Groups Special: Fazal Ali Commission on Telangana

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In TSPSC Syllabus for Group-1, Group-2, Group-3 and other Jobs, there is a specific focus on Fazal ali Commission on Telangana (Initial debates and demand for Telangana State-Reasons for the Formation of States Reorganization Commission (SRC) under Fazal Ali in 1953-Main Provisions and Recommendations of SRC), So www.telangana18.com is providing these special notes for you.

It is a part of the syllabus in The idea of Telangana (1948-1970).

The States Re organisation Commission (SRC) Or Fazal ali commission 

  • On 22nd December, 1953, The Prime Minister of India made a statement in Parliament to the effect that a commission woukd be appointed to examine “objectively and dispassionately” the question of the reorganisation of the states of Indian union.
  • This was followed by the appointment of this commission under the resolution of the Government of India in the ministry of Home affairs, dated 29th December, 1953.
  • Under this resoulution the Commissoin were required to make recommendations to the Government of india not later than 30th june, 1955. This period was subsequently extended to 30th september, 1955.
  • It was headed by the retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Fazal Ali. The other two members of the commission were H. N. Kunzru and K. M. Panikkar.
  • The efforts of this commission were overseen by Govind Ballabh Pant, who served as the Home Minister from December 1954. The commission submitted a report on September 30, 1955.
  • The report was in 4 parts. First part deals with Conditions of the problem of reorganisation of states and historical back ground. Part-2 deals with the factors bearing on reorganisation. Part-3 contains reorganisation proposal for existing units. part-4 deals with implications.
  • Fazal ali commission recommended the reorganisation of India’s states. nearly 2 years of study, the Commission recommended that India’s state boundaries should be reorganized to form 16 states and 3 union territories.
  • The parliament debated the report. A bill making changes to the constitution and reorganising the states was passed on 31 August 1956. The States Reorganisation Act of 1956 came into effect from November 1, 1956.

                          CHAPTER V of Fazal ali Commission Report

                                      Hyderabad

  1. Further reorganization of States in the South is dependent in a large measure on the future of Hyderabad. Hyderabad is a State with a population of 18.7 millions, of which 47.8 per cent speak Telugu, 24.3 per cent Marathi, 11.6 per cent Urdu, 10.5 per cent Kannada and 5.8 per cent other language. In the preceding Chapter we have already recommended the transfer of the two districts of Hyderabad, namely, Raichur and Gulbarga, to the proposed Karnataka State. The future of the rest of this State is directly relevant to the examination of certain important proposals regarding the adjoining areas. This is, therefore, one of the major problems with which this Commission has to deal.
  2. There has been a general demand, with popular support behind it, that the State should be disintegrated on the basis of linguistic and cultural affinity. This demand does not rest merely on linguistic grounds. It has been argued that States like Bombay, Madras and Madhya Pradesh, though heterogeneous in character, have achieve a fair measure of progress and have acquired considerable experience in the working of the democratic form of government. In the case of Hyderabad, however, it is contended that the State has long been an artificial political unit and that the progress of the people who have remained backward cannot be accelerated unless its three component regions are attached to more advanced units. This step is also said to be necessary for the liquidation of the undemocratic tradition which, it is stated, is still deep-rooted in this State.
  3. On the other hand, it has been argued before us that for more than six hundred years, from the time of the Bahmani kings, the area has been an integrated unit with common geo-political features, and that the State represents in miniature a real cultural synthesis and an intermingling of Indian people and should therefore, be preserved as a model for other areas to imitate. A further argument for the maintenance of the status quo is that Hyderabad, if permitted to exist as a unit, could become a centre of north Indian culture and become the carrier of Hindi to the South.
  4. It is important to bear in mind that the three areas of Hyderabad known as Telangana, Karnataka and Marathwada were substantially united only under the authority of the Asaf Jahi dynasty. This unity was not based on a free association of the people, but rested on the weak foundation of personal rule. With the democratization of the State, this superimposed and superficial unity has already broken down in effect.
  5. Public sentiment, both within and without the State, is overwhelming and insistent on the need for the disintegration of the State. The Congress party, though divided on the question whether Telangana should be a separate State or be united with Andhra, is unanimous regarding the issue of disintegration. The continuance of the existing unit for any considerable length of time would, in the opinion of this body, retard the growth of the people of Hyderabad. Every other organised political party that has appeared before us, however disunited on other points, has shown striking unanimity on this question. In the Marathwada area particularly, there is evidence of deep feeling in this matter born doubtless of historical reasons. From the views expressed by different parties and members of the State Legislature it is clear that only a negligible minority favours the maintenance of the status quo.
  6. Not only is the opposition to the disintegration of the State confined to minor sections, but the arguments on which this opposition is based also do not bear scrutiny. We are not impressed by the claim that during the last two hundred years a specific Deccani culture has developed in the whole area and that this culture is a major contribution to the unit of India. The common culture of Hyderabad, like the unity of the State, is something that has been imposed from above. It is apparent, if at all, only in important towns and in no way represents a common pattern of living among the people of Hyderabad. Outside the city of Hyderabad, and to a lesser degree Aurangabad, Bidar and Gulbarga there is little that could be called a common culture.
  7. Geographically, Hyderabad is divided into two distinct, regions, the Deccan lavas region and the remaining region-the Deccan region corresponding more or less with Marathwada. The demographic features are also so different that a casual observer proceeding from Aurangabad to Warangal may see the differences between the people not merely in their language but also in their clothing special customs, manners etc. The geopolitical argument and the consequent claim to unity will, therefore, be seen to have no substance.
  8. As for the utility of the State for the propagation of Hindi in the South, it is true that with background of Urdu education Hindi can easily be made popular in Hyderabad. The obvious suggestion, however, is not only that Hindi should replace Urdu as the medium of instruction in the Osmania University, but that the former government’s policy of instruction through Urdu in the primary and middle schools should be continued (now, of course, through Hindi) throughout the State. It is most unlikely that a majority of the Telugu speaking members of the existing legislature will agree to use in the middle and secondary schools any language except Telugu. Likewise, in Marathwada education in anything but Marathi will not be tolerated. The argument that the propagation of Hindi will be easy if Hyderabad is retained in its present form takes no note of the far-reaching effects of the democratisation of the State.
  9. Thus, it will be seen that the plea for the continuation of Hyderabad rests on weak foundations. As we assess political trends in the State, we are left in no doubt if it is maintained as one administrative entity it will not acquire that minimum measure of internal cohesion which is necessary for smooth and efficient administration. Continuance of the existing structure will also keep a number of important reorganization problems unsolved and thereby impede the stabilisation of the proposed units in the South.
  10. There is one point which will have to be considered in consequence of a change in the present character of the State, namely, the position of the Urdu-speaking people of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad who constitute 45.4 per cent, of the population. They seen to entertain the fear that if Hyderabad became the capital of either Telangana or Vishalandhra, they would stand to suffer culturally and economically. There is some justification for this fear. The remedy that some people have suggested that of making the cities a centrally-administered area does not appear to be feasible. Other measures will, therefore, have to be adopted to give adequate protection to the linguistic, cultural and other interests of the large Urdu-speaking people in the twin cities. These measures should, in our opinion, include the recognition of the special position of Urdu in the educational institutions and in the administration. Steps will also have to be taken to ensure that the Urdu-speaking people are not discriminated against in the matter of recruitment to services.

    The case for Vishalandhra

  1. The next question which we have to consider is the future of the Telugu-speaking areas of the existing State of Hyderabad, with particular reference to the demand for the creation of Vishalandhra.
  2. It is unnecessary for us to trace the history of the Andhra agitation in any great detail, because the Andhra State is now in existence, having been established on 1st October 1953. In point of fact, however the arrangements which were made in 1953, have not been regarded by the Andhra in the new State especially in the circars, as final and the case for the creation of Vishalandhra has remained substantiate unexamined.
  3. The advantages of a larger Andhra State including Telangana are that it will bring into existence a State of about 32 millions with a considerable hinterland, with large water and power resources, adequate mineral wealth and valuable raw materials. This will also solve the difficult and vexing problem of finding a permanent capital for Andhra, for the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secundrabad are very well suited to be the capital of Vishalandhra.
  4. Another advantage of the formation of Vishalandhra will be that the development of the Krishna and Godavari rivers will there by be brought under unified control. The Krishna and the Godavari projects rank amongst the most ambitious in India. They have been formulated after a prolonged period of inactivity, during which, for various technical and administrative reasons, only anicuts in the delta area have been built. Complete unification of either the Krishna or the Godavari valley is not, of course, possible. But if one independent political jurisdiction, namely, that of Telangana, can be eliminated, the formulation and implementation of plans in the eastern areas in these two great river basins will be greatly expedited. Since Telangana as part of Vishalandhra, will benefit both directly and indirectly from this development there is a great deal to be said for its amalgamation with the Andhra State.
  5. The economic affiliations of Telangana with the existing Andhra State are also not unimportant. Telangana has in years of scarcity a sizeable deficit in food supplies. The existing Andhra State, hovever, has normally a surplus which Telangana may be able to use. The existing State of Andhra has likewise no coal, but will be able to get its supplies from Singareni. Telangana will also be able to save a great deal of expenditure on general administration, in case it is not established as a separate unit.
  6. The creation of Vishalandhra is an ideal to which numerous individuals and public bodies, both in Andhra an Telangana, have been passionately attached over a long period of time, and unless there are strong reasons to the contrary, this sentiment is entitled to consideration.

The case for Telangana

  1. The case for Vishalandhra thus rests on arguments which are impressive. The considerations which have been urged in favour of a separate Telangana State are, however not such as may be lightly brushed aside.
  2. The existing Andhra State has faced a financial problem of some magnitude ever since it was created, and in comparison with Telangana the existing Andhra State has low per capita revenue. Telangana, on the other hand, is much less likely to be faced with financial embarrassment. The much higher incidence of land revenue in Telangana and excise revenue of the order of Rs. 5 crores per annum principally explain this difference. Whatever the explanation may be, some Telangana leaders seem to fear that the result of unification will be to exchange some settled sources of revenue, out of which development schemes may be financed, for financial uncertainty similar to that with which Andhra is now faced. Telangana claims to be progressive and from an administrative point of view, unification, it is contended, is not likely to confer any benefits on this area.
  3. When plans for future development are taken into account, Telangana fears that the claims of this area may not receive adequate consideration in Vishalandhra. The Nandikonda and Kushtapuram (Godavari) projects are, for example, among the most important which Telangana or the country as a whole has undertaken. Irrigation in the coastal deltas of these two great rivers is, however, also being planned. Telangana, therefore, does not wish to lose its present independent rights in relation to the utilisation of the waters of the Krishna and the Godavari.
  4. One of the principal causes of opposition to Vishalandhra also seems to be the apprehension felt by the educationally-backward people of Telangana that they may be swamped and exploited by the more advanced people of the coastal area. In the Telangana districts outside the city of Hyderabad education is woefully backward. The result is that a lower qualification than in Andhra is accepted for public services. The real fear of the people of Telangana is that if they join Andhra they will be unequally placed in relation to the people of Andhra and in this partnership the major partner will derive all the advantages immediately, while Telangana itself may be converted into a colony by the enterprising coastal Andhra.
  5. Telangana, it had further been urged, can be a stable and viable unit considered by itself. The revenue receipts of this area on current account have been estimated at about Rs. 17 crores, and although the financing of the Krishna and Godavari projects will impose a recurring burden on the new State by way of interest charges, the probable deficit, if any, is unlikely to be large. In favourable conditions, the revenue budget may even be balanced or indicate a marginal surplus. This fairly optimistic forecast can be explained or justified by a variety of reasons.
  6. One important reason is, of course, that the existing Hyderabad State and Telangana as part of Hyderabad have benefited considerably from the implementation from April 1952, of the Finance Commission’s recommendations. The increase in central payments from out of the divisible pools of income-tax and central excise which has been possible under the precent arrangements and the reduction in police expenditure for which credit can be taken, as the situation in Telangana improves, more or less offset the loss on account of the abolition of internal customs duties: and if the scope which exists for raising the yield of certain State heads of revenue is fully explored, the financial position of Telangana need not cause anxiety.

   The State of Hyderabad

  1. The advantages of the formation of Vishalandhra are obvious. The desirability of bringing the Krishna and Godavari river basins under unified control, the trade affiliations between Telangana and Andhra and the suitability of Hyderabad as the capital for the entire region are in brief the arguments in favour of the bigger unit.
  2. It seems to us, therefore, that there is much to be said for the formation of the larger State and that nothing should be done to impede the realisation of this goal. At the same time, we have to take note of the important fact that, while opinion in Andhra is overwhelmingly in favour of the larger unit, public opinion in Telangana has still to crystallize itself. Important leaders of public opinion in Andhra themselves seem to appreciate that the unification of Telangana with Andhra, though desirable, should be based on a voluntary and willing association of the people and that it is primarily for the people of Telangana to take a decision about their future.
  3. We understand that the leaders of the existing Andhra State may be prepared to provide adequate safeguards to protect the interests of telangana in the event of its integration in Vishalandhra. These safeguards may take the form of a guarantee (presumably on the lines of Sri Baug Pact between Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) of opportunities for Telangana in the public services of the new State at least to the extent of One-third, that is to say, roughly in the proportion of population, and an assurance that particular attention will be paid to the development plans of this area.
  4. We have carefully gone into the details of the arrangements which may be made on these lines. It seems to us, however, that neither guarantees on the lines of the Sri Baug Pact nor constitutional devices, such as “Scottish devolution’’ in the United Kingdom, will prove workable or meet the requirements of telangana during the period of transition. Anything short of supervision by the Central Government over the measures intended to meet the special needs of Telangana will be found ineffective, and we are not disposed to suggest any such arrangement in regard to telangana.
  5. A further point to borne in mind is that State of Andhra was brought into existence only recently and has still not got over the stress of transition. It has, for example, still to formulate a policy on land reforms and the problems arising from the partition from the composite State of Madras have, by no means, been tackled fully yet. Integration of Telangana with Andhra at this stage is, therefore, likely to create administrative difficulties both for Andhra and Telangana.
  6. After taking all these factors into consideration, we have come to the conclusion that it will be in the interests of Andhra as well as Telangana if, for the present, the telangana area is constituted into a separate State , Which may be known as the Hyderabad state, with provision for its unification with Andhra after the general elections likely to be held on or about 1961, if by a two-thirds majority the legislature of the residuary Hyderabad State expresses itself in favour of such unification.
  7. The advantage of this arrangement will be that, while the objective of the unification of the Andhras will neither be blurred nor impeded during a period of five or six years, the two governments may have stabilized their administrative machinery, and, if possible, also reviewed their land revenue systems, etc., the object in view being the attainment of uniformity. The intervening period may incidentally provide an opportunity for allaying apprehensions and achieving the consensus of opinion necessary for a real union between the two states.
  8. Andhra and Telangana have common interests and we hope these interests will tend to bring the people closer to each other. If, however, our hopes for the development of the environment and conditions congenial to the unification of the two areas do not materialize and if public sentiment in Telangana crystallizes itself against the unification of the two states, telangana will have to continue as a separate unit.
  9. The State of Hyderabad (as we would prefer to call this unit), to be constituted for the time being, should consist of the following districts, namely, Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Warangal, including Khammam, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Nizamabad, Hyderabad, medak and Bidar and the Mungala enclave in Nalgonda district belonging to the Krishna district of the existing Andhra State.
  10. As has been stated elsewhere in this report, this Commission have examined the boundaries of the prospective States on the principle that the administrative structure of the existing districts should be disturbed as little as possible, and that where any changes are proposed, they should either follow a substantial measure of agreement between the states concerned or be justified independently by reason of special circumstances which cannot be ignored. We believe that both the changes which we have suggested and the changes which we have not proposed can be explained on these grounds.
  11. The Sironcha tehsil of Chanda district, which has been claimed for vishalandhra and which is geographically contiguous to telangana, has not been included in the Hyderabad State. The Telugu –speaking percentage in this tehsil is only about 51.2. The Andhra case, therefore, rests in part on the fact that about eighty years ago this tehsil was administratively part of the Upper Godavari district. We have found no strong grounds in this case for disturbing the status quo.
  12. The entie district of Bidar has been included in Hyderabad State on the same principles. This is a multilingual district, in which Marathi, Kannada, Urdu and Telugu are spoken respectively by 39, 28, 16 and 15 per cent of the population. Administratively, Bidar has very close links with Hyderabad and even Telangana at the present time. The major river which runs through the district, namely, the manjira, is utilized, for example, in the Medak district. The railway system links the Marathi speaking taluks of the district very easily with Hyderabad, and the national highway provides a direct connection between the Kannada-speaking taluks and this city. The undoubted Kannada areas are also somewhat remote from Bangalore and Mysore; and the north-western strip, which is Marathi-speaking, is likewise far removed from Bombay. Consistently with our general view that districts should not be broken up, except when compelling reasons for doing so exist, we have recommended that Bidar should not be disintegrated merely in order that linguistic claims in the north-west or in the south may be respected. We consider that it should remain with residuary Hyderabad State.
  13. The Hyderabad State with the boundaries which have indicated will be a compact and well-knit unit with an area of about 45,300 sq. miles and a population of about 11.3 millions.

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