Hyderabad CM Burgula Views about merger
Burgula Ramakrishna Rao
Shri U. N. Dhebar
Indian National Congress
My dear Dhebarbhai,
What I am writing to you just now is in the nature of an interim report. Shri Bhargava is flying to Delhi tomorrow and I thought I should write to you lest the whole thing should be rather late. Yesterday and today I had the advantage of meeting a number of persons in individual and representative capacities. This morning both Shri Bhargava and myself had a little round of villages round about Hyderabad. It is not so very easy to assess the views of the people in any manner that can be called accurate. Besides the time at our disposal is so short that we have to do the assessment in a great hurry. Subject to these considerations I am giving below the assessment of the situation as I see it.
There is, no doubt, considerable agitation in Telangana on this important question. When I say considerable, it is of course nothing of the type we come across in Bombay. The agitation this side is spread over the whole province and not restricted only to cities. My estimate of the views of the people of Telangana is that the people by majority would desire Telangana to remain a separate state. There is a strong section of the people holding the other view, that is in favour of Vishalandhra, but the majority is decidedly in favour of retaining Telangana as a separate province as recommended by the S.R.C. The actual breakdown of views I shall try to give in a fuller report that I shall be sending from Bombay. There should, however, be no doubt in anybody's mind that the majority opinion is inclined towards a separate Telangana Province.
I shall now briefly summarise the pros and cons of the situation.
Those who desire the formation of Vishalandhra support their view on
the following considerations:
1. Many of them would have desired the retention of Hyderabad State as
it is at present, but since this is broken in linguistic pieces and
since the big two pieces have gone to their respective linguistic
units, the third also, viz. Telangana, should go to the large Andhra
2. The slogan of Vishalandhra has been in the field for a long time.
It had its emotional appeal. In Hyderabad it represented the urge to
break away from the feudal system. Hence they believe that
Vishalandhra be formed to satisfy that urge.
3. The supporters of the Cultural Integration feel that it is better
that two Telugu-speaking people living in contiguous areas should come
together. For them there is a great cultural advantage in a bigger
province. This is entirely an emotional approach to which a section of
the literary people attach considerable importance.
4. In a bigger province, the expenditure of administration becomes
less. Duplication and overlapping can be avoided. This is one
important point in favour of Vishalandhra. There can be one Governor,
one High Court, one Public Service Commission and many other
departments can be reduced as compared to their double strength just
now for two provinces.
5. There is also a belief that in a larger province there may be a
larger scope for industrial development etc.
The enumeration of these points is rather illustrative than
exhaustive. Those who are strongly agitating for the retention of
Telangana as a separate province do so for, amongst others, the
1. They believe that the emotional urge for Vishalandhra has been
considerably weakened after the formation of the separate Andhra
state. It will further weaken with the creation of Telangana which is
purely a Telugu state. There is no agitation of a strong character in
Andhra on this subject while there is a strong agitation in Telangana
not to merge with Andhra.
2. If a separate Telangana is formed, it will not practically upset
anybody. Ideologists and the people with emotional approach will be a
little disappointed but there will be no agitation. On the contrar
if Telangana is compulsorily merged with Andhra there will be
considerable bitterness in Telangana with no adequate advantage on the
3. Telanganites feel that apart from being Telugus they have built up
their own way of life during the last 175 years. This way of life is
in many respects different from the way of life of the Telugus in
Andhra. The merger, they fear, will destroy this way of life. That is
why they are worried.
4. Quite a large number of Telanganites are Urdu-knowing and
Urdu-speaking people. For more than a hundred years Urdu has had its
place in the life of the people. The administration is carried on in
Urdu, records are maintained in Urdu, courts conduct their proceedings
in Urdu, lawyers and other professionals carryon their work in Urdu.
They are, naturally afraid that the merger would take away the
importance of Urdu in their life. They do not like this prospect.
5. Educationally Telangana is very backward as compared to Andhra.
They are particularly backward in the study of English for which there
are either no facilities or very poor facilities. They are, therefore,
afraid that in the matter of service in a bigger province, they will
be at a terrific disadvantage. While there are thousands of graduates
and M.A's in Andhra, there are not even a few hundreds in Hyderabad.
No guarantees can level up this great deficiency. Services, therefore,
are afraid of an adverse effect of the merger.
6. Economically, Telanganites are afraid that they will be sufferers
in Vishalandhra. On an average, Telanganites are poor people. They
have no money reserves as some people in Andhra have. They are afraid
there would be an immediate exploitation in land and even in trade,
small and big. They have got many instances where Telugus from Andhra
do not hesitate to exploit the Telugus from Telangana economically
when they get an opportunity to do so. This is by far their biggest fear.
7. Although the language is common, there are instances that there is
no love lost between the Telugus in both the states. The classical
example of this mutual dislike can be found in the attitude of Andhra
officers during the Razakar agitation and immediately after the
accession of Hyderabad. While, they say, the Marathi, Kannads and
other officers were comparatively kind to the people of Hyderabad,
Andhra officers were particularly harsh and unrelenting. There are bad
memories left. These memories are so fresh in the minds of the
Telanganites that they do not want to be at the mercy of their
brethren in Andhra.
8. The Communists and the Communalists, as in similar cases in other
parts of India, having made common cause in demanding Vishalandhra,
the other sections are rather doubtful whether it would lead to the
happiness of the people on both sides. They believe that for the
Communists and Communalists, it is a political game. They are not
sincere in their support of a larger province.
9. Those who desire a separate Telangana as recommended by the S.R.C.
are prepared, as they say, for any test to ascertain the wishes of the
people. They claim that in a test it can be found that a larger
majority of Telanganites are opposed to the merger. They also claim
that if elections are held on this issue they would not yield even a
single seat either to the Communists, the Communalists or even the
sponsors of Vishalandhra.
I have sketchily summarised some of the pros and cons of the situation. It would be wrong on my part to give any opinion of mine. I have kept my mind open on the subject. I have summarised the situation in an objective and dispassionate manner. I shall write more about this in my fuller review of the situation from Bombay. I may however, add one thing that in case Telangana is kept a separate unit there is no harm in having common aspects of the administration common. For example, the Governor, High Court, and the public service commission can be common for both units. I write this subject to the decision of the high command in this respect.
With my kindest personal regards
Sd/- B. Ramakrishna Rao
Published with written permission from Vijay Burgula(Family member of of Burgula Ramakrishna Rao). Vijay Burgula can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org