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The first battle for separation of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh erupted in 1969 under the

leadership of Marri Chenna Reddy. However, he betrayed the people who trusted him and
actively participated in the movement under his leadership. The Congress party suppressed the
movement by terrorising people on the one hand and manipulating the leaders of the Telangana
movement on the other. The movement disturbed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people
one way or the other. It was a big blow to the generation of the times, which forgot all about the
movement following its failure. People realised that politicians would take them for a ride and
benefit from their movement for a separate state.

Despite the country becoming independent in 1947, Telangana continues to be under the rule of
outsiders in some form or other. The Nizams were ruling the region at the time of independence.
The newly formed Indian government toppled the Nizam’s government by force and handed it
over to Andhra Pradesh (AP), another new state carved out of the then Madras state. Thus,
Telangana became a part of AP. A few conditions were laid down to ensure that AP treated
Telangana well, which were observed more in the breach by the Andhra leaders.

The merger of Telangana with AP was a historical blunder committed by the then national-level
leaders. They might have misguided the national leadership by arguing that the people of both
the regions are one and the same since they speak Telugu. It was a huge trickery played by the
AP politicians who wanted to rule over a bigger state by merging Telangana with AP.

The people of Telangana realised the fraud in the 1960s. But the movement was mercilessly
trampled by the AP government, with the help of the central government as well as a few selfish
politicians from Telangana. The blow to the movement was so severe that until two generations
later, one could not even think of uttering the word Telangana, leave alone demand a separate
Telangana state. The concept was stigmatised by the media, which was controlled by the AP
government. They were intoxicated with their victory over the people of Telangana and treated
the Telanganites as second-class citizens.

The discrimination is everywhere and in every aspect. Telanganites are a minority in government
as well as in private sectors, which are largely in the hands of Andhraites. They never consider
Telanganites for higher positions in government or private corporations or anywhere else.
Andhraites ridicule the Telanganites.

Historically, people’s urge for independence could never be suppressed permanently. Though it
may look like an individual’s or some selfish politician’s demand, the struggle for independence
continues for years, decades or even centuries. The stigma surrounding the concept of a separate
Telangana state continued until K Chandrashekhar Rao took up the cudgels and re-launched the
battle for a separate state in 2001. The movement re-emerged strongly and the Telangana Rashtra
Samithi (TRS) could garner support from various quarters, including the youth and the hi-tech,
global generation of the day. Sensing the seriousness of the issue, the Congress party struck an
alliance with TRS in the 2004 elections and captured power both at the state and the centre.

Once again, the Congress betrayed the people of Telangana. It is the Congress Party that has
been betraying the people of Telangana right from the day Telangana merged with AP in the
1950s and this time the betrayal has been more blatant. The Congress President Sonia Gandhi
and even the then Chief Ministerial candidate YS Rajashekhar Reddy wore the pink flag during
the 2004 election campaign, conveying they were all for Telangana’s statehood and would
facilitate the separation of Telangana if they came to power. Once in power, they showed their
true colours, with the party, at the national and state level, making all efforts to defuse the issue.
It’s time now for the Congress leaders from Telangana to wake up and teach the party a fitting
lesson. They should either come out of the party and join the final struggle for Telangana state or
remain with the party and proclaim their support for the separation of Telangana clearly and
loudly. This is a lifetime opportunity for the politicians to do some ‘service’ to the people. They
will become heroes in the eyes of the generations to come or else they will be politically
crucified for their treachery.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is unabashedly supporting those suppressing the
movement, forgetting the fact that the concept of Communism is based on the independence of
the ‘people’. Can the CPI (M) explain what harm arises from forming a separate Telangana
state? Can’t they learn lessons from the history that witnessed fierce struggles for independence
by people of different cultures? Whatever support this party has been enjoying in Andhra
Pradesh is just because of the backwardness of the Telangana districts, where people are
naturally inclined towards some form of protest. Now that the people realise that all the
backwardness of the region has resulted from the blatant discrimination practised against the
region by the AP governments over decades, they will consign the CPI (M) to dustbin once for
all. The party will become part of history very soon if it doesn’t open its eyes to the reality.

Today’s demand for a separate Telangana state is being raised by all the 4 crore people of
Telangana in unison. No single individual born in Telangana is opposed to the formation of a
separate Telangana state. This is a historical necessity. This is not a rebellion. This will in no
way affect the integrity of the nation. It will only pacify the feelings of the people and improve
relations between the peoples of both the states. The fact that hardly any marriage takes place
between the peoples of Andhra and Telangana is a glaring example of the differences obtaining
between the regions. Both the cultures are different. The socio-economic conditions are different.

When Chandrashekhar Rao launched TRS with the sole agenda of achieving a separate
Telangana state, most of the supporters of the cause were not sure about his commitment. Prior
to the launch of TRS, a few parties came and vanished into thin air. Except for one outfit
launched by a former minister and Telugu Desam Party leader P Indra Reddy, who died
prematurely in an accident, the people of Telangana took no other movement seriously. The
launch of TRS was a historical necessity, although it looked like an issue concerned with a single
individual’s political survival. History creates leaders who through their leadership impart
momentum to the movement. Situations are created by a divine plan. It’s no individual’s plan;
it’s the collective decision of a people.

The situation has changed so drastically that even those opposed to a separate Telangana state
cannot dare to do so publicly now, whereas in the pre-TRS days, even strong supporters could
not air their thoughts. A seasoned politician, KCR (K Chandrashekhar Rao) lent legitimacy and
dignity to the issue by adopting a series of inimitable tactics. A history making issue such as the
creation of a state, especially at a time when people are too preoccupied with their own problems
warrants strategy and political acumen, which KCR has in him abundantly.

The March 6 deadline set by KCR for the formation of Telangana state is creating ripples across
the country. If the TRS fails to achieve any result by this date and compromises on the deadline,
it will have sounded the death knell for the movement. But now the deadline has sounded the
death knell for Congress leaders from Telangana. Everyone, including the people of Andhra
region, will win if the state is formed now and only now.

For those who would like to know why a separate Telangana state is required, the answers
follow:

• A set of people with a set of cultural ethos is entitled to its own government. Any
violation of this natural law amounts to denial of sovereignty. For example, marrying
one’s sister’s daughter is a common practice in Andhra while a sister’s daughter is treated
as a daughter in Telangana. This is a glaring example of the cultural differences, which
obtain between the peoples of Andhra and Telangana.

• Though the language spoken by both the Andhraites and Telanganites is called Telugu
and is mostly similar, the two Telugus are different. The way it is spoken is different. In
fact, most of the language is not understood by each other, unless one is used to it for
sometime.

• Smaller states are better for people as well as governments in terms of accessibility and
distribution of resources.

• Three States, viz, Uttaranchal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, were created recently on the
basis of the foregoing criteria and they are doing very well.

• The demand for Telangana state is the oldest of such demands throughout the country.
Similar demands obtain in respect of Vidarbha, Bundelkhand and Ghorkhaland. The
Congress Party is in favour of a separate Bundelkhand state.

• Andhraites need not masquerade themselves as Telanganites while they are in Telangana.
They can proudly live as Andhraites, follow their culture, language and lifestyle, which
are different from that of Telangana.

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