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(Our Culture)
Issue: 60
5104 Kali Era , Chitrabhanu Year, Pushya month
1924 Salivahana Era , Chitrabhanu Year, Pushya month
2060 Vikramarka Era, Chitrabhanu year, Pushya month
 2002 AD, December
Author: Sreenivasarao Vepachedu , PhD, LLM
(Please read former Prime minister of India, Pamulaparti Venkatanarasimharao (PV)'s message on Telugu on Friday , February 21, 2003 here. It is in Telugu script and is best read using Internet Explorer: PV's Message)

The Cultural Fate of Hyderabad State

"To discover how people are coping with drastic urban growth, photographer Stuart Franklin and I went to São Paulo, Bangkok, Lagos, and Hyderabad…. It was the people, so tenacious, gallant, ingenious, and hopeful. These massive cities are not, as they may first appear, overloaded freighters with no rudder and a large hole in the hull. In the anonymous stretches of city peripheries and the deepest pockets of teeming old quarters, I found that what appeared to be each city's greatest burden—all those people—is in fact her richest resource." Erla Zwingle, National Geographic Magazine, November 2002.


Hyderabad City was founded on the banks of River Musi in 1589 by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah (1580-1612), the Muslim ruler of Golconda kingdom. Now a cosmopolitan City, Hyderabad is the Capitol of the state of Andhra Pradesh and is an administrative and commercial center and transportation hub with an international airport. Secunderabad, founded about 200 years ago as one of the largest British Cantonments in India, is the twin city across the reservoir Hussain Sagar. The twin-cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are for all purposes considered one, and are the home for approximately 8 million people. It is the fifth largest metropolis of the Indian Union. It is estimated that 23% of India's software professionals are from Andhra Pradesh and account for more than 50% of the Indian software engineers in the US and Europe. Hyderabad City, a city of minarets and bazaars, has it all - from architecture and museums to cinema theaters and restaurants.

Brief History: Approximately seven centuries of slavery under the Muslim autocracy and 50 years of democracy have influenced the culture of the Hyderabad City and the State. In the North India, the Muslim rule started with the defeat of the last Hindu and Buddhist empires in Afghanistan in early 7th century, while Vijayanagar (1336-1678) was the last Hindu empire to fall in the South. It took approximately 7 centuries for Islamic marauders to reach the south from the north-west. Telangana, the core of Hyderabad State, came under Muslim rule briefly when Alauddin Khilji from Delhi defeated the emperor Prataparudra of Kakatiya Dynasty that ruled from Warangal as Capitol, on March 19, 1310. The huge booty carried to Delhi by one thousand camels included the famous Kohinoor Diamaond. (Yes, this is the same Allauddin who plundered Chittorgarh for material and carnal booty, including queen Padmini. After a heroic resistance against his brutal Muslim onslaught for about eight months, valiant Rajputs were defeated and on the 26th of August 1303, under the leadership of Rani Padmini, the Rajput women plunged themselves into the fire to escape rape and slavery .) Warangal was taken back from Delhi sultanate in 1336 by Vijayanagar dynasty, which fell to Muslims later in 1678 and became part of Golconda state under Mughals. Nizam gifted away coastal Andhra to French in 1752. East India Company acquired Andhra from the French in 1766, which became part of Madras province of the British Empire. However, Hyderabad (Golconda) remained part of various Muslim dynasties for 7 centuries uninterrupted: Delhi sultanate (1310-1336), independent Bahmani sultanate - a major Muslim dynasty that ruled central and south India (1345-1512), Turkman Qutub Shahi dynasty of Golconda kingdom (1512-1687), Mughal Dynasty of Delhi (1687- 1724) and Nizam dynasty of Hyderabad (1724-1948).

Liberation: There was an increase in political and cultural awareness among peoples of Hindu religions of Hyderabad State at the end of 19 th century. As part of Nizam's grand design to counter the growing cultural and political awareness among Hindus (~90% of the total population at the time) in the state, the Telugu names of districts, for example, Elagandala, Palamuru, Induru, and Metuku were changed to Karim Nagar, Mahaboob Nagar, Nizamabad, and Medak respectively, and towns like Manukota and Bhuvanagir were renamed as Mahaboobnagar and Bhongir respectively in 1905. Village names ending in padu were changed to pahad. At the same time a proclamation was issued making Hyderabad State an Islamic state. In 1911, Mir Osman Ali Khan succeeded to the dynasty. During his rule Islamization of Hyderabad State was intensified. With the encouragement of the Nizam government a blatant communal organization Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen was formed. This organization along with "Anjuman Tabli Gulistan" inaugurated Tablig movement to convert Hindus to Islam. In August 1919, Osmania University was founded to impart higher education in Urdu medium to Muslims and Urdu speaking Hindus in Telangana. This was the first ever University in the last millennium in the Telugu land! The second university established was Andhra University in Andhra region of Madras province under the British raj in 1925. (The number of institutions of higher education per capita in Andhra Pradesh is way way way below that of any advanced country.)

Of course, the Nizam dynasty’s intentions were to annihilate the Hindu languages and cultures. Hindu students had to face many hardships and restrictions at the University. The Hindu cultures and religions were openly ridiculed, e.g., during Milad-un-Nabi celebrations of 1937, Prof. Maulvi Nazarul Hassan Gilani openly admonished the Muslims for their failure to convert Hindus to Islam by saying, " I am pained to see the inertness amongst Muslims, when there exist still 22 million of ‘Dung Worshippers’ in this country (Hyderabad State)." Similarly, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, father of Islamic State of Pakistan (Islamic Pure State), addressed the students of Osmania University as "my Muslim students," ignoring Hindus among the students.

Kasim Razvi, the president of Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen in erstwhile Hyderabad State, believed that he was destined to plant Asafia flag on the Red Fort in Delhi and make the waves of the Bay of Bengal wash the feet of Nizam. He was successful in intoxicating thousands of Muslims of Hyderabad State to enroll as razakars and take pledge to maintain the Muslim supremacy in Deccan and Hyderabad State. When the British left the Indian Continent in 1947, the Nizam wished to remain independent, while Hindus wanted to join the democratic Indian Union. A series of riots and mayhem, known as Razakar movement were instigated by the Nizam and Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen party against popular demand "Join India" to join the Indian Union and overthrow the Muslim autocracy. Finally, the Hyderabad State joined the Indian Union with the help of the Union army in 1948, in an action popularly known as the police action. However, communal riots between Muslims and Hindus continued due to communal ‘divide and rule policy’ and minority-vote-bank politics of Congress party until saffron clad Nandamuri Taraka Ramarao (NTR) became Chief Minister.

The Hyderabad state was partitioned into three states Telangana, Maratha, Karnataka, as demanded by the people of the Hyderabad State. Later, Telangana was merged with Andhra State to form the present state of Andhra Pradesh in 1956. Andhra State was the first state to form in the Indian Union based on the linguistic nationality in 1953 to protect the Andhra national language and culture from Tamil dominance in the combined Madras province. Thus, erstwhile Hyderabad State is now divided among Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh states in the Indian Union.

New Culture: Thus, Telangana was coerced to develop a distinct culture and language in the past 7 centuries under Muslim autocratic rule. The language of Telangana may be termed Turdu, a language dominated by Urdu vocabulary written in Telugu script. While Andhra had developed a Telugu dominated by Sanskrit and English. Even the food habits were influenced by Muslim and Western cultures. Even traditionally vegetarian, yoga practitioners and believers of non-violence like Brahmins in Telangana proudly proclaim that they relish chicken and mutton biryani, a Hyderabad special!

What about dress? Men’s wear changed long time ago. They gave up their traditional lungi and dhoti and took Islamic kurtapajama and then European dress. Every aspect of life in the society has been influenced, including the genes.  One can write several books on each and every individual cultural, physical, genetic change that Indians have experienced. Well, that was all in the past during the horrible millennium of slavery and before! What is happening now? Let us look at a fundamental aspect of culture, the language. I am not a snooty linguist or leftist phony historian to decipher arcane mysteries of language evolution, but let us take a look at it from the perspective of a layman!

In the past 50 years, Turdu speaking Telangana and Telugu speaking Andhra and Rayalaseema in the new democratic state of Andhra Pradesh have developed a new language and culture, of their own sweet accord without any coercion form any autocratic or imperialist rule. Today, the language in Andhra Pradesh is Tenglish, a Telugu dominated by English vocabulary. The words borrowed from English include such fundamental vocabulary like father, mother, brother, sister, wife, family, gender, food, water, milk, rice, air, numbers, home, house, hall, flat, apartment, animals like dogs, cats, etc., verbs and activities like, eat, sleep, make love, sex, love, live, brush, wash, bath, bathe, think, thank etc., fruits, vegetables and flowers like apples, banana, tomatoes, jasmine, roses etc., colors like violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, red etc. Body parts like ears, teeth, nose, hair, skin etc., diseases and conditions like fever, cold, cough, tired, headache etc., body fluids like phlegm, tears, semen, blood etc. replaced the old, archaic and embarrassing words! Words borrowed and modified by English from Telugu like curry, bandicoot etc. are now in Tenglish in their modified English forms. And of course, there are technical terms and inventions that must be borrowed from English or Latin, as Europeans discovered them, like car, bus, train, phone, etc. The list is endless.

By the way, they are replacing only those basic words that were borrowed from Sanskrit and Urdu! It is cyclical, just like life! By the end of the first millennium of Christian era, various kings of this region voluntarily embraced Sanskrit, and by the time Muslims came Telugu was Sanskritized so much that until recently it was considered one of the Indo-European Sanskrit based languages. So, some Telugus wish to translate technical words for inventions and ideas they didn’t know and invent like car, TV, phone, Windows 95 etc., into Telugu using Sanskrit vocabulary. While educated Hyderabadis think that it is inappropriate to use Telugu word annamu and that the proper word is rice.   Note that Andhra Pradesh is one of the most uneducated and illiterate states in the Indian Union! Telangana is the lowest with less than 36% literacy! Yet, I say baagunnaara, they say "havaar yu ?" I say namaskaaramu, they say hello. I say snaanalagadi , they say baathroomu. I say annamu, they say raisu. I say okati, they say van (one). I say uppu, they say saalTu (salt)…. Well, you get the idea. I am not talking their language. My language is dead. My language is Telugu. Their language is Tenglish . Well, that is the living language! Good thing about it is that Telugu joined the group of great languages like Sanskrit and Latin! The Tenglish don’t understand Telugu any more than they understand Sanskrit or Latin! Actually, you can never express anymore in Telugu feelings like "I love you," "thank you," etc. without feeling extremely awkward! I feel like a Thescelosaurus (vegetarian dinosaur) amongst modern omnivores! 

The Benefits: As a matter of fact, life is easier now. I can simply speak English and the Tenglish will understand me better! In every office, Tenglish or English gets the job done. In every home Tenglish or English has more currency. An American has to just add a couple of Tenglish words here and there and his/her English would be very good Tenglish! Anybody can do it, even a Russian who can speak some English! Amazing! Isn’t it?

And out of my sheer selfishness, I feel sad because I can't speak anywhere my language anymore. Of course, the bitterness is due to lack of enough practice of yoga. Let me digress a little bit here. You see, it requires a minimum threshold level of practice to get the benefit of any process. To get the benefits of meditation one has to meditate at least 40 minutes per sitting. Don’t forget that you need to do aerobic exercises for one hour to get their benefits and practice yoga exercises for another hour and then do yoga meditation. Who has the time? Nevertheless, if you want peace and health, you have no choice!

After all, who can stop the tide and control human nature? The Tenglish know better! The Tenglish people of Andhra Pradesh have a unique quality, which makes them the fittest supple and malleable survivors (be careful, I didn’t say ‘spineless’) and helps them through slavery and freedom equally!  This accomplishment also makes the life of an English speaker easier in Hyderabad, at least until English is replaced by another useful language which may not happen until several hundreds of years from now, hopefully.  Now Tenglish people just have to get rid of their script and adopt roman script. Thanks to Internet, it is already happening!

Conclusion: The Tenglish should feel vindicated and proud when they read Jerry Knowles’ comments in this 1997 article . Tamils would do better if they use Tamglish and stop fighting for Elam in Sri Lanka, and, of course, only if Sinhalese became Singlish. Similarly, Frenglish, Runglish, Spanglish, Itanglish, etc. are better than their counterparts. World would be a better place, if everybody learns the Tenglish way - best way and the Tao!

avaru Tenglishu madaru ku jasminu gaarlanDu (Jasmine Garland to Our Tenglish Mother)

Better yet,

jasminu gaarlanDu Tu avaru Tenglishu madaru (Jasmine Garland to Our Tenglish Mother)

haava haappi nyu yiyaru!

Sreenivasarao Vepachedu

"Those who have nothing for which they are willing to die, have nothing for which to live."

A History of India, by Herman, K. and Dieter, R.
History of Modern Andhra, by Raghunadharao, P.
History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh, by Raghunadharao P.
Telugu Sahitya Sameeksha, by Nagayya, G.
A Cultural History of India, by A. L. Basham.
A History of India, by Romilla Thapar

Update: Please read former Prime minister of India, Venkatanarasimharao Pamulaparti (PV)'s message on Telugu on Friday, February 21, 2003 here. It is in Telugu script and is best read using Internet Explorer: PV's Message

Russia bans foreign words

Friday, February 7, 2003, Deccan Chronicle

Moscow: Russia’s parliament has passed a law banning the use of foreign or offensive words, which have been used by President Vladimir Putin and other politicians to spice up public addresses. The bill entrenches Russian as the ‘state language’ and bars ‘offensive’, ‘obscene’ and ’vulgar’ words. Foreign words are also outlawed when Russian-language equivalents exist. The legislation provided no specific penalties for offenders and will probably have little effect.

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Vepachedu Educational Foundation, Inc
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Om! Asatoma Sadgamaya, Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya, Mrityorma Amritamgamaya, Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih!
(Aum! Lead the world from wrong path to the right path, from ignorance to knowledge, from mortality to immortality and peace!)

The Andhra Journal of Industrial News (AJIN)
The Telangana Science Journal (TSJ)
Mana Sanskriti (Our Culture) (MS)
Vegetarian Links Disclaimer