ANANTAPUR: Rayalaseema-based organisations and pro activists are opposing the film industry for still using Rayalaseema region as ceded area for the distribution of films to the different areas. The distribution rights are bought for Nizam area, Ceded area and Andhra regions.
Apart from the Telugu film industry, even Bollywood is selling territory rights to ceded districts with Kurnool, Kadapa, Chittoor and Anantapur occupying more than 20 percent of the business.
Rayalaseema activists have been opposing the word ‘Ceded’ stating that the word was nothing but leaving the present Rayala-seema region by Nizam rulers to British rulers towards Synika Bharanam. The present-day region of Rayalaseema was officially referred to as the ‘Ceded districts’ (Datta Mandalalu) under the British Madras presidency, since the districts had been ceded by the Nizam of Hyderabad to the British. The local intellectuals found the name ‘Datta Mandalalu’ to be insulting. In 1928, a strong dislike was expressed by the leaders in the Andhra Mahasabha, held at Nandyal in Kurnool district and they have sought to rename it.
The region got its name ‘Rayalaseema’ with a proposal from Chilukuri Narayana Rao and this was accepted. The name hearkened back to the Emperor Sri Krishnadeva ‘Raya’ of Vijayanagara times, whose kings used a suffix Raya and Rayalaseema as 'the region of ‘Rayalu rule’.
During the British era, the Nizam of Hyderabad ceded this area to the British, and hence was called Ceded districts. After Independence, it was renamed as Rayalaseema as ‘seema’ was an administrative territorial entity of the Vijayanagara empire similar to today's district.
The four districts of the region were part of the Madras presidency until 1953. From 1953-1956, the region was a part of Andhra atate and in 1956, the Telangana region was merged with Andhra State to form Andhra Pradesh State.
On 2 February 1970, three taluks from Kurnool i.e., Markapur, Cumbum and Giddalur were merged along with some other taluks of Nellore district and Guntur district to form Prakasam district.
“The film distributors and producers were repeatedly using the word ceded insulting and hurting tens of lakhs of people from Rayalaseema though ceded changed 90 years ago”, said Appireddy Harinath Reddy, historian and Rayalaseema cultural activist. He further added that most of the film industry was using brand name of Rayalaseema for films but continued to use ceded for the business.
Mr Reddy demanded the name to be changed in the film industry so that the greatness of Rayalaseema could be acknowledged.
“We have already sent letters to producers and film distributors of film industry not to use name Ceded for Rayalaseema”, he said.
The Rayalaseema advocates too are protesting against the government for not considering decades’ old pact between leaders of Rayalaseema and Coastal areas. “Presently, both the state capital and AP High Court are being set up in Coastal area which is an injustice to Rayalaseema region,” senior advocate Rajasekhar observed and demanded that at least a High Court bench should be set up in Rayalaseema.