ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Origin and Historical Evolution of the Identity of Modern Telugus

The "linguistic principle" following the States Reorganisation Act of 1956 was framed as a cultural bond and administrative facilitator for socio-economic prosperity. It has not only been challenged intermittently but also contested as a unifying concept. From the historical point of view, the emergence of the current separate Telangana movement of Andhra Pradesh is testimony to the failure or even death of regional historiography or history consciousness, out of which the Telugu people's identity once sought to evolve. The historical understanding of a small group of Telugu intellectuals under colonialism finally developed into an imagined common historiography of the Telugus as Andhras. Giving the name "Andhra" to the Telugu region in the 20th century was arbitrary and was due to the intervention of a new historical consciousness emerging among Telugu intellectuals. From the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, describing the Telugu people as Andhras and the Telugu region as the A ndhra region was not a simple matter of naming. It was an example of a particular historical interpretation that was rooted in colonialism and modernisation. The history of a separate Telangana movement, in a sense, follows a process to bid farewell to the colonial legacy of a modern intellectual tradition formed around regional language and history.

SPECIAL ARTICLE

Origin and Historical Evolution of the Identity of Modern Telugus

Yamada Keiko

The “linguistic principle” following the States Reorganisation Act of 1956 was framed as a cultural bond and administrative facilitator for socio-economic prosperity. It has not only been challenged intermittently but also contested as a unifying concept. From the historical point of view, the emergence of the current separate Telangana movement of Andhra Pradesh is testimony to the failure or even death of regional historiography or history consciousness, out of which the Telugu people’s identity once sought to evolve. The historical understanding of a small group of Telugu intellectuals under colonialism finally developed into an imagined common historiography of the Telugus as Andhras. Giving the name “Andhra” to the Telugu region in the 20th century was arbitrary and was due to the intervention of a new historical consciousness emerging among Telugu intellectuals. From the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, describing the Telugu people as Andhras and the Telugu region as the A ndhra region was not a simple matter of naming. It was an example of a particular historical interpretation that was rooted in colonialism and modernisation. The history of a separate Telangana movement, in a sense, follows a process to bid farewell to the colonial legacy of a modern intellectual tradition formed around regional language and history.

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