First linguistic State gets split

Telangana to be ushered in amid fanfare and celebrations

Updated - November 17, 2021 04:52 am IST

Published - June 01, 2014 10:13 pm IST - HYDERABAD

The historic Gun Park in Hyderabad, which was a symbolic venue for the separate Telangana State agitation over the years, is being lit up on Saturdaynight ahead of the State formation. Photo: Nagara Gopal

The historic Gun Park in Hyderabad, which was a symbolic venue for the separate Telangana State agitation over the years, is being lit up on Saturdaynight ahead of the State formation. Photo: Nagara Gopal

The first State to be formed on linguistic basis in the country- Andhra Pradesh, will be divided into two Telugu-speaking States at the stroke of midnight on Sunday with the ushering in of Telangana State amidst fanfare and celebrations in the region.

Following the death of Potti Sriramulu after nearly two months of fasting, which he began on October 19, 1952 demanding formation of linguistic State of Andhra for Telugu-speaking people, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was generally against formation of linguistic provinces, finally conceded the demand and announced on December 16, 1952 that Andhra state would be formed.

This also paved the way for formation of States on similar grounds elsewhere.

Andhra State was born on November 1, 1953 with Kurnool as its capital after it was carved out from Madras Presidency. Three years later, the Telugu-speaking areas in the erstwhile Hyderabad State were merged with it following a Gentleman’s Agreement and Andhra Pradesh was formed on November 1, 1956. The State capital was shifted from Kurnool to Hyderabad.

During the past six decades, Andhra Pradesh with its rich cultural and literary traditions, was witness to many historical milestones and turbulent phases. Some of them include the construction of the world’s largest masonry dam, Nagarjunasagar. Two eminent Telugu litterateurs, Viswanatha Satyanarayana Sastry and Dr.C. Narayana Reddy won the prestigious Jnanpeeth award.

Tanguturi Prakasam was the first Chief Minister of Andhra State while Neelam Sanjiva Reddy became the first Chief Minister of the integrated Andhra Pradesh State after the merger of the areas under erstwhile Hyderabad State. The last in the line of 16 Chief Ministers of the united State was Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, who resigned in protest against the division of the State.

Among the Chief Ministers, Mr. Sanjiva Reddy later occupied the highest office in the country and was elected unopposed to the post of the President in 1977, while P.V. Narasimha Rao became the Prime Minister in 1991. The State witnessed violent agitation for separate Telangana in 1969 and separate Andhra in 1972 leading to imposition of President’s Rule.

The monopoly of the Congress party ended in 1983 after actor-turned-politician, N.T. Rama Rao spectacularly stormed to power on the plank of self-pride of Telugus, nine months after he launched the Telugu Desam Party.

Sustained agitation the second time around for separate Telangana was spearheaded by former minister and Deputy Speaker K. Chandrasekhar Rao after he quit TDP and launched Telangana Rashtra Samithi in 2001. With the demand growing fiercer and the region frequently witnessing agitations and shutdowns, the UPA government finally fulfilled the long-standing aspirations of four crore Telangana people and announced the formation of Telangana State.

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