(The New Indian Express, Hyderabad March 5, 2010)
The Committee for Consultation on the Situation in Andhra Pradesh (CCSAP), popularly known as Justice B N Srikrishna Committee, will, in all probability, receive hundreds, if not thousands, of petitions in favor of creating a separate Telangana state or maintaining status quo of Andhra Pradesh, and it may well be unmanageable to navigate through that ocean of information within the short span of time given to it. Concurrent to trying its hand on reading the submitted material, the committee would be richer in information and might be able to come to a viable conclusion if it goes through a number of authentic government or official documents as well as independent studies that appeared in the last five decades. Here is an attempt to bring some of those reports, papers and documents to the notice of the committee.
The Report of the States Reorganisation Commission, 1955 in general and paragraphs from 359 to 393 of the report and paragraph 28.4 of the Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations in particular are worth studying, since they recommended the creation of a State with Telugu-speaking districts of Hyderabad State (in other words, Telangana).
The Gentlemen’s Agreement signed on February 20, 1956 by B Gopal Reddy, A Satyanarayana Raju, N Sanjiva Reddy and G Latchanna on behalf of Andhra State and B Ramakrishna Rao, J V Narsinga Rao, K V Ranga Reddy and M Chenna Reddy on behalf of Hyderabad State, for identifying the specific promises made to Telangana, as a condition for merger.
The ‘Note on Safeguards Proposed for the Telangana Area’ prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs and tabled in Lok Sabha on August 10, 1956 for providing legal approval to the Gentlemen’s Agreement.
The States Re-organisation Act, 1956, The Andhra Pradesh Regional Committee Order, 1958, the seventh amendment and replacement of Article 371 of Constitution of India, and the Andhra Pradesh Public Employment (Requirement as to Residence) Rules, 1959 which validated the promises made and protection given to Telangana people in the Gentlemen’s Agreement.
About 100 reports of the Regional Committee as well as its sub-committees from 1958 to 1969, which identified various violations and lapses in implementation of the promises of the Gentlemen’s Agreement and demanded immediate redressal.
The All-Party Agreement of January 19, 1969, signed by 45 legislators including Chief Minister, his ministerial colleagues, and representatives of opposition, which talked about the “lapses in the implementation of” the Gentlemen’s Agreement and the need to take corrective measures.
The ‘Report on the Quantum of Telangana Surpluses for the period from 1.11.1956 to 31.3.1968’ by K Lalit (1969), which said Telangana had Rs 38.20 crore surplus or shortfall in rightful share of allocations.
The Report of the Committee on Telangana Surpluses (1969) under the chairmanship of Justice Vasishta Bhargava, appointed by Government of India, though differing with the quantum arrived at by K Lalit and calculating the surpluses as Rs 28.34 crore, accepted that Telangana region did not receive special attention it deserved and as promised.
The G.O. No. 36 of 1969, promulgated to grant the rightful share of Telangana in employment, Eight-Point Formula of 1969 and Five-Point Formula of 1971 mooted by the then Prime Minister to assuage the feelings of the agitators in Telangana, to comprehend the mood of Telangana people during 1969 to 1971.
The judgment of the Supreme Court on October 16, 1972, striking down an earlier verdict of the AP High Court and upholding the Mulki Rules, to protect the rightful and proportionate share of employment to Telangana people.
The Six-Point Formula prepared by the then Prime Minister in 1973 that promised protection of the interests of Telangana and Andhra regions and in the same stroke removed the Regional Committee and the Mulki Rules.
The 32nd amendment to the Constitution of India in the form of Art. 371 (D) as a follow-up to the Six-Point Formula facilitating President of India to promulgate a special order.
The Presidential Order of 1975 as a follow up which divided the State into six zones and protected the interests of Telangana people in lower level employment.
The Report of Officers’ Committee under the chairmanship of K Jayabharath Reddy that attempted to find out the number of employees appointed in violation of the promises.
The G. O. No. 610 of 1985, an attempt to implement the Presidential Order after a ten-year delay, which was again consigned to cold storage, even though it stipulated a three-month time frame for itself.
The incomplete reports of House Committee and J M Girglani Committee on G.O. No. 610, which categorically stated that there were gross violations of the government order as well as earlier promises.
The committee might also consult studies of independent scholars like K V Narayana Rao (1972): Telangana – A Study in the Regional Committees in India; G R S Rao (1975): Regionalism in India: A Case Study of the Telangana Issue; G Ram Reddy and B A V Sharma (1979): Regionalism in India: A Study of Telangana; Myron Weiner (1988): Sons of the Soil – Migration and Ethnic Conflict in India; S Simhadri and P L Vishweshwer Rao (eds) (1997): Telangana – Dimensions of Underdevelopment; Dagmar Bernstorff and Gray Hugh (1998): The Kingmakers: Politicians and Politics in Andhra Pradesh; B P R Vithal (2002): The Telangana Surpluses – A Case Study; Y V Krishna Rao and S Subrahmanyam (eds) (2002): Development of Andhra Pradesh: 1956-2001; CH Hanumantha Rao (2005): Essays on Development Strategy, Regional Disparities and Centre-State Financial Relations in India; R S Rao, V Hanumantha Rao and N Venugopal (eds) (2007): Fifty Years of Andhra Pradesh 1956-2006; and M Bharath Bhushan and N Venugopal (2009): Telangana – The State of Affairs. This is only a selected bibliography and does not include hundreds of books and pamphlets appeared in Telugu.