Old History, New Geography: Bifurcating Andhra Pradesh

by Jairam Ramesh

  • Category Politics
  • Format Hardback
  • Imprint Rupa
  • Price 500
  1. ISBN: 978-81-291-3963-4
  2. Pages: 264 pages
  3. Date: June 2016


In November 1956, a unified Telugu-speaking state of Andhra Pradesh came into being. In February 2014, Parliament bifurcated it to create two Telugu-speaking states: Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Old History, New Geography provides the context, text and subtext to the bifurcation, which continues to be contentious and controversial.

Jairam Ramesh makes an ideal commentator, given that he was a key member of the group of ministers (GoM) set up by the United Progressive Alliance government in October 2013 to prepare the legislation for the bifurcation. For the next seven months, he became the GoM’s prime mover and its public face—and was thus always in the crossfire—as it strove to balance competing claims and differing demands to ensure a just and equitable outcome.

Blending sharp commentary and humour, and drawing on his meticulously maintained personal records, parliamentary debates and a variety of thus far undisclosed primary sources, Ramesh recounts this momentous event as it unfolded. He brings to the Andhra bifurcation story the kind of authority and authenticity only an insider can.

This singularly important book is a narrative of history told first-hand by someone who was not just a witness to it but one who actually shaped it. Combining an intensely personal account with in-depth scholarship, Old History, New Geography is a must-read not only for academia but, crucially, also for the general reader seeking an understanding of contemporary India.


Jairam Ramesh, Member of Parliament, has held key ministerial portfolios during 2006–2014: rural development, drinking water and sanitation, and environment and forests, apart from commerce and power (as Minister of State). Besides this, in his capacity as an economist and policy expert, he has been the Advisor to the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister. He has also served in the Planning Commission, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Advisory Board on Energy.

He is the author of some notable books including To the Brink and Back: India’s 1991 Story and Green Signals: Ecology, Growth, and Democracy in India.

Featured Books