A former republic, Paritala pines for Hyd
The small village, which along with six other villages suffered under the Nizam’s rule and became the first republic to be liberated from the State of Hyderabad. The village is now divided on the ongoing fight for and against division of the State. Located 30 km away from Vijayawada on Hyderabad national highway, it watches the fight differently. While the rich having some agriculture land want the State to be divided, the poor oppose the division and are not ready to lose their rights on Hyderabad.
Villagers’ take on bifurcation
- Once part of the Nizam’s rule, the village near Vijayawada is split on bifurcation
- Poor do not want to lose rights on Hyderabad, while rest resigned to separation
- Poor say they would lose out on education and employment fronts, if Hyd lost
- It will take about 50 years to build a capital of Hyderabad standards, they contend
Brief history of Paritala
- Paritala village was originally part of Jujjuru Khanan (region) of Krishna district
- The then Nizam retained it, while transferring Jujjuru to British on May 14, 1759
- Paritala and other villages were known to have diamond mines then
- Paritala fought against Nizam rule and liberated as republic on November 15, 1947
- Later, village elders held talks with Indian govt and merged it on January 26, 1950
- The Paritala Republic was in force officially for one year and seven days
Paritala (Krishna): The small village, which along with six other villages suffered under the Nizam’s rule and became the first republic to be liberated from the State of Hyderabad. The village is now divided on the ongoing fight for and against division of the State. Located 30 km away from Vijayawada on Hyderabad national highway, it watches the fight differently. While the rich having some agriculture land want the State to be divided, the poor oppose the division and are not ready to lose their rights on Hyderabad.
Chinta Venkateswara Rao, who was in Madhira High School in the days of Paritala’s revolt against the Nizam and the consequent proclamation of the first republic of this region, regrets the demand for division. His father Chinta Bapaiah was one of the executive council members of the Paritala Republic that declared independence from Nizam’s Hyderabad State on November 15, 1947.
Having watched his father Bapaiah fight for freedom of his mother land, Rao now in his 80s said that the idea of division of the State which was united 60 years ago after several sacrifices was wrong. “Who is she (Sonia Gandhi) to decide who should live together and who should get divided? Who are those people (Digvijay Singh, A K Antony and Chidambaram) to mediate for division of the State? She had cleared the proposal (for division) just for a few seats and they (Digvijay, Antony and Chidambaram) are pursuing the matter so as to be in her good books,” he said, expressing displeasure over the division proposal.
However, he said the issue cannot be prolonged further anymore. “It is out of our hands now and they have to give Telangana State. Denying it now is not good as it will lead to unrest and development will take backseat,” asserts the man who watched the freedom struggle, particularly the liberation of Paritala and the self-rule of this small republic in which his father was a key player.
Paritala Taluq was initially part of the Jujjuru Khanan (region) of Krishna district. Nizam Hisamul Mulk Khan, had handed over Jujjur and other regions of coastal districts to the British on May 14, 1759, while retaining Paritala and six other villages, which had diamond mines. Since then, Paritala Khanan with Bathinapadu, Gani Athkuru, Moguluru, Mallavalli, Kodavatikallu and Ustepalli villages had been ruled by Nizam’s representatives, starting with Kambliyarjang Bahadur.
With the country fighting for freedom and finally getting Independence on August 15, 1947, the local leaders led by Madiraju Devaraj started fighting against the Nizam. The Congress helped them by providing well-trained volunteers, while the Communists supplied armed support. They drew away the Nizam’s officers and army and declared Paritala as republic on November 15, 1947.
“We did not celebrate Independence on August 15, 1947 though people around our villages celebrated it,” recalled Venkateswara Rao. However, after the Indian Army taking over the State of Hyderabad in 1948, the Indian government agreed for the merger of Paritala Republic with India in 1949. The heads of the Paritala Republic have held talks with the Indian government and the Madras State government for merger and it became a reality with its official merger on January 26, 1950. “The Paritala Republic was in force officially for one year seven days. But the official merger was given only in 1950 giving us a chance to celebrate the Republic,” he recalled.
Sitting right in front of Venkateswara Rao’s house in a makeshift cycle shop, 58-year-old Shaik Adam vehemently rejected the proposal for division of the State. “After 60 years why should the people be divided?” he shot back. His answers to the questions on his connection with Hyderabad and the benefits and losses of division and unity were in simple terms. “I go to Hyderabad occasionally for religious prayers. I have no children or relatives living in Hyderabad and I have no stakes there. It makes no difference if the State is divided or remains united or divided. But I know how the city was developed in the last 60 years to make it a right place for education and employment. How can we lose that place now?” he asked.
“I have been working in this shop repairing cycles for more than 30 years. I have to do the same if the State remains united or gets divided. But, my child is in school now and I don’t know if he wants to go there for a job later as we have no employment opportunities here,” he revealed his mind on his claim for the united State.
The rich have different approach for the issue. Bodepudi Nageswara Rao owns five acres and had sold one acre for highest price in 2009 when the first announcement of division of the State was made. “My son went to Hyderabad with some money after that and he is supplying sand for builders there. He can as well come back here and do the same business. But, the difference is the land value that is expected to shoot up if the State is divided and capital comes around Vijayawada,” he said.
However, he also shared the views of majority people from the village, who are poor. “The poor have sent their children for employment. There are a dozen children from this village working as small-time employees in Hyderabad. It might take another 50 years to build a city like Hyderabad that can give ready education and employment. What will happen to those who are already working there and those who are expected to go or even set plans to complete their study here and go in next five to six years?” Rao asked. “This is what most of the people are worried about with the proposal (for division). Majority people are not prepared to forgo their opportunities linked with the city,” he summed up.