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

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The Dissolution of 'United' Andhra Pradesh

Insights from Growth and Distribution Patterns, 1956-2010

This paper explores the political economy of growth and distribution in Andhra Pradesh by dividing the period since 1956 (when the state was formed) into four different regimes. AP has transformed from an agriculture-based economy at the time of its formation to a service-sector based economy today. A political economy narrative of the process is described with focus on three important cleavages - class, caste and region. It is argued that there has been a crisis for both the idea and materiality of AP for a while that has now led to an imminent dissolution of the "united state". The development of a particular variety of capitalism in AP has happened through the successful wearing down of two major radical mobilisations (during the 1930s-50s and 1970s-90s) and through a counter-radical episode of primitive accumulation that began in the 1980s which continues till today.

This paper was written for the birth centenary conference of P Sundarayya, held in Hyderabad in April 2013, and well before the Congress Working Committee’s announcement about creating a separate Telangana. We have now incorporated minor changes after the announcement. For their comments, we thank participants of the above conference, particularly D Narasimha Reddy, V Ramakrishna, and B N Yugandhar, an anonymous reviewer, and the participants of the workshop on varieties of state-capital relations held at Kings College (London). We also thank M H Suryanarayana for providing us with inequality computations for Andhra Pradesh for the pre-1983 period, C Ravi for providing us with the district domestic product data, and S L Shetty for providing us with assistance with state domestic product data.

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