If Potti Sriramulu were alive today, he would likely be distraught at the splintering of his beloved Andhra. But he would find it hard to argue with the sentiments that led to the announcement of Telangana, India’s 29th state.

In 1952, Sriramulu, a former engineer with the Baroda

Bombay and Central India railway, began a fast-unto-death to pressure Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, to carve a state for Telugus out of what was then Madras state.

Nehru was unyielding, observes historian Ramachandra Guha in India After Gandhi : The History of the World’s Largest Democracy. Read more