The study of history reveals that major portion of the southern India (Dakshina Padham) was extended by Andhra region. Several dynasties ruled over this part of the country.
Historically the earliest mention of the Andhras appeared in the Aitareya Brahmana (B.C.800).It was called Dakshina Padh during those days. Historians felt that Andhras, Pulindas, Sabaras, and many other sects lived in Dakshina Padh. But it is only in the Mauryan age that one gets historical evidence of the Andhras as a political power in the southeastern Deccan. Megasthenese,who visited the Court of Chandragupta Maurya (B.C.322–297), mentioned that Andhra country had 30 fortified towns and an army of 1,00,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry and 1,000 elephants. Buddhist books reveal that Andhras established their kingdoms on the Godavari belt at that time. Asoka referred in his 13th rock edict that Andhras were his subordinates.
After the fall of the Mauryan Empire, the history of the Andhras, as a continuous account of political and cultural events, commences with the rise of the Satavahanas as a political power. According to Matsya Purana there were 29 rulers of this dynasty. They ruled over the Andhradesa including Deccan for about 400 years from the 2nd century B.C. to beyond the 2nd century A.D. Satavahanas were also called Salivahanas and Satakarnis. In the 3rd century B.C., Simukha, the founder of the Satavahana dynasty, unified the various Andhra principalities into one kingdom and became its ruler (271 B.C. — 248 B.C.). Dharanikota near Amaravati in Guntur district was the first capital of Simukha, but later he shifted his capital to Pratishtana (Paithan in Aurangabad district).
Satakarni II, the sixth ruler of the dynasty (184 B.C.) was an able ruler who extended his kingdom to the west by conquering Malwa. According to inscriptional evidence, he extended the boundaries of his realm far into central India across the Vindhyas, perhaps up to the river Ganges. He ruled for a long period of 56 years. The long reign of Satakarni II was followed successively by eight rulers of whom none can be credited with any notable achievement. It was the accession of Pulumavi I that brought renewed strength and glory to their kingdom. He struck down the last of the Kanva rulers, Susarman, in 28 B.C. and occupied Magadha. The Satavahanas thus assumed an all-India significance as imperial rulers in succession to the Nandas, Mauryas, Sungas and Kanvas. The kings, who succeeded him, appear to have been driven, by the Sakas, out of Maharashtra back to their home land in Andhra. The only silver lining in that murky atmosphere was the excellent literary work, Gathasaptasati, of Hala, the 17th Satavahana king.
It was during the time of Gautamiputra Satakarni, the 23rd ruler of this dynasty, who ascended the throne in A.D.62, their kingdom made a sharp recovery of the lost territories from the western Kshatrapas. A Nasik record describes him as the restorer of the glory of the Satavahanas. His kingdom included the territories of Asika, Assaka, Mulaka, Saurashtra, Kukura, Aparanta, Anupa, Vidarbha, Akara and Avanti, and the mountainous regions of Vindhya, Achavata, Pariyatra, Sahya, Kanhagiri, Siritana, Malaya, Mahendra, Sata and Chakora, and extended as far as seas on either side. Though some of the mountains mentioned in the inscription cannot be identified at present, it is clear that Gautamiputra’s kingdom covered not only the peninsular India, but also the southern parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. He passed away in A.D.86, and his successors witnessed the dismemberment of their far flung empire.
Pulumavi II succeeded Gautamiputra and ruled for 28 years. In spite of serious efforts put forth by him to safeguard the frontiers of his vast empire, the closing years of his reign witnessed the decline of the Satavahana authority. Yajnasri Satakarni’s accession to the throne in A.D.128 brought matters to a crisis. He came into conflict with the Saka Satrap, Rudradamana, and suffered defeat, and consequently, lost all his western possessions. However, he continued to rule till A.D.157 over a truncated dominion. His ship-marked coins suggest extensive maritime trade during his days. With him passed away the age of the great Satavahanas and by the end of the 2nd century A.D., the rule of the Satavahanas was a matter of past history.There were different opinions about their capital. Some argue that Srikakulam in Krishna district was their capital. Evidences show that Dharanikota in Guntur district, Dharmapuri in Karimnagar district and Paithan in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra State were used as capitals at various periods.
This dynasty was a branch of the Chalukyas of Badami. Pulakesin II, the renowned ruler of Chalukyas conquered Vengi (near Eluru) in A.D.624 and installed his brother Kubja Vishnuvardhana (A.D.624–641) as its ruler. His dynasty, known as the Eastern Chalukyas, ruled for nearly four centuries. Vishnuvardhana extended his dominions up to Srikakulam in the north and Nellore in the south. He was succeeded by his son Jayasimha I (A.D.641–673). Between A.D.641 and A.D.705 some kings, except Jayasimha I and Mangi Yuvaraju, (A.D.681–705) ruled for short duration. Then followed a period of unrest characterised by family feuds and weak rulers. In the meanwhile, the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed ousted Chalukyas of Badami. The weak rulers of Vengi had to meet the challenge of the Rashtrakutas, who overran their kingdom more than once. There was no Eastern Chalukya ruler who could check them until Gunaga Vijayaditya came to power in A.D.848. He also failed to face the Rashtrakutas, and the then Rashtrakuta ruler Amoghavarsha treated him as his ally. After Amoghavarsha’s death, Vijayaditya proclaimed independence. He started on a campaign to the south and achieved some notable success. He ruled for 44 years and passed away in A.D.892. He was succeeded by his brother’s son, Chalukya Bhima (A.D.892–921). Rashtrakutas again attacked the Vengi kingdom during this period but were repulsed effectively by Vengi and came to an understanding with Rashtrakutas and treated them as his allies. They were able to maintain their independence till the Chalukyas of Kalyani in A.D.973 overthrew the Rashtrakutas.
Contemporaries to the Eastern Chalukyas were the Eastern Gangas in the northeast and the Pallavas in the south.
The Eastern Gangas appeared in the political scene towards the close of the 5th century A.D. as rulers of Orissa. The first known ruler of this dynasty was Indravarma (6th century A.D.). He had his capital at Dantapura, but later shifted to Kalinganagara (Mukhalingam in Srikakulam district). The Gangas ruled with their capital in Andhra for nearly five centuries, until it was shifted to Cuttack at the end of the 11th century A.D. The early Eastern Gangas were ruling a small territory in Srikakulam district in the Telugu land.
The Pallava rule, which was earlier eclipsed by the onslaught of the Kalabhras, was revived during the last quarter of the 6th century A.D. by Simhavishnu, a scion of the Pallava ruling family and was firmly established at Kanchi. This new dynasty of the Pallavas is known as the `Greater Pallavas’ or the `Later Pallavas’ dynasty. The earliest Pallava ruler was Virakurcha and the most famous of them was Trilochana Pallava. An inscription noticed at Manchikallu, near Macherla in Guntur district is the earliest epigraphical record of the Pallava family. The entire territory south of the Krishna held sway over by Mahendravarman (A.D.600–630), son of Simhavishnu of the Later Pallavas. From the 7th century A.D. onwards, the Pallavas has to face the expanding Chalukya power. The conflict continued for a long time with varying degrees of success. But the extermination of the Chalukyas of Badami by the Rashtrakutas gave respite to the Pallavas to consolidate their power. The Pallavas continued till the end of the 9th century A.D., when a new power, the Cholas of Tanjore, displaced them and occupied Kanchipuram.
Among the minor Chalukya families that ruled parts of Andhra, those of Vemulavada (presently in Karimnagar district) are the most important. Their rule extended over the present-day Karimnagar and Nizamabad districts. As subordinate rulers loyal to the Rashtrakutas, they ruled with semi-independent status for about two centuries (A.D.755–968). The rule of the Vemulavada Chalukyas coincided with that of the Rashtrakutas. One peculiarity with this family is that it traced its descent from the Sun, while many other Chalukya families considered themselves as of lunar descent.
The 12th and the 13th centuries saw the emergence of the Kakatiyas. They were at first the feudatories of the Western Chalukyas of Kalyana, ruling over a small territory near Warangal. A ruler of this dynasty, Prola II, who ruled from A.D.1110 to 1158, extended his sway to the south and declared his independence. His successor Rudra (A.D.1158–1195) pushed the kingdom to the north up to the Godavari delta. He built a fort at Warangal to serve as a second capital and faced the invasions of the Yadavas of Devagiri. The next ruler Mahadeva extended the kingdom to the coastal area. In A.D.1199, Ganapati succeeded him. He was the greatest of the Kakatiyas and the first after the Satavahanas to bring the entire Telugu area under one rule. He put an end to the rule of the Velanati Cholas in A.D.1210. He forced the Telugu Cholas of Vikramasimhapura to accept his suzerainty. He established order in his vast dominion and encouraged trade.
As Ganapati Deva had no sons, his daughter Rudramba succeeded him in A.D.1262 and carried on the administration. Some generals, who did not like to be ruled by her, rebelled. She could, however, suppress the internal rebellions and external invasions with the help of loyal subordinates. The Cholas and the Yadavas suffered such set backs at her hands that they did not think of troubling her for the rest of her rule.
Prataparudra succeeded his grandmother Rudramba in A.D.1295 and ruled till A.D.1323. He pushed the western border of his kingdom up to Raichur. He introduced many administrative reforms. He divided the kingdom into 75 Nayakships, which was later adopted and developed by the Rayas of Vijayanagara. In his time the territory constituting Andhra Pradesh had the first experience of a Muslim invasion. In A.D.1303, the Delhi Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji sent an army to plunder the kingdom. But Prataparudra defeated them at Upparapalli in Karimnagar district. In A.D. 1310, when another army under Malik Kafur invaded Warangal, Prataparudra yielded and agreed to pay a large tribute. In A.D.1318, when Ala-ud-din Khilji died, Prataparudra withheld the tribute. It provoked another invasion of the Muslims. In A.D.1321, Ghiaz-ud-din Tughlaq sent a large army under Ulugh Khan to conquer the Telugu country then called Tilling. He laid siege to Warangal, but owing to internal dissensions he called off the siege and returned to Delhi. Within a short period, he came back with a much bigger army. In spite of unpreparedness, Prataparudra fought bravely. For want of supplies, he surrendered to the enemy who sent him to Delhi as a prisoner, and he died on the way. Thus ended the Kakatiya rule, opening the gates of the Telugu land to anarchy and confusion yielding place to an alien ruler.
The Kakatiya period was rightly called the brightest period of the Telugu history. The entire Telugu speaking area was under the kings who spoke Telugu and encouraged Telugu. They established order throughout the strife torn land and the forts built by them played a dominant role in the defence of the realm. Anumakonda and Gandikota among the `giridurgas’, Kandur and Narayanavanam among the `vanadurgas’, Divi and Kolanu among the `jaladurgas’, and Warangal and Dharanikota among the `sthaladurgas’ were reckoned as the most famous strongholds in the Kakatiya period. The administration of the kingdom was organized with accent on the military.
The disastrous fall of Warangal in A.D.1323 brought the Andhras, for the first time in their history, under the yoke of an alien ruler, the Muslims. In A.D.1347 an independent Muslim State, the Bahmani kingdom was established in south India by Alla-ud-din Hasan Gangu by revolting against the Delhi Sultanate. To stabilise his position, Hasan waged wars to annexe the two neighbouring Hindu kingdoms, Warangal, under the Musunuri Nayakas, and Vijayanagar, which was under the Rayas. He occupied the area up to the river Tungabhadra in A.D.1358, and shifted his capital from Daulatabad to Gulbarga. The Hindu rulers, however, reoccupied their lost territory during the period between A.D.1358–75. Harihara Raya II of Vijayanagar conquered many areas which were under the Bahmanis during the period of Muhammad Shah II (A.D.1378-1397). The successors of Muhammad Shah II, who were also hostile to Rayas of Vijayanagar, waged wars against them. But they were defeated by the Vijayanagar armies. During the reign of Muhammad III (A.D.1463–82), the Bahmanis, for the first time, extended their empire from sea to sea and thereby got into their possession a large part of the Telugu area, namely, the area north of the Krishna up to the coast and the present Guntur district. By the end of the 15th century the Bahmani rule was plagued with faction fights and there came into existence the five Shahi kingdoms, the Nizamshahis of Ahmadnagar, the Adilshahis of Bijapur, the Imadshahis of Berar, the Qutbshahis of Golconda and the Baridshahis of Bidar. Thereafter, the rule of the Bahmani dynasty came to an end in A.D.1527. Of the five Shahi dynasties, it was the Qutbshahi dynasty that played a significant and notable role in the history of Andhras.
The year A.D.1336 saw the emergence of a new power, the kingdom of Vijayanagar in the south-western part of Andhra on the banks of the Tungabhadra. It was founded by two Sangama brothers, Harihara and Bukka, with the blessings of a great saint patriot of medieval India, Vidyaranya, and Harihara became its first ruler. It was that great kingdom which, by resisting the onslaughts of Muslims, championed the cause of Hindu civilisation and culture in its polity, its learning and arts.
The two brothers took possession of Kampili from Hoyasala ruler of Karnataka, Ballala III. They later established a new city on the southern bank of Tungabhadra, opposite Anegondi, and gave a name to it as Vijayanagar or Vidyanagar. They expanded their territory by occupying the Udayagiri fort in the Nellore region and Penukonda fort from Hoyasalas. Meanwhile the Bahmani Kingdom came into existence in the Deccan. In the conflicts between the Bahmanis and Vijayanagar, Harihara-I lost some territory. After his death in A.D.1355, his brother Bukkaraya succeeded him. On account of frequent wars with Bahmanis, Bukka could not do anything in the initial period, however, he conquered Madhura and extended his territory to the south up to Rameswaram. Harihara II (A.D.1377–1404), who ascended the throne after Bukkaraya, consolidated and its frontiers further extended. During this time coastal Andhra lying between Nellore and Kalinga was under the Reddis of Kondavidu. Harihara II carried on campaign, for gaining control over the territory, against the Reddis and wrested Addanki and Srisailam areas from the Reddis. This led to clashes with the Velamas of Rachakonda in Telangana. To counter attack, Rachakonda sought help from Bahmanis and this checkmated Harihara II from proceeding further into Telangana. The extension of Vijayanagar territory towards northwest gave it control over the ports of Goa, Chaul, and Dabhol and led to an expansion of commerce and ensuing prosperity.
In the dispute between sons, after the death of Harihara II, Devaraya I (A.D.1406–422) emerged victorious and ascended the throne only to wage wars against the Bahmanis, the Velamas of Telangana and the Reddis of Kondavidu. His reign also saw the commencement of hostilities between the Gajapatis of Kalinga and the Rayas of Vijayanagar. Devaraya I passed away in A.D.1422. His sons, Ramachandraraya and Vijayaraya I, who ruled one after the other, did not do anything significant.
The next ruler, Devaraya II (A.D.1426-1446), son of Vijayaraya, was a great monarch. He effected the conquest of Kondavidu and carried his arms into Kerala, subjugating the ruler of Quilon and other chieftains. The writings of Abdul Razzak, the Persian ambassador, who visited south India during the reign of Devaraya II, bear testimony to the supremacy of the king over many ports of south India. According to him, the dominions of Devaraya II extended from Ceylon to Gulbarga and from Orissa to Malbar. The relations between the Vijayanagar and Bahmani kingdoms continued to be hostile during the reign of Devaraya II also. Devaraya was a great builder and a patron of poets. Extensive commerce and revenues from various sources contributed to the prosperity of the Vijayanagar kingdom under him.
But the kings who succeeded Devaraya II were quite incompetent and allowed the empire to disintegrate. To add to this, there was pressure from Bahmani Sultans. The Portuguese were also rapidly trying to establish themselves on the west coast and in the ports along it.
The Qutb Shahi dynasty held sway over the Andhra country for about two hundred years from the early part of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century. Sultan Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of the dynasty, served the Bahmanis faithfully and was appointed governor of Telangana in A.D.1496. He declared independence after the death of his patron king, Mahmud Shah, in A.D.1518. During his 50-year rule, Sultan Quli extended his kingdom upto Machilipatnam. He was murdered by his third son, Jamsheed, who succeeded Sultan Quli. Jamsheed reigned for seven years till A.D.1550 but remained maligned by all for his patricidal crime. His youngest brother, Ibrahim, who was hardly thirteen at the time of his father’s assassination, fled to Vijayanagar and took refuge there. It afforded him a training ground and he learned the art of administration.
After Jamsheed’s death in A.D.1550, Ibrahim returned to Golconda and ascended the throne. Ibrahim Qutb Shah, who was known as Malkibharam in the Andhra country, was the real architect of the Golconda kingdom. He ruled the kingdom for 30 years from A.D.1550 to A.D.1580. He organised the central and provincial governments and brought them into close contact. He also introduced an efficient intelligence service which kept him informed on all affairs. The kingdom was made safe for travel and trade. Ibrahim had also many works of public utility to his credit. He dug lakes and tanks and laid out towns and gardens. He also encouraged local language Telugu and patronised Telugu scholars and poets like, Telaganarya and Gangadhara who dedicated their works to him.
Ibrahim took an active part in the battle of Rakkasi Tangadi in A.D.1565. It immensely benefited him in cash and territories, and the kingdom was extended to the south as far as Madras and Gandikota.
The next period of forty years led by Ibrahim’s son and grandson was an era of peace and prosperity. Muhammad Quli, son of Ibrahim, was a great writer and a builder. The city of Hyderabad was laid in A.D.1591 with magnificent buildings, straight roads and other civic amenities. For this purpose, he invited many Persians to settle down in Hyderabad and Machilipatnam. He was a scholar and a poet, composed a large number of poems in the Deccani language. Muhammad Quli was succeeded by his nephew and son-in-law Sultan Muhammad in A.D.1612. He was highly religious and a model of virtue and piety. He followed his uncle in promoting learning and architecture. The great mosque known as Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad was designed and its foundation laid by him, though the main structure of the Mosque was completed during the next four generations.
Sultan Muhammad’s premature death in A.D.1626 was a sad prelude to the decline and fall of Golconda. He was succeeded by his minor son, Abdullah Qutb Shah, who was indolent. The fall of Ahmadnagar in A.D.1633 to the Mughals exposed Golconda. Abdullah Qutb Shah acknowledged the suzerainty of the Mughals and concluded a treaty in A.D.1636. He was reduced to vassalage and the Mughal Hajib, a resident officer of the Mughals imposed on him, interfered in day-to-day administration and encouraged fissiparous tendencies. The traitors of Golconda found their strength in the Mughals who did not hesitate to invade Golconda.
Aurangazeb, the Mughal emperor, invaded Golconda in A.D.1687 and annexed it to the Mughal empire. When this was done, Golconda became part of the Deccan Subha and a Nazim was appointed as an agent of the Mughal emperor. Thus, for about a period of 35 years it was ruled by Nazims, the last one being Mubariz Khan.
The period between A.D.1687 and A.D.1724 saw several sea changes. Aurangazeb died in A.D.1707. The administrative machinery of the Mughal imperial regime began to crumble and the central authority manned by successive feeble rulers gradually lost control over the provinces. In Deccan, situated far away from the capital, the state of affairs was still worse. This anarchy contributed much in giving a new turn to Indian history. It enabled two foreign mercantile companies to consolidate themselves as political powers capable of subsequently playing decisive roles in shaping the destiny of the nation. They were the East India Company of England and the Compagnie de Inde Orientale of France. These trading companies had their headquarters at Madras and Pondicherry respectively and both had trade centres at Machilipatnam. They were waiting for suitable opportunities to expand their areas of control and so, did not hesitate to take sides in the local skirmishes.
The Andhras were struggling for the formation of a separate Andhra Province since the period of British, but could not succeed. When India attained Independence on the 15th of August, 1947, Andhras hoped that their long-cherished desire would be realised soon. Inspite of several renewed efforts put forth by the Andhra leaders before the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the desire for a separate Andhra State remained as a dream itself.
The Dar Commission, appointed by the Government of India under the Chairmanship of S.K.Dar did not recommend for the creation of States on the linguistic consideration. This report of the Commission created such an adverse reaction in Andhra that the Congress leaders felt it prudent to assuage the ruffled feelings of the Telugus. An unofficial Committee, consisting of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramaiah, popularly known as the J.V.P. Committee, was constituted by the Congress. The Committee in its report submitted to the Working Committee of the Indian National Congress in April, 1949 recommended that the creation of linguistic provinces be postponed by few years. However, it suggested that Andhra Province could be formed provided the Andhras gave up their claim to the city of Madras (now Chennai). This report provoked violent reaction in Andhra as the Telugus were not prepared to forego their claims to the city of Madras.
Under the prevailing situation, a Partition Committee was formed under the Chairmanship of Kumaraswami Raja, the then Chief Minister of Madras. Andhra was represented by Tanguturi Prakasam, B.Gopala Reddi, Kala Venkata Rao and N.Sanjiva Reddy. The Partition Committee could not arrive at an agreed settlement. Prakasam disagreed with the views of other members and gave a dissenting note. The Government of India, took advantage of the dissenting note of Prakasam and shelved the issue. To express the resentment of the Andhras, Swami Sitaram (Gollapudi Sitarama Sastry), a Gandhian, undertook a fast unto death, which created an explosive situation in Andhra. However, Swami gave up his 35-day fast on the 20th of September, 1951, on the appeal made by Vinoba Bhave. Nothing came out of this fast except the increasing distrust of the people of Andhra towards their own leaders and the Government of India.
In the First General Elections of 1952, Andhras expressed their resentment towards the Congress leaders by defeating them at the polls. Out of the 140 seats from Andhra in the Madras Legislative Assembly, the Congress could secure only 43, while the Communist Party of India bagged as many as 40 seats out of the 60 it contested. In the Madras Legislative Assembly itself, the Congress could secure only 152. The non-Congress members in the legislature, numbering 164 formed themselves into a United Democratic Front (U.D.F.) and elected T.Prakasam as their leader. But the Governor nominated C.Rajagopala Chari to the Legislative Council and invited him to form the ministry.
After Rajagopala Chari became the Chief Minister of the Madras State, he tried to divert the Krishna waters by constructing Krishna-Pennar Project for the development of the Tamil area. The Andhras agitated against this as they feared that the Project spelt ruin to Andhra. The Government of India appointed an expert Committee under the Chairmanship of A.N.Khosla, who pronounced that the project in its present form should not be proceeded with and suggested the construction of a project at Nandikonda (the site of the present Nagarjunasagar Project). The report of the Khosla Committee vindicated the apprehensions of the Andhras regarding the unfriendly attitude of Rajagopala Chari’s Government towards the Andhras. The desire of the Andhras to separate themselves from the composite Madras State and form their own State gained further momentum.
At this juncture, Potti Sriramulu, a self-effacing Gandhian, began his fast unto death on the 19th of October, 1952 at Madras. Though the fast created an unprecedented situation throughout Andhra, the Congress leaders and the Government of India did not pay much attention to it. On the 15th of December, 1952, Sriramulu attained martyrdom. The news of Sriramulu’s death rocked Andhra into a violent and devastating agitation. The Government of India was taken aback at this popular upsurge. On the 19th December, 1952, Jawaharlal Nehru announced in the Lok Sabha that the Andhra State would be formed with the eleven undisputed Telugu districts, and the three Taluks of the Bellary district, but excluding Madras City.
On the 1st of October, 1953, Andhra State came into existence. It consisted of the districts of Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Nellore, Chittoor, Cuddapah, Anantapur and Kurnool, and the taluks of Rayadurg, Adoni and Alur of the Bellary district. On the question of Bellary taluk, it was included in the Mysore State on the recommendation of L.S.Mishra Commission.
Kurnool became the capital of the new State, under the terms of the Sri Bagh Pact of 1937 between the leaders of the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. T.Prakasam became the first Chief Minister of the Andhra State and C.M.Trivedi was appointed Governor of this new State. With the inauguration of the Andhra State by Nehru, the forty year old dream of the Telugu people to have a separate State of their own was partly fulfilled. They looked forward to the formation of Visalandhra with Hyderabad City as the Capital.
Andhras were very much agitated over the developments in the State of Hyderabad during the years 1946-48. The Nizam was very anxious to become independent and he insisted that Hyderabad should be the third dominion. He tried to achieve his ambitious desire with the help of Khasim Razvi of the Ittehadul Muslimeen and its storm-troopers, the Razakars.
Meanwhile, the Hindus of the Hyderabad State who accounted for 93 per cent of its population, launched the `Join India’ movement with the cooperation of a few patriotic Muslims for the integration of the State with the rest of the country. The State Congress leaders, led by Swami Ramanand Tirtha, invoked themselves whole-heartedly in the movement. As the State Congress was banned by the Nizam, its leaders conducted their activities from places like Vijayawada and Bombay. The Communists on their part organised village defence squads to protect the villagers from the attacks of the Nizam Police and Razakars.
All negotiations between the Nizam’s Dominions and the Indian Union proved abortive. The Nizam Government did not agree to the accession of the Dominions to the Indian Union. The activities of the Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen and the Razakars within the Dominions were posing a threat to peace and harmony. The growing violence of the Razakars seriously jeopardised law and order. The Government of India, tried to make the Nizam see reason and sign the Instrument of Assession with India. After tortuous negotiations, the Nizam finally entered into a `Stand Still Agreement’ on November 29, 1947, with India for one year to maintain status quo, which existed between the British and the Nizam before August 15, 1947. This agreement of the Nizam was only to gain time to procure military hardware from different parts of the world and smuggle them into Hyderabad. In the meanwhile, the Nizam sent a delegation to the U.N.O. to refer the Hyderabad case to the Security Council.
With the growing violence by the Razakars and the Nizam’s attempts to get himself independent, the Government of India decided to curb these tendencies by launching a `Police Action’ against the Nizam. On the 13th of September, 1948 `Police Action’ on Hyderabad commenced. The Indian Army, led by Major-General J.N.Chaudhuri entered the State from five directions and the military action was a brilliant success. On 18th September, 1949, Nizam’s forces surrendered and Mir Laik Ali, the Prime Minister of the Nizam, and Khasim Razvi were arrested. On September, 23, the Nizam withdrew his complaint in the Security Council. The merger of Hyderabad Dominions into the Indian Union was announced. Major-General J.N.Chaudhuri took over as Military Governor of Hyderabad and stayed in that position till the end of 1949. In January 1950, M.K.Vellodi, a Senior Civil Servant, was made the Chief Minister of the State and the Nizam was designated `Raj Pramukh’. After the 1952 General Elections, the first popular ministry headed by B.Rama Krishna Rao took charge of the State.
The creation of Andhra State in October, 1953 strengthened the general demand for linguistic States. Andhras had also long cherished demand for the formation of Visalandhra, since the people of Hyderabad State were unanimous in their demand for the trifurcation of their State. Andhras hoped that the outlying Telugu areas in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Mysore and Madras be incorporated in the greater Andhra.
The States Reorganization Commission, with Syed Fazl Ali as the Chairman, set up by the Government of India in December 1953, who heard the views of different organisations and individuals, was though convinced of the advantages of Visalandhra, however, favoured the formation of separate State for Telangana. This report of the S.R.C. led to an intensive lobbying both by the advocates of Telangana and Visalandhra. The Communists reacted sharply and announced that they would resign their seats in the Hyderabad Legislative Assembly and contest elections on the issue. In the Hyderabad Legislative Assembly, a majority of the Legislators supported Visalandhra.
The Congress High Command favoured Visalandhra and prevailed upon the leaders of the Andhra State and Telangana to sort out their differences, who, thereupon, entered into a `Gentlemen’s Agreement’. One of the main provisions of the Agreement was the creation of a `Regional Council’ for Telangana for its all round development. The enlarged State by merging nine Telugu speaking districts of Adilabad, Nizamabad, Medak, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Nalgonda, MahabubNagar and Hyderabad, into Andhra State with its eleven districts of Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Nellore, Chittoor, Cuddapah, Anantapur and Kurnool, totalling 20 districts* was named `Andhra Pradesh’ with its capital at Hyderabad. It was inaugurated on the 1st of November, 1956 by Jawaharlal Nehru. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy became the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, who later rose to the position of the President of India. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, last of the Chief Ministers of Hyderabad State was elevated to the Office of the Governor of Kerala. C.M.Trivedi continued to be the Governor of Andhra Pradesh.
As stated above, on the formation of Andhra Pradesh on the 1st of November 1956, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy became the first Chief Minister of the new State. Consequent on his becoming the President of the All India Congress Committee, he resigned the post of Chief Minister on 10th June, 1960 and was succeeded by D.Sanjivaiah, a talented young man from the Scheduled Castes. After 1962 General Elections, Sri N.Sanjiva Reddy again became the Chief Minister of the State on 12th March, 1962. But, he relinquished the Chief Ministership in 1964 on moral grounds consequent on the adverse verdict of the Supreme Court in Kurnool Transport Nationalisation case. He was succeeded by Sri Kasu Brahmananda Reddy on 29th February, 1964. He was in the office till 30th September, 1971. His long innings witnessed development of the city as well as the State in many ways. True the Telangana agitation erupted during his time paved way for rectification of defects and implementation of measures to develop Telangana.
During the years 1969 and 1972, Andhra Pradesh was rocked by two political agitations popularly known as the `Telangana’ and the `Jai Andhra’ Movements respectively. Telangana agitation was started by the people of the region when they felt that the Andhra leaders had flouted the Gentlemen’s Agreement which facilitated the formation of Andhra Pradesh.
The influx of the people from the coastal region into the city of Hyderabad created many social tensions. Slowly the discontent spread among the Telangana officials and the unemployed youth who felt that they were exploited by the people of the Andhra region. The discontent manifested itself when a student of Khammam went on a hunger-strike in January 1969 demanding the implementation of the safeguards for Telangana provided in the Gentlemen’s Agreement. Slowly the agitation spread to Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana. In the beginning, the movement demanded the implementation of the safeguards agreed upon earlier, but later it wanted the separation of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.———————————————
*Three more districts were added later by the creation of Prakasam in 1970, Ranga Reddy in 1978 and Vizianagaram in 1979. Thus, the State presently has 23 districts.
The agitation took a new turn when the Congress legislators from Telangana supported the movement. Dr.Channa Reddy entered the fray and formed the Telangana Praja Samiti to lead the movement. But by November 1969, there was a split in the Praja Samiti when dissident Congress legislators realised that the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was not in favour of separate Telangana. The movement slowly petered out. In September 1971, Brahmananda Reddy, the then Chief Minister, resigned his position to make room for a leader from Telangana to become the Chief Minister. On the 30th of September, 1971, P.V.Narsimha Rao* became the Chief Minister. The Telangana Praja Samiti was dissolved and its members rejoined the Congress.
During 1972, another agitation known as the Jai Andhra Movement was launched in the Andhra region. The agitation was a sequel to the Telangana agitation which demanded that only `Mulkis’ should be appointed to the posts in Telangana including the Hyderabad city. The `Mulki’ issue had a long history behind it. As early as in 1919, the Nizam of Hyderabad issued a firman laying down that only `Mulkis’ are eligible for public appointments in the State. `Mulki’ was defined as one who was born in the State of Hyderabad or resided there continuously for fifteen years and had given an affidavit that he abandoned the idea of returning to his native place. Even after the formation of Andhra Pradesh, the Mulki rules continued to be in force in the Telangana region. As these rules stood in the way of the people of the Andhra region to compete for the posts, their validity was challenged in the High Court. A full bench of the High Court by a four-one majority held that the Mulki rules were not valid and operative after the formation of Andhra Pradesh.
But on an appeal by the State Government, the Supreme Court declared on the 3rd of October, 1972 that the Mulki rules were valid and were in force. The judgement created a great political crisis in the State. The people of the Andhra region felt that they were reduced to the status of second class citizens in their own State capital. They felt that the only way to uphold their dignity was by severing their connection with Telangana and started a movement for the separation of Andhra region from Andhra Pradesh.
As the agitation continued, President’s rule was imposed in the State on the 10th of January, 1973. Finally, a political settlement was arrived at under the aegis of the Central Government. A `Six-Point Formula’ was agreed upon by the leaders of the two regions to prevent any recurrence of such agitations in future. The `Six-Point Formula’ included (1) the abolition of Mulki rules and the Telangana Regional Committee and (2) the establishment of a Central University at Hyderabad to augment educational facilities.
On December 10, 1973, President’s rule in the State was revoked and a popular ministry with Sri Jalagam Vengala Rao as the Chief Minister was inducted. With this, normalcy returned and the State enjoyed political stability.
In the General Elections held in February 1978 for the A.P.Legislative Assembly, the Congress Party swept the polls and Dr.M.Channa Reddy became the sixth Chief Minister of A.P. on the 6th of March 1978. He announced that separate Telangana was no longer an issue. Owing to some factional squabbles in the party, Dr.Channa Reddy resigned in October 1980 and was succeeded by T.Anjaiah, who remained in office only for one year and four months. In February 1982, he was replaced by Sri Bhavanam Venkataram, who in turn was replaced by Sri K.Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy in September 1982. Thus Andhra Pradesh was administered by four Chief Ministers in four years.———————————————
*He rose to the position of Prime Minister of India during 1991-96.
Frequent changes of the Chief Ministers by the Congress High Command created dissatisfaction among the people. Taking advantage of this popular discontent, Sri N.T.Rama Rao, a leading figure of the film world formed a regional party called `Telugu Desam’ in January 1983 and contested the General Elections to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly held in 1983. His party became victorious and Sri Rama Rao was sworn in as the tenth Chief Minister of the State. But, on the 16th of August 1984, Sri Nadendla Bhaskara Rao, a cabinet colleague of Sri Rama Rao, succeeded in becoming the Chief Minister by engineering the dismissal of Sri Rama Rao by the then Governor. However, Sri Rama Rao was reinstated on the 16th of September 1984 consequent on the severe criticism on the action of Governor. In the elections of March 1985, Sri Rama Rao proved that he continued to enjoy the confidence of people by winning absolute majority in the House.
The Telugu people who were not quite pleased with some of the policies of the Telugu Desam Government, returned Congress in 1989 general elections to the State Legislature with good majority. During the following five years, three Chief Ministers, Dr.M.Channa Reddy, Sri N.Janardhana Reddy and Sri K.Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy held the reins of power. The discontentment of the Telugu public was reflected in pushing the Congress out and handing over the power again to the Telugu Desam Party in 1994. In 1995 N.T.Rama Rao, has been succeeded by Sri N.Chandrababu Naidu. He ruled the State as Chief Minister from 1995 to 2004. Congress returned to power in 2004 and Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, became the Chief Minister of the State.
Dr.Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy introduced several popular welfare schemes viz. ‘INDIRAMMA’ housing scheme for weaker sections, ‘Rajiv Arogyasri’ providing corporate health care to BPL families, ‘108’ Ambulance service and ‘104’ Mobile Health clinics in rural areas, Rs.2 per KG rice, Free power supply to farmers, College Fee reimbursement scheme,construction of Dams and Lift Irrigation projects under the ‘Jalayagnam’ scheme, providing rural employment under the NREGA programme. ‘Pavala Vaddi’ scheme and Pension scheme to members of Self Help Groups.
Dr.Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy died in a tragic incident of Helicopter crash on 2nd September 2009, in Nallamala forest area, while going on a tour to Chittoor district, to launch the ‘Rachabanda’ programme. He won the hearts of the people of the State by virtue of introduction of several welfare schemes and by his tireless efforts to reach out to the people.
Sri Konijeti Rosaiah, was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, on 3rd September 2009.
He extended cashless treatment under Aarogyasri Scheme to orphans and destitute living in old age homes run by Government and recognized by the Government through Chief Ministers Camp Office referral system. Approved to explore and study further the proposals to establish Comprehensive Cancer Care Centres in 7 Government Hospitals and 16 Palliative Cancer Care Centres in 16 districts and to establish Comprehensive Trauma Care Centres in 6 Teaching Hospitals through Aarogyasri to increase the access in these areas of concern as limited facilities are available for these patients.
Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 is an Act of Indian Parliament that bifurcated the state of Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and the residuary Andhra Pradesh state. The Act defined the boundaries of the two states, determed how the assets and liabilities were to be divided, and laid out the status of Hyderabad as the permanent capital of Telangana and temporary capital of the new Andhra Pradesh state.
An earlier version of the bill, Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2013, was rejected by the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on 30 January 2014. The 2014 bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on 18 February 2014 and in the Rajya Sabha on 20 February 2014. The bill was attested by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on 1 March 2014 and published in the official Gazette. The new states were created on 2 June 2014.
On 4 September 2014, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Nara Chandrababu Naidu, declared in the Legislative Assembly that the new capital of Andhra Pradesh state would come up in and around Vijayawada. The capital city was named as Amaravati on 1 April 2015.