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Telangana Rebellion
Date1946 to 1951
LocationHyderabad State, India
Razakars, Reddys, Velamas and other Feudal Landlords People of Hyderabad State

The Telangana Rebellion or Vetti Chakiri Movement also known as Telangana Raithanga Sayudha Poratam was a peasant rebellion against the feudal lords of the Telangana region and later against the princely state of Hyderabad between 1946 and 1951.

Communist led[edit | edit source]

Vetti Chakiri Udyamam[edit | edit source]

Telangana Rebellion District

The communists were as surprised as everyone else to see their efforts culminate in a series of successful attempts at organising the rebellion and the distribution of land. With the Nizam holding on, even after the proclamation of Indian Independence, the communists stepped up their campaign stating that the flag of the Indian union was also the flag of the people of Hyderabad, much against the wishes of the ruling Asaf Jah dynasty.[1]

The revolt started in 1946 in the Nalgonda district against the oppressive feudal lords and quickly spread to the Warangal and Bidar districts in around 4000 villages. Peasant farmers and labourers revolted against local feudal landlords (jagirdars and deshmukhs),[2] who were ruling the villages known as samsthans. These samsthans were ruled mostly by Reddys and Velama,[citation needed] known as doralu. They ruled over the communities in the village and managed the tax collections (revenues) and owned almost all the land in that area. The Nizam had little control over these regions, barring the capital Hyderabad. Chakali Ilamma, belonging to a the Rajaka caste, had revolted against ‘zamindar' Ramachandra Reddy,[3] during the struggle which he tried to take her 4 acres of land. Her revolt inspired many to join the movement.

The communist led agitation was successful in liberating over 3000 villages from the feudal lords and 10,000 acres of agriculture land was distributed to landless peasants. Around 4000 peasants lost their lives in the struggle fighting feudal private armies.

It later became a fight against Nizam. The initial modest aims were to do away with the illegal and excessive exploitation meted out by these feudal lords in the name of bonded labour. The most strident demand was for the writing off of all debts of the peasants that were manipulated by the feudal lords.

Nizam's resistance to join Indian Union[edit | edit source]

With Hyderabad's administration failing after 1945, the Nizam succumbed to the pressure of the Muslim elite and started the Razzakar Movement, which was very violent and was also responsible for forcible conversions of religion. At the same time the Nizam was resisting the Indian government's efforts to bring the Hyderabad state into the Indian Union. The government sent the army in September 1948 to annex the Hyderabad state into Indian Union. The Communist party had already instigated the peasants to use guerrilla tactics against the Razzakars and around 3000 villages (about 41000 sq. kilometres) had come under peasant rule. The landlords were either killed or driven out and the land was redistributed. These victorious villages established communes reminiscent of Soviet mir (social)s to administer their region. These community governments were integrated regionally into a central organization. The rebellion was led by the Communist Party of India under the banner of Andhra Mahasabha.

Among the well-known individuals at the forefront of the movement were great leaders, like Ravi Narayan Reddy, Pillaipalli Papireddy, Suddala Hanmanthu, Chandra Rajeswara Rao, Bommagani Dharma Bhiksham, the Urdu poet Makhdoom Mohiuddin, Sulaiman Areeb, Hassan Nasir, Manthrala Adi Reddy, Bhimreddy Narasimha Reddy, Mallu Venkata Narasimha Reddy, Mallu Swarajyam.

The violent phase of the movement ended in 1951, when the last guerilla squads were subdued in the Telengana region.[4]

Annexation of Hyderabad State[edit | edit source]

The rebellion and the subsequent police action led to the liberation of Hyderabad state from the Nizam's rule on 17 September 1948 and after a temporary military administration the dominion was eventually merged into the Indian Union. In the process tens of thousands human lives were taken, the majority of them Muslims.[5] This The Last Nizam Asaf Jah VII was made the Rajpramukh of the Hyderabad State from 26 January 1950 to 31 October 1956. The elections of 1952 led to the victory of the Congress party in Hyderabad state. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao was first chief minister of the Hyderabad state from 1952 to 1956. In 1956, Hyderabad State was merged with Andhra state to form the present day Andhra Pradesh State.

The revolt ensured the Land reform[edit | edit source]

The revolt ensured the victory of the Communist Party in Andhra Pradesh in the 1952 elections. Land reforms were recognised as important and various acts were passed to implement them.[6]

In popular culture[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Sanghatana, Stree Shakti (1989). We Were Making History: Life Stories of Women in the Telangana People's Struggle. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-86232-679-6. 
  • Thirumali, Inukonda (2003). Against Dora and Nizam: People's Movement in Telangana. Kanishka Publishers, New Delhi. ISBN 81-7391-579-2. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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