Friday, January 22, 2010

Telangana 39: Let’s Celebrate Telangana

Write here.

Write on this post the stories of Telangana Movement, how people of Telangana are celebrating it, protesting for it, taking initiatives for it; the ordinary people, the women folk, the grandparents, the kids... from Hyderabad to the interiors of Adilabad and Mahbubnagar. If you are living outside Telangana, call your parents and family and ask them how they are celebrating this event. Write here your experiences on how you came to support Telangana Movement.

This post will entertain only the stories from Telangana on how the movement is carried out, how the people are enjoying and celebrating creation of new Telangana, how people have came about to support Telangana Movement. If there are any Andhras who support Telangana Movement it would be great to hear from you.

All other comments will be deleted without warning. You are free to criticize on other posts.

I got inspired when Anand, a commenter, wrote:

…today the support for Pro Telangana is unbelievable in Hyderabad, I am just coming from family party of 500 gathering it’s unbelievable, cutting across the age group they are openly bracing the support for separate state…I didn’t see this before Sep 9th brother…


  1. My 2 year old kid who cant even put two words together is saying "aii elengaana" just by listening to people on TV....jai telangana.

  2. Was in WGL for Sankranthi and house after house put up an equally colorful JAI TELANGANA slogan in their muggu. Telangana has now become a full-fledged cultural slogan even as the discussion revolves around a political solution

  3. This celebration from a software company in Hyderabad.
    I have been in this team of 20 people for an year now. my Telangana brothers used to tweak their accent so as not to invite criticism from majority Andhra fellows.
    BUT AFTER December first week (before the statehood announcement from Chidambaram), there is pride in speaking our accent. and it was great to see people who tweaked their accent, arguing with the Andhra Manager on the need for Telangana in no uncertain terms.

    The celebration in
    1 - self-respect that speaking for Telangana formation can offer.
    2 - being incredibly informed on the need for Telangana.

    The atmosphere in office has changed!

  4. I had a very different opinion of my younger sister till date. I thought she was all about fashions and trends and not much reason exists in her thought.

    But, it was amazing to see her become a slacktivist with reason for the cause of Telangana. She didn't leave out any social networking site. She even convinced some of her Andhra schoolmates to seeing the brighter side of a smaller state with more Social and Economic justice for all. It was amazing experience listening to the statistics she gathered and how easily she described the discrimination she ewnt through at convent school because of her accent.

  5. I am writing from USA. We are celebrating at every get together we have. Serious thoughts like "Lets sponsor a school in a village", Lighter notes like "No alcohol until Telangana State is formed" are all too common. Being in mix with Andhrites makes it difficult some times. Even though we are far away from the happening place we feel the vibrations. We are in constant touch with MLAs, MPs, Ministers, JAC student leaders. This has brought many Telanganites together with many hoping that they can make a difference in the lives of the masses. This has been a roller coaster ride so far but most of us feel that we are making a possitive difference.

    Sujai: You are doing an excellent job. It is probably too late but if feasible I would like to sponsor a banner advertising your blog at Student Ranaberi meet - Nizam College.

  6. Raju:
    Thanks for writing.

    I was wondering if you could put me in touch with some of the prominent Telangana agitation members.

    There should be a simple and effective way to let the whole world know about our cause.

    I was thinking of the longest human chain across Telangana - on a Sunday few weeks from now - between 11:30 and 11:45.

    Over 50 lakh people have to be moved - creating a world record. That will get attention round the world.

    The message will be simple:

    1. This is a people's movement.
    2. We are all supporting creation of Telangana.
    3. We are doing this to show our support because all other methods failed in India, legal, electoral, and democratic.

    Is there a way we can rally all Telangana organizations towards this?


  7. sujai ,

    i think its excellent idea to talk about celebrating idea of telangana when all of us all are going through some of the toughest times in the movement. we need to be optimistic and this post should serve that purpose.


    also HUMAN CHAIN is a great and powerfull idea...i think time has come when INDIA needs to know that people of Telangana want the state and its NOT a politicians game.

  8. My daughter has just turned three. She might have said 'Jai Telangana' a thousand times in the last one month. She keeps asking me if KCR is still fasting and why he is fasting. I explained to her in the best way that i could and she has some conception of the issue in her little mind.

    The other day while coming back from daycare she told her mom - ' Amma Nenu Aa ChineseOllandharini Champestha' My wife was shocked and asked her 'Why' and she said ' 'Mari Vallu TelanGaana Isthaleru gaDhaa'

  9. Sujai,

    Yes, we as a group can put you in touch with couple of prominent leaders in Telangana agitation members. How to reach you?

  10. Raju:

    I can be reached at
    sigmascamp on yahoo on com

  11. First of all, I appreciate the efforts of Sujai, Sravan, Anand, Vinay, Kiran and all Telangana supports. This is a great blog for everyone who wants to educate themselves on Telangana issue.

    I have an interesting story to share.

    My sister and brother-in-law moved to Vizag a decade ago from Telangana. My sister has done her MCA from Vizag and made some friends there. One of her friend is from rural part of Vijayanagaram.

    My sister's friend moved to Hyderabad to find a job in IT. He is staying with my parents since then in Hyderabad. We consider him as a close family member. Unfortunately, he could not find a job in Hyderabad with market slow down. So my sister recommended him to a close relative for a job in private bank in Jagityal, Karimnagar. My relative is the chairman of that bank. He has offered job in bank to my sister's friend.

    Recently, there was referendum on Telangana in Jagityal. All the bank employees took some time off to participate in referendum. People turned out in huge numbers for referendum and 99% voted for separate Telangana. My sister's friend has also voted and in fact, he voted for TELANGANA!! When asked why he voted for Telangana, he replied:"I don't know anything about Telangana but I do know people from this region for some time now. When such a huge number of people supporting separate Telangana, you can't say all of them are wrong"

    With or without Telangana formation, my and my family's respect and treatment towards friends and relatives in Andhra will always be the same, and vice versa. I do believe this is not people separation. It is merely a separation of political and administrative departments.

    Some of my observations on Telangana Movement:
    1. We should appreciate how students conducted themselves during this movement. Apart from attack on Telangana MLA Nagam (I guess it’s not students), public property (buses), and recent suicides, there were no attacks on Andhra people. They have warned Telangana politicians to support the movement but never took advantage of Andhra politicians who were issuing stupid statements.
    2. It is completely a people’s movement. I know media falsely propagates that this movement as unemployed politician’s movement.
    3. Politicians like CBN and JP are worse than Chiru. At least Chiru has taken a stand (Though he has cheated all Telanganas). JP and CBN are just trying to use the situation for their selfish needs (getting back to power).

    @Sujai- Can we have a blog dedicating to Telangana students efforts?

  12. Sujai, Reach me at your earliest. Will be trying to reach Prof. Kodandaram at 9PM EST 7:30am IST. You can delete this post once you have read it. email to It is hard to get hold of leaders after 9am IST.


  13. Wonderful Idea Sujai.
    I think we should begin that by visiting schools and colleges and encourage tham to gather as a chain on one single day.
    I remember my early school days when our teachers asked once to make a chain on the road just to welcome a new governer. That was the first time I ever came in touch with students of other schools. It was really fun.

  14. SUJAI,
    I have been looking at the district editions of telugu new papers and since the past 25 days there were innumerous reports on several telangana villages, mandals and towns that have been conducting very peaceful but a kind of civil disobedience movements all over telangana.
    I think we should educate those on the other side about the peaceful nature of telangana movement by posting them on a daily basis here.

  15. Sujai,

    We as a group of NRIs have spoken to several leaders about this celebration. Seeds have been sown. We have to work hard to bring it to fruition. I won't name names here but both the student JAC and political JAC has been covered. We spoke to three other leaders. Student JAC has already been thinking about this idea. 26th January (although short time line) provides a good occassion to celebrate. Here is how we presented it:

    We should draw national media's attention by doing something unique, creating world record of sorts. We would like to reduce anxiety and stress amoung students by creating a more festive atmosphere. Perhaps even have the longest chain of Indian flag bearers since it is Republic day. It also shows our support for the Union. Most of those we talked to felt that it is achievable.

    Everyone we spoke to were concerned about student anxiety.

    Please speak to everyone you know and make this happen.

  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  17. @ Kiran Ch

    Here is a small story that will tell you what is wrong...

    An emperor called the kingdoms tailors and ordered them to make him a pair of clothes that will be the BEST so far!. The tailors, out of fear of failure, couldn't stitch anything and the kind demanded his clothes.

    So, left with no options, the tailors made him wear his birthday suit... and the king walked down his kingdom naked. All people praised him for his new clothes.. said he looks best in them.... BUT... A SMALL KID SAID "WHY IS THE KING NAKED?"

    Chiranjeevi and Andhra capitalists turned politicans ====> The King

    Media ----- mute subjects praising the kings new clothes

    The 3 yr old kid: probably caught what was truly on the comman man's mind.... and repeats harmless parrot words.."Jai Telangana".

    Don't worry Mr Kiran, we know how to bring up our kids. How else do you think you guys made Hyderabad your home?

  18. Sujai and other supporters:

    In addition to mass human chain there should be continuous link btw the TG villages and rest of world to present this peaceful movement, many of us are aware that lot of peaceful programs are going on in different parts of TG regions with the support of JAC’s (village to districts levels), sadly only subset of these activities are covered in TV or Print media, since media have its own limitations.

    Let’s explore how we can bring fwd these peaceful programs to the fore front;

    1) The only in-expensive mass communication I think of is internet; capture these peaceful agitations/activities on video or photo and upload to this blog or some other web-site. Tomorrow this platform can also serve as communication channel btw TG village(s) and rest of the world.

    2) Starting point can be this blog, believe me this blog and its strong commentator(s) have lot of potential to present the case of TG, if we can structure or organize video streaming section showcasing the events that would be an added value for the blog/site, and we can still continue the debates.

    3) We need to device a mechanism such as appointing/engaging video/photographer at each Mandal level to cover these events and handover the content to one of the Reliance web-world or any internet browsing center or collector dist head qtr’s to upload the content, once uploaded another team in Hyd (where ever) should take the onus to edit or modify and finally post on the main web-site. (I am not a tech person but I think it’s possible, would appreciate if someone can elaborate on this technology)

    4) Lot of you might be thinking with such a low internet penetration in India, does it reach the masses? Truth is, masses believe in TG but still there are lot of white collars or urban educated have false notion on TG, I think they are one we should educate and bring awareness on the movement and on TG history, culture etc as well.

    5) Finally and Important, as a starting point in direction of awareness, we should direct or get as many viewer(s) as we can to this site/blog, since Jan 14th onwards on an avg this blog is getting 1000 to 1500 hits per day, it’s not enough, we should target 50K hits per day, how? Let’s start spreading the message about this blog via mass email, SMS blasts to lakhs of people across the globe focusing on Indians and in particular Telugu’s (this can be done in few lakhs of rupees, we often do for our company products).

    Please share your thoughts…

  19. Anand,

    My thoughts ...

    Internet would provide the organizational structure at top level. I see a role for twitter+site/blog/egroup.

    Grassroot communication infrastructure via SMS (publish-subscribe). Internet doesn't cut it.

  20. Twitter may support SMS based communication in India.

    In which case, I would have to change my above view.

  21. Wow.. what a way to celebrate!!
    look at this creative effort.
    Telangana state "official seal" is designed already (తెలంగాణ రాజముద్ర నమూనా)

  22. Sujai, why you deleted my post? I've send many of my friends and colliges in citi this link and now if you delete our thoughts that are good for common ppl, i doubt now.. hmm.. ive to think

  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  24. Kiran:

    Sorry that I deleted your comment.

    In the post above, I wrote the following:

    "All other comments will be deleted without warning. You are free to criticize on other posts."

    I wanted to keep this post free from criticism so that I encourage people to come out and write personal stuff - which they would not usually.

    Since I promised it to my readers that it would be free from any criticism, I need to enforce it. Only on this post. Sorry about that. Hope you understand.

    I have not removed comments from other posts (unless they were derogatory).

  25. Sujai said...Kiran:
    Sorry that I deleted your comment.

    In the post above, I wrote the following:

    "All other comments will be deleted without warning. You are free to criticize on other posts."

    I wanted to keep this post free from criticism so that I encourage people to come out and write personal stuff - which they would not usually.

    Since I promised it to my readers that it would be free from any criticism, I need to enforce it. Only on this post. Sorry about that. Hope you understand.

    I have not removed comments from other posts (unless they were derogatory).
    Oo IC, Sorry.

    Thanks for clarifying.. I'll definitely put Telengana experience when ever I come across. So far, I've few friends from T region, we don't have any issue though (btw, i'm from North Costal, AP).

    But my concern(in deleted one) was really true.. think about it.

  26. When I was a kid my grand father told me stories of armed struggle against razakars...when I was in my teens ,my father told me about 70s student agitation... Now I want to tell my kid all these stories in our own state TELANGANA...

    Jai Telangana

  27. Thanks Srinath for your support, supporting me and all our Telangana brothers and sisters, by the way I am కిరణ్ కామిశెట్టి , I changed my blog name to Green Star to avoid few problems while commenting, friends now onwards when ever you see Green Star, that means old కిరణ్ కంశెట్టి

  28. Would like to share interesting message received on a group mail, honest confession please read below.

    Let us talk about Gentlemen’s agreement of 1956. As per that agreement N. Sanjeeva Reddy became first AP chief minister and KV Ranga Reddy was deputy CM till 1963. My extended family (except my Dad) was the reason KV Ranga Reddy was defeated by my youngest uncle Malla Reddy from Medchal constituency in 1963.

    My brother marriage to daughter of KV Ranga Reddy’s brother K Gopal Reddy in 1963 was termed as Politically arranged marriage to spare Medchal seat for KV Ranga Reddy. But entire family(except my dad) supported Malla Reddy (youngest brother of my dad).

    Eventually KV Ranga Reddy lost and retired from politics and deputy CM position was abolished and along with that other Gentlemen’s agreements were overlooked.

    The reason Malla Reddy opposed KV Ranga Reddy was he was declined a congress ticket by KV Ranga Reddy’s nephew Marri Chenna Reddy who was in charge of Tickets then. Without KV Ranga Reddy (who was considered father of Telangana) Telangana became very weak to fight Andhra legislators.

    As a matter of fact Andhra legislators (even Congress party’s) were delighted when Ranga Reddy lost the Medchal constituency election.

    I thought I will pass on little bit of History how my family also has a share in denying Telangana’s rights...

  29. Thanks for that piece Ananad. thats sure is an audacious confession.

  30. hai, i am from dubai... since we cant do agitations in this country, i have been very intresting to say JAI TELANGANA loudly, but i couldnt.. but recently some of dubai telanganites arranged on a holiday i.e. friday telangana jac meeting and dhoom dham, amaravirula samsmarana saba in dubai, when i listened this i went to mixup with them from abu dhabi to dubai, and i roared JAI TELANGANA There.. it was celebrated in a building materials warehouse inside the compound which cant be objectionable to authroties... i wondered to see the people there came from sarounding cities, abu dhabi, sharjah, dubai etc., and all are enjoyed..sadly i came to know thee one of tower crane operator commited suicide by jumping from tower crane.. whos photo displyed there.. see pic of this event

  31. Look at the images in the link:

  32. Jhani,
    That was a real treat from dubai.
    Great to see telangana people in Dubai showing their solidarity and support for separate telangana. But I am also sad about the crane operator. What was the reason behind his death?

  33. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  34. did my own research on tg during chirstmas docs..realized how much injustice happened to tg..felt very bad how ppl living in the same country..same state..speaking same language made colony in tg..
    tg cause is get political get equal rights/share on resource.. to restore culture..

  35. I have been advocating T cause for last four years through social networking site state on my profile is the only thing which some of my friends find it difficult to digest :)
    many have questioned (ppl. who didn't know me also have taken the liberty to criticise and appreciate me when they went through my profile), asked me how I could be in favour of T when I am educated:) I could support politicians like KCR who are bent on dividing AP for selfish means ...I always said, I didn't belong to TRS and explained the reasons ... but ppl. were more obsessed with KCR ... but was successful in case of some of my friends
    just when the general elections results were out, one of my good friends (he loved provoking me on T issue)mocking said "everything is over in case of Telangana" ... I simply said "This is not going end at any cost ... asalu udhyamam ippudu modalavuthundhi ... this is the beginning and not the end" ...he went ahead and tried to convince me saying "It is we who taught you civilization" ..
    honestly I didn't expect things to happen so soon ... not sure how he is feeling now ;)

    but I felt really happy when one friend from Kakinada asked me to explain the issue soon after this agitation began ... what's the reason for so much heartburn ... and I don't think they will mock when T slang comes automatically when I speak to them ...atleast not openly :)

    I feel like writing two lines from Kaloji on my profile, but again feel some of my friends may take it in the wrong way and get hurt ...hmmm

    though I am not a consistent reader of your blog, I cannot but appreciate the effort you have been keeping in spreading the cause whenever I read your posts.
    whenever I hear Gaddar says "go to the villages and spread the movement", I feel movement on the Internet is as important :)
    Great job Sir ! good to know that you hail from my very own Orugallu.
    your idea of human chain will work wonders... I would suggest we should carry the national falg during the time

    since yours is the mostly read blog on Telangana, would like to use this space to spread a word about something.hope you don't mind !

    As everyone is aware, in last couple of months many (mostly students)have given up their lives for the cause of Telangana.

    Kakatiya NRI's Forum (KNF) has taken up the initiative to extend a helping hand to the families of the martyrs.

    If anyone would like to be part of this initiative or contribute in any way being anywhere in the world, they are most welcome.
    Pls. check out the KNF community on Orkut for further details.


  36. Dear All:
    Would like to share Shyam Benegal “The City I Knew” from the book “The Untold Charminar” by Syeda Bilgrami Imam.

    Shyam Benegal

    I left Hyderabad forty-eight years ago. When I go back to visit these days, none of the familiar landmarks remain any longer except as names. But like in most Indian cities, many of these have changed as well. The only exceptions are the Charminar and some sections of the old city. A sad, but inevitable spatial void that can only be filled by an increasingly unreliable memory.

    Hyderabad, the way it was half a century ago when I was growing into adulthood, is now no more than a mind state, nostalgically reconstructed, part fantasy, part reality—a time-sweetened bunch of memories often recalled at random in which fact, fiction, given knowledge and experience are so fused that any claim to objectivity or even authenticity would be sorely tested. This is as much an imagined Hyderabad as the one that existed. Strangely, its absence seems a profound loss.

    A reality check. Hyderabad was longest under Muslim rule – with the exception of Delhi. This would not have been possible simply by a superior force of arms. Only a tiny proportion of the total population in the Deccan region is Muslim. For Muslim rule to be accepted over such a long period of time, the concerns of the Hindu majority had not only to be addressed but also met. The civil society that emerged has often been described as syncretism by some commentators. Personally, I disagree. Rather than the syncretism hoped for by Emperor Akbar in North India with his quixotic Din-i-Ilahi, the Qutb Shahi rulers of Golconda appear to have relied on the principle of ‘to each his own’. The civil society that developed in Hyderabad over the centuries was a result of an informal arrangement between religious communities to neither contest nor challenge each other’s beliefs. This allowed for enough space for communities to function without feeling threatened in any way. More than the later Asaf Jahi rulers, the Golconda kingdom was less exclusive in the official use of the language. Ibrahim Qutb Shah developed a great fondness for the Telugu language and wrote poems of considerable merit under the tutelage of Rama Rajya of Vijayanagar, while under his protection. Later, however, as ruler of Golconda, he is infamous for having put to the sword his erstwhile guardian in the batter of Talikota. Some historians would have us believe that this battle represented the archetypal conflict between religions when the last great Hindu kingdom of medieval India was destroyed. The facts, however, suggest that the five Muslim kingdoms of the Deccan ganged up against Vijayanagar to resist its hegemonic ambitions, an unexceptionable political reason if ever there was one.


  37. Quli Qutb Shah, the grandson of Ibrahim, was a renowned poet in the then emerging language of Dakkhani Urdu. Civil discourse relied on consensuality in matters of religion and sectarian beliefs. Reduced and negligible levels of conflict between contending beliefs made for a participational interface between people of different religions. Religious festivals were not the exclusive preserve of those who subscribed to the religion. Rather, they became festivals of the community at large and had universal participation. The annual urs of various Sufi saints, Moharram processions, Diwali, and Holi were occasions when the entire community, regardless of religious affiliations, came together. All these was possible because of the nature of feudal society. Vertically constructed social hierarchies, the essential legacy of the feudal order, were generally accepted and hardly needed to be enforced. Religion played little part in this scheme. You would not be far wrong if you consider this secular. However, it was not disregard for religion as much as mutual respect for each others-beliefs that made Hyderabad what it was.

    If in fact there was a policy of aggressive conversions over the several centuries of Muslim rule, it had not succeeded insignificantly altering the religious profile of the population.

    A social system, based as it was on consensus, was bound to look down on competitiveness. It was seen as somewhat vulgar and uncivil. It went against tehzeed and etiquette. What is more, it seemed lacking in compassion and decency. But let me hasten to add that these were the value ideals projected by the haves, those who constituted the upper reaches of the social pyramid. Like other attributes of the feudal order, this too overtime had percolated and permeated the body politic in giving shape to the famous laid-back character of the Hyderabad personality.

    At that time I was born, the Nizam could not have, even in his worst nightmares, imagined that his kingdom would disappear and recede into the annals of history in little more than a decade. I grew up into the age of awareness in the cusp between the old feudal world of princely Hyderabad and the newly independent India struggling to be a democratic nation.

    Some memories from childhood have stayed with me, fragments from mosaic of Nizams’ Hyderabad . . . the old Panditji whose dogged efforts to teach my brother and me Persian were met with equally dogged resistance from us in spite of his regular rapping of our knuckles with the supple branch of a tamarind tree. It was said that his family had perished in the great flood of 1908. Pandit ji came early in the morning from local temple he had made his home, bringing feather quills for recalcitrant fingers to hold and make calligraphic flourishes so dear to him. I can still smell the gluey ink that left a trail of sticky black blotches on anything we touched. Pandit ji was a relic from the time of Mahbub Ali Pasha during whose reign Hyderabad culture reach his zenith, so it was said. For the votaries, it was a culture that valued modesty, simplicity, generosity. Mahbub Ali Pasha’s own reputation for generosity was the stuff of legends. Highly exaggerated, perhaps, but some of the values of the time had percolated to the generations that followed. Gopal, my father’s personal servant, was sacked for stealing. While he was banished from view, his salary continued to be paid to his wife. The punishment meted out to him was not to affect his family. I read somewhere later that Fakhr-ul-Mulk, one of the prime ministers during Mahbub Ali Pasha’s reign, had legitimized this kind of punishment as being both just an honorable.


  38. Balli, the fisherwoman’s son, was a close friend of mine. There was no class barrier to this relationship except when it came to eating meals together. He was never invited to the table. He had to eat in the kitchen. Feudal customs were part of even families like ours which were essentially lower middle class. I remember, too the large, rambling deori which was my friend, Wahid’s home in the city. It gave shelter to all members of the immediate and extended family, family retainers and assorted live-in servants. At first glance, it was not possible to distinguish the family from the servitors, they all seemed so alike. It was when the dastarkhwan was laid out in one of the numerous large halls that served as a dining room that you could tell the difference. This was when the males of the family and their guests gathered round the food. Invariably at this time, two servants would appear in the doorway holding up a large cloth sheet as a curtain to shield the privacy of the women of the house who went through the corridor to the zenana dining room. The servants would loudly caution us to avert our eyes as the zenana went past.

    This Hyderabad was to change dramatically and irrevocably soon after India became independent. The bells began to toll from 15th August 1947. I was woken up in the middle of the night to listen to the radio, the family huddled around and old crackling Marconi designed as an art deco object, with father twiddling the knobs to get the best reception. Suddenly over the airways, the famous speech began; “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny and now the time has come to redeem that pledge. . . at the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. . . “Nehru’s voice came through the static.

    I was twelve years old, old enough to know what was happening but not its significance. I was longing to go back to sleep. That this was the defining moment escaped me altogether. The days before were filled with all manner of events. Returning from school we would go part the parade ground in Secunderabad where the British ceremonial marches for the handover ceremonies. From time to time, truckloads of Razakars would pass by shouting slogans. One day I spotter Omar, a friend from school, in one of the trucks. He would often come and wait for me while I did lazim drill at the vyayam classes run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh behind the temple close to my home. Vyayam done, Omar and I would go for our daily swim.

    The British army left and so did the Indian army. Newspapers carried reports of the horrors of partition with front-page photographs of endless streams of refugees on trains, on foot, in Punjab and Bengal Relations and friends visit from Delhi and Calcutta would bring news of hundreds of thousands flooding the cities. Far away from it all in Hyderabad, other events not quite as horrifying, but equally ominous, caught our attention. Kassim Razvi made inflammatory speeches challenging the ‘Hindu’ government of India and proclaiming an independent Nizam’s state, bringing in an aggressive brand of communal politics to the fore. One day, Omar, older than I by a couple of years, went to his class wearing his Razakar uniform and sporting a Rampuri knife on his belt. He was sent out of the class for refusing to surrender the knife to the teacher. He left threatening revenge. Without his uniform, Omar was friend I knew and liked.


  39. Not too far from where we lived was a disused airstrip built during the war. Occasionally, an aircraft flying low over the house would wake us up at night. From the terrace, we once saw Dakota, or was a Skymaster, landing and taking off in the dark. Curiosity led my brother and me to go and look at the plane that had landed there. Not a soul was around. We had heard rumors that Sydney Cotton, the notorious arms smuggler, was gun-running between Goa and Hyderabad. We felt that we should do something to prevent the place from taking off. Our ingenuity failed us when the pebbles we chucked into the engine did not prevent the aircraft from taking off and landing at will.

    The Indian army stormed into the state on 13 September 1948. This was also the day that Jinnah died in Karachi. The first casualty we heard about was of our yound dhbi, a socialist and a follower of Jayaprakash Narayan. He had died at Naldurg in guerilla ambush against the Razakars accompanying the Nizam’s army. Two days later, Omar disappeared from school never to return. A couple of nearby villages were burnt by the Razakars. Their fires made the sky glow through the night. Stories of women being paraded naked by marauding Razakars made the rounds. We felt safer because across the road from us was the Flagstaff House where the official representative of the Government of India, K.M. Munshi, lived. His personal guard of three hundred Kumaoni soldiers was a reassuring presence. Fiver days later, on 18 September, Indian army tanks rumbled into the city to a tumultuous welcome. Two streets away, the Hyderabad army in their armoured trucks moved silently in the opposite direction flying white flags. Some part of the crowd ran across to see the vanquished. A young man flung a rock at one of the trucks, hitting a soldier on his head, with blood streaming down the soldiers impassive face.

    The Telangana movement, an armed insurrection led by the Communist Party, got a fresh momentum with the fall of the Nizam Leaders of the movement like Sudarayya and Basava Punniah became our heroes. So did the poets Makhdoom Mohiuddin and Sara Dander Hunger in Algona district was considered a liberated zone. It was said that the governments writ ran only in name. the communist dalais were in effective control. There was a Robin Hood air about it all. The sense of adventure was intensely exciting for a schoolgoing boy like me. I read books like Red Star over China and For Whom the Bell Tolls with the same sense of anticipation as Huckleberry Finn or Frenchman’s Creek. A large number of young people joined the movement and an even larger number was sympathetic to the cause. Of a sudden, a young man in the neighborhood would disappear and it would be whispered that he had gone underground,. A couple of them never returned. The Telegana struggle, after its brief but dramatic success collapsed against the might of the central government. Many who found themselves behind bars were went underground. Subsequently, they were released, some before the first general elections of 1952, the rest after the elections when Nehru’s government granted a general amnesty, lifting the ban on the community party.


  40. Fresh excitement came with the 1952 elections. Many leaders of the Telangana movement surfaced and stood for elections under the banner of the people’s Democratic Front (PDF), a gathering of communists and leftists of all hues ranging from red to shades of pink. I had just finished school and entered college at the time. Although I would have to wait for the next general elections to be able to vote, I participated in the elections by canvassing for N.M.Jaisoorya, the doctor son of Sarojini Naidu, who contested the election as a PDF candidate. Having become his groupie and helping set up some of his election meetings was the closest I came to be involved in politics.

    The 1952 elections were probably the most fairly fought elections that independent India has ever had, with money power or coercion hardly evident in any constituency. Among the PDF candidate, other than Jaisoorya who won from two or three constituencies, was Raj Bahadur Gowd whose winning margin was some kind of a record that remained unbroken over several elections since then.
    Most communists from Hyderabad had feudal backgrounds. With hindsight, it appears to me to be a natural progression. Although the feudal system is based on a vertical hierarchy and the communists denounce it, neither the feudal nor the communist gives primacy to the individual which the capitalist system does. Both the feudal and the communist systems see competition as dehumanizing and impersonal without any sense of belonging or loyalty. The Communist party, cadre based as it is, with its emphasis on loyalty to the party, companionship and conviviality, reverberates more easily with the interpersonal nature of feudal relationships than with the impersonality of the capitalist system where individual quest for material success is all-important.


  41. Nizam college, which I joined in 1953, had, at the time, a very lively and intellectually stimulating environment. No other college affiliated to Osmania University had the quality of teachers and students that Nizam college had, It was the centre of liberal, socialist and communist discourse. Two student organizations competed for positions in the College Union: the National Union of Students and the All India Students Federation (AISF), representing the youth organizations of the Congress and the Communist Party respectively. The AISF was ascendant at the time with both the secretary and the president of our union belonging to it. Both had represented India at international youth festivals held annually in communist nations. The president of our union had the distinction of having travelled on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Leningrad to Beijing. All this made us students fell we were participants in the affairs of the larger world outside of our college. The vice chancellor of our university, Br Bhagavantham, decided to get politicians, bureaucrats and technocrats as visiting professors. Among the distinguished visitors were V.K.Krishna Menon who taught a course in economic thought. Among others, we had Dr Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham from teeth British Guyana. Later, then were to become bitter political rivals in independent Guyana, Jagan remaining a staunch socialist, Burnham turning extremely pro-US in his avatar as president.

    Nizam College at the time was also a somewhat snobbish institution flaunting its ancestry. It was the first college started in Hyderabad. The founder principal, Aghornath Chattopadhyaya, an educationist from Calcutta, was recommended to the sixth Nizam, Mahbub Ali Pasha, by Rabindranath Tagore’s father. His large and illustrious brood of children, from Sarojini Naidu to Harindranath Chattopadhyaya, was connected to the college in one way or another. Two of Sarojini Naidu’s daughters, Padmaja and Leelamani, taught here at one time or another. All this was its heritage which it flaunted when I joined the college. Aghornath, a product of the Bengal renaissance, had brought with him liberal and secular ideas that were very much part of the college when I was there. Aghornath’s friend the Russian mystic and painter Nikolai Roerich had presented him with several marvelously luminous paintings of the Himalayas which adorned the walls of the college library. Obviously, the Nizam college I knew no longer exists except as a name.


  42. [Contd-7]

    When did everything start to change to the extent that has made Hyderabad totally unrecognizable today?

    I can trace it back to the time when I was still in college. Potti Sriramulu’s fast unto death in a temple of a little Andhra town in the mid 1950s speeded up a process that totally changed the face of Hyderabad and also independent India more dramatically that anything else with the exception of Partition. Its impact was profound. An impact felt in education, employment opportunities, strengthening of regional attitudes and the rise of language chauvinis. States were reshaped, districts divided, roads and places renamed and much else, activities that continue to preoccupy our political classes to this day. Hyderabad State was split into three parts, each of them being absorbed into states formed on linguistic lines.

    The only truly successful multilingual state in India came to an abrupt end.

    I must surely be exaggerating. There are some things from then that persist even today. The call for a Telangana State, for instance, In the 1950s as soon as Hyderabad became part of Andhara Pradesh, there was a popular agitation for jobs and employment in Hyderabad to be reserved exclusively for the native born.This was the Mulki agitation. There was a feeling then that people form outside – read Andhra – were simply carpetbaggers and not stakeholders in Hyderabad. This extremely narrow view had many adherents at the time. It was largely fostered by the fact that the feudal culture of Hyderabad had not prepared its residents to be able to deal with the entrepreneurial spirit of the people from Andhra whose aggressive ways were far too difficult to deal with for the Hyderabadis. But the Hyderabadis probably had a point after all. Their culture, developed over four hundred years, was not only threatened in the new dispensation, but had begun for all practical purposes to disappear.

    I do not shed tears for the feudal Hyderabad. It had to go. It had lived long past its time. What saddens me is the disappearance of the inclusive personality that Hyderabad fostered, reveling in its multireligious and multilingual diversity – its composite character, which Nehru once lauded and hoped would serve as a model for the Indian nation.



Dear Commenters:
Please identify yourself. At least use a pseudonym. Otherwise there will be too many *Anonymous*; making it confusing.

Do NOT write personal information or whereabouts about the author or other commenters. You are free to write about yourself. Please do not use abusive language. Do not indulge in personal attacks and insults.

Write comments which are relevant and make sense so that the debate remains healthy.