History And Significance Of India’s Youngest State

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Hyderabad: People across Telangana are celebrating the eighth anniversary of the formation of the state, which came into being after a 57-year wait. Telangana became the 29th and youngest state of the country after it was officially formalised on June 2, 2014. It is for the first time that the central government is organising a celebration of the Telangana Formation Day, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to attend as chief guest the event to be held in New Delhi on Thursday.

As the young state turns eight, here’s a look back at the struggles and major milestones witnessed on the way to statehood.

History

The fight for a separate Telangana had been a people’s movement for several decades, starting way back in 1968. According to different accounts, over 360 people lost their lives during the first phase of the Telangana movement in 1968-69. A stupa was constructed in Hyderabad’s Gun Park to commemorate them.

The second phase of the Telangana movement was started when K Chandrasekhar Rao founded Telangana Rashtra Samithi 20 years ago. During the unified Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections in 2004, TRS allied with the Congress after the latter assured a separate Telangana state. Besides winning 26 Assembly seats, TRS won five Parliament seats too in the general elections held that year. However, despite a good show in the elections, statehood eluded Telangana and the TRS leaders who had won resigned. 

Upset with the Congress for having been denied a separate state for five years, KCR sat on an indefinite fast on November 29, 2009. The day is still called ‘Deeksha Diwas’ in Telangana. A little past midnight on December 10, 2009, KCR ended his 11-day hunger strike, after the then UPA government at the Centre announced the initiation of the process for the formation of Telangana.

However, while KCR took up a fast-unto-death to secure Telangana state, the people of Andhra Pradesh were at the same time protesting and taking out mass rallies in several cities and towns of the state demanding a unified Andhra Pradesh state.

Amid severe unrest in the state, TRS activist K Srikanth Chary set himself ablaze after TRS supremo KCR was arrested on November 29 when he started the hunger strike. He died four days later. Another man who supported the Telangana movement committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in front of Parliament in New Delhi. The two deaths gave momentum to the statehood movement, which ultimately saw the Centre setting in motion the process to carve Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh.

On February 3, 2010, the UPA government constituted the Sri Krishna Committee. The Committee for Consultation on the Situation of Andhra Pradesh (CCSAP), was headed by former Chief Justice BN Srikrishna. After touring across the state and hearing the views of people, the committee gave its report on December 10 the same year. With a positive response from the people for a separate Telangana, the state was finally born on June 2, 2014.

Significance

The formation of Telangana signifies the victory of a sustained movement that saw the large Andhra Pradesh state bifurcation into two entities. A 57-year-old fight for the separate state finally bore fruit, bringing hope to the people of Telangana for a better future complete with an distinct identity. 



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