At the stroke of midnight on Sunday, India gave birth to its 29th state, Telangana was formed. Drawn out of the state of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana was not an easy victory. The battle for a separate state, was carried out over a period of over 60 years.
In November 1956, The government of India decided to merge Andhra and Telangana and form Andhra Pradesh. On 2 June 2014, K Chandrasekhara Rao was sworn in as Telangana's first chief minister. The magnitude of time between the two events is equivalent to the struggles that were put in for the formation of this state.
Wondering what went into the struggle for the much talked about Telangana? Here is a cheat sheet of 8 events that happened which led to the formation of Telangana:
1) The ironic 'Gentlemen's Agreement'
The Gentlemen's agreement of Andhra Pradesh was signed between Telangana and Andhra leaders prior to the formation of the state of Andhra Pradesh (1956). The agreement laid down certain safeguards, with the aim to avert discrimination against Telangana by the government of Andhra Pradesh. The dissatisfaction towards the implementations of the agreement, was often used as a scapegoat for the desire of a new state of Telangana. On 1 November 1956, Andhra and Telangana merged into Andhra Pradesh.
2) Call for Jai Telangana Movement
In January 1969, the desire for a separate Telangana intensified with the Jai Telangana Movement in which students of Osmania University set out for protests. This was as a result of the failure of the Gentlemen’s Agreement. This agitation which was started out by Marri Channa Reddy who launched the Telangana Praja Samiti. The events took a violent turn as over 300 of the protesters were killed in the violence. Post this, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi came up with an eight-point plan. Telangana leaders unanimously rejected the plan and protests continued under the endorsement of Telangana Praja Samiti.
3) Rise of Telangana Rashtri Samithi
Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao who was sworn as the chief minister on Monday, was the man who formed the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). He formed the party when he walked out of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for being denied a cabinet seat in the Chandrababu Naidu government. The party was founded on simply one principle, that was to separate Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.
4) Hunger strikes!
TRS Chandrashekhar Rao declared an fast till death chant for the desire for a separate Telangana. He also demanded compensation of Rs 10 Lakh to the kin of the dead in Telangana. The Centre hesitated, however, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram finally came out with an announcement that it was "initiating the process for formation of Telangana state" on 9 December, 2009.
5) On hold, with blood
In December 2009, the central government announced that it was putting Telangana issue on hold. This sparked protests across Telangana with some students ending their lives for a separate state. Post this was a period of unrest, Telagana region witnessed a series of agitation like the Million March, Chalo Assembly and Sakalajanula Samme (general strike) in 2011-12 while MLAs belonging to different parties quit from the House.
6) Congress in Action
On December 2012 , Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde called for an all party meeting to discuss the Telangana issue, claiming that this would be the last meeting in light of the state bifurcation issue. It was attended by 8 parties, but was a failure as there was no conclusion reached, members of the Congress itself had opposing views.
Congress later held a public meeting which was attended by over 1,00,000 people to show their continuing support to the formation of Telangana. The party put the proposal to the Central Working Committee and everyone in the committee supported a resolution to form the state within a fixed timeframe and promised to pay close attention to the water sharing issues.
On 31st October 2013, the cabinet officially approved the formation of the new state of Telangana. However, it suggested the set up for a group of ministers (GoM) to look after the issues that may spring up as a result of the seperation of the state. Once the inputs were taken from the state assembly the Telangana bill was cleared and was sent to be introduced to the Parliament.
8) Parliament and Pepper Spray
The bill in the parliament took a rather unusual turn. The difference between the street and Parliament became hazy when Lagadapati Rajagopal Seemandhra MP launched a pepper spray attack. Fragments of broken glass, displaced microphones and fights turned Lok Sabha into a war ground between those in support and against the formation of the state of Telangana. This led to some politicians even being hospitalised. However, the bill was cleared from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The President gave his assent to the formation of Telangana. And June 2 was all set to be the foundation day of the new state of Telangana.
All of this has finally culminated to the formation of Telangana, the 29th state of India.
Read More: Telangana official map yet to be prepared