Photo: An artist’s depiction of the Telangana statehood struggle
By: Vijayshree Kurumilla
Some of our Seemandhra friends often say that they cannot bear the thought of the Andhra Pradesh map being changed, by lines being drawn, to divide the Telugu speaking people into two states. I heard this reason many times from Seemandhra people, so I wish to dwell on this aspect.
This reason is very worrying, as it is for the purpose of redrawing these lines, that most of the wars are begun. If one clings to lines, then it is like creating artificial boundaries between humans. This earth is one planet, and we all belong to it, the lines that divide countries are just boundaries created by man, we are otherwise just the same human beings, with the same blood flowing, speaking different languages with different colours. As long as you are going to believe in this sacred tenet, there would not be any differences or any wars and its horrifying outcomes.
When you start believing in superiority of one race over the other, that is when all the problems crop up. United States of America was built by destroying the native tribes who had been existing there for many years, now these native Americans who were the proud owners of that land, had been reduced, to living, in a reserved area. The Americans did not stop there, they went on to wreak, havoc on the African continent with their slave trade and with their long continued policy of racism. America still continues to destroy countries for their selfish exploitation of resources.
Similarly, in Australia, what was actually planned as a prison for convicts of United Kingdom, was turned again into a country with these very convicts establishing their own territory, by killing the native tribes called aboriginals. These aboriginals were called savages, and in the 1970’s the Australian government in a bid to civilize these so called savages, forcibly took the children away from the parents and brought them up in isolation, just in their pursuit of civilizing these so called savages.
When we look at books by British authors, written about India, they would always call Indians as savages. So, the first thing that any conqueror or invader does, to subjugate the conquered people, is to call them savages. Why, I am giving these examples, is that, they are so eerily similar to what Andhra race had purported to do with Telengana. With an eye on its resources, it came through a backdoor and then began its job by calling Telengana people as savages and its culture as barbarian, and that it needs reforming.
The native Indians, aboriginals and African natives, had one thing in common with Telengana and that is, they were all kind-hearted, nature worshiping and innocent people. Nature had blessed them all with bountiful and these people, had learnt to live according to its ways and not to meddle or exploit mother earth in any way. But, here comes the materialistic race with only profit making and deception in their mind and they vanquish the race which does not know anything, other than what has been taught to them by Nature.
But our race had also been rebellious, and this rebellion has manifested itself against various rulers. Right from the time when Samakka had drawn her sword of defiance against the mighty Kakatiyas, to the peasant revolution against feudal system and the Nizam’s rule to the 1969 agitation; there has been a relentless struggle against any kind of injustice. I used to always wonder where did I get my rebellious spirit from, and it is only now, after we are getting to look at our history, that I realize that it is the spirit of our race.
When I looked at the amazing architecture of Kakatiya ruins, I could understand their might and arrogance, in the splendour of their magnificent forts and temples, but it is the spirit of Samakka who dared to fight this might for unjustifiably imposing a tax on her people, which drew a lot of admiration in me. Arrogance and might will fall one day, as one can see; only the ruins of the empire remain, but the spirit of Samakka still reverberates in Telengana.
It is from this spirit that we need to draw inspiration and fight our final battle, and the arrogance and crookedness of Seemandhra rulers are bound to fall, in this battle. If someone really loves this earth and thinks, he or she is part of it, and needs to protect it, then they will join our battle, which is against people who are destroying and looting the resources given by our earth.
At Kaleshwaram, where the pristine Godavari flows, when you cross to the other side, it is Maharashtra, if you stand on this side of the shores, you can hear Marathi being spoken as people get down from boats plying to and from the shores.
They spoke a different language, but they felt so warm, like our own people, why then are we feeling a sense of alienation with Andhra people, it is because they are behaving like a colonial American or a Britisher or an Australian is behaving. As long as you think you are superior in some way, you can never truly say, that, you are this earth’s child. You will only contribute towards its destruction, by believing blindly in artificial lines. Are you any different from those Marathis crossing the shores by the boat daily, they are from a different state, but they have a sense of oneness with everyone.
Why can’t you have the same feeling? Lines inevitably, get drawn for self governance, for the sustenance and protection of the natives. That does not mean that we all stop sharing a spirit of brotherhood for having been born on this same earth. If you foolishly cling to those artificial boundaries, you will only be causing hatred and leading to bloodshed. That is how wars start. Wherever we are, we are human beings first and as long as you feel that way, it will be reciprocated. This world is not a map of countries, but if you look from the moon, it is just one planet.
Recognize this, and may be you will understand why lines are not important and being humane is.