabad which was itself a stooge native state under the British autocracy in India. In jagir areas the land taxes on irrigated lands used to be 10 times more than those collected in diwani (government) areas, amounting to Rs. 150 per acre or 20-30 mounds of paddy per acre.
let me repeat, despite the tall claims of kcr and other votaries of a separate telangana, there was very little that resembled modern industry or economy in hyderabad or telangana in pre-1947 days. a sugar factory here, or a bidi factory there, a spinning mill here or a timber mill there: when compared with industry in calcutta, bombay or madras or even surat or ahmedabad, hyderabad was a city that belonged in the middle ages. all the loot went to build a city meant for the leisure class, for pleasure. and for the administrative classes who kept the machinery of exploitation running. hence, it had an airport, hospitals and a university. but it imported doctors, pilots, engineers and teachers from across the country. because until the last couple of decades of the feudal rule, the rulers, despite their unquestionably immense wealth, never really woke up out of their feudal stupor to build a society that could produce its own doctors, pilots, engineers and teachers. if one runs through the long list of scions of ex-jagirdars and big landlords like kcr who are now legislators and mps, one can't help but wonder: how many of them had grandfathers who had ever entertained thoughts of being economic agents of change like some of the privileged landowning classes elsewhere in the country? like those who started banks in karnataka, textile mills in mumbai, engineering industries and film studios in madras, for instance? run through the whole of telangana with a fine comb and i'm sure you'd come back with nothing more than crumbling fortresses as the only material evidence of those rural tyrants ever having existed.
could the nizam alone be blamed?
whatever infrastructure that existed in hyderabad city before accession owes its origin to some progressive thinking on the part of the last nizam and his father. they did try to make some sincere efforts to bring modernity to the state: the university and the hospitals they built, some public buildings like the secretariat and the assembly, other infrastructure like the airport, roads and the water supply and sewerage system. the last nizam also tried hard to persuade the local rich landowners as well as industrialists and businessmen from across the country to invest in the city, offered them land and incentives to set up manufacturing units in industrial parks that he had developed. very few businessmen from outside hyderabad state actually took up the offer. and there were fewer takers among the local telangani landowners. weren't they wealthy enough? going back to sundarayya's book again:
Some of these notorious feudal deshmukhs who owned tens of thousands of acres, against whom bitter battles were fought, during 1940, are listed below :-—the nizam did try, but his hindu, upper caste jagirdars were quite content with things as they were. they were very rich without ever having to work, or even having to think about work. while their control over people's lives was, to put it very mildly, almost godly in many places, the nizam's control over his jagirdars, it'd seem in hindsight, was very weak. historians have been very harsh on the last nizam, and very kind towards his hindu jagirdars, one has to admit.
1. Visunur Deshmukh—40,000 acres, landlord over 40 villages in Jangaon taluka, Nalgonda district.
2. Suryapet Deshmukh—20,000 acres.
3. Babasahebpet Deshmukh—10,000 acres, Miryalagudem taluka.
4. Kalluru Deshmukh—100,000 acres, Madhira taluka, Khammam district.
5. Jannareddy Pratap Reddy—150,000 acres, Suryapeta taluka.
Here are a few more examples of the big landlords, who owned more than 5,000 acres, in a few talukas to which the movement spread : Mallapuram Rangareddi, Chandampalli Doralu, Mosongi Doralu of Koppulu, of Devarakonda taluka ; Cherukupolli Narasimhareddi of Miryalagudem taluka ; Betavolu zamindar, Kapugallu Muttavarapu family, Penubadu Seetaram Rao of Huzurnagar taluka ; Chandupatla Sudarshana Rao, Dupalli Venkatarama Reddy of Bhuvanagiri taluka ; Musakuri family of Tangadapalli, Alwala family of Polapalli of Ibrahimpatnam taluka ; Mandameri Madhava Rao (10.000); Pusukuri family (10-20,000 acres); Narsapur Samsthanam (50-100 thousand acres) of Lakkisattibeta taluka, Adilabad district.
The land concentration in Hyderabad state and the Telangana region was tremendous. The administrative report of 1950-51 gave figures to show that in the three districts of Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar and Warangal, the number of pattadars (landlords) owning more than 500 acres were about 550, owning 60 to 70 per cent of the total cultivable land. The extent of exploitation indulged in by these jagirdars, paigas and samsthanams can be imagined from the fact that 110 of them used to collect Rs. 100,000,000 every year in various taxes or exactions from the peasantry. Out of this amount, Rs. 55,000,000 used to be appropriated by 19 of them, while the whole revenue income of the Hyderabad state before 1940 was no more than Rs. 80,000,000. This was only the legally admitted collections. But it was a well-known fact that total collections, legal and illegal, amounted to thrice this amount. When the Nizam issued his firmana banning illegal exactions, it mentioned 82 varieties of illegal exactions !
But this firmana remained a mere paper proclamation. The jagirdars, deshmukhs, the big landlords continued their illegal forcible forages with the active connivance of the corrupt officialdom of the Nizam state. To give one example :
Visunur Ramachandra Reddy, the notorious deshmukh in Janagaon tehsil of Nalgonda district, used to forcibly seize the the lands from the tenants and the peasants. He used to force the peasants in his area, of about 40 villages, to do forced labour in his fields, all through the year ; pay nazarana (presents in kind or cash) at the birth of a child in the family, marriage or death ; (every handicraftsman, artisan, merchant had to pay a certain portion of his products or fixed amounts in cash. The cobblers—shoes and ; shepherds—blankets and supply of sheep and goats for the feast and free milk ; and peasants—grain, vegetables, etc.) He built a house costing Rs. 200,000 in the thirties and forties, out of which nearly half the cost was collected in cash from the forced labour for various construction jobs. A young mother who had delivered a child only three days earlier, was made to do forced labour in his fields, leaving the infant at home, with nobody to look after it and the child died of lack of milk and care. He was so notorious that peasants hesitated to give their daughters in marriage to persons living in those villages. It was against such forced labour and illegal exactions and evictions that the Andhra Mahasabha, the cultural organisation of Telugu-speaking Andhra people of the Telangana region of Hyderabad State, waged innumerable struggles. The beginnings of the Telangana armed struggle were against the atrocities of this very same Visunur deshmukh in 1946, when his goondas attacked and murdered Doddi Komarayya, the local Andhra Mahasabha worker, in Kadivendi village on July 4.