After nearly four decades of struggle for a separate state, the Telangana issue has reached a flashpoint. Under the leadership of K Chandrasekhar Rao, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has pressurised the Centre government to set a deadline for the formation of a separate Telangana state.
Telangana corresponds to the Telugu speaking part of the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad. The region lies to the west of the Eastern ghats range. Telangana came under Muslim rule in 14th century. Strangely, it was never under direct British rule.
The central government established unified Andhra Pradesh on November 1, 1956 on linguistic lines.
The first battle for separation of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh erupted in 1969 under the leadership of Marri Chenna Reddy. The Congress party suppressed the movement. This disturbed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people one way or the other. It was a big blow to the generation of the times.
In 2004, the Congress party and the TRS had an electoral alliance in the Telangana region with the promise of a separate Telangana state. TRS joined the coalition government in 2004 and was successful in making a separate Telangana state a part of the common minimum program (CMP). In September 2006, TRS withdrew support from the Congress-led coalition government.
However, once again, it was felt that the Congress party did not fulfil the promise made to the people of Telangana.
In December 2009, the demand for a separate Telangana state was being raised by all the four crore people of Telangana in unison. The TRS chief's fast-unto-death mission to free his land pressurised the Central government.
On the night of December 9, 2009, the Congress Party decided to accept the demand for Telangana and promised to initiate a process for it.