ET Says “Move On Telangana”

Within one month, Economic Times has come out with a second editorial support Telangana statehood. In the latest editorial, they ahow the way forward which looks quite practical and doable. Is Delhi listening?


Move on Telangana

Procrastination can lead to painful consequences, as the Congress party can testify after having first rushed to announce formation of a separate state of Telangana and then dragged its feet on acting on the promise. Now that legislators from the region have resigned en masse, including those from the Congress party , there is pressure on the party and the central government to act. At the same time, it is bad policy to concede a demand like formation of a separate state virtually at sword-point : that would be an invitation for a thousand separatist movements to brandish their swords around the country.

So, is there a way out? Yes, there is, and that is to honestly confront the nub of the problem in creating a separate state of Telangana. That means resolving what to do with Hyderabad. The rest of Andhra Pradesh has huge stakes, in terms of physical, cultural and emotional investment in the city. They are loath to part with it in a hurry. At the same time, there is little point in forming Telanagana without Hyderabad as its capital. While it is not possible to reconcile both demands fully, it is possible for Andhra Pradesh ex-Telangana to disengage from Hyderabad over a period of time, during which an alternative capital city could be built in a suitable location. Hyderabad could serve as the shared capital of both states during this period. All that remains to be done is to define the terms of disengagement, the financial implications, how much of the cost, if any, would be borne by Telangana, how much by the Centre, etc.

A committee with representatives of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and the Centre could be formed with this specific and time-bound mandate. All legislators could take back their resignations and allow this committee to work. Its report could be vetted and adopted, leading to formation of the new state. This essentially calls for a few more months of patience on the part of the Telangana agitators. An appeal for such patience would need to carry credibility. And that would be achieved if the appeal for patience pending the working of this committee is made by someone like the Prime Minister or the Congress president.

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