Formation of Andhra Pradesh – 1947 to 1956

Hyderabad state (outlined in red color) superimposed on today's India map

There are a lot of myths and huge ignorance surrounding the formation of Andhra Pradesh. People generally assume that it was historically one through time. However, Andhra Pradesh witnessed many changes before it emerged as the first linguistic state on November 1, 1956. The years 1947 to 1956 were very crucial in the history of Andhra Pradesh. When India got independence on August 15, 1947, the three main regions of Andhra Pradesh – Coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana were not part of Andhra Pradesh state.

Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema belonged to Madras Presidency as a province of British India. Telangana was part of Hyderabad state, which was an independent native Indian state. Though, there were 568 native Indian states, Hyderabad State was the most important native state and was administered directly by the Governor General of India.

Madras Presidency (in green color) - 1909. The area in darker shade of green represents Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions

The ruler of Hyderabad State was considered the most senior or superior native Indian ruler. Hyderabad state included Telangana, 4 Kannada districts in Gulberga division & 4 Marathi districts in Aurangabad division.

There was a big difference between these two regions. Unlike Madras Presidency, Hyderabad state was not under direct British rule. The law of Madras Presidency rested upon the laws passed by the British Parliament. In contrast, Hyderabad state had its own law. English was the official language of Madras Presidency, where as it was Urdu for Hyderabad state. Which means all records were kept only in Urdu (for this reason the old land records are in Urdu). The maintenance of all records in Urdu is symbolic of the differences between the two vastly different administrative systems. Urdu was a compulsory subject in Hyderabad state and almost all educated people knew Urdu like people know English today.

Hyderabad state had its own financial, military, judicial, police, general, public works and revenue departments.

The administration of Rayalseema and Coastal Andhra mostly followed the current system in India that was derived from British administration systems. Whereas Hyderabad State followed the Moghul administration systems (with changes made over time).

Nizam wants Hyderabad State to be an independent country – refuses to join Indian Union
Though India got independence on 15th August 1947, till 18th September 1948 (i.e., 1 year, 1 month and 4 days later) it was not part of the Indian Union. The last Nizam of Hyderabad resisted Indian government’s efforts to merge Hyderabad state into the Indian Union. He even approached the United Nations for recognition of Hyderabad State as a separate country. Indian Union’s negotiations with the Nizam were abortive. The Nizam Government refused to accede his territory to Indian Union.

Coastal Andhra and Rayalseema are administered as part of Madras Presidency (1947-1952)
Meanwhile, after India became independent on August 15, 1947, Ramaswamy Reddiyar was the first Chief Minister of Madras state (Coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions are part of Madras State). Poosapati Sanjeevi Kumarswamy Raja was the Chief Minister of Madras Presidency from April 6, 1949 to April 10, 1952. Madras State was the name by which Madras Presidency was known from January 26, 1950.

Merger of Hyderabad state into Indian Union
Government of India launched ‘Police Action’ code named ‘Operation Polo’ on September 13, 1948 against Nizam. Nizam’s forces surrendered within five days on 18 September 1948 and the merger of Hyderabad state into the Indian Union announced formally. For full details about the liberation of Hyderabad, please click here.

Hyderabad - Pre and Post Police Action

Hyderabad State post merger with India
Until the end of 1949, Major-General J.N.Chaudhuri was the Military Governor of Hyderabad. The government of India appointed M. K. Vellodi as a Chief Minister of Hyderabad state in 26 January 1950 (Republic day) till 6th March 1952 i.e. the completion of the first elections in Independent India. He was a Senior Civil servant in the Government of India. The Nizam was designated ‘Raj Pramukh’ in January 1950 (resigned in 1956, when Hyderabad was split along linguistic lines).

Indian leaders consider and abandon the formation of linguistic States immediately after independence
At Independence, India was a fledgling and vulnerable nation that was created by a partition on religious lines, tested by communal riots across North India and a war in Kashmir. Even the respected British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, “India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the Equator.” The leaders of India started considering the idea of linguistic state to consolidate and give a new identity to the fledgling nation. Moreover, the demarcation of the states (called provinces in British India) was based on history and to maintain the princely states. As a modern democracy, this structure was no longer relevant.

The Government of India formed ‘The Dar Commission’ under the Chairmanship of S.K.Dar, which did not recommend the creation of States on the linguistic criteria. This drew adverse reactions in the Telugu speaking regions. The Congress Party immediately constituted an unofficial Committee consisting Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramaiah, popularly known as the J.V.P. Committee. In April 1949, the Committee recommended that the creation of linguistic provinces should be postponed by few years.

First Elections in Free India (1952)
The first general elections are held in India in 1952. Elections were held both for state and central government. Coastal Andhra and Rayalseema went to elections under the Madras State. Hyderabad State goes to elections separately.

Dr. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao was elected as a chief minister of Hyderabad state
Elections were held for the Hyderabad State in 1952 general elections. Of the 175 MLA seats, Congress wins 93. Left leaning parties like People Democratic Front(42), peasants & workers party of India(10), Socialist party of India(10) and independents(15) are the other major seat winners. Burgula Rama Krishna Rao took charge as Chief Minister of the Hyderabad state after 1952 general elections.

Elections in Coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions are held as part of Madras State. Congress forms government with C Rajagopalachari as the chief minister.

Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema form Andhra State
Potti Sri Ramulu one of the strong leaders of the separate Andhra movement, took indefinite fasting from October 19, 1952 demanding for a separate Andhra state from the Madras state for the Telugus. On December 15, Potti Sri Ramulu breathed his last breath in the fasting camp. As the news of his death broke, violence spread all over the southern parts of the country. As a result of Potti Sri Ramulu’s sacrifice, the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the Andhra state consisting eleven districts of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema on October 1, 1953 with Kurnool as its capital city.

Andhra Pradesh

The Formation of Andhra Pradesh
However, Telugu speaking people demanded for their long cherished Visalandhra formation, but people of Hyderabad state were unanimous in their demand for splitting the state into three parts. The States Reorganization Commission headed by Syed Fazal Ali heard the views of different people and organizations. Based on the Commission’s conclusions, the Congress Party High Command preferred Visalandhra and enlarged the state by including nine Telugu speaking districts of Hyderabad state to eleven districts of Andhra state to form Andhra Pradesh with 20 districts. In the process, the Hyderabad state was split among Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra State. Aurangabad division merged with Maharashtra and Gulbarga division merged with Karnataka. The rest of the two divisions of the state – Gulshanabad or Medak and Nizamabad merged with Andhra State.

Thus, the state of ‘Andhra Pradesh’ emerged merging all the districts of Coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana on November 1, 1956, with Neelam Sanjiva Reddy as the Chief Minister and C.M Trivedi as the Governor.

Suggested Reading:
Liberation of Hyderabad State
Hyderabad Little Known History
Significant Contributors to Hyderabad City

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36 Responses to “Formation of Andhra Pradesh – 1947 to 1956”

  1. D VijayKumar

    This story is very helpful to me to know about the history of Andhra Pradesh. I had translated this into telugu to teach my students.Thanking you for this information.

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    Rating: +5 (from 9 votes)
    • Bala M Krishna Chunduru

      We all know this history, and we will teach our childrens tomorrow onwards, ” once upon a time……..

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      Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
  2. Kumar

    It would be more helpful if you give the detailed description of andhra split from tamilnadu. Why potti sriramulu went for hunger strike? Did telugus lost their jobs or respect? What went wrong?

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    Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
  3. rkreddy

    Really, this is nice to know about by state formation…Really helpful to me. ThanQ……..

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  4. yamuna

    Very useful. Thank you so much.

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  5. TVM Reddy

    Lot of good information about AP.

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  6. anoop mishra

    Thanks a lot. Now its telangana…andhra….their capital HYD for upcoming 10 yrs.It doesn’t matter, its all in INDIA.

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    Rating: -1 (from 3 votes)
  7. Archana

    Thank you so much for your valuable knowledge! Absolutely useful.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  8. Rupa Rao

    Very interesting to read; made me relive the times of my school days in Hyderabad.

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    Rating: -1 (from 3 votes)
  9. Prabhakar

    It’s really awesome information, the correct information needs to be passed on to the youth and generation to know the truths of the history.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  10. kase.naresh

    Thank u very much its very awesome ……….

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  11. Rachana

    very helpful and useful for especially for school students.

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  12. Sudarshan Chennuri

    By knowing the history of Hyderabad state why the Andhra people are giving the slogans as ‘Samaikyam’. In 1970 they want seperate state now they don’t want…In 1969 Telangana people wanted seperate state and theyare now also stood on the same step.
    Why?..why?…Andhra people are having two tongues.

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    Rating: +1 (from 9 votes)
  13. rohit babu

    chala baga rasaru,naku chala anandamga undi………..!
    thanks 4 enlightening us.

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  14. Sandeep Routhu

    A good peace of information about Telangana and Hyderebad.How could people are publishing Potti sriramulu as “father of Andra Pradesh” in books.Every person should be treated equally under law in the same manner every reason should be treated,but since the formation of andra pradesh,the telangana people were starving for food,the telangana resaon possess rivers,flexible soil for different crops but they didn’t have water for irrigation.Do the democracy is working or not,the mind set of the political leaders should,they have to work for the people benefits not for their benefits.Thanks for providing the information about hyderabad state and telangana

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  15. kranthi

    It’s really helpful to know the history which was not taught at any level. thanks for providing a clear view.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  16. Venkatesh

    Yeah really a useful information, I never heard there was a separate state called ‘Hyderabad’. I used to think that whole A.P was a part of Tamil nadu, But my assumption was wrong. Guys request you to select your leaders based on the work they do, utilize your vote right. Demand for better tommorrow.

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  17. surya

    it is super about formation of andhra pradesh

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  18. Ranjan

    I’m worried about friend’s like Sunil Pawar, who were betrayed by the the INDIAN Union Gov,people of Hyderabad state 1948-1956 were not justified with peace and development in spite of huge contribution of taxes to the state,delay in announcing the state is itself is denying the justice. The main culprit is Central Gov in all aspect like merging of two states and dividing the Hyderabad State

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  19. Prakash

    The people of Hyderabad state are more or less in a pathetic condition now. Though their cultures (Which are merged into 3 different states Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra) are similar; unknownly they are neglected. Even in Karnataka also, the people are demanding for special package as this area neglected a lot (This area is presently called as Hyderabad-Karnataka). I do not know about the other area from Maharashtra. In this comments it is told that the same situation existing there also

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    The then Government of India have taken a blunder decision in forming Andhra Pradesh state on linguistic basis. Due to this reason today Hyderabad has lost its own identity in terms of culture and social living and created differences of regionalism.The Government of India is wholley responsible for the unstable in the region.

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  21. Rama Krishna

    Such an amazing write up! I wouldn’t have known about this article if I weren’t re-searching about Telangana on google…Thank you for the great efforts!

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  22. prasad

    hi guys
    we dont want united andhrapradesh if you some people emotionally ebuse pottiu sriramulu. we never said he is father of andhra pradesh

    persons like neelam sanjeeva reddy for his political gain merged seemandhra with telangana and sacrified our telugu people’s rich area bellary district to karnataka and some more reasons

    basically he merged these two areas to maintain REDDY community in the top chair.

    we wantt coastal andhra as a seperate state i.e NAVARATNA ANDHRA (9 Districts)

    today we would have been a golden state of india. we wasted our money and time and lives in the naxal preventive operations and others.

    imagine seperate telangana we wont see many happy faces because few fudal doras and reddys loot.

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  23. Ram Reddy

    During 1 year, 1 month and 4 days that Hyderabad State and Hyderabad City were separate entity after independence from British in 1947 – what did Seema Andhra people do for the people of Hyderabad? Did Potti Sriramlu do any hunger strike for the sake of Telugu Brethren being harassed in Hyderabad State? One year is a long time, what were they doing? Alternatively, Why did Seema Andhra Leaders not ask Rizvi or the Nizam for separate Union Territory status for Hyderabad City?

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  24. Sriram

    Good work with the Hyderabad State Map superimposed on the current political map. Original work! Keep it up.

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    Rating: 0 (from 4 votes)
  25. Sunil Pawar

    The biggest losers of the formation of AP were people from current day Maharashtra and Karnataka. As part of the Hyderabad state, we paid taxes for hundreds of years that enabled building of dams, bridges, universities and overall development of Hyderabad City. And then we were thrown back into Maharashtra & Karnataka states where nobody cares for us because our culture is different than the rest of the state. Will Seema Andhra pay us back? How about 15% of crops produced from Krishna, Goadavari and Nellore deltas to sponsor Gulbarga & Nanded!

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    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
  26. harsha vardhan

    this is very amazing to me. I really surprised to know this. helpful to me to know about my land

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    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  27. PolScienceStudent

    thanks..i had to verify the year when Andhra Pradesh was formed for my Political Science chapter on Federalism…

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  28. friend

    It is very helpful.

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  29. lohith

    hey hi………thank u for the information it was really very helpful for me on writing a speech of AP formation day 🙂

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  30. Ashok Reddy

    Most of the Telugu people think that Potti Sri Ramulu strived for Andhra Pradesh (Telugu speaking people), But that is not true. That is the way it is described in our education text books also.

    He strived for separate state for Andhra and Rayalaseema people from Madras. He fighted in 1952 and Andhra State formed in 1953 with Kurnool as capital city and high court in Guntur. How can we call him as father of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad is a separate state in 1953.

    There are lot of people who sacrificed their lives fighting against Hyderabad Nizam to merge Hyderabad state into Indian Union. Unfortunately we don’t have any of these people names and incidents in our education system /history. That is the way Telangana region and people are ignored from Andhra Pradesh History. That is really stupid!!!

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  31. Tirupanyam B.V

    The write up is comprehensive and useful one.

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  32. murthy

    I never expected such type website to know about my state. Really this site is fantastic ……!!!!

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    Rating: -2 (from 4 votes)
  33. Vamshidhar

    Till now i didnt know the history of my AP but i came to know about my land so i really really….. thankfull to Hyderabad India Online

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  34. Adi shankar A.V.

    Regarding formation of Visalandhra or Andhra Pradesh, I submit there was neither any popular movement nor any demand from any influential sections or interests for merging Andhra and Telangana. it must have been, then, a pragmatic and strategic decision taken in Delhi to prevent Hyderabad from raising its secessionist head once for all. The principle of forming states on linguistic basis came in handy and Hyderabad state was trifurcated permanently and merged with three different states thus losing its homogenity and distinct identity. It will be interesting to note that Junagarh and Hyderabad both of which tried to avoid signing the Instrument of Accession were brought to heel and merged with erstwhile British administered states to stamp out all feudal traces. I stand corrected if I am wrong.

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  35. truth

    “The States Reorganization Commission headed by Syed Fazal Ali heard the views of different people and organizations.

    BASED ON THE COMMISION’S CONCLUSIONS, the Congress Party High Command preferred Visalandhra and…”

    the commissions conclusion was that there should be no merger of the two states and it will be unfair for the hyderabad state(telangana region) to merge with andhra as andhra would have an unfair advantage.

    So, the congress central decision to go ahead with the merger was not ‘based on the commission’s conclusion’ but based on the high level lobyying by andhra politicians

    thanks for the informative article

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