People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 17

April 25, 2010




CPI(M) Submits Note On Telangana Issue



A delegation of CPI(M)  Andhra Pradesh state committee met V K Fuggal, member secretary of Sri Krishna committee on April 13. The committee was formed by home ministry for consultations with regard to the present situation in Andhra Pradesh, in the back ground of separate Telangana movement. The CPI(M) delegation comprising V Srinivasa Rao, central secretariat member, Penumalli Madhu (MP), Central Committee member, S Veeraiah, state secretariat member submitted a note to the committee. The following is the full text of the note submitted by the delegation.

1.     The Communist Party of India (Marxist) Andhra Pradesh committee opposes the division of Andhra Pradesh in any manner.

2.     The formation of Andhra Pradesh was the result of a sustained movement for the creation of a unified linguistic state for all the Telugu-speaking people.  The Vishalandhra movement was actually demanding the fulfillment of a promise made during the freedom struggle that the provinces of India would be reorganised on a linguistic basis.  The Indian National Congress first accorded recognition to this principle by reorganising the Pradesh provincial committees of the Congress party on a linguistic basis as early as 1921 at the Nagpur session.

3.     The creation of linguistic states undid the legacy of colonial rule which set up multi-lingual provinces purely for the administrative purposes of the British rulers.  The States Re-organisation Committee explicitly recognised the linguistic principle for the formation of states.  The formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956 was followed by the setting up of states like Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and so forth.  Thus, one of the major steps for democratising the Indian State system was undertaken.  Restructuring the states on linguistic lines was an essential step for expanding democracy since it enabled people to have an administration and educational set-up in their own language.  Within such a state adequate safeguards for linguistic minorities was to be provided.

4.     The formation of linguistic states provided the bedrock for the federal system in our country.  The states thus formed have developed and contributed to the federal polity and the democratic political system.  Dividing these states into smaller states will weaken the federal principle.  Small states emerging out of the division of the linguistically homogenous states will be more dependent on the centre and this will militate against the federal principle.  The CPI (M) has always held that we need both a strong centre and strong states to strengthen national unity.

5.     Secularism is the foundation on which national integration and unity depends. Division of existing linguistic states and fragmentation of existing states into large number of smaller states will weaken the ability of the states to curb and control the disruptive forces of various hues including forces of communalism. Our country is a country of unity in diversity.   Those who want to impose on India a religious identity would utilise weaker and smaller states to weaken communal harmony, thus endangering national integration.

6.     Uneven development and regional backwardness within states have grown since independence.  The nature of capitalist development is such where capital and resources flow into areas where infrastructure exists.  This aggravates the problem of regional disparities.  Such problems exist irrespective of the size of the states.

With the introduction of liberalisation policies in 1991, the situation further deteriorated.  Disparities between states, between the regions and within the states further widened.  Even within the same region, imbalances have grown between the districts and within the districts too.  With regard to the development of the state, various studies carried out by experts at different periods have proved this.  (Development of Andhra Pradesh 1956 – 2001, A study of Regional Disparities, edited  by Y V Krishna Rao and S Subramanyam and two more studies on the regional and district level development and on development of various social and economic classes in Andhra Pradesh by ‘Sodhana’, Sundaraiah Vignana Kendram, Hyderabad.)

Withdrawal of the state from developmental activity, leaving the field to market forces as a part of the new economic policies is the primary reason for this state of affairs.  Without addressing this fundamental policy problem, formation of a new state is not going to solve the problem of regional imbalances.

7.     Telangana is a region which has been historically underdeveloped and        backward since the days of the Nizam. Although the oppressive, regressive feudal régime of Nizam was over thrown in 1950s and Telangana became a part of united state, the feudal vestiges were not thoroughly destroyed to pave the way for modern democratic development at the grass root level. Out of 54 years of existence of Andhra Pradesh, Congress ruled the state for 40 years, Telugu Desam ruled for 14 years. Both these parties failed to implement the agreements and promises made by them to overcome the backwardness of the Telangana region. During the last five decades, lot of changes took place in the development of the state. The nature, extent and location of under development also changed. Inspite of many changes, the development of the Telangana region has lagged behind and the scope for employment opportunities have not been commensurate to the needs.  The proportion of irrigated area to total sown area is less in Telangana and the Rayalaseema areas.  Most of the educationally backward mandals are situated in Telangana and North Andhra.  A large section of those who suffer due to the underdevelopment of the Telangana region are the tribals, dalits, artisan communities and minorities.

8.     The division of the state of Andhra Pradesh is however, not the solution for the problems of backwardness.  The arguments put forward by various proponents of division of the state are not based on scientific rational basis. It will be misleading to conclude that a separate state per se will ensure development.  The problems of underdevelopment and socio-economic backwardness have to be tackled through specific measures.

i)                   Priority should be given to those irrigation projects which cater to the needs of Telangana and other backward areas of Andhra Pradesh.

ii)                A comprehensive land distribution programme should be undertaken in the state with special focus on Telangana to break the grip of feudal forces.

iii)              A crash programme has to be adopted to improve educational facilities in the identified backward mandals throughout the state.

iv)              Special attention should be paid to the areas where health indicators are poor when compared to the state average.

v)                Special measures must be adopted to improve the economic and social position of the dalits, girijans (tribal people) minorities and artisan communities. Many of the development indicators are poor in those mandals where the proportion of the dalit, tribal and minority population is large. This is true especially with relation to Telangana region. Development of these vulnerable sections is necessary to bridge the developmental gap between regions and sub regions.

vi)              A comprehensive study of the imbalanced development among different regions, sub regions, districts and mandals is needed. A development index for each mandal should be developed. On this basis, comprehensive plans have to be prepared.

vii)           There should be strict implementation of GO No 610 and rectification of past distortions. A constitutional amendment should be made to remove the exemption given to police department pertaining to Hyderabad in the presidential orders.

viii)         Special funds have to be earmarked for the development of backward mandals in every budget and a separate mechanism to be created to oversee the implementation of the special plans for the backward areas.

ix)              Special incentives should be given by the government to attract investments to the backward areas.

We urge the committee to consider all these aspects carefully.  It should also keep in mind that the division of Andhra Pradesh which was the first major state to be formed on the linguistic basis will open up a plethora of demands for new states to be carved out from the existing linguistic states.  Instead of tackling the root cause of regional imbalance, backwardness and underdevelopment, the demand for setting up of new states will be a diversion and open up a host of intra-state problems which can heighten differences and weaken the unity of the people of the country.