Monday, June 14, 2021

The 1952 Mulki agitation

Even before the State of Vishalaandhra was formed, the Hyderabad State witnessed a massive movement against the non-mulkis. This movement is significant as it highlighted the antagonism of Telangana people towards the Andhra people.

The most important situations that lead to the agitation were:

  • Post Telangana armed struggle, people of Telangana had great expectations from the succeeding governments, especially in matters of employment. The three succeeding governments including the popular government led by Burgula Ramakrishna Rao failed in changing situation in matters of employment in favour of Mulkis
  • Migration of people from different parts of India to Hyderabad state was common since the medieval period. Most of these migrants were from north and north west. They mingled well with the locals and became an integral part of the Hyderabad society. Migration of Telugu speaking people from the Madras state increased drastically after integration of Hyderabad state into the Indian Union. These people were preferred in public employment. Unlike the other migrants, these people were very dominating and hurt the local culture, Telangana dialect and the sentiment of local people. They also dominated administration.
  • From the beginning of the 20th Century, the idea of Vishalaandhra state combining Telangana and Andhra was proposed at every important public gathering in Andhra region. Post-independence, propagation of the idea of formation of Vishalaandhra escalated to great heights as it became the main point of discussion in every public gathering in Telangana as well. The people of Telangana were not in favour of formation of Vishalaandhra because of the bitter experiences they had with the Andhra people. The opponents to Vishalaandhra supported the 1953 agitation.

Though the above mentioned situations contributed to the beginning of the agitation, the immediate trigger for the agitation was an incident of mass transfer of teachers in Warangal that actually resulted in the commencement of the agitation. Partha Sarathi, the divisional inspector of schools transferred nearly 180 Mulki teachers on disciplinary grounds to remote places and appointed Non-Mulki teachers in their place.

On July 26, 1952, the students formed Action Committee to protest against the transfer of teachers. The Committee elected a student named Buchaiah as the convener of the student Action Committee

On July 28, 1952, the students action committee passed a resolution putting forward the following demands:

  1. Removal of Non-Mulkis and appointment of Mulkis in their place.
  2. Appointment of a cabinet sub-committee to study Mulki rules and suggest necessary measures to secure the interests of Mulkis. A public announcement of the appointment of the sub-committee should be made by the Chief Minister. The students organized several rallies and demonstrations in Warangal is support of the resolution.

On August 6, 1952, a group of students led by Buchaiah met the then Chief Minister and presented the resolution of the Student Action Committee to the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister assured the students of Immediate action However there was no response from the Government.

On August 22, 1952, when the CM visited Warangal, the students met the CM and questioned him on the delay in taking action on their resolution.  The CM promised immediate action on returning to Hyderabad but there was no action. Finally, August 24, 1952, the Students Action Committee sent another letter to the Chief Minister stating that if the cabinet committee is not formed by  August 27 1952 including the official announcement, the students will start a state-wide agitation.

On August 24, 1952, a meeting was held in Bolarum by the students on the Mulki issue. In the meeting the students decided to agitate from August 26.

On August 26, 1952 a rally was held in Bolarum.  This rally marked the beginning of the protest in Hyderabad which took place until the 3rd week of September.

On August 27, 1952, in the evening, the Chief Minister through the district collector, Govind Rao Deshpande informed Buchaiah about the appointment of the cabinet sub-committee. The students did not start the agitation after the information of appointment of Cabinet Sub-committee was given.

On August 28, 1952, a group of students from the Hanamkonda High School did not attend the classes, they were standing outside the school and were discussing about the Mulki issue.  Anticipating trouble, the collector and the SP went to the school.  The students tried to stop the collector and the SP from entering the school and this resistance finally resulted in a lathi charge. The lathi charge triggered massive unrest amongst students all over the Hyderabad state resulting in protests and rallies by the students across important towns and cities in Hyderabad state.  Though the agitation began in Warangal and spread to other urban centres, it intensified in the Hyderabad city.

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