By: Sujai Karampuri
To sustain Samaikyandhra agitations, which do not have a clearly defined goal other than greed and selfishness, imaginary fears are being created amongst Seemandhra population. Telangana people are called ‘traitors’ and ‘secessionists’. Sharmila of YSRCP has said that Telangana will become Pakistan. The farmers in Seemandhra believe that their region will become a ‘desert’ and ‘graveyard’ once Telangana is formed. Seemandhras believe they won’t have food to eat, and water to drink and that their people will be jobless. Even the recent price hike for onions, which was a national phenomenon, was attributed to announcement of Telangana. They also believe that Seemandhras living in Hyderabad will not be safe.
Most of the reasons cited by Seemandhras opposing formation of Telangana are meaningless and ridiculous. They far-fetched assumptions not based in reality. And the reason why Seemandhras are not able to come up with a logical and rational argument to make a case for united Andhra Pradesh is because they are not able to express the actual reasons why they want to hold onto Telangana even against the wishes of people of Telangana.
The actual reasons run subconsciously in most Seemandhra people. They did not actually believe their own leaders when the latter agreed for creation of Telangana. The Seemandhra people naturally assumed, as is their wont, that those agreements and promises are going to be dishonored eventually. The Seemandhras put blind belief in their own leaders that they won’t accept formation of Telangana – and it was a justified belief – because that’s what their leaders did for nearly sixty years in united Andhra Pradesh – their leaders struck down every agreement, government order, and court verdict which gave autonomy or power to Telangana people in controlling their own resources and opportunities.
Today, Seemandhras implicitly admit what Telangana means to them – it has served as their internal colony for all these years. Now they fear the loss of their former colony – but they are not able to express it that way. Hence, we witness the ridiculous slogans and protests which don’t make any sense.
Colonialism perpetuates upon one essential factor – it has to portray the colonial people to be inferior in some respects compared to the ruler. Colonial rule dehumanizes the colonial people, by reducing them to be mere providers of comforts and luxuries and suppliers of goods and raw materials to the ruling class. Colonialism sustains only when the ruling classes characterizes the colonial people to be lacking in something, to be inferior, to be lesser. Such characterization gives the rulers certain moral authority to rule over the colonized. The English carried the ‘White man’s burden’ to rule the colonial people in an attempt to civilize them, to teach them the gentlemen’s way of life. Andhras carried the ‘Telugu man’s burden’ to rule over Telangana people in an attempt to teach them better language and culture, to purify them from the impurities of Nizam’s rule.
The rulers justify their rule by claiming that they have civilized the colonial people. They take credit for creating institutions, for building the cities, for laying the infrastructures, for imparting better culture. Right now, Seemandhras exhibit all the above in their slogans and rhetoric.
The real fear of Seemandhras, though none of them is able to articulate it properly, is that of a colonial power losing control of its former colony. The way British would have feared the loss of supply of resources and other opportunities when giving up their colonies, the current generation of Seemandhras are feeling the loss of their former colony in Telangana. There is an implicit admission of Seemandhras in all their protests that they are now going to lose resources and opportunities which were earlier available to them because of certain undue advantage provided for them in the united Andhra Pradesh.
Seemandhras want their united Andhra Pradesh because that’s the only way they can continue to rule of Telangana as a colony. They fear the loss of Telangana resources – like water. They fear the loss of their opportunities – like jobs. They fear the loss of access to Hyderabad which they dominated and took control of for all these years.
Instead of admitting this colonial fear overtly, they try to cover up their subconscious intentions through slogans like, ‘unity is strength’.
There is never unity amongst the colonial power and the colonies. The equation is never that of brothers. The equation is always that of former colonial rulers and former colonies. We need to understand this in Telangana – we are not equals with Seemandhras, and we should not expect that equality to exist even after separation.
It will take many years, may be decades, for us to see eye to eye as equals. Till then, let’s admit this for ourselves – we are not brothers – our relationship is that of the ruled and the ruler. Once we get this into our head, many things will become clear and transparent. We will be able to make sense of their imaginary fears being raised to stop formation of Telangana. We will be able to see why creating Hyderabad as a joint capital is a futile exercise. It is going to fail on the first day after creation of Telangana – either Seemandhras will have to forfeit their claims on the city immediately OR they are going to be part of our future forever – in which case Telangana Movement would have failed to achieve its objective.
[Shortened version of previous article]