Monday, August 1, 2011

Review: Battleground Telangana: Chronicle of an Agitation

The other book non-fiction book that I read was on the Telangana movement. The book looks at the Telangana movement; the people there are battling for a separate state ever since the state of Andhra Pradesh was formed in 1956.

Telangana that was ruled by the Nizams before Independence never wanted to be a part of Andhra Pradesh, fearing that their people would be displaced by the more enterprising and better educated migrants from the Andhra region.The seeds of dissent were for all to see, but just that, it was largely ignored by the central government.

The book goes on to argue how first betrayed, in terms of development, by the Nizams and then by each successive CM, on how fund marked and raised for the Telangana region were instead pumped into AP. Differences cropped up not just in development of the area but Telengana employees also felt they were overlooked via a vis Andhraites where promotions were concerned.

The students of Osmania University in 1968 called for a separate Telanagan state and slowly this agitation started to spread which led to massive agitations in 1969, this left 400 people dead, but soon the movement petered out.The movement gained momentum again with the creation of new states like Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Uttranchal in 2000. Since then Telangana has come to occupy centre stage in the state’s politics, with elections won and lost over the issue. In 2009, the central government committed to carve out a separate state but then soon after has been dilly dallying over it. They fear the backlash of its Andhra voters. Yes that is the sad politics behind it, every successive government has failed the people of Telangana hence their unhappiness and frustration.

What is more is at the heart of this agitation lies the claim for the city of Hyderabad. The capital of AP lies bang in the middle of Telangana so they demand that it should rightfully belong to them, whereas for very obvious reasons Andhraites are reluctant to concede to this demand. While both sides fight over it the end sufferers here are the residents of Hyderabad for whom the uncertainty has become a way of life.
So where is the agitation heading, will the Centre be able to find a middle ground and make both parts happy. The book explores the complex issues and underlying causes behind the demand for a new state.

The book makes for an insightful read and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who would want to know and learn the history behind the Telangana movement.

About the Author:

Kingshuk Nag is the resident editor of The Times Of India’s Hyderabad edition. A recipient of the Prem Bhatia award for his political analysis and reporting of the Gujarat riots of 2002, this is Nag’s second book. His first book, The Double Life of Ramalinga Raju: The Story of India’s Biggest Corporate Fraud, was a critically acclaimed bestseller.


  1. Will u be able to list other ENglish books on telangana pls?

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