As Telangana turns 10, a look into its decades-long struggle for statehood

Telangana was formed on June 2, 2014 after bifurcating Andhra Pradesh

Charminar in Hyderabad Charminar in Hyderabad | via Commons

Telangana, the youngest Indian state, is celebrating a decade of its formation. It was on June 2, 2014 that Telangana gained official statehood through the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, after decades of struggles and agitations. Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy has extended an invitation to Sonia Gandhi, the Chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party, to participate in the commemorative events on Sunday. Here is a quick peek into the history, significance, and intriguing details surrounding the 29th Indian state.


The history of Telangana’s formation dates back to 1948 when the Hyderabad state was integrated with the Union of India by ending the Nizam’s rule. The Telangana region was under the jurisdiction of the Nizam of Hyderabad, the largest princely state during the British period. Consequently, both Telugu and Urdu were spoken by the people in the state of Hyderabad. However, the state did not progress evenly with neighbouring Andhra region, ruled by the British, in terms of education, health care, and agriculture. The Andhra region, which was a part of the erstwhile Madras Presidency, prospered under British rule. 

After India’s Independence, the Nizam opted to maintain the independent status of Hyderabad state. However, people were in favour of joining the Indian Union. During Operation Polo, the newly established Indian government deployed armed troops to convince the determined Nizam to join the Indian Union. Ultimately, on September 17, 1948, the Hyderabad state became part of India.

In 1953, with the passing of the Andhra State Act, the Telugu-speaking areas carved out of the erstwhile state of Madras were put together to form Andhra State, the first linguistic state to be formed in post-independent India. The same year, the central government formed a States Reorganisation Commission to redraw the state borders. In the following years, the Andhra state leaders approached the Centre, demanding that the Andhra state be merged with the Telangana region since the separation from the Madras presidency had left them with neither a ready-made capital city nor any resources. 

In 1955, the State Reorganisation Commission submitted its report, which, while acknowledging the sentiment for a unified Telugu state, also recognized the apprehension of the educationally backward population of Telangana and suggested that a separate Telangana state be formed. Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India, under the banner of Andhra Mahasabha, led the Visalandhra Movement, advocating for a “greater Andhra” that encompassed all the Telugu-speaking areas of Andhra State and Hyderabad State.

Due to the collective endeavours of the politicians, the Telugu-speaking areas of Hyderabad state were merged with Andhra state under the State Reorganisation Act. 

Thus, a unified Telugu-speaking state of Andhra Pradesh was formed on November 1, 1956. However, Since 1969, murmurs of protest have been raised in the Telangana region, which in the following years snowballed into the Telangana statehood movement. 

The violent agitations, combined with the ‘Jai Telangana’ movement for a separate state, continued until the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill was passed in 2014, bifurcating the state into two and recognizing Telangana as an independent state on June 2.

Interesting facts

Hyderabad, known as the “City of Pearls," is the capital of Telangana. Known for its mesmerising waterfalls and forts, the most famous being the Golconda Fort, Telangana is situated on the rugged Deccan Plateau. The state thrives on the waters of the Godavari and Krishna rivers. Owing to its unique history under the reign of the Kakatiya Dynasty, Delhi Sultanate, Bahmani Sultanate, and the Nizams of Hyderabad, Telangana produces art forms distinct from Andhra culture like Perini Sivatandavam, Chindu Bhagavatham, Qawwali, and Mushairas. 

The booming IT industry in the capital has significantly contributed to the economic development of the state. Telangana also boasts a vibrant tourism sector with tourist attractions like Charminar, Ramoji Film City, Medak Fort, Warangal, and numerous others. 


Telangana’s separation from Andhra Pradesh stands as a landmark victory in the fight for self-determination. Telangana’s unique cultural identity, shaped by a different historical path under the Nizam, had been overshadowed by Andhra's dominant influence. Influenced by Urdu and Persian, people in Telangana spoke a distinct Telugu dialect known as ‘Telangana yaasa’. The separation allowed Telangana to revive its distinct dialect, traditions, and way of life. The separation marked the culmination of a decades-long struggle among the people of Telangana.

Telangana, historically underrepresented, gained its own voice. The new state meant more control over its resources, development plans, and decision-making processes. The autonomy empowered the people and politicians to address their specific needs and aspirations. The 1956 merger of Telangana with Andhra Pradesh was seen by many as disregarding the wishes of the Telangana people. The separation corrected the historical injustice and allowed Telangana to chart its own course.

In essence, the separation of Telangana was not just a geographical division but a recognition of the region’s distinct identity and a chance to right the historical wrong. It empowered the Telangana people to take charge of their futures and celebrate their unique identity.


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