But as the agitation has ebbed and flowed, the debate about the fate of Hyderabad has transformed too. Where once there was passionate rage and possessiveness there is now a more sanguine, inclusive mood. “Hyderabad has accepted different cultures. People from the coastal region have migrated here and contributed to the development of the city just as people from other parts of the country (have),” says K T Rama Rao of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the party that has been at the vanguard of the fight for a separate state.
The TRS will not settle for a Telangana that does not have Hyderabad as its capital, but Rao is mindful of the fact that Hyderabad’s continuing prosperity cannot be ensured by the residents of Telangana alone. “We are not asking anybody to leave the city. We want the city to develop and would encourage investment from all sections.”
After all, Hyderabad is the state’s golden egg laying goose. Of the state’s sales-tax collections of around Rs 30,000 crore in the last fiscal, nearly three-fourths came from Hyderabad alone. The city is also one of India’s prominent information technology hubs, contributing most of Andhra Pradesh’s Rs 36,000-crore revenue from software exports. Hyderabad is also home to 1,300 IT firms, including the likes of Facebook and Microsoft.
Migration & Mulkis
Hyderabad’s history makes it a city unlike other metropolitan centres such as Chennai, Kolkata or Mumbai. “These cities started as trade centres whereas Hyderabad emerged more as a cultural and romantic capital symbolising communal harmony,” says G Haragopal, a civil liberties activist and former professor at Hyderabad Central University. Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah of the Qutb Shahi dynasty promoted Telugu literature and trade links by sea through the Machilipatnam port over four centuries ago. Later, when the Mughals took over in 1687, Hyderabad was just another city of the Mughal empire, administered from Aurangabad. After the death of Aurangzeb, the Asaf Jahis declared themselves as independent rulers of Hyderabad state.