Chapter 1
M y  T e l u g u  R o o t s
For the past few years, the separatist movement demanding the creation of a Telangana state has roiled our state. Thanks to the verdict given by the Telugu people during the recent elections, the movement and its leaders are now going through introspection. Before the current movement, vocal demands for a separate state were raised on two other occasions. The demand surfaced for the first time during our state’s formation in 1956 when Prime Minister Nehru, in trying to stop the formation of a Vishalandhra state, accused Telugus of being imperialists. The movement resurfaced in a violent form in 1969 when Dr. Marri Chenna Reddy used high school and young college students for his political means. Now, for the third time, separatism’s ugly head has risen when Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leader Sri Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) started the current separatist movement after the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) denied him a ministry in the state cabinet. The gullible people of Nizam Telangana continue to fall for politicians’ antics.

During the 2009 elections, the demand for a separate state reached a new crescendo. Political parties of all hues tried to cash in on peoples’ whipped- up sentiments. Many of our leaders were so blindly in love with power that they have put aside their ideals and vied with each other to separate our state and its people. Sadly, many national parties and regional parties not having any stake in our state politics have thrown their hats into the fray to support separating our state and people.

Today, different quarters of our state are demanding chopping of our state into at least five pieces, namely, Nizam Telangana, Costal Andhra, Uttara Andhra, Greater Rayalaseema, and Greater Hyderabad.

About two years ago, when the din about dividing the state reached a crescendo, I resolved to learn more about the history of the Telugus and the legitimacy of the demand for a separate state. I wanted to understand how these so-called regions of Coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema, and Nizam Telangana formed. We all speak one common language, and people’s lifestyles across these regions have many more commonalities than differences. I hypothesized that we must have all been part of one nation and one society. If so, how did these regions and disparities arise?
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