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Mainstream, VOL LI, No 38, September 7, 2013

Another Demarcation on the Map

Sunday 8 September 2013, by Suranjita Ray

The sparking of chaos and protests across the country with the announcement to divide Andhra Pradesh is not surprising. Protests in the streets of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema region against the division, and reassertions of the long pending demand for separate States in Assam and West Bengal, were expected.1 The last few decades have experienced several such social turmoils, many a time resulting in violence.

While both the ruling and the opposition political parties (at the Centre, State, and regional level), have been opportunistic in using such demands for electoral gains, there is a need to understand the major underlying causes of such demands from the perspective of people’s rights. The democratic assertions of people’s rights have to be seen as affirmations of exploitative and oppressive social, economic, and political conditions of living, and the struggle for liberation and self-determination. (Mohanty, 1998: 10-11)

Why A Separate State

The demands for a separate State have a long history of resentment among the people due to structural deprivation and exclusion from the development processes over the years. It is the political expression of anger of the people, particularly of regions which continue to remain deprived, backward and underdeveloped as they have been consciously neglected by the develop-ment models followed by successive govern-ments across the States. While the resources of these regions have been exploited for the growth and development of the dominant class, invariably belonging to the upper castes, the development processes have created disadvan-taged conditions for the majority who become vulnerable to the processes of deprivation, margi-nalisation, and impoverishment. It is in this historical context of widening disparities, inequalities, multi-dimensional dominations, and underdevelopment of particular regions, social groups, and communities that the demand of a separate State is reiterated as a solution to the processes of deprivation and marginalisation.

Most of the people’s rights movements for separate States have raised questions of belonging, identity, right/entitlement to land and livelihood resources, political autonomy, freedom from socio-economic exploitation/oppression, and self-determination, as the communities which inhabited these regions in the pre-colonial times have been displaced and deprived of their rights by the immigrants who came during the colonial period. (See also Barbora, 2013: 10: Deo, 2009: 126-134, Ray, 2011: 109-14) The policies of the colonial state to exploit the productive resources to extract surplus transformed the rural agrarian and forest-based economy. Concentration of basic productive resources in the hands of a few powerful classes deprived the indigenous communities. The liberal and neoliberal agenda of the post-colonial state also protect the interest of the big landed class, industrial capitalist class, and the educated middle class to some extent. Increasing land grabs and land acquisitions for development projects by the state, in nexus with the corporate sector in areas that are rich in natural resources, have pushed the tribals, in particular, and lower castes to the margins of survival. (Ray, 2012: 59-62)

The agrarian policies of the state have resulted in decline of cultivators, and an increasing percentage of agricultural labours, deprivation of small and marginal farmers, alienation of land rights, landlessness, and farmer’s suicides in the last few years. Despite the state’s campaign for inclusive growth, special area development programmes, and rights-based approach, we find that certain regions, social groups, communities, classes, and castes remain excluded from the development processes. Though the social security measures have brought marginal changes in the development indicators, a majority of the masses remain deprived, alienated, and impoverished even in the new States formed in 2000. This is precisely because the major underlying causes of deprivation and disempowerment remain unaddressed. And the development policies of the state have consciously ignored the redistribution of the basic productive resources.

Therefore apart from their unique ethnic and cultural identity, people in the backward and underdevelopment regions—such as the Bodos of Assam, Kukis and Nagas of Manipur, Gorkhas of West Bengal, Kondhs of Western Odisha, and Gonds/Adivasis of Telangana—have come together to demand separate States as a solution to massive displacement, disentitlement, deprivation, and disempowerment. Thus, the Telangana People’s Movement for a separate Telangana State needs to be understood in the historical context of the development policies of the state which have resulted in increasing regional disparities and inequalities.

The proposal to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh has a long history. A majority of the people in the Telangana region believe that since the entrepreneurial class in the Andhra region have exploited the Telangana region for developing coastal Andhra, a separate State is the solution to the persisting problem of inequalities, deprivations, backwardness, and underdevelopment. However, people in the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema region fear that they will lose out much with the division. This fear is genuine. Over the years, an unequal development has contributed to the growth of the dominant class, which have not only benefited from education, employment and economic growth of the state, but are also politically powerful. The state in nexus with the dominant class has invested in the prosperity of Hyderabad city and coastal Andhra. This has led to further regional disparities. In the rest of the Telangana region, the majority of people remain deprived and disempowered socially, culturally, economically, and politically.

Though Andhra Pradesh has the highest reduction in poverty over the last two years from 21.1 per cent in 2009-10 to 9.37 per cent in 20011-12 (68th NSSO Round),2 the disadvantaged conditions for the large mass of people in the Telangana region has not changed. They continue to remain backward, deprived and lack access to education, employment, health, food, infra-structure, and other resources of livelihood, unlike the majority in coastal Andhra. Therefore, structural changes to redistribute the basic productive resources should be prioritised without which creating a separate State will be no solution to the problems of inequalities and deprivations which are systemic and consciously created.

Underdevelopment of Telangana:
 A Conscious Creation

The historical profile of the Telangana region explains the exploitative feudal relations in terms of landholdings and exchange relations, which led to increasing alienation of land, land fragmentation, land encroachment, distress sale of land, alienation of labour, particularly of the tribals/adivasis. Large tracts of tribal land were leased out to the non-tribals in the second half of the 19th century by the Nizam of Hyderabad state. (Ramdas, 2013: 119) The latter supported the colonial state and the forest areas were leased to the British. (Haimendorf, 1976: 545) The Railway line from Hyderabad to Paloncha was laid in 1844 to facilitate mining operations, and Chandrapur-Balharshah Railways in 1929 connected the Adilabad forest area to the outside world. The Gonds lost access to the forests due to the forest conservation policies in the 1920s and 1930s. (Ramdas, 2013: 119) They were further exploited by the forest officials.

The rulers invited the non-tribals to settle and cultivate land to generate surplus. The British revenue system and laws related to land transfer forced the tribals to sell their land to the non-tribal landlords, moneylenders, feudal lords and traders, who were migrants in the Telangana region. (Ibid.) The monetised economy brought land into the market, and the tribals had to borrow money or mortgage their land, which they failed to recover later from the moneylenders. Thus the tribals lost their lands to the non-tribals and became landless labourers in their own land. This resulted in de-peasantisation of the tribals. (Rao 1962; see also Deo, 2009—for similar experiences in Western Odisha).

The Gonds of Adilabad district and Koyas in Khammam district revolted against the Nizam’s state in the 1940s. Similar protests were organised by the tribals in the Telangana district under the leadership of the Communist Party of India (CPI) against the exploitative practices of collection of illegal dues. (Ramdas, 2013: 121) In parts of Khammam and Illendu Taluks the
tribals protested exploitation by the landlords (Patels and Patwaris) of the plains. However, between 1946 and 1970 there were no large scale movements by the tribals in Adilabad, unlike Warangal, Khammam, and Karimanagar. (Ibid.)

The Telangana region saw large scale deterioration in the economic conditions and social relations, while people in the Andhra region developed socially and economically due to the agricultural growth, urbanisation, spread of education, and rise of the entrepreneurial peasant castes. (Hargopal, 2010: 52)

The post-colonial state continued and reinforced the old imperial tendency to exploit, oppress, discriminate, and deprive the tribals and lower castes. (Ray, 2010: 221) Various land settlement policies and manipulation of the land records show that the tribals were in possession of a meagre amount of land. (GOI, 1981: 50: cited in Ramdas, 2013: 119) The National Commission on the Development for Backward Areas observed that the tribals were never recognised as owners of the land they cultivated. The Working Group on Tribal Development, appointed by the Planning Commission, states that “in spite of protective measures to restore land to the tribal, it is still reported to be taking place. It appears that, in most cases, these are caused because of fake transaction”. (GOI, 1980: 53-54, cited in Ramdas, 2013: 119) Land encroachment in the absence of proper land records and illegal land transfers in connivance with the revenue officials were common. (Haimendorf 1976: 65) Though the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Areas Land Transfer Regulation, 1959 passed the decree of ejection, it failed to change the situation.

The development policies of the state favoured the coastal Andhra region. The Green Revolution in the mid-1960s generated surplus in the coastal region. The farming community in Telangana were not able to compete with the enterprising farmers of the Andhra region. (Hargopal, 2010: 53) During the 1970s the Central Government invested in the development of industries and infrastructure in Hyderabad. The rise of the new emerging class of rich farmers, powerful peasant community, regional industrial class, contractors, land mafia, which benefited in terms of monetary gains, played a major role in deciding the development policies for the State. (Ibid.: 55)

The last few years has seen massive displacement and eviction of a million people due to forced land acquisition (20 lakh acres) required for development projects under successive governments. (Sainath, 2013: 11) The Polavaram Dam provides water for industrial development of the coastal corridors of Andhra Pradesh and nearly 80 per cent of the submergence happens to be in the Telangana region (Khammam district). (Maheshwari, 2013: 12) Commercialisation of crops has largely contributed to the agrarian crisis, and increasing farmers’ suicide during the last decade has resulted in resurgence of the armed struggle.

The neoliberal policies led to huge investment from Multinational Corporations and World Bank in education, health, infrastructure, Information and Technology, and employment, which further widened the inequalities and disparities between regions, classes, and castes, and Hyderabad developed as a metropolitan city at the cost of the rest of the State. (Hargopal, 2010: 57) Thus, while the people in the Andhra region have benefited from the water and irrigation schemes, provision for education, infrastructure, public health facilities, public employment, and other economic opportunities such as growing market, business and trade, we see marginalisation of the culture, language, custom, and agrarian system of the Telangana region. (See also Maheshwari, 2013: 12)

The Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the Telangana region remain backward and deprived of education and employment unlike their counterparts in coastal Andhra. (Committee for Consultations on the Situation in Andhra Pradesh, 2010: 367) While the Malas (SC), whose population is high in coastal Andhra, have benefited from education, industrialisation, and later reservations, the Madigas (SC), with a high population in the Telangana region, have been excluded and benefited little economically or otherwise. (Ibid.: 369-370) Therefore, the Madigas are consistent in their demand for a separate State across the regions of Telangana and coastal Andhra unlike the Malas. Except for the Lambadas (tribals) who expect more benefit from an increased percentage of reservations in a separate State, the Adivasis prefer to have their own State, Manya Seema—based on equality. (Ibid.: 371-72) The Other Backward Castes (OBCs) also expect more benefits from a separate State. (Ibid.: 377-78) The lower castes and minorities expect a larger share in the political power in a separate State due to a higher percentage in population in the Telangana region, while the upper castes in the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema region are against the division, and their greatest fear is the loss of Hyderabad.

The upper caste Reddys and Kammas (rich peasantry) continue to hold economic and political power and dominate the Telangana region. (Ibid.: 380) Thus, it has been argued that since the “politics of accommo-dation” will privilege the upper castes to retain their hegemony while accommodating the interest of the lower castes (Reddy, 1989), “the weaker sections constituting a large majority of population in Telangana and, for that matter, in Andhra, would be better able to articulate their problems and politically assert themselves in separate, smaller and relatively homogenous States. The formation of Telangana State would thus strengthen the forces of social inclusion and secularism in both the States.” (Rao, 2010: 127)

However, while time and again the political parties have made promises to fulfil the aspirations of the people of Telangana, they have also supported the Andhra region’s status quo. Political parties have often been successful in weakening the Telangana movement by accommodating the important leaders of the movement in the power structure. (Hargopal, 2010: 55-60) There is neither conviction nor consensus amongst and within the parties on the issue of creating a separate State. (Ibid.) Therefore, the recent decision of the Congress party to divide Andhra Pradesh is a similar move for opportunistic electoral gains which has divided the people and made the parties mutually hostile. The party leaders keep accusing each other for not doing enough to prevent the decision of dividing the State.

Protesting the creation of the Telangana State several Members of Parliament have quit both the Houses resulting in increasing hostility between Telangana and Seemandhra. The Central and State party leaders from Andhra Pradesh are suggesting new formulae for dividing the State to win the elections. While the Union Tribal Affairs Minister, K.C. Deo, suggests to trifurcate the State into Telangana, Andhra and Rayalaseema to create three geographically and culturally cohesive units, other suggestions include adding a few districts to the new Telangana State to ensure that the Congress party forms the government. Thus, once again it is electoral gains of the political parties which remain important in deciding the future of the Telangana region rather than the basic issues that concern the deprived and the impoverished.

Making Political Capital

The political economy of underdevelopment of the Telangana region explains the uneasy integration of the two regions. While the people of Telangana had opposed it as the benefits of development were cornered by the entrepre-neurial class in the Andhra region, the latter supported a united Andhra Pradesh as Hyderabad located in a separate Telangana State would be a constant source of conflict and tension. Therefore the ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ 1956 was worked out to protect the interests of Telangana when the two regions were merged in 1956.3 However, violations of the ‘agreement’ led to opposition to the merger from 1957 onwards by the Telangana Mahasabha. The Telangana Praja Samiti in 1969 claimed a separate State for the Telangana region that could provide justice to its people.

Though the CPI had played an important role in organising the landless agricultural labourers against the oppressive landlords, it failed to mobilise the masses in Telangana for integration. (Hargopal, 2010: 53) It was also unable to educate the masses in the Andhra region about the aspirations of the people of Telangana. (Ibid.) Thus, the early 1970s saw the emergence of the Naxalite movement as the Telangana movement became weak and failed to protect the interests of the marginalised. As a radical movement the former brought back the question of land reforms onto the political agenda which was a challenge to the political class. (Ibid.: 54)

To counter the challenge the Congress party also prioritised land reforms. But this disturbed the Andhra political elite and the Jai Andhra Agitation in 1971-72 demanded bifurcation of the State. However, it failed to challenge the leadership of the Congress party.

Several political agreements between the Centre and the State failed to safeguard the interests of Telangana. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) promised to do so, and the Telangana identity as a sub-identity got submerged in the larger Telugu identity. (Ibid.: 55) However, soon the rhetoric of the Telugu identity to hold the people together gave space for revival of the sub-identity movement. (Ibid.) In 1999 the Congress party used the demand for creating a Telangana State for electoral gains.

Meanwhile the CPI-ML (People’s War) had gained influence in Telangana. Later in 2001 the movement for a separate State grew with the emergence of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). It aligned with the Congress party, which promised a separate State alongside peaceful talks with Naxalites, revival of agriculture, and protest against the dictates of the World Bank.

In 2004 the Congress, despite winning elections both at the Centre and the State, failed to keep its promise. In 2006 the TRS quit the coalition and contested the elections independently in 2008 demanding bifurcation of the State. By 2008 the TDP, which was earlier opposed to separation, passed a resolution demanding a separate State and the newly formed YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) also officially endorsed Statehood for Telangana. (Reddy, 2013: 7) However, the delay of the proposal for separate Telangana by the Centre aggravated the agitation and in 2009 the Congress party announced the decision to initiate the process of the State formation. This was opposed by some elected representatives, who argued that separation would violate the principles of linguistic State and lead to fragmentation and disintegration of the nation and resurgence of the Maoists in separate Telangana. (Hargopal, 2010: 59)

It is significant to note that by then the aspirations of the people of Telangana had gained support of the civil society organisations and activists which made the Telangana movement a people’s rights movement. (Ibid.: 58-59) And the demand for a separate State had become critical with the contributions of the non-political Joint Action Committees (JACs). In 2010 a five-member Committee for Consultations on the Situation in Andhra Pradesh (CCSAP) was set up under the former Chief Justice B.N. Srikrishna to look into the long-standing contentious issue of Statehood. Thereafter, a series of agitation continued in 2011-12 and 2012-13 across Andhra Pradesh as the Report of the CCSAP was not implemented.

In the recent decision to divide Andhra Pradesh, the Congress party has played a leading role by proposing one of the options (v) to accept the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and Seemandhra (coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema) with their existing boundaries and Hyderabad to continue as a joint capital for both States till a new capital is developed for Seemandhra, as suggested in the CCSAP Report 2010. Though the Congress party campaigns that this will accelerate the process of development and assures both Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra of all possible help from the Centre in building a new capital, and has proposed to set up a Group of Ministers to oversee the sharing of resources between the two States, the major Opposition parties allege that the move is political.

Failure to consider various issues of concern before the announcement of the division has led to strong opposition not only from the two rival parties TDP and YSRCP, but also protests from the people across the divide. Various JACs oppose the decision to bifurcate the State. The YSRCP opposes losing Hyderabad to Telangana as the people of all the three regions of Andhra Pradesh have contributed to its development. Leaders of the Congress party from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema are against the bifurcation and have threatened to form a different party. Moreover the TRS would decide merging with the Congress party only after the separate Telangana Bill is passed.

The Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, has expressed reservation on the decision and reiterated his stand of keeping the State united as the new State will help the TRS to take the credit, and the CPI and Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) to take advantage of the situation. He opposed a separate Telangana State as it will disturb the present law and order alongside aggravating problems in sharing the Krishna and Godavari river waters, distribution of power, the future of government employees in both the regions, and the status of Hyderabad. (Balaji, 2013: 22) As Hyderabad will remain a joint capital for a period of ten years, dividing the revenues generated by it will not be easy. (Reddy, 2013: 7)

Sharing of water and power are two contentious issues between the Andhra and Telangana regions. While assured water has already been allocated projectwise, sharing of the surplus water in the divided State can be worked out by the Centre and the States. (T. Hanumantha Rao cited in Rajeev, 2013: 15) The completion of the ongoing projects providing additional capacity would also generate surplus power in both the States. (Ibid.) However, the greater challenge for policy-makers is to address the underlying causes of persisting inequalities, poverty, and deprivations. The tribals/adivasis and lower castes in the newly formed States of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Uttarakhand continue to remain deprived, marginalised, and excluded as the productive resources have been appropriated by a few powerful privileged sections. Therefore, while much of the media coverage is on the political gains to the parties in the new Statehood, one needs to address the real issues of basic right to life and livelihood which concern the people across the divide
who for long have experienced exploitation, deprivation, domination, backwardness, and underdevelopment at the cost of development of the dominant class.

Conclusion

The failure to secure basic rights to the people has seen increasing social turbulence across the State during the last few decades. It is important that the new State, if formed, should change the conditions of impoverishment and deprivation for the disadvantaged groups and communities that deny basic entitlements required for minimum subsistence. Many fear that it will bring no change in the political culture as the dominant political leadership has hijacked the Telangana movement (as the mainstream leaders of the movement are the non-tribals). Despite having a people’s rights perspective, the movement has failed to challenge the dominant political culture. (Hargopal cited in Sainath, 2013: 11) And what is worrying is that the larger interest of the dominant class is always defended by the democratic capitalist state, and any contestation which is outside the hegemonic class character of the capitalist state is intolerant to the latter.

It is the history of a region in terms of its culture, language, customs, and economy that people relate to, and the people’s rights movements articulate it politically. The democratic assertions demand a separate State for freedom from exploitation, and the right to self- determination. Therefore, the issues of basic entitlements to resources of livelihood, which concern people on both the sides of the divide, need to be discussed and debated. Political parties should stop using the demand for electoral gains and work out strategies of development to ensure redistribution of the basic productive resources to make the new Telangana State far more inclusive and democratic than what the existing Andhra Pradesh has been, or else it will become another unblurred demarcation on the map.

References

Balaji, J. (2013): “Why Bifurcate Andhra for a Few Assembly Seats, says Kiran” in The Hindu, August 22, p. 22.
Barbora, Sanjay (2013): “Embers that Refuse to Die” in The Hindu, August 22, p. 10.
Deo, Fanindam (2009): Roots of Poverty A Social History (Bhubaneswar: Amadeus Press).
Government of India (2010): Committee for Consultations on the Situation in Andhra Pradesh, GOI, Delhi.
Government of India (1980): Report of the Working Group on Tribal Development during Sixth Plan 1980-85, Ministry of Home Affairs, GOI, New Delhi.
Government of India (1981): Report on Development of Backward Hill Areas, National Committee on the Development of Backward Areas (under Chairmanship of B. Sivaraman), Planning Commission, GOI, New Delhi.
Gupta, Smita (2013): “New Voices Add to Telangana Confusion” in The Hindu, August 25, p. 13.
Haimendorf, C.V.F. (1976): The Gonds of Andhra Pradesh (New Delhi: Vikas Publications).
Haimendorf, C.V.F. (1982): The Tribes of India: The
Struggle for Survival (ed.) (Bombay: Oxford University Press).
Hargopal, G. (2010): “The Telangana People’s Movement: The Unfolding Political Culture” in Economic and Political Weekly, 45(42), pp. 51-60.
M. Rajeev (2013): “For Telangana, Sharing Water and Power Will be Key Challenge” in The Hindu, August 25, p. 15.
Maheshwari, R. Uma (2013): “A State That Must Fulfil A Higher Purpose” in The Hindu July 31, p. 12.
Mohanta, Nani Gopal (2013): “Politics of Space and Violence in Bodoland” in Economic and Political Weekly, 48(23), pp. 49-58.
Mohanty, Manoranjan (1998): Introduction in People’s Rights Social Movements and the State in the Third World in Manoranjan Mohanty, Partha Nath Mukherji and Olle Tornquist (ed.) (New Delhi: Sage Publications).
Ramdas, R. (2013): “A Separate Telangana: Promises and Prospects for Tribal People” in Economic and Political Weekly, 48 (29), pp. 118-122.
Rao, C.H. Hanumantha (2010): Regional Disparities, Smaller States and Statehood for Telangana (New Delhi: Academic Foundation).
Rao, Sehtu Madhava (1962): Gonds of Adilabad (Bombay: Popular Book Deport).
Ray, Suranjita (2010): (Book Review) “Roots of Poverty A Social History” (Bhubaneshwar: Amadeus Press) in Social Change, 40 (2), pp. 221-226.
Ray, Suranjita (2011): “Development with a Human Face: Kalahandi Revisited”, A Report submitted to UGC under the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award, 2009-11.
Ray, Suranjita (2012): “On the Margins of Survival” in Mainstream Annual, pp. 59-68.
Reddy, Ram (1989): “The Politics of Accommodation: Caste, Class and Dominance in Andhra Pradesh” in Francine Frankel and M.S.A. Rao (ed.) Dominance and Stratification in Modern India: Decline of a Social Order (New Delhi: Oxford University Press).
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Sainath, P. (2013): “A New State, an Old Political Culture” in The Hindu, August 16, p. 11.
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Endnotes

1. A series of protests led by bandhs and blockades to revive the Statehood movement resulted in violence in different States. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in West Bengal has called for bandhs in the Darjeeling hill area (Kalimpong and Kurseong subdivisions) in support of a separate Gorkhaland State. The ongoing pro-Gorkha agitation reiterated the need for the Centre’s intervention as the division of West Bengal is opposed by the ruling Trinamul Congress party. In Assam the political elite have seized the opportunity to revive the demand to preserve the cultural identity and heritage of ethnic groups such as Bodos, Karbis, the Dimasas and Koch-Rajbangshis. Bandhs and blockades by the agitated All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) reasserted their demand for Bodoland as a separate State. The Bodoland People’s Front, the coalition partner of the ruling Congress party-led government in Assam, demands that the Centre must announce Bodoland as it has announced Telangana ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls. In the recent past we have seen violence in Bodoland acquiring new dimensions as inflammatory websites spread hatred in Mumbai, Allahabad, Hyderabad and Bangalore against the people of the North-East who had to flee to their home town. (Mohanta, 2013: 49) Intensified violence has spread to more areas of the Karbi Anglong hill demanding a separate State comprising the two hill districts Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao. The All Koch Rajbangshi Students Union (AKRSU) and several other bodies of the Koch Rajbangshi community reinforced their demand for a separate State “Kamtapur State”. Protest by the Kukis and Nagas in Manipur continued with the Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) demanding a separate ‘Kuki State’ in the Kuki–inhabitated areas of the State, and the United Naga Council (UNC) against the Centre’s failure to hold the sixth round of tripartite talks for an alternative administrative arrangement for the Naga-inhabited areas.

In Uttar Pradesh (UP) the Bahujan Samaj Party reiterated the demand to split the State into Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Awadh Pradesh, and Paschim Pradesh, while the Rashtriya Lok Dal revived its demand for Harit Pradesh. The BJP pressed its demand for Bundelkhand, and the Congress party demanded that eastern UP be a separate State. The ruling Samajwadi Party is opposed to any division of the State. In the west, the movement for Vidarbha was supported both by the Congress and the BJP, while the Shiv Sena opposed the division. In recent years, the demand for separate States, such as Saurashtra in Gujarat, Coorg in Karnataka, and Kosala Rajya in Western Odisha, have once again become important.

2. However, the poverty estimate by the Planning Commission based on the Tendulkar Committee and National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO)’s consumption expenditure data for 2011-12 has been criticised along with the methodology of drawing inference from a small sample survey. (Venkateshwarlu, 2013)

3. Since 1776 Telangana was part of the erstwhile feudal princely state of Hyderabad and Andhra region was part of the Madras Presidency ruled by the British. The Hyderabad state merged with the Indian Union in 1948. The proposal to merge the Hyderabad state and Andhra state came up in 1953 and a resolution was passed in 1955. Andhra Pradesh emerged as a State with Hyderabad as its capital when the States Re-Organisation Act in 1956 merged the Telugu-speaking areas of the Hyderabad state with the Andhra state.

Suranjita Ray teaches Political Science in Daulat Ram College, University of Delhi. She can be contacted by e-mail at: suranjitaray_66@yahoo.co.in

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