History of Telangana

Telangana has been the homeland for Sathavahanas and Kakatiyas . Kotilingala in Karimnagar was the first capital of the Sathavahanas before Dharanikota . Excavations at Kotilingala revealed coinage of Simukha, a Satavahana emperor.


The region experienced its golden age during the reign of the Kakatiyas, a Telugu dynasty that ruled most parts of what is now Andhra Pradesh, India from 1083 CE to 1323. Ganapatideva was known as the greatest of the Kakatiyas and the first after the Satavahanas to bring the entire Telugu area under one rule. He put an end to the rule of the Cholas in the year 1210 who accepted his suzerainty. He established order in his vast dominion that stretched from the Godavari delta and Anakapalle in the east to Raichur (in modern day Karnataka ) in the west and from Karimnagar & Bastar (in modern day Chattisgarh ) in the north to Srisailam & Tripurantakam, near Ongole in the south. It was also during his reign that the Golkonda fort was first constructed by the Kakatiyas.


Telangana, then came under Muslim rule in 14th century for the first time by Delhi Sultanate followed by Bahmanis, Qutb Shahis and Moghals. As the Mughal Empire began to disintegrate in the early 18th century, the Muslim Asafjahi dynasty established a separate state known as Hyderabad. Later, Hyderabad entered into a treaty of subsidiary alliance with the British Empire , and was the largest and most populous princely state in India. Telangana was never under direct British rule, unlike Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh, which were part of British India 's Madras Presidency.


Post-independence history (1948-1952)


When India became independent from the British Empire, the Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to retain his independence, but the Government of India amalgamated his state by force on September 17, 1948; after executing Operation Polo by the Indian Army. When India became independent, the Telugu -speaking people were distributed in about 22 districts ; 9 of them in the Telangana region of Nizam's Dominions ( Hyderabad State ), 12 in the Madras Presidency ( Andhra region ) and one in French-controlled Yanam. A Communist led peasant revolt started in 1946, lasted until 1951.


The central government appointed a civil servant, Keralite, Vellodi Narayana Menon K as Chief Minister of Hyderabad state on 26 January 1950. He administered the state with the help of bureaucrats from Madras state and Bombay state . In 1952, Telangana had tasted democracy for the first time when it participated in general elections and elected Dr. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao as the Chief minister of Hyderabad State . The Telugu speaking people in Madras state , enjoyed some form of democracy since 1920. During this time there was violent Mulki agitation by some Telanganites to send back bureaucrats from Madras state and to implement Mulki rules strictly.


1948-1952 Influx of Andhra People


It has to be noted that with no such precedence in Independent Indian political history, for four years, civil and military administrators ruled Hyderabad State. This period saw a huge influx of Andhra people into this region taking up all the new positions that the new India was throwing open to its people. With the pretext that people of Telangana were not educated in English or Telugu, the positions were filled up people from Andhra region. Once these people occupied these vital positions, they in turn invited many of their kith and kin to fill in many other positions. The history of Telangana Movement owes its origin to a certain extent to this period. During this time, it became evident to the people of Telangana that future holds complete marginalization of its people.


We don't make a record of migrations within the state, but if there is such a statistic, it will clearly reveal that millions of Andhra people migrate to Telangana occupying many positions in the government offices, banks, schools, colleges, universities, etc. Also, there was a great influx of businessmen from Andhra who had sold off their lands and assets in Andhra and setup business in Telangana region. We will also notice almost negligible migration happened from Telangana to Andhra regions during this period.  


Mulki Rules Flouted


The Nizam set up schools, colleges, madrasas and a University that imparted education in Urdu. Nizam, who had great admiration for British, started Hyderabad Civil Service (HCS) similar to Indian Civil Service (ICS). Though Nizam had three different regions in his kingdom - Telugu, Kannada and Marathi regions - he managed the conflicts that could arise between these regions by implementing 'Mulki Rules'. Mulki Rules provide 80% reservation for local people in all recruitments for C and D posts at district level and 60% reservation for local people in Class A and B posts at divisional level. This system ensured that people of the each region got access to opportunities. The Mulki Rules came into existence in 1928.


During the influx after Independence, most of these rules were flouted using fake certificates that gave people of Andhra region a local status. When the people of Telangana realized how Andhra people were able to take up the jobs using these fake certificates, they started a protest called 'Gair Mulki Go Back!' [Non-Mulki Go Back]


1952 Hyderabad State Elections


And contrary to the contemporary belief that Telangana was never a state before, Burgula Ramakrishna Rao was elected the Chief Minister of Hyderabad State in 1952. Telangana was part of a state called Hyderabad state in India, before it became a part of Andhra Pradesh against its will.


Creation of Andhra State


While Hyderabad State came into existence on its own which included Telangana only in 1948, Telugu-speaking Andhra region was a part of Madras Presidency. This region became independent on August 15, 1947 along with rest of India as Madras Presidency.


Fearing that most of the newly created jobs and opportunities would be taken up by Tamils since they were more educated and had access to opportunities, Andhra people started a protest. Potti Sriramulu, the leader of this agitation started a 'hunger strike till death' on 19 th October 1952. Even though New Delhi surmised that these people could be given a new state with a new capital to take care of academic and government jobs and other economic opportunities, Potti Sriramulu fought for Madras city (now called Chennai) as their capital city. The recommendations given to New Delhi suggested that Madras will belong to Tamils and not to Andhra People. Potti Sriramulu died on 15 th December 1952 after 63 days of fasting.


His actions resulted in formation of First State Reorganization Committee (SRC) which divided the nation along linguistic lines, though Nehru was quite averse to such organization based on language.


New Delhi approved for creation of a new state called Andhra on 1 st October 1953 for the people of Andhra region carved out of erstwhile Madras Presidency.


One of the misconceptions that are flouted nowadays is that Potti Sriramulu fought for a greater and unified Vishalandhra comprising all Telugu people under one state. There is no truth to this. He had in fact fought for extremely local demands for his own people of Andhra region, and not Telangana people.


Prevailing mood before Creation of Andhra Pradesh


Hyderabad State was created in 1948, Andhra was created in 1953. Andhra people won themselves a state but not Madras. Their capital city was an unknown city called Kurnool. They were still scouting for a much needed capital city that can rival Madras. The death of Potti Sriramulu put agitation of Andhra People on the national scene. With the creation of Andhra, legitimacy for creating states on linguistic lines was gaining ground.


The same bystanders from Andhra region, who stood by while Telangana went through Razakar Movement and who later on took up many positions in the Hyderabad state now started to vie for Hyderabad city.


It should be known that Hyderabad was a very famous city in the world already. It was considered the second most important city in the Muslim World where one of the world's richest men resided. It was known for architecture marvels and international businesses. Hyderabad state was the biggest princely state in India who had direct access to British Crown.


People of Andhra now caught a new slogan to create a new state for all Telugu people, including people of Telangana. The reality had set in New Delhi that creation of states along linguistic lines could not be avoided. During First SRC headed by Fazal Ali, states like Kerala, Madras State (Tamil Nadu), Mysore state (later named to Karnataka), were all created based on linguistic lines. Andhra people vied for Hyderabad and hence whole of Telangana, and campaigned under the slogan that the binding factor was the common language Telugu. Though Telangana was unimpressed by such placatory moves because of the experiences of 1948-52, and though Telangana was least interested in joining Andhra, and though Telangana bitterly opposed it when it came to happen, Andhra prevailed and they were successful in annexing Telangana to form Andhra Pradesh thereby winning the crown jewel Hyderabad.


Another misconception that is flouted now is that First SRC has definitely agreed for creation of Andhra Pradesh from Telangana and Andhra State. That is not the case. In fact, the First SRC clearly makes a case of Telangana. Here are the excerpts from the text:


The Case for Telangana


  • The considerations which have been argued in favour of a separate Telangana State are, however, not such as may be lightly brushed aside.

  • Some Telangana leaders seem to fear that the result of unification will be to exchange some settled sources of revenue, out of which development schemes may be financed, for financial uncertainty similar to that which Andhra is now faced. Telangana claims to be progressive and from an administrative point of view, unification it is contended is not likely to confer any benefits on this area.

  • When plans for future development are taken into account, Telangana fears that the claims of this area may not receive adequate consideration in Vishalandhra. .does not wish to lose its present independent rights in relation to the utilization of the waters of Krishna and Godavari.

  • One of the principal causes of opposition of Vishalandhra also seems to be the apprehension felt by the educationally backward people of Telangana that they may be swamped and exploited by the more advanced people of the coastal areas. In the Telangana districts outside the city of Hyderabad, education is woefully backward. While Telangana, itself may be converted into a colony by the enterprising coastal Andhra.

  • 'The Telangana' it has further been argued, can be stable and viable, unit considered by itself.