Hyderabad: Monday marked the 10th anniversary of an announcement that went down in the annals of Telangana’s history. Around 11.30 pm on December 9, 2009 — exactly 10 years ago — people of Telangana won their first battle to realise the dream of a separate State.
On this day, then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram made an announcement following the heroic fast-unto-death stir launched by then statehood movement leader and current Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on November 29. Though KCR was arrested by the police and shifted to Khammam, and then to NIMS Hospital, Chandrashekhar Rao continued his indefinite hunger strike which lasted for 11 days before the Centre agreed to his demand for a separate State.
Chidambaram’s statement said – “The process of forming the State of Telangana will be initiated. An appropriate resolution will be moved in the Assembly. We are concerned about the health of K Chandrasekhar Rao; we request him to withdraw his fast immediately. We also appeal to all concerned, especially students, to withdraw their agitation.”
Following the announcement, scores of Telangana supporters rushed to NIMS (Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences) where Chandrashekhar Rao was observing his hunger strike. Men and women danced wildly and distributed sweets. Meanwhile, Telangana idealogue Professor Jayashankar and other Telangana agitators offered juice to Chandrashekhar Rao, marking the end of his hunger strike.
The developments that unfolded got etched deeply in the minds of scores of people. Passions ran high across the then undivided Andhra Pradesh leading to many unforeseen incidents, including mass resignation by legislators from both Telangana and Seemandhra regions, before efforts were intensified for formation of a separate Telangana State with effect from June 2, 2014.