By: Suneel Rajavaram
Undemocratic merger of Telangana with Andhra: Despite major protests organized by the people of Telangana against merger of Telangana with Andhra state, Telangana people’s opinion was not even asked in 1956. No mechanism existed to solicit the opinion of Telangana people neither at that time nor does it exist even in the current times in the People ’s Republic of India. Fazal Ali committee’s recommendation was never implemented. The recommendation of the committee was to form Telangana state in 1956 and take Telangana assembly’s opinion about merger with Andhra after five years in 1961, which never happened.
In 1969, Telangana people’s request for a separate was literally shot down by leaders like Indira Gandhi and Brahmananda Reddy, 370 Telangana youth were shot dead. From 2001 to 213, successive governments in Delhi and Hyderabad adopted delaying tactics and the current UPA government announced separate Telangana state – just 3 weeks ago, on July 30th.
The so called proponents of democracy are twisting the facts and coming out with a farcical argument that recently announced decision on Telangana was for political gains. At the same time, these pseudo-democrats have conveniently forgotten that a genuine democratic request of Telangana people was not considered for the last 57 years both because of the political and economic clout of Andhra people and dictatorial tendencies of rules in Delhi and Hyderabad.
Bankruptcy of Andhra Intellectuals: It is so ironical that in a country like India which boasts about its democratic achievements, there is no genuine democratic mechanism to record and grant the wishes of Telangana people. On top of it, some sections of Semandhra society are vehemently opposing Telangana formation. But opposition of Semanadhra people how does it count? Why should it count? Or shall it count at all? In a democratic process, shouldn’t be Telangana people alone given chance to express their choice of demerger from Andhra state. Why Telangana people’s aspirations are being muzzled by majority Seemandhra’s noise for united Andhra? Is it the state of bankruptcy of intellectuals in Andhra and India that is failing to ask the right questions at this historical juncture?
An illogical and ridiculous demand: If Telangana people are vehemently opposing the merger and want a separate state, it is clear that there is no united desire to keep Andhra united. The simple definition of unity is agreeing on one idea and that does not exist because Telangana people are not agreeing to remain with Andhra Pradesh. United Andhra movement is defying the logic and the ethical considerations of natural justice to the people of entire Telangana region are completely missing from the picture.
No faith and trust in Andhra leaders: Economically, socially, educationally and politically advanced Andhra people have an advantage over Telangana people who are relatively backward in the all the conceivable indicators. To perpetuate their advantage, powerful sections among Andhra people trying to force united Andhra on Telangana people. However Telangana people lost complete faith and trust in Andhra rulers for multiple reasons. The prime reason being – it is always powerful Andhra elements who used their good offices against the interest of Telangana people.
To quote a few examples from the history;
1. Andhra political leaders like Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy dishonored the gentleman’s agreement to have a Dy. Chief Minister from Telangana that too being a signatory to the agreement.
2. Politicians from Seemandhra such as Chandra Babu and YSR used their offices to block the formation of Telangana.
3. Movie stars who were revered by Telangana people such as NTR and Chiranjeevi, who hail from Andhra after becoming politicians worked to advance Andhra hegemony over Telangana people.
4. Journalists of Andhra origin such as RK and P Sainath have clearly shown their bias towards Andhra people by writing against Telangana agitation.
5. Intellectuals or I should say pseudo-intellectuals such as Parakala Prabhakar and Sanjay Baru have used their professional achievements and personal connections to discredit Telangana’ movement, though in vain.
Telangana people are hurt not once but so many times – 1952, 1956, 1969, 1972, 2001, 2004 and 2009. Now they are watching the antics of Andhra elements anxiously and I am sure, they will teach a lesson to whomever working against their genuine aspirations.
Lessons from the History: However, history always leaves forceful reminders to one and all. But it is only wise people who learn from it. In 1953, Madras state was divided because a region wanted it. Nevertheless leaders like Nehru and Rajaji never gave in to Andhra’s unjustified demands and didn’t concede Madras to Andhra state. In 2013, Andhra Pradesh will be divided because another region, Telangana, wants it. History will be repeated and Andhra’s unjustified demands will not be met once again. Hyderabad should not be shared with Andhra people.
People of Telangana, be focused and be alert to defeat the machinations of Andhra elements. Let us not compromise on Hyderabad. There is no need for a joint capital. Andhra government can function without Hyderabad. Again, it does not make sense that, none of the big cities in Andhra can supply three buildings- one for the state assembly, one for the secretariat and one for the high court. It is a pretext to continue the litigation, beware!
My sincere request to all political leaders from Telangana , TJAC leaders and student leaders to keep up the pressure and don’t give in. This is the need of the hour and victory is in sight!