Feudal lords reduced Telangana peasantry to labourers: Experts

Feudal lords reduced Telangana peasantry to labourers: Experts
Highlights

Rampant exploitation of society by feudal lords was landmark in Telangana under erstwhile Asaf Jahi’s Rule, opined scholars at a national-level history seminar at Kakatiya University.  

Hanamkonda: Rampant exploitation of society by feudal lords was landmark in Telangana under erstwhile Asaf Jahi’s Rule, opined scholars at a national-level history seminar at Kakatiya University.

The KU’s Department of History and Tourism Management organised a two-day national seminar on ‘Agrarian and Artisan Communities in Telangana (late medieval and modern period)’. The university Vice-Chancellor Prof R Sayanna presided over the inaugural ceremony here on Tuesday.

In his inaugural address, Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) former chairman and retired professor Y Sudarshan Rao noted that Telangana region had a rich heritage even before Nizams of Hyderabad ruled the area.

A careful analysis of the regions’ past reveals that the region had a special identification of its own in the country in terms of geography, economy and intellectual progress, during rule of Satavahanas
and Kakatiyas.

Telangana being an open society, since ages, accommodated and adopted different religions and philosophies. But during Asaf Jahi’s rule, the system of ‘jagirdari’ and ‘jamindari’ was introduced and was deeply rooted in the society, Sudarshan Rao explained.

On the other hand, cottage industries, village industries and artisan communities were wiped out due to industrialisaton during the British raj. Then after Independence, Telangana had a peculiar situation wherein its problems were over looked by rulers, though it was under democratic regime, he averred.

Osmania University retired professor Adapa Satyanarayana also expressed similar views in his keynote address. He said, “The basic feature of the socio-economic life of people in Telangana was unbridled feudal exploitation under Asaf Jahis”.

Enjoying backing of the rulers at that time, ‘Doras’ and ‘Deshmukhs’ have reduced the peasantry to the position of tenants and labourers by grabbing thousands of acres of fertile agriculture lands, at will, he said.

Though Salarjung introduced land reform legislation in 18th century and later granted some rights to farmers, such measures failed to protect their rights and interests. Population explosion and scarcity of agriculture land also helped the feudal lords to have a hold on farming community, Satyanarayana noted.

A professor from Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Women's University, Mumbai, Varsha Shirgaonkar pointed out the similarities prevailed among agrarian and artisan communities of medieval and modern period in Maharashtra and Telangana.

Warangal Zilla Parishad CEO S Vijaya Gopal said Kerala made remarkable progress because of its effective Panchayath Raj system. Telangana government’s Land Records Upgradation programmes would avoid hurdles for farmers in availing crop loans and subsidies, he added.

The seminar coordinator Prof S Srinath, department head Prof T Vijaya Babu, faculty Prof T Manohar, Prof T Srinivas, Prof Tirumali, T Dayakar Rao, P Sadanandam and others were present.

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