Posts Tagged ‘hyderabad’

Friday, August 27th, 2010

In order to not lose the momentum of their movement, TRS is working hard to gin up issue after issue till the Srikrishna Committee finishes its work. According to The Hindu August 20, 2010, KCR said that “…citizens all over the world enjoyed the right to celebrate the freedom of their homeland. But, people of Telangana alone were unlucky on this front. The Independence Day on August 15 was not a matter of celebration for them. On the contrary, they got their real independence from the clutches of Nizam's rule on September 17”.

 

In my view KCR and his TRS cohorts should grieve on September 17th and not celebrate.

 

In the modern history of Telugus there are three salient events- 1) Formation of Andhra State 2) Liberation of the Hyderabad State 3) Formation of Andhra Pradesh (Vishalandhra)

 

In my view all three should be celebrated, by one and all. However, no more government, bank, or school holidays- they wreak economic havoc on common man.

 

Andhra State was formed on October 1, 1953. The state came into existence, after a struggle that started in 1904 when Young Men's Literary Association was formed in Guntur. This organization transformed into Andhra Mahasabha. Father of the Andhra State movement Konda Venkatappayya fought hard for over three and a half decades for a state that will unite Telugus scattered across different regions. After the death of Amarajeevi Potti Sriramulu, Nehru conceded to the creation of Andhra State.

 

Now coming to the Hyderabad State, half of the state was made up of Telugu people, while Marathi, Kannada, and others constituted the remaining half. Initially Persian and later on Urdu became the official language of the state, despite Telugu being the most spoken language in the state. Telugu people were not even allowed to speak in their mother tongue in public forums. Telugus tired of discrimination under Nizam formed Andhra Mahasabha. Respectable figures like Madapati Hanumanth Rao, Survaram Pratap Reddy, Raavi Narayana Reddy led this organization. Later on the organization came to be dominated by Communists who have organized the peasants in an armed struggle against Nizam and his feudal lords, who have committed untold atrocities against civilians. Over 4,000 people died in that armed struggle and over 2,000 from the Nalgonda district alone. This movement shook the foundation of Nizam's rule. During this struggle against Nizam, friendly relationships developed between the Nizam Telugu districts and the Madras Telugu districts, which laid the seeds for a future Vishalandhra.

 

After India's independence from the Britishers, almost all the 600 odd princely states merged with either India or Pakistan, while Nizam toyed with the idea of staying independent. On September 13, 1948 Nehru ordered Operation Polo, which was one of the easiest wars Indian army ever undertook. Andhra Pradesh state came into existence on November 1st 1956 according to the desires of majority of the Telugu people of all the regions. Burugula Ramakrishna Rao sacrificed his CM position for Telugu unity.

 

Therefore, Andhra State formation on October 1st, Hyderabad State Liberation on September 17th, and formation of Andhra Pradesh on November 1st should be celebrated by all Telugus.

 

For current day separatists, millions of peasants that suffered under feudal atrocities under Nizam’s rule are not so material. It doesn’t matter that Hyderabad was built for elites, with the blood sucked from the poor farmers who had to endure 26 different kinds of taxes including taxes such as levy- which is what farmers had to pay irrespective of the output on the land, dispute tax to have a dispute settled between two parties, ash tax to cremate loved ones, war tax to finance the British in the 2nd world war. While Nizam ruled from Hyderabad and gave over 80% of the government jobs to Muslims, feudal lords reigned over rural areas running their own fiefdoms and fleecing poor peasants. Janna Reddy Pratap Reddy of Suryapeta owning 1.5 lakh acres of land, Kalluru Deshmukh of Khammam owning one lakh acres, Visunur Deshmukh owning forty thousand acres gives an idea of how dire the situation was. While Nizam derived approximately 8 crore rupees annual revenue, the feudal lords combined revenues were around 10 crore rupees. As a result of this robbing, Nizam became the richest man in the world with 27 palaces in 7 different countries.

 

However, separatists look at this past very differently.

 

TRS chief KCR at a public event on June 19th 2007 said “Asaf Jahi rule of Telangana is a golden era”. Responding to those that criticized him for praising Nizam, KCR on November 29, 2007 said that he would praise Nizam’s rule a thousand times. He said that during the Nizam rule, Muslim kings sent pearls to Lord Rama in Bhadrachalam and jewelry to Kanaka Durga in Vijayawada. He said that when there were floods in Musi, Nizam performed prayers according to Hindu rituals. KCR claimed that any development in Telangana was only because of the Nizams. Osmania University, the Medical College, the Nizam Sagar project, and the Nizam Sugar Factory were all results of Nizam’s benevolence.

 

There are several other intellectuals in the separatist camp that subscribe to this position. Prof. Kodandaram, the head of the JAC, wrote: “Before the merger with Andhra State, Telangana, which was part of the Hyderabad State, was doing well in terms of agricultural and industrial development.”

 

If Nizam’s rule was a golden era and if the region was doing economically well before Police Action, why does KCR and the separatists want to celebrate September 17th as a “Vimukthi Dinotsavam”? Shouldn’t they be grieving the end of Nizam’s glorious rule?
 

Save Andhra Pradesh!

Nalamotu Chakravarthy
http://www.myteluguroots.com
http://www.facebook.com/people/@/226703252445
http://twitter.com/nalamotu
http://www.amazon.com/My-Telugu-Roots-Telangana-Bhasmasura/dp/0984238603/

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

A number of you have asked for the details of APNRI’s meeting with the Srikrishna Committee and the Governor of Andhra Pradesh; so, here you go.
 

We’ve arrived in Hyderabad early in the morning on 15th June. Srinivas garu went to Hyderabad a couple of weeks earlier. He booked a room at a local club to use as a meeting point for everyone. We went to the room around noon and started brainstorming for the next day’s session. We’ve invited a few other folks who had presented to the Srikrishna Committee in the past to get their input. At the end of these discussions, we decided to add one more slide to our existing presentation to reflect the progressive trends around the globe towards unification. For example, East and West Germany, Turkey’s efforts to join European Union, despite deep cultural differences etc.
 

We were scheduled to meet the committee at 11 PM at the MCHR building on June 16th. We reached the gate and the police cross-checked our names against the list they had. At this point we were let in. We drove to the building and were told to go to the 2nd floor.
SKC’s multimedia manager met us in the waiting area and asked if we have a PowerPoint presentation. We gave the file in a USB-drive and they promised to load up the presentation and be ready.
 

We were ushered in after about a half-hour. We walked into the meeting room and were pleasantly surprised to see Justice Srikrishna. We were told that Srikrishna was abroad and would not be there for our session. When I enquired about his travel, he said he was in the U.S. visiting his family and just returned.
 

The large room had tables arranged in a U shape and a screen for the projector in the middle. The committee members sat in the middle. They’ve asked those who will do the presentation to sit on one side and the rest on the other side. Punnam garu, Srinivas garu, and I sat on one side and the rest of the team sat on the other side. We introduced ourselves by giving our name, State we hailed from, and the profession. After the introductions Punnam garu introduced the organization and our goals. Then we went into the presentation.
 

The presentation was basically structured into four parts: i) History of Telugus living together and background on the current movement ii) Data to show how each region performed since the State formation iii) How NRIs are impacted by the current movement iv) What we believe are some solutions to the ongoing problem
 

One other thing I figured out quickly with the SKC was that they pick up counter arguments from the separatists and use it against integrationists and they use integrationist arguments against separatists. Also, not surprisingly, SKC has never seen our submission before. The committee received thousands of submissions and these are supposed to be reviewed by the consulting companies that SKC hired. However, I doubt even if the consulting companies have the bandwidth to review what people have sent.
 

Here are some of the questions they asked us during the course of the presentation. These are not verbatim, but paraphrased to the best of our team member’s memories. Of all the members of the SKC, during our presentation Dr. Ravinder Kaur had the most sympathetic expression, while Justice Srikrishna lightened up the environment with his sense of humor. SKC has warned us upfront that they will take an opposite view to extract as much information as they can from us.
 

While presenting our views about how human relations will suffer if the State is partitioned,
Dr. Ravinder Kaur argued that: Haryana and Punjab have separated in the past and seem to be doing well.
 

APNRI Response-1: The issue of capital Chandigarh is unresolved after all these years and continues to be a sticking point.
APNRI Response-2: Divisions such as the current one proposed in Andhra Pradesh are fundamentally rooted in hatred. If people are separated on this basis, it will leave deep wounds. Families that left Pakistan after partition to this day cannot reconcile with what has happened.
 

Mr. Duggal: After all, this is a constitutionally governed country. Whether a State is divided or not, people still have the fundamental rights and they can live anywhere they want. What is the harm in division?
 

APNRI: The current demand is built on misinformation. Telugu people have a long history of living together. Separatist violence has left deep suspicions in people’s mind about their future and security. In addition to that, separatists are openly making proclamations of a great war, civil war, and turning rivers red. We are not opposed division of the State as long as there is a national framework and it is done for administrative reasons with mutual consent. However, the reasons cited for division today are untenable.
 

On our argument about Nizam region’s economy will suffer in the event of division-
 

Mr. Duggal: The new Chief Minister of a Telangana State won’t be a fool. Do you really think he will drive Andhra investors away to the detriment of Telangana State’s economy?
 

APNRI: Neither is the new Chief Minister of Andhra going to be a fool. The first day he comes into office he will announce incentives of free power, free land, and a tax free regime for businesses that move to Andhra. He will further lobby investors from Andhra to leave Telangana by arguing that they have been mistreated, attacked, and have been accused of being looters. As a result, Nizam region’s economy will suffer.
 

During the discussion around how the IT industry will be impacted-

Justice Srikrishna: How will the division impact IT industry? I understand there is some slowdown now, however, once things return to normalcy, IT sector should grow as usual.
 

APNRI: Investments are already fleeing the State in large volumes. Our research shows that the State has already fallen behind by 5 years. There are members in our organization who are staunch integrationists, yet have moved a section of their staff to Bangalore already to deal with possibility of further violence in Hyderabad.
 

Justice Srikrishna: But those are all short-term impacts. In the long-run, let’s say 5 years from today, IT industry should fall back to normalcy.
 

APNRI: In the event of two States, there will be intense competition between the two regions for IT business. As a result, some of the IT business will inevitably go to the Kosta region and this in fact would hurt the Telangana economy.
 

APNRI: Similarly, real estate sector will also suffer with investments slowing down or moving to other regions.
 

On the topic of human relationships and APNRI’s argument that people across all regions are forming relationships including some of the prominent leaders in the current separatist movement; Dr. Ravinder Kaur wanted to know how many of us that are there that day have married across regions. Three members of our team have said they have married across the regions.
 

When we gave examples of businesses moving to Bangalore, Chennai, and Shanghai-
 

Dr. Abusaleh Shariff: Hyderabad is a cosmopolitan city, just like Bangalore. Infosys recently announced that it will expand its operations. Do you think this is an issue that will affect business?
 

APNRI: Infosys entered a deal prior to the recent violence and had to expand its operations per its agreement with the government. (One of our team members gave a personal example of Citi which originally planned to start its operations in Hyderabad, but decided to move to Shanghai)
 

When we said that Smt. Gandhi’s 6-point formula has done more harm than good, by perpetuating the differences between regions-
 

Mr. Rajiv Sharma: Why blame just Gandhi. Leaders of all regions from A.P. have consented to the agreement.

 

APNRI: Mrs. Gandhi was the leader of the country and was in-charge of the agreement that was put together. Yes, A.P. leaders have to take the blame too, but it was Mrs. Gandhi who was at the helm.
 

During the concluding remarks-
 

APNRI: Justice Srikrishna, we urge you to exercise caution with the words you use in your report. We are confident that you will be objective in your assessment. Irrespective of what your recommendation may be, please see to it that there is no verbiage that reflects that there has been discrimination of one region by the other region. Your words will be used 20 years down the road to start another violent movement, the way SRC and Bachawat reports are being used.
 

Justice Srikrishna: Humorously, “Are you asking me not to use words loosely in my report?”
With that everyone laughed, exchanged pleasantries, shook hands and left the meeting. The session lasted about an hour and a half.
 

GOVERNOR’S MEETING
We went to the Raj Bhavan the following day to meet the Governor. After the security check and cross-checking of our names, we were ushered into a visitor room. After snacks and tea, we were then taken into another large room with Nizam style décor that has two large chairs and two sofas. Governor came in about 30 minutes late and apologized for the delay.
 

We presented him a copy of our report. He skimmed through it and before we could speak, he started talking. He gave an inspirational monologue about why we all should come back to India and make a difference by working in the country. We said, we are helping Indian economy through knowledge-transfer, investments, and by being cultural ambassadors of the country. I don’t think we could convince him :-)
 

We eventually managed to steer him to the topic of separation. We told him about NRI concerns with regards to law and order. He again veered around saying there is violence in other parts of the world too and that India or Hydreabad is not unique in this matter.
 

After pestering him a bit more, he eventually took off his gloves. He said that the government is paying close attention to the law and order situation. He asked if we noticed that the violence has been coming down significantly since February and then asked us: “do you think the reduction in violence is just an accident?”
 

He then assured us that the government will do everything in its power to put things in order. Interestingly, he said, there could again be violence in January and we should all be prepared for it. However, he assured that the government is taking all the measures to ensure law and order prevails.
 

That is a brief summary of our discussion.
 

Save Andhra Pradesh!
 

Nalamotu Chakravarthy
http://www.myteluguroots.com
http://www.facebook.com/people/@/226703252445
http://twitter.com/nalamotu
http://www.amazon.com/My-Telugu-Roots-Telangana-Bhasmasura/dp/0984238603/

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

When Sri Krishna Deva Raya took to the Vijayanagara throne in 1509, the empire was in a significantly weakened state. The entire coastal Telugu areas were occupied by Orissa. Similarly, the Kannada and Tamil regions have also raised a flag of revolt. 24 year old Sri Krishna Deva Raya was determined to put things in order. He first invaded Mysore (Srirangapatnam) and suppressed the Kannada revolt. He then marched on coastal Telugu region and drove out the Orissa army from Udayagiri, Kondavidu, Kondapalli, and Rajahmundry. After this Krishna Deva Raya marched on Tamil Coromandel coast and subdued that region as well. At the end of these battles, that lasted six long years, he was able to bring back the entire South India under Vijayanaagaram’s suzerainty.

 

While Sri Krishna Deva Raya was busy consolidating his empire, Bahamani Empire of Deccan (Gulbarga) was going through infighting. Sultan Quli, who came to India from Turkey, raised a flag of revolt against Bahamani. He attacked Devarakonda and ended the Velama kingdom’s rule.

 

Learning of the attack on the Velama kingdom, Sri Krishna Deva Raya rushed with his forces to rescue and camped at Panagal in Nalgonda. In a fierce battle that ensued, Sultan Quli defeated Sri Krishna Deva Raya forcing his retreat from Nalgonda.

 

Encouraged by his victory, Sultan Quli marched on Coastal Telugu districts. Sri Krishna Deva Raya learnt his lesson and moved into Coastal Andhra with a massive army and succeeded in driving out Sultan Quli’s forces. As a result, today’s Nizam region was separated from Telugu land and a tenuous peace reigned between Vijayanagaram and Qutub Shah who started ruling from Golkonda.

 

Sultan Quli’s brother Ibrahim was the assumed heir to the Golkonda throne. Ibrahim got into a dispute with his brother. Vijayanagaram, after the premature death of Sri Krishna Deva Raya, was now under the rule of his son-in-law Aliya Rama. Aliya gave a large estate in Vijayanagaram to Ibrahim and provided protection from his brother. After the demise of Sultan Quli, Ibrahim left Vijayanagaram and went on to become the king of Golkonda.

 

Sadly, in the Talikota battle waged to destroy Vijayanagaram in the name of Jihad, Ibrahim became a mute spectator to the spectacle of his friend Aliya Rama’s head getting chopped off by Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar. Though there are accounts that he was grief-stricken to witness his friend’s killing, he did not stop it.

 

Ibrahim, after the demise of Vijayanagara Empire, started annexing its Telugu districts. In 1571-72 he captured Rajahmundry, in 1579 he captured Vinukonda, Kondavidu, Kacharlakota, and Khammam.

 

Hyderabad city was not founded at this time. After Ibrahim Quli’s death, his son Mohammed Quli continued consolidating his hold on Vijayanagara Telugu regions. Mohammed occupied Kurnool, Cuddapah, Nandial, Dole, Gandikota, and Nellore.

 

Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah completed the consolidation of the Telugu region under Muslim rule. He founded Hyderabad in 1589. At the time of the city’s founding the entire Telugu country, including the current Nizam, Circar, and Ceded regions, was under Qutub Shahs.

 

Mongolian Emperor Aurangazeb intended to consolidate his hold on South India. He attacked Golkonda and captured it in 1687, thus ending the Qutub Shahi rule. He appointed his representative Nizam to administer the Golkonda kingdom.

 

British entered India in 1600 to conduct trade through the East India Company. Inspired by the stupendous financial success of the East India Company, French entered Indian shores in 1650s through the French East India Company. British and French quickly went beyond their original goal of trade and got involved in regional conflicts between Indian kingdoms. British were the best in the world when it came to using gun powder, followed by the French.

 

Nizam Asaf Jah of Hyderabad declared independence from Delhi in 1720. Asaf Jah died in 1748. His sons got into a fight for the Hyderabad throne. British and French sided with different heirs in that power struggle. Both the British and French had their eyes set on the Coastal Telugu districts for maritime trade and military reasons.

 

French helped Nizam’s third son Salabat to capture Hyderabad throne. In return for their generosity, Salabat assigned Coastal districts to the French. British concerned with the growing French influence, under the leadership of Colonel Clive, marched on the Coastal districts in 1759 and occupied the region. As a result, British were officially at war with the Hyderabad State.

 

Seven years later in 1766, British and the Nizam reached an agreement to end hostilities. In return for keeping the Coastal districts, British agreed to pay nine lakh rupees a year to Nizam. As you can see, though Coastal districts were separated from the rest of the Telugu land, the districts were still contributing to Hyderabad exchequer through the taxes paid to the British, which are in turn being passed on to Nizam.

 

The conflict between the British and French continued in the Indian subcontinent. Nizam once again sided with French and invited 15,000 French soldiers to protect Hyderabad. British marched on Hyderabad and drove out the French soldiers. Nizam was forced to accept British protection through a treaty signed in 1798. As a result, six battalions of British forces were placed in Hyderabad. Nizam was required to pay 24 lakh rupees a year for the maintenance of British troops.

 

Nizam could not pay the British these monies and as a result amassed a significant debt. In 1800 he was forced to cede Bellary and Cuddapah to the British in return for the British military expense.

 

So, it is clear that Hyderabad continued to receive British protection with the taxes paid by the Circar and Ceded districts even after these regions separated from the Hyderabad State.

 

Hyderabad State, in addition to the 8 Telugu districts, had 4 Kannada and 3 Maratha districts. There was an atrocious tax regime under Nizam. Peasants of all these districts paid taxes through their nose to Nizam.

 

Today’s Hyderabad city is a source of revenue for the rest of the State. However, prior to 1956, the situation was quite different. The rural areas of the Hyderabad State financed the expenses required to maintain the capital city.

 

Now, with that background, who can stake a claim for Hyderabad city?

 

Our capital city belongs to the people living in erstwhile Nizam Telangana, Maratha, and Kannada districts- particularly the peasants.

 

It belongs to Hyderabadi Muslims including those that came from Iran, Iraq, Turkey and other places.

 

It belongs to the Marathis, Kannadigas, Marwadis, Rajputs, Gujaratis, Punjabis and many others who have been living in Hyderabad city for many generations.

 

Lastly, it belongs to the people of Circar and Ceded districts. As separatists call them, these people are not “settlers” but are rightful stakeholders of the Hyderabad city. Just like the poor peasants of the Nizam districts, their forefathers have also contributed to the development of Hyderabad city by paying taxes to the Qutub Shahs, the Nizams and the British.

 

Save Andhra Pradesh!

Nalamotu Chakravarthy

http://www.myteluguroots.com

http://www.facebook.com/people/@/226703252445

http://twitter.com/nalamotu

http://www.amazon.com/My-Telugu-Roots-Telangana-Bhasmasura/dp/0984238603/