Fear and Loathing in Hyderabad
Who am I?” It is a strange question for the chief minister of a state to ask but this is indeed N. Kiran Kumar Reddy speaking. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, who resigned on February 19, points out that he was born in Hyderabad, studied at the Hyderabad Public School in Begumpet and played cricket for the Hyderabad under-22 team. Yet because his constituency is in Chittoor district in the Rayalaseema region, and his ancestral family hails from there, he is pilloried as an ‘outsider’ in Telangana.
P. Bheemaiah, 70, originally from Karimnagar but settled in Hyderabad for decades, flares up with indignation. “We are not asking them to go away from Hyderabad. But why are they demanding a stake in our city? Because they’ve vested interests,” he says.
‘Us’ versus ‘Them’, in a nutshell, is the story of the acrimony emanating from the bifurcation of Andhra Pra- desh. The demand for a separate Telangana state has its roots in the feeling of discrimination since 1956 (when Andhra Pradesh was formed) by Seemandhra rulers, domination by coastal Andhra industrialists and lampooning by coastal Andhra filmmakers. And because it is a Telugu vs Telugu adversarial position, Hyderabad is on edge. Nearly 35 per cent of the capital’s 8.7 million population is from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) region, and is derisively referred to by those from Telan-
PEOPLE CELEBRATE IN HYDERABAD AFTER LOK SABHA PASSED THE TELANGANA BILL
The battle for a separate Telangana state, at its core, is a tussle for Hyderabad. It exposesthe bitter divisions among the city’s 8.7 million inhabit