Which is the richest city in Telangana

Telangana: India's 29th state shaped by social movements

On June 2, 2014, a new Indian federal state was founded: Telangana. Decades of political unrest brought the unified state of Andhra Pradesh, which integrated Telangana before the split, into the media and political field of India. Telangana is historically shaped differently than the rest of the Andhra Pradesh region. From 1724 to 1948 Telangana ruled that for Hyderabad Princely State belonged to the Nizams, Muslim rulers. The rest of what is now Andhra Pradesh was ruled by the British colonial powers. The same language called Telugu caused the politicians of the time to unite these two regions into a federal state. This happened despite different positions, as there were many skeptics, above all the then and first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. On November 1, 1956, the Gentlemen’s Agreement signed, which established the fourth largest Indian state called Andhra Pradesh.

Image: State of India, State of Telangana

Hyderabad: A city divided in two

Hyderabad, located in the heart of Telangana and the capital of the united Andhra Pradesh as well as the joint capital Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for the next ten years (until Andhra Pradesh built its own capital), is a reflection of the deep contrasts of the subcontinent. Images of prosperity and poverty, multi-national corporations, the informal sector, shopping centers, skyscrapers and mud huts shape the cityscape. Over the past two decades billions of rupees have been invested in the new district called Hi-Tec City to make the city more attractive to international companies. The result was double-edged: Agricultural land was destroyed for the construction of companies and houses, which resulted in the livelihoods of thousands of farmers being destroyed in the name of development. On the other hand, Hyderabad experienced an economic boom. Forty percent of the undivided state's revenue came from Hyderabad-based companies such as Microsoft and Facebook. As a result, this 40% was also reinvested in Hyderabad. State investments and development programs ignored the lack of infrastructure, the lack of hospitals and training facilities in the rest of Telangana and in the politically neglected Rayalaseema region, south of Telangana. The main focus was on Hyderabad, as the city brought profits - also for the coastal region Andhra Pradesh, the richest region of the undivided federal state. Due to the numerous strikes in the course of the dispute for a separate federal state, which resulted in both countless power outages and daily closings of magistrates and training centers, multi-national and national corporations began to migrate or to choose Hyderabad as their headquarters. The economic consequences of this will only be felt in the coming years for the people of Telangana.

The emergence of Telangana

In this social, economic, and political scenario, the Telangana movement, which began in the 1960s, picked up momentum again from 2008 onwards. It achieved its breakthrough in autumn 2013, when the then ruling Congress party approved the establishment of Telangana. Despite massive resistance from political and social ranks, the secession of the state of Telangana was confirmed on Feb. 17, 2014 in the House of Commons and on Feb. 20, 2014 in the House of Lords. The task of overcoming these social contradictions and the increasing economic gap between the population has become the founder and first Chief Minister Telanganas, Kalvakuntha Chandrasekhara Rao made of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). Telangana is 90% inhabited by Dalits, Adivasi and Muslims. Population groups that are largely to be found at the bottom of the social and economic wealth pyramid. Women in these groups are particularly affected by the social and economic differences. Hopes are high that Kalvakuntha Chandrasekhara Rao will bring the promised economic boom and a better position for women, Dalits, Adivasi and Muslims in society. The first possible redistribution of wealth is in sight: The results of a detailed household survey in Telangana, which was carried out on August 19, 2014, should have positive effects on the economically and socially disadvantaged population class of Telangana. Gas cylinders and small areas of arable land were promised to the dispossessed. Here, too, the future will show to what extent this can actually be implemented and the social gap can be bridged.

The Telangana Movement

Writers, activists, politicians, NGOs and scientists documented the rift in Telangana and the Telangana movement. There are three in particular who have been campaigning for a state of Telangana for years: Subadhra Joopaka, Gowri and Gogu Shyamala. These three writers belong to the first generation in their families who had the opportunity to attend school and university. They are part of the Dalit and Telangana movements. Her literary work is primarily about showing the effects of the caste system on Dalit women. Since the Telangana movement is not exempt from a patriarchal gender understanding and hierarchical caste scheme, they also shed light on these very controversial topics within the movement in their work. They criticize the instrumentalization of women by politicians who wanted to show that the Telangana movement is ready to change the great gender injustice of the country and to give women the same place socially and politically. This happened neither at the level of the movement nor in the occupation of the first government of Telangana. The coming years will show whether the growing skepticism of Subadhra Joopaka and Gogu Shyamala or the positive assessment of Gowri will come into play.