Hyderabad: Some 20 eminent and Concerned Citizens of Hyderabad in a letter to the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, sought his intervention to issue appropriate directions to the Union of India and the state government not to resort to oppressive measures such as preventive arrests, erecting wire fences in the city and permit people of Telangana to exercise their constitutional right to March on September 30 (as briefly published in The Hans India on Tuesday).
The eminent citizens who represent various walks of life in their letter said that the demand for Telangana state today is loud and clear across the social, economic and political spectrum, and it is a demand based not only on numerous instances of discrimination and lack of development, but also as much about the self respect and dignity of 40 million people of India.
Following is the full text of the letter.
We the undersigned, representing people from several walks of life in Telangana, would like to bring to your kind notice, the current situation in Telangana in general and the specific aspects of the proposed Telangana March on 30th of September 2012. The demand for Telangana State today is loud and clear across the social, economic and political spectrum, and it is a demand based not only on numerous instances of discrimination and lack of development, but also as much about the self respect and dignity of 40 million people of India.
The situation in Telangana
For more than half a century now, the people of Telangana have been struggling for a separate State in order to get their judicious share of political power and resources for economic growth and prosperity. An entire decade has passed by since 2000 and it has ” been filled with intense social and political movements, the formation of several committees, the announcement of several deadlines, and an eventual announcement to initiate the process for the formation of Telangana. This process however, has been halted by agitation in some parts of the Andhra Region which was motivated and led by vested interests that have real estate interests in Hyderabad City.
The Million March of March 2011 serves as a reminder to the state and central governments, to the fact that future mass upsurges in Hyderabad in support of Telangana are a reality. Repressive measures will not compel the people of Telangana to give up their demand. lt is in the context that has been recounted above, that we would like to request you to notify the Central and State Governments to issue specific instructions not to resort to violence and illegal methods to stop theTelangana March on the 30th of September.
We have certain very serious concerns that we wish to bring to your attention and request appropriate action on them:
1. The State Government might resort to oppressive and illegal measures such as arrests of leaders. Students and ordinary people well before the 30th September in the name of preventive custody. Such a situation might actually provoke more people to come out onto the streets.
2. Judging by the precedent set in the Million March of 2011. We are seriously concerned that some powerful lobby groups will engage anti-social elements and bring them into the city to intimidate, confuse and also create tensions between communities.
3. As in the Million March, the Government might resort to erecting unprecedented road blocks in Hyderabad city to prevent any movement of people which is an undemocratic practice. Such a move at the very beginning of the International Conference on Biodiversity (COP 11) will most certainly showcase the city of Hyderabad in the worst light possible in the international arena and would harm the city’s image for a long time to come.
To use repression and create a terror-like situation in order to conduct a UN Conference is not the best way for India to project itself as largest democracy in the world.
Our appeal to you
On behalf of the people of Telangana and on our own behalf. We specifically appeal to you on the following aspects:
1. As the Defender and the Protector of the Constitution. Please ensure that the democratic rights of the 40 million people of Telangana are protected. Their right to march on the 30th September is constitutionally guaranteed.
2. We seek your intervention for issuing appropriate directions to the Union of India to ensure that the administration of the State of Andhra Pradesh is carried on strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of India, and thereby:
a) Not to resort to oppressive measures such as preventive arrests. erecting wire fences in the city etc., as that will actually prove to be counter-productive:
b) To take appropriate measures to prevent lobby groups in creating tensions in the city;
c) Not to treat this peaceful march as any threat to the law and order situation and provoke the people at large on or before 30th September. It is a legitimate constitutional expression of opinion by the people of Telangana.
It is important to bring to your notice that on the 17th September 2012. 13 out of 15 Telangana Ministers, including the Deputy Chief Minister of the Government of A.P., have written a letter demanding immediate announcement of Telangana state and stating that it is the only option which will bring normality. Several MPs from the Congress Party have openly declared support for the proposed 30th September Telangana March.
Finally we would like to bring to your notice that people losing faith in the democratic system is dangerous to the very fabric of democracy. Therefore we sincerely appeal to you to ensure that the Government of AP acts strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of lndia and does not infringe on the guaranteed democratic rights of Telangana people to carry on their march on the 30th of September peacefully.
List of Signatories
Justice B. Sudershan Reddy (Retd Judge, Supreme Court)
Prof Ch Hanumantha Rao (Former Member, Planning Commission)
Justice Sardar Ali Khan (Former Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh)
Justice Upendra Lal Waghray (Former Judge, AP High Court)
Syed Azeez Pasha (Former MP, Rajya Sabha)
Chukka Ramaiah, Member (Legislative Council of Andhra Pradesh)
K R Venugopal (Former Secretary to the Prime Minister)
Narendra Luther (Former Chief Secretary of AP)
Dr A Gopal Kishen (Director, Mediciti Hospitals)
Dr P M Bhargava (Founder-Director, CCMB)
H Rajendra Prasad (Former Chief Post Master General, AP)
Burgula Narsing Rao (Freedom Fighter)
Mahbub Alam Khan (Former Chairman, AP
Zaheeruddin Ali Khan (Editor, The Siasat Daily)
Prof. Rama Melkote (Retd Professor, Osmania University)
Hameed Mohammed Khan (President,
Movement for Peace & Justice)
B Narsing Rao (Film maker)
Dr Vithal Rajan (Founder-Member, World Future Council)
V Kondal Rao (Former Director, Telugu
Potturi Venkateshwar Rao (Former Chairman, Press Academy)
Courtesy: The Hans India