more the voice of the prosperous and the articulate

found this interesting article on the current telangana movement by a participant in the 'hypocritical' 1969 movement. his characterization of the current separatist movement as a voice of the prosperous and the articulate is something that i agree with to a large extent:
But this time it is not a voice of the backward and the cheated. It is more the voice of the prosperous and the articulate. It is more the demand for a share in power first and then for power exclusively by a new coterie of self-centred elite of Telangana basking in the relative development of the region over these 2-3 decades since the earlier agitation. However, to hide the reality this new class is inventing and singing the songs of backwardness and betrayal to hoodwink the masses who otherwise may not join their bandwagon. It is not as if the entire saga is a mere figment of imagination - we cannot say that there has not been or there is not any backwardness at all in the region, that there has not been or there is no cheating at all of the people of the region, etc. But it is a case of clear exaggeration of the actuality, a blowing-out-of-proportion, of making mountain of a molehill, of the alleged exploitation, oppression, humiliation and suppression of the Telangana region, its people and its leaders. On the contrary the real facts of the situation are that over the decades, especially keeping in view the very low base, the very backward state under the Nizam Rule with which Telangana had started and with which alone any real comparison of development indices can be made, Telangana has progressed more rapidly than other regions of the State. This has created a very powerful and articulate middle class, which is now espousing the cause of separation in which alone it sees its salvation if it were to ascend to the portals of exclusive power. In a sense this is a problem of affluence and not of poverty - of course relative affluence of a powerful middle class.[emphasis mine]
that's an extract from a post by mallikarjuna sharma, who as a student had participated in the 1969 separate telangana movement. the post is long, but carries a crisp summary of the history of the telugus, the telangana peasants' struggle, separation movements in the state after 1956 and so on. the author also clearly points out the 'dishonesty' of the current lot of separatists, in quoting selective history and facts and figures, and tries to present a more realistic picture of development in the three regions.

those who'd like to get an objective overview of all the issues involved, please go read the article. though it seems to have been originally written and published a few years ago, most of his arguments still remain valid. but i warn you, it's very long, and the author i suspect, is not very familiar with formatting, for online audiences, all the large quantity of information he puts together into appropriately short sections (to fit the short attention spans of the internet age).

lastly, would like to quote another interesting paragraph from the post which i think loudmouthed shashi tharoors of the maoist movement like kishenji, and left-oriented students at osmania and kakatiya universities need to read:
In this context I think I should also say something about my personal experience during the Separate Telangana movement. I was not only a keen observer of but also a sort of participant too in this hypocritical movement. I was an engineering student in Warangal at that time and an activist in the just split away Marxist-Leninist group (called Charu Mazumdar group) mainly in the student front. I was even arrested once in connection with that movement but somehow managed to escape from police custody. Along with another student comrade I represented our student wing at the Kavali Conference of the Student Federation of India, which at that time was almost exclusively in our i.e. revolutionary students' hands. It was I who proposed the resolution that the Conference adopt a resolution for "People's State in Separate Telangana" and persuaded it to do so. Of course I did all that under the dictates of Comrades K.G. Satyamurthy and K. Seetharamaiah who were our party leaders at that time. I was quite ignorant about the Andhra Mahasabha movement in the 1930-48 period or the Vishalandhra movement of the later days. I did not know even about the developments which led to the communist party espousing the cause of "Vishalandhralo Praja Rajyam" (People's State in Greater Andhra) which was parodied in the above slogan given by our leaders with regard to the Separate Telangana movement. But soon the naxalite movement broke out in Telangana and I was one of the first amongst the student activists to go underground and plunge into the 'armed struggle' and that naturally 'separated' me from the Separate Telangana movement, which we considered not so important as compared to our liberation struggle for seizure of power though we did support it. However, the communist revolutionary group led by Tarimela Nagi Reddy and Chandra Pulla Reddy had strongly and efficiently opposed the Separate Telangana movement at that time and we were fuming and fretting about it criticizing them left and right (just as the People's War group comrades would now do with other 'revolutionaries' opposing the present Separate Telangana movement) and asking what business 'revolutionaries' had to oppose an anti-Government mass upsurge, etc. But later my study of the history of Andhra and Telangana, especially of the vicissitudes of the communist movement in our state in the background of the history of the international and national communist movements as well as the betrayal of the Separate Telangana movement by Channa Reddy and the like other feudal, bourgeois leaders convinced me about the correctness of the stand taken by Nagi Reddy and Pulla Reddy at that time.


Kiran said...

Another great post. Emphasizes once again the real reason of t separateness - not material poverty but a moral one. To reward such a movement with political boundaries may lead to catastrophe. The reason Pakistan failed in relation to India was the weak moral foundation of the state even though Islam as a religion can make a person better morally than hinduism.

gaddeswarup said...

Thanks for the article. A slightly updated version, dated December 16, 2009 here:
It seems to cover some questions that I had. More references would have been welcome but on the whole it is a coherent and comprehensive article.

ved said...


This is a very powerful message. I also agree with your earlier message on the paradox that Hyderabad city was rich but people were poor. Now look at several development indices across all the districts of AP- literacy rate, high school education, infant mortality rate, per-capita income. In every one of these indices Telangana made tremendous progress compared to where it was in 1956. Now it is some districts of Uttarandhra that take the distinction of the most backward districts in AP.

A most elaborative study of the backward districts of India was conducted by Mr EAS Sharma, Principal Advisor to the Planning Commission. This study and the recommendations for improvement were referred as PCAS programme. PACS identified 100 most backward districts of India. These are poorest of the poor. Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana (RSVY) programme drawn up under the Tenth Plan was created as a result of this study.

None of the districts from AP made the PACS list, none from telanagana, and not even Srikakulam or Vizianagaram. Eight of the 100 districts are from erstwhile Hyderbad state. Seven of them from Marthwada region and one from Karnataka region of former Hyderabad state. They are Aurangabad, Jalna. Parbhani, Beed, Nanded, Osmanabad, Latur and Bidar. In 1956 they were at the same level as their counter parts in Telangana except Hyderabad district. Hyderbad and Aurangabad were poster cities under Nizam rule. How did Telangana broke away from the cycle of poverty that other Nizam districts still reeling under?. Did Marthwada region was exploited by Maharastra? We don't see any separate state sentiment there, at least not to this degree. Or is it that Telanagana took advantage of relatively advanced andhra and reaped the benefits of united Telugu state. The answer is obvious.

Yayaver said...

i am not of AP state but now getting clear idea about Telengana matter..

kuffir said...


that was thoughtful. i've been thinking about the morality of teachers/activists who have stopped thinking of broader social/economic empowerment, of improving human development indices and are focussing on elite-oriented 'asset' oriented, top-down economic models. of students' movements which are looking at a few lakh govt jobs which might directly benefit less than 2% of the people but take way scarce resources from the social sector thereby affecting the lives of nearly two crore families. of dalitbahujan leaders who are looking for an easy way out of their failure to forge alliances across regions speaking the same language and are looking at merely few crumbs of political posts that might come their way... how will they forge alliances across states which speak different languages and find real political stature in delhi?

kuffir said...

swarup garu,

thanks for you comment. what kind of references are you looking for?


thanks for all that info and the link.

'I also agree with your earlier message on the paradox that Hyderabad city was rich but people were poor.'

the wealth of hyderabad city was loot, spending wealth, not wealth generated out of production or local industry. therefore, very shortlived. this message doesn't seem to have got across to a lot of naive supporters of the separation movement.


thanks for the appreciation.

gaddeswarup said...

I am somewhat of an outsider to this debate, but I was curious about the origin of Mulki rules, 1952 agitations about Mulki rules, how a large class of middle class farmers emerged from coastal Andhra but not Telangana, though the coast was also under the Nizam until the French and then the British intervened. Similar doubts are slowly getting clarified through your posts and this omprehensive article.

Bhanu Prasad said...


If this turns out to be true, then Movement of seperate telangana is purely a cultural construct. Telanganites think them to be a distinct cultural entity and hence are clamouring for a seperate state.

Linked you. A Link back will be a great boost for me :)

kuffir said...

swarup garu,

i had suspected you'd be curious about the mulki rules:)

bhanu prasad,

'If this turns out to be true, then Movement of seperate telangana is purely a cultural construct.'

the author cites prof.jayashankar's book as the source. anyway, there is not much substance in the data/stats reeled out by the separatists, because it is obvious to many that they choose their figures very selectively, and often cloud the context or background of those facts. on development and other economic factors, the movement doesn't have much ground to stand on so they've shifted very quickly to 'aatmagauravam' in recent years.

thanks for your comment for adding me. checked your blog and found it very interesting..

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