Part I: What happened to Employment and Education?
I presented the current status of Telanagana, in development aspect, in my previous post. Here, in this article, I am presenting what happened to Employment in Telangana over a period of time. This is to share my findings and thoughts on various aspects of Telangana movement, while I read about it.
It’s my sincere attempt to create awareness about the existing situation. As part of which I tried to consolidate hundreds of pages of various reports and this post is not for the experts who had gone through all those reports. If only we recognize the genuine existence and the magnitude of a problem, we all can contribute with different ways to solve that problem. I also separated my Observations within the article.
DISCLAIMER: As the author of this article, I do not represent any organization. Any inferences I made, in this article, are my own.
2. Pre-Independence (till 1947):
Back then Hyderabad state consisted of 19 districts, 10 of which are now part of AP, 3 of Karnataka and 6 of Maharashtra. These 10 districts came to be known as Telangana.
Under the Nizams rule, Urdu was the official language of Telangana. All land records and other documents (including Court proceedings) were neither in English nor their Mother Tongue (Telugu). The higher education was provided mostly in Urdu and one good example is the establishment of Osmainia University.
Telanganites were forced to learn & speak Urdu and were treated as second grade citizens in their own nation. When Nizam started recruiting his Administrative staff from rest of INDIA, locals realized this as a loss of employment and started an agitation, leading to the implementation of Mulki rules in 1919. According to these rules, only those people who satisfied the set of criteria were called “Mulks” and were eligible for local jobs. That is how Telanganites got their share in employment in their own land.
With increasing resistance from all sections of people against him, Nizam established a private armed force,the Razakaars, These Razaakars started looting, killing people and were committing all kinds of atrocities against common people., Telanganites were fighting a guerilla war against Razakaars and their atrocities, and this struggle was at its peak during 1947
3. Post-Independence (1947 – 1956):
On Aug 15th, 1947, when the whole nation was busy celebrating FREEDOM from the oppressed British rule, ershwhile state of Hyderabad was not so lucky. It was still suffering oppression from Nizam’s rule. As such, Telangana “was not part “of the Independence celebrations on Aug 15th, 1947 as was the rest of India.
Nizam disagreed to join the Indian union and advocated for independence for the state of Hyderabad and sent a delegarion to UN for recognizing Hyderabad state as an Independent country. With constant pressure from the Indian government, he made an agreement with Indian government to maintain a status quo.
Meanwhile the Telanganites started fighting back strongly against the increased atrocities of the Razaakars. This growing violence gave the Indian Government impetus to take a military action in 1948, and finally Hyderabad state joined Indian Union on September 18th, 1948. This was the actual Freedom for Telangana. As the Indian constitution was not in force at that time, the state of Hyderabad (Telangana) came under the rule of Indian Union. Maj-Gen. J.N. Chaudhri was assigned as the Military Governor, and a status quo was maintained on all the pre-existing laws for employment.
After the Indian constitution came into force in 1950 (Jan 26th), M.K. Vellodi, a Civil Servant was appointed as the Chief Minister of Hyderabad state. To continue the protection of local employment in all the States, Article 35(b) of Indian constitution provided the continuation of existing laws of employment. . So, the ‘Mulki’ Rules continued, with some modifications, even after the Hyderabad state merged with the rest of Indian union. Due to the earlier oppression, there were limited number of educated English speaking people requiring the government to bring in Several administrative officials from Madras, immediately after the merger, though it was in violation of Mulki Rules.
After 1952 General Elections, B. Rama Krishna Rao took over as the Chief Minister of Hyderabad State; don’t have to mention that Hyderabad city was the capital. During 1948 – 1952., there was a large influx of educated elites from the state of Madras to Hyderabad state. The original “Mulki Rules”, were amended making it easier for people to adjust their residential status to “Mulki” with a certificate from a Taluqdar (MRO). Many telugu speaking people from Madras presidency (now known as Andhra region) violated the rules, got certificates from the Taluqdars and got jobs in Telangana region, to enjoy a less competitive and comfortable working environment under the Telugu speaking government. This led to another agitation in Telangana, during 1952 – 1953, for stronger implementation of ‘Mulki Rules”.
During the same time, the domination of Tamil language in government affairs, made it difficult for Telugu speaking Andhrites to adjust with Madras government. So, the telugu speaking population of Madras Presidency was agitating for a separate “Andhra” state. After the death of Sri Potti Sreeramulu, the State of Andhra was created on Oct 1st, 1953 with Kurnool as its capital.
Formation of Andhra State triggered a huge demand for the formation of States on linguistic basis in the rest of India. Government of India appointed a States Reorganization Commission (the first SRC/Fazal-Ali Commission), in Dec 1953, to look into these demands to create States on linguistic basis. This commission submitted its report in 1955. It was the first SRC which recommended merging Bidar region of Hyderabad State with Karnataka and Marathwada region with Maharashtra, It also recommended that the residual Hyderabad State (including Munagala enclave) to continue as Hyderabad State.
During this time, 1954 – 1955, Andhra State leaders were lobbying for the formation of “Vishalandhra” by combining all Telugu speaking areas. The first SRC also looked into this “Vishalandhra” demand. It recommended that the merger be held off till the general election in 1961. The idea was that if there is a 2/3 majority in the Telangana assembly, only then the merger was to take place to form “ Vishalandhra”
[Observation]: But, as usual, the politicians and then Congress high-command did not wait till the next General elections, they went ahead and forced the leaders from both regions to agree for the merger. As leaders from both Andhra and Telangana were members of congress party this was easily achieved. No effort was made to seek the opinions from different sections of people, before signing the merger agreement. Moreover, Congress High Command was the supreme decision maker, back then as it is now. Enough blame should go to the Telangana leaders of that time, for not seeking popular opinion through elections and for blindly following the “High-Command” orders.
4. During the time of Merger (in 1956):
The major concern for the merger came from the educationally-backward people of Telangana region. To address these concerns and avoid the discrimination against Telangana people, leaders of both the regions signed the Gentlemen’s Agreement(2), as a pre-condition for merger, providing safeguards to Telangana region. The Indian government made the Gentlemen’s agreement legal with a constitutional amendment. Srikrishna1 committee’s statement on this is: “In their quest for Vishalandhra, the Andhra leaders were prepared to guarantee safeguards to protect the interests of Telangana. The Congress High Command arranged a meeting of the leaders of the two regions in Delhi on February 20, 1956. The meeting resulted in an agreement over the formation of Vishalandhra by providing certain safeguards to Telangana.”
According to the Gentlemen’s agreement2 “A temporary provision be made to ensure that for a period of five years, Telangana is regarded as a unit as far as recruitment to subordinate services is concerned; posts borne on the cadre of these services may be reserved for being filled up by persons who satisfy the domicile conditions as prescribed under the existing Hyderabad Mulki Rules.”
[Observation]: We can cleary deduce that this was not very beneficial for the educationally-backward people of Telangana, there were not enough educational institutions established in Telangana region. A period of 5 years would not make these people as competitive as their counterparts, when they compete for jobs.
5. After the Merger (1956 -1969):
Government of India merged all Telugu speaking people and formed the State of Andhra Pradesh on Nov 1st, 1956. Immediately after the merger, there arose a large requirement to fill in the Administrative offices of the newly formed state. This demand was met by bringing-in officials from neighboring states of Madras, Mysore and Bombay. Apart from this, many district and lower level posts in Telangana region were filled by the people from Andhra region, under the pretext, “there were no qualified people available in Telangana”. This went against both the “Mulki “rules and the “Gentlemen’s agreement.
The first blow for Telangana came within 4 Months of the merger, in March 1957, in the form of “Public Employment Act, 1957 (Section 2 of Article 16)”. At the same time, with the provision in Article 35 (b), Parliament virtually repealed the “Mulki Rules”. But, fortunately, it included a clause (Article 16(3), Sub clause (1) parts a, b and c) which applies to the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh along with some other States in the Northern India. With this clause, and the exception made, the special provision for Telangana applies to only the positions of certain class (Subordinate). So, the safeguard provided in Gentlemen’s agreement is limited to Subordinate class only, which means, this safeguard otherwise would have been applied to all superior and inferior postings. Since, there were limited number of superior grade employees; there was no significant opposition for this limitation.
According to this modification, Government of India enacted Andhra Pradesh Public Employment Rules, 1959, this was to ensure that specified categories of employment in Telangana area should be filled up only by those who had been residents of Telangana area for 15 years or more. And, this is to be in place for the next 15 years, which was is till 1974. Implementation of this Act resulted in confusion, because of the contradictory affects of sections 2 & 3 of the original “Public Employment Act, 1957”. Various Departments interpreted this Act in whatever way they are comfortable with. It also raised the questions about the application of this rule to the promotions and seniority lists of Telangana & Andhra cadre employees. Telangana Regional Committee (TRC) raised concerns about this improper implementation of the Public Employment Rules and appointment of non-locals in those positions that belong to locals (Telanganites).
[Observation]: Meanwhile, there was strong disgruntlement developing among the employees of Telangana cadre, as they realized their backwardness in seniority for promotions and unemployed finding non-locals occupied in local positions. With TRC, a political watchdog, literally feeling helpless because of their inability to intervene directly (they only can make recommendations) in decision making, these grievances were catching up one-by-one.
6. The First Separation Movements (1969 – 1973):
[Observation]: This was an important period in AP History, everybody has to pay attention to what happened during this period, For those who argue, nowadays, that the separate Telangana movement exists only because Telanganites want to take advantage of a developed Hyderabad, please be noted that nothing significantly changed in Hyderabad in 1969, it was, as it was before1956. So, Separate Telangana movement existed back then & now as well, for similar reasons.
Oppressed by the Nizam’s rule for a long time, Telangana people were deprived of education. Those who did get educated , it was with great difficulty , By late 1960s, youth, who got educated and looking for opportunities, got agitated when they found that the posts, reserved for them, had already been filled up by the non-locals.
A High Court judgment in 1968, on the implementation of Mulki Rules, instigated the students to come out openly and agitate. This originally started in Khammam, spread across the region in no time, everybody had found an outlet for the dissatisfaction breeding among them for quite some time. This students’ movement expanded to Kakatiya University (in Warangal) and Osmania University. This agitation combined with the inequality in “Telangana Surplus” spending, led to the famous “Jai Telangana” movement in 1969, demanding separate Telangana State.
After a year of violent agitation, Government released a G.O. extending Mulki rules to the state Electricity Board. This G.O. also announced that the Govt. will repatriate all those (around 6000) working in Telangana, violating the “Mulki Rules”, by Feb 28th, 1969. Govt. of AP also announced that it will create supernumerary positions in Andhra/Rayalaseema region to accommodate those repatriated employees and their service and seniority will not be lost.
[Observation]: I don’t understand, what was wrong with this, those positions were supposed to be filled by the locals, according to the ‘Mulki Rules’, and the Government announced that those employees will not lose their service. The very presence of those employees occupying positions was a clear violation of safeguards.
One thing that everyone has to agree is, there was significant injustice done to Telangana, at that point in time. There was no globalization, no free markets, and not enough industrialization, the only secure employment provider was the Government. The present generation might argue that everybody should be treated equally and no-discrimination based on the region, but we all have to remember that those times were different.
It might be anybody’s mistake, but when the Government ensured their service will not be affected, it should have been honored. But, unfortunately, with this G.O. on repatriation of Andhra employees, violence erupted in Andhra/Rayalaseema region. Some of those (proposed) to be repatriated approached Supreme Court and got the injunction orders on the implementation of the G.O. Supreme court, in its judgment, declared that that Section 3 of the Public Employment (Requirement as to Residence) Act, 1957, was unconstitutional. Supreme Court’s judgment of injunction orders was based on the argument, “Parliament, in exercise of its powers under Article(s) 35(a) and 16(3) of the Constitution, could make laws with regard to residential qualifications for the whole “state” but not for “parts” of the state”(1).
[Observation]: Why they failed to recognize that, the merger of these two States happened on the basis of the safeguards provided and the constitution was amended to honor those safe guards is not clear. The very existence of this united state of AP was based on basis of the safeguard, the Public Employment Act., 1957. Without these, Telangana would have been a separate state and would not have suffered any of these employment issues – The fight for separate state is not baseless or for Hyderabad for that matter.
Nobody challenged it, when the initial Public Employment (Requirement as to Residence) Act, 1957 was made with special exemptions to Telangana. They went ahead and violated it and got employed in the Telangana region and then got an Injunction against the G.O. when the government actually started implementing this Act. With this judgment, all the safeguards to Telangana, in public employment, vanished, which otherwise would have been in place till 1974. The petitioners should have approached the court, as soon as the constitution was amended to accommodate special provisions to Telangana, but they waited until Government decided to take an action on the violations of safeguards.
Following this judgment, there were several petitions filed in the High Court, there were contradicting judgments from the AP High Court. As I mentioned earlier, sections 2 & 3, of Public Employment (Requirement as to Residence) Act, 1957, were contradicting in nature. So, the two benches of High Court arrived at two contradicting judgments. Finally, Supreme Court announced that the whole Act itself was invalid, due to its nature of contradicting clauses. Hence, the “Mulki Rules” became legal as they would have been in place if Public Employment (Requirement as to Residence) Act, 1957 was not enacted. Supreme Court announced that, “Mulki Rules” were legal, in March 1972, but it did not clarify the direction on how to implement them. Modified “Mulki Rules” became a law with the Mulki Rules Act, 1972(3). Section 6 of this Act made it clear that the Mulki Rules will be implemented till 1977 in Hyderabad and till 1980 in rest of the Telangana districts. Section 3(3) of this same act declared that the appointments made between 1956 and 1972 will not be considered as illegal and the implementation of Mulki Rules during that period was not considered as “Mandatory”.
So, this satisfied those employees who were appointed by violating Mulki Rules. But, it further diluted the original Mulki Rules that were not implemented properly. Section 6 of the Act made people of Andhra region angry; they started the “Jai Andhra” agitation opposing the Mulki Rules Act and other safeguards provided to Telangana region, this was violent enough that center had to impose President’s Rule in the state, in Jan 1973.
The Congress high command’s highhandedness was at work again, known for her tough decisions and stubborn behavior Smt. Indira Gandhi, instead of respecting people’s opinions, made a compromise between the Congress leaders from both sides, with a “Six Point Formula (SPF)”(4)(1). Whatever the traces of diluted “Mulki Rules” that were in place, till that point, were abolished completely along with the TRC that was formed according to Gentlemen’s agreement. By abolishing the TRC, the SPF brought in the concept of Sub-Committees for each backward area (more on this, in my next postings). SPF led to the famous “Presidential Orders” (4) in 1975 (Article 371(D) of the Constitution) which made Government of AP issue “Andhra Pradesh Public Employment Order”. With SPF in place, Mulki Rules Act, 1972 was repealed with Mulki Rules Repeal Act, 1973, which means that Act was never implemented. None of those 6000 (approx.) appointed violating the “Mulki Rules” were ever repatriated. In my opinion, the SPF was made by the politicians of both sides, in order remove the Presidential Rule in the state, as they were hungry for power as usual.
[Observation]: There was nothing specific to Telangana in this order, I am not sure why Telangana political leaders even accepted this. With this, all the safeguards given to Telagnana during the merger had been abolished successfully. The whole exercise, whatever had been agreed by the both sides that Telangana people were backward and needed special safeguards, was nothing but a futile exercise. There were no safeguards and special reservation or whatsoever, honestly implemented, for the Telangana. President’s rule was revoked and Shri. Jalagam Vengalo Rao was inducted as a CM, in Dec 1973.
7. From 1973 – Present:
The Government was making rules and issuing G.O.s to implement the Presidential Orders in each department. Presidential Orders divided the state into six zones, for employment purpose, Zone V and Zone VI (including Hyderabad) belong to Telangana(4). Clause 14(f) of the Presidential Order kept the Hyderabad Police recruitments out of the zonal system.
[Observation]: I couldn’t find any references as to on what basis did they divided the state into six zones and how come the 10 Telangana districts are in two zones, while the 13 remaining districts fell in other 4 zones. I am not sure, whether it was based on the population OR number of posts per district, etc. It took until 1975 – 76 for G.O.s to implement zonal system in each department and separate posts into district level, zonal level and State level. There had been complaints on the proper implementation of these Presidential Orders and SPF in zones V & VI, though the voice of protests was insignificant. Meanwhile, AP faced an election in 1978 and another political turmoil from 1978 – 1983, 4 Chief Ministers changed in 5 years. Nobody had a chance to express their displeasure on employment to any of the Ministries during this time. In 1983, when Shri. N.T. Rama Rao became the CM, the issue of improper implementation of Presidential orders came into limelight with Telangana NGO Unions complaining about it. Government issued another famous G.O. 610 in Dec 1985.
This G.O. was intended to repatriate all those who were employed, in zone V and VI, violating the Presidential Orders & SPF, by creating supernumerary positions in their own zones, by the end of March 1986. But, no special arrangements were made, within the government; to implement the G.O. Implementation of this G.O. 610 is still a controversy, 25 years after it got issued. Supernumerary positions should have been created before the repatriation started, but it did not happen. So, the repatriation of employees never took place, except a few employees volunteered to go back to their own zone.
Due to the nature of the Presidential Orders, there was always confusion among the Government departments as well as the employment seekers and employees. Govt. did not make any efforts to train the General Administrative Department on the Presidential Orders and the G.O. 610. Though, there were no protests and court cases on the implementation of G.O. 610 from 1985 -2001, strong dissatisfaction was building within the employees of Zone V and VI.
After persistent attempts by the Telangana NGO unions, Govt. of AP appointed a one man commission, Shri Girglani Commission, in 2001(5), to study the violations of Presidential Orders and the implementation of G.O. 610 in Zones V & VI. After submitting an initial report in Oct 2001, the commission submitted its final report in 2004. This report attempted to alleviate the differences in understanding of the SPF, Presidential Orders and G.O. 610. Girglani commission’s final report included 126 findings under 18 deviation genres and suggested 35 remedial measures(1)(5), though many departments did not even share the information about local/non-local employees data with the commission.
Though, Girglani Commission was appointed in 2001 to look into the implementation of G.O. 610, it looked into the implementation of Presidential Orders in all zones and came to a wide range of conclusions. It also made recommendations applicable for the entire state. There are some disagreements over the number of jobs that were occupied by non-locals in zones V & VI. We have to understand that, whatever the number of violations, those were all an accumulated loss for the Zones V & VI from 1975, till the commission observed such violations in 2001. Though the Commission’s report mentioned that the disaggregated statistical data may not make much sense, it highlighted how the hiring authorities violated Presidential Orders intentionally(5). Exemption of certain positions from zonal system in Hyderabad was extended to other posts, by the recruiting authorities.
Majority of violations took place between 1975 and 1983, because, many new positions and administrative departments were established during that time. They did not separate those positions according to the Presidential Orders. On top of all, there was no monitoring body to oversee the implementation of Presidential Orders, That’s why the Commission recommended stopping all new appointments and promotions until those positions are re-organized and a Monitory body is established to oversee the implementation. It is obvious that the employees don’t want to move, once they are employed at one place. Repatriation wouldn’t happen that easily, instead, Government should have taken enough measures before appointing them.
[Observation]: Overall, Girglani commission recommended several useful remedies to remove the regional disparities in public employment. But, the Government of AP did not take any immediate action on this report. Instead of accepting and implementing the report submitted by a committee appointed by itself, the Government appointed another committee, Group of Ministers (GoM), to study the report. GoM committee again sought proposals from the officers committee. Even after the GoM committee submitted its report, the Government did not implement the committee’s suggestions in letter & spirit, though it issued a G.O. accepting the GoM’s report, but this G.O. was kept in abeyance immediately. Government of AP also appointed 2 house committees to look into the Girglani commission’s report. After using the G.O. 610 and Girglani commission for political mileage, Government appointed another officers committee in Aug 2006 and accepted the Girglami Commission’s final report.
Government formed another house committee to monitor the implementation of G.O. 610, in 2006. It has been evident that, this house committee doesn’t meet as often as it needs to, and the Heads of the Departments are reluctant to attend this committee’s meetings when they are summoned. Recent chaos on the deletion of clause 14(f)(6) of Presidential Orders is another evidence, how complicated it is to implement something even after the Assembly passed a unanimous resolution.
I learnt a lot through this research and I now fully recognize the ““Employment aspect” of the Telangana Movement. I have not attempted to propose any solution through this article. I sincerely hope people on the either side of the movement realize that lack of awareness and lack of knowledge is also the main reasons of the animosity between the two sides of the division.
I welcome comments and if anyone wants to look into the same information in a different perspective.
1. Chapter s 1 & 5 of http://pib.nic.in/archieve/others/2011/jan/d2011010502.pdf