The movement for a separate Telangana state has been hailed by many intellectuals as a democratic struggle of the people of a region against political domination and economic exploitation. The central government’s decision to create a new state is seen as an official recognition of the people’s aspiration for identity and self-rule. Interrogating such perceptions, this article examines the process by which a Telangana identity has been constructed and throws light on different factors that contributed to it. The Telangana identity is built partly on fact, and partly on half-truths, prejudices, and false hopes. Apart from intellectuals, the resurrection of the regional identity has been facilitated by the opportunism of political parties, in particular, the unjustifiable inaction of the left.There have been several movements to revoke the merger of Telangana and Andhra, major ones occurring in 1969, 1972, and 2009. The movement for a new state of Telangana gained a great momentum in the 21st Century with the fast initiated by Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao the Chief of Telangana Rashtra Samithi on November 29, 2009. On 9th December, 2009 the Government of India announced the process of formation of the Telangana state. Violent protests led by people in the Coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions occurred immediately after the announcement, and the decision was put on hold on 23rd December, 2009. The movement continued in Hyderabad and other districts of Telangana. There have been hundreds of claimed suicides, strikes, protests and disturbances to public life demanding separate statehood. After many struggles, the state of Telangana was officially formed on 2nd June 2014, Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao was elected as the first chief minister of Telangana, following elections in which the Telangana Rastra Samithi party secured majority. Hyderabad will remain as the joint capital of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for a period of 10 years.
Regional Politics, Telangana, Telangana Rastra Samiti