Hostility and hypocrisy

By Madabhushi Sridhar

The writer is Professor & Coordinator, Center for Media Law & Public Policy, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad

August 13,2013, 08.29 AM IST

Seemandhra held its capital in military tents for three years in Kurnool, instead of constructing its own capital city, with an eye on Hyderabad. At that time the slogan was “one State for One Language people of Telugu” with a hidden desire for taking over Hyderabad. Now the slogan is ‘don’t break the integrated State’, the latent demand being ‘don’t give Hyderabad to Telangana’. Hypocrisy is all around Hyderabad, whether it is politicians or their parties or the media. The Chief Minister, Leader of the Opposition, intellectuals and democratic reformists are no exception.

Visalandhra protagonists failed to explain how it could be called ‘integration’ when the name and people of Telangana were not part of it. Though the decision to divide was declared to be irrevocable, it is difficult to believe its implementation in the absence of impartial leaders at the helm of affairs, especially when the CM himself heavily relied on wrong statistics to directly opposed Telangana formation.

When the Chief Minister and PCC chief signed a letter seeking revision of the CWC decision for division, their U-turn was complete. Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha lamented that the commander should not be a conspirator. With the resignation of YS Jaganmohan Reddy, MP, and his mother Vijayamma, MLA, along with a letter opposing division, the U turn of the YSRCP got confirmed. The Leader of the Opposition, Chandrababu of the TDP, joined the bandwagon in a hurry to gain political mileage in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. All the three parties have fooled their leaders in Telangana, another blow to the self-respect of Telangana. The love of the TDP, the YSRCP and the Congress for integrity is so high that even if Hyderabad is declared a Union Territory they would be happy.

Telangana must salute Dr B R Ambedkar for his visionary scripting of Article 3, and his defence of each word in the Constituent Assembly, which facilitated the minority in AP to oppose unjust majority’s imposition over it and convince the Centre to take them out of the clutches of anti-Telangana leaders and dealers of different sub regions. It is a case of tyranny of the majority over the minority. Though they agreed directly and a consensus was achieved, they promised to abide by a decision; almost all political parties consented, if not, not opposed, the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema continuing to depart from their own stand, only to deprive Telangana of its heart, the 400-year-old Hyderabad, simply because some of them had stayed here for a few years, with slogans of integrity and brotherhood. Perhaps, there is no parallel to this kind of hostility towards a region.

It appears that this hostility is just manifestation of their ego as they do not want Telangana to be out of their dominance and lose claims to Hyderabad, which was, is and will be the capital of Telangana.

Anti-Telangana lobbyists are coming up with different faces, such as ‘safeguards’, ‘security’, ‘revenue share’ in Hyderabad to Seemandhra. They raise issue of security though there is no single instance of attack during the decade-old Telangana agitation. Strangely, they do not talk about safety of Seemandhras in all ten districts of Telangana who settled there peacefully. They want rulers of Telangana not to have any powers over law and order and land in (Hyderabad only), just to satisfy their ego.

It is in this context that constitutional issues crop up though security is mainly a governance deficit and insecurity is the result of misgovernance. They want Hyderabad to be converted into either Chandigarh or Delhi. It cannot be Chandigarh because Coastal Andhra or Rayalaseema is not attached to Hyderabad. It is geographically difficult and ridiculous for any State to have its capital in a neighbouring State. It is against basic principles of administrative law and constitutional governance. To make it Chandigarh, they even demand Nalgonda or Mahboobnagar to gain access to Hyderabad. This is not likely because of stiff opposition to it from Telangana.

National Capital Region (NCR) Delhi is under the rule of Lieutenant Governor, assisted and advised by a Council of Ministers formed out of elected Legislative Assembly, without powers to deal with land, law & order and police. This peculiar position was possible only by Amendment to the Constitution. If the Constitution is amended again to remove powers of Telangana Assembly over three key subjects, Hyderabad may not be called Union Territory or may or may not create a separate Legislative Assembly, as that was in Delhi NCR; it will be like Central rule in Hyderabad for ten years.

The National Capital Region (NCR) included the neighbouring cities of Baghpat, Gurgaon, Sonepat, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida and other nearby towns. (Greater Hyderabad is made by merging peripheral municipalities, perhaps with the intention of creating such a UT. The Union of India and the Government of NCT of Delhi jointly administer New Delhi where both bodies are located.

By the Constitution (69th Amendment) Act in 1991, special provisions were added to the Constitution after Article 239A in Part VIII, Union Territories as 239AA, which says the Lt Governor will be an administrator and there will be a Legislative Assembly. The most important aspect is that the executive and legislative power of NCR Delhi will extend to entries in List II (State) and III (Concurrent, which means both State and Centre can make law on these entries) except matters with respect to Entries 1, 2 and 18 of State List and Entries 64, 65 and 66 of that List in so far as they relate to Entries 1, 2, and 18.

Within List II (State) Entry 1 is Public order (but not including the use of any naval, military or air force or any other armed force of the Union or of any other force subject to the control of the Union or of any contingent or unit thereof] in aid of the civil power), 2 is Police (including railway and village police) subject to the provisions of entry 2A of List I, and 18 is: Land, that is to say, rights in or over land, land tenures including the relation of landlord and tenant, and the collection of rents; transfer and alienation of agricultural land; land improvement and agricultural loans; colonization.
Entry 64: Offences against laws with respect to any of the matters in this List. 65: Jurisdiction and powers of all courts, except the Supreme Court, with respect to any of the matters in this List. 66. Fees in respect of any of the matters in this List, but not including fees taken in any court.

Following are legal possibilities with regard to Hyderabad: a) Hyderabad will be Union Territory for 10 years, accommodating Capitals of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, b) the present Greater Hyderabad will be a separate territory considered as Hyderabad Capital Region (HCR on the lines of NCR -National Capital Region), c) HCR also might have a Legislative Assembly like that of Delhi. (They may call it by a different name). The Assemblies and CMs of HCR, Telangana and AP will not have any executive or legislative power on ‘Public Order, Police and Land, which are very crucial subjects’, d) If Hyderabad does not have Assembly, Telangana Assembly might be given all administrative controls over Hyderabad, except ‘Public Order, Police, Land and powers of controls, fee and other aspects over these three, which means even revenue which might go to the Centre.

Thus Telangana or the Hyderabad Assembly will be deprived of any power to rule or legislate on Public Order, Police and Land besides offences, jurisdiction of courts, and fees in respect of these matters relating to Hyderabad. With all those key powers, the Government of India and the HCR will jointly administer Hyderabad.

Then Seemandhra leaders started exploring options to gain a grip over Hyderabad by raising demands similar to those of Gujaratis over Bombay in the 1960s. Bombay as capital remained with Maharashtra after hundreds laid down their lives demanding their own city. Gujaratis continued their industrial and business ventures in Bombay without any difficulty. It is not necessary that capital city is confused with industrial and business enterprises as that happened in Hyderabad. Capital needs are different from commercial and industrial facilities. If Hyderabad is the capital of a State, such a State will naturally get power to collect taxes over profits arising out of industries and commerce. For having invested in Hyderabad none can claim rulership over it.

As clearly stated by Dr Ambedkar, (with reference to Gujaratis and Bombay) the investors are like tenants who can never become owners. Hyderabad accommodated not only Seemandhra entrepreneurs but also businessmen from other regions and multinational companies from other countries. Seemandhra leaders and intellectuals are claiming a share in the revenue of Hyderabad, another illegal and atrocious demand. How many could claim shares over the revenue of Hyderabad?

Those who demand share in revenue from Telangana State should also prepare to share the losses and loans besides paying compensation for deprivations they inflicted. Natural justice will not allow the sharing of assets alone in any partition without sharing liabilities and losses. Some gentlemen proposed compensation of loss of Andhras by Telangana for leaving Hyderabad.

This also should be reciprocal; the losses suffered by Telangana over 57 years by illegal diversion of river waters, rich minerals, power, coal and deprivation of employment to local Telanganites also should be compensated for. Time has come to shed ego and reconcile to the independence of Telangana from unnecessary and unjust dominance of a few Seemandhra politicians. If Hyderabad is the only city in AP, it is an example of inefficient governments past and present. Who will compensate thousands of people who laid down their lives for these hypocritical rulers? It is a shame. [Source: The Hans India]

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