Questionable indifference of Telangana Ministers
Leaders enjoying power by continuing in the Congress governments in Andhra Pradesh and at the Center are doing greater harm to the cause of Telangana...
Mr. Jaipal Reddy was a vociferous anti-Congress leader during VP Singh's times, who voiced democratic aspirations. Recalling the track record of Jaipal as a senior politician, of raising voice against establishment during the Emergency, the concerned citizens asked him to raise that voice once again to represent those people who elected and facilitated him to be in the Union Cabinet.
Jaipal, hailing from Mahbubnagar district, is known to be a non-corrupt leader with some values to cherish. But his silent continuation with the regime which betrayed Telangana several times pains his voters and followers. Many a time, he expressed his displeasure with the things going on and hinted hate against 'power politics'. The unanswered question is what is the principle or virtue behind continuing in power which is being used to suppress Telangana.
Does he not find the breach of commitment made by UPA II on the floor of two Houses of Parliament objectionable and unjust? What about sacrifice of one thousand innocent people for this cause? The concerned citizen questioned, if he believes that the demand for Telangana is genuine, democratic and constitutionally proper, why not he pressurize the high command or if that is not possible why not build pressure from outside by joining the movement?
A letter addressed to him says: "We seek a positive step forward from you, which will help accelerate the process of establishing Telangana State. As you know, for the last five decades, the people of Telangana have been democratically demanding demerger of Andhra and Telangana, as proposed by Pt. Nehru if things did not work, and re-establish Telangana State as it was before 1956. For the last 12 years, the present phase of the Telangana movement was intensified and it assumed significant political dimension".
The concerned citizens warned that the Congress party being in power both at Centre and State is playing a very deadly game with the genuine and democratic aspirations of people of Telangana, came out in its true colors after succumbing to lobbyists from Coastal Andhra coupled with complete surrender of representatives from Telangana.
Two Home Ministers made strong promises but went back without any hesitation. Chidambaram buried the promise in December 2009 and Sushil Kumar Shinde ignored the commitment made in December 2012. Every breach of promise resulted in spate of suicides, which the 'democratic' governments cruelly ignored. At least 13 people sacrificed their lives between 28th January and 9th February after the Home Minister went back on his commitment in 2012.
On 23rd May, a young man committed suicide for Telangana state. One Mr. Yadi Reddy travelled all the way to hang himself near Parliament. He was from Jaipal's constituency and he mentioned his name in the suicide note with frustration. When Congress spokesperson Mr. Chacko made an irresponsible statement that Telangana was not on UPA agenda, (which he changed later) a frustrated young person ended his life. Besides Lagadapati and Kavuri, spokespersons like Renuka Choudhary just do not bother about lives of the people and go on making reckless and irresponsible comments betraying criminal hatred against Telangana, while exploiting its soil, resources and votes.
Then the question is why the representatives from Telangana in Congress governments silently support these cruel verbal killings by their colleagues in Parliament? Their continuation in the Cabinet and enjoying the power is worse than swindling crores of public money and getting into jails. It is also a question of self-respect, if any. They are laughed at for their shameless continuance in power by those lobbyists who say that Telangana leaders are not united in fighting for Telangana. True.
The letter to Jaipal says: "The People of Telangana have now come to a firm conclusion that it is not the Andhra lobby that is responsible for this delay, but it is the Telangana politicians by not representing them properly. We believe that it is a total failure of Telangana leaders who are in high position, by not articulating the aspirations of people of Telangana. The Telangana Congress politicians still have one right thing to do, which is refusing to be part of the Governments in Delhi and in Hyderabad. As long as Congress politicians like you are part of the Government, the High Command of the Congress party in Delhi will not go forward in establishing Telangana state. Your presence in the Government will signify that the situation in Telangana can be managed".
The concerned citizens believe that Jaipal's resignation from the Union Cabinet will significantly transform the situation in favour of Telangana state. They stated: "In your political career you have enjoyed the reputation of being firm and courageous in adverse situations. Your firm stance on Petroleum and Natural resources of nation recently earned laurels for you. Now the people of Telangana want you to give a jolt to the High Command.
Your resignation will certainly kick start the spate of resignations of other ministers who are hanging on to power in spite of the people's opposition. Your continuation in the Central Cabinet will give an excuse to state Congress Ministers and others who hold positions to hang on further. Your silent association with the Union Cabinet even after specific breach of all promises encouraged the Andhra lobby to scuttle the democratic process".
They wanted the Union Minister to join the march to Assembly, called by Telangana Joint Action Committee which is expected to be final battle cry for Telangana. The Telangana Congress leaders have caused enough frustration among the people of Telangana with their lame excuses, vague statements, committee reports, this election and that election. The Congress party is being absolutely identified with betrayal, the people expect Jaipal to quit the Cabinet immediately to join the people's movement, which eventually will build public opinion to force the state Congress ministers also to quit.
The letter reminded: "If you decide to continue in the Union Cabinet it will be detrimental to your fame personally besides adversely affecting the hopes of forming Telangana. Why should you take the risk of being considered by a vast majority of the Telangana people as Telangana drohi? We sincerely do not think you deserve that, but the choice is yours."
The writers of the letter lamented: "It is easy to talk about democracy and human rights on an intellectual plane and supporting movements the world over. But when it comes to our own people, such democratic movements are ignored, dismissed and oppressed. Leaders such as you should not keep off from Telangana and the legitimate democratic and constitutional struggle". What people are asking of the Government in Delhi is just to fulfill its constitutional obligation and promise made on the floor of Parliament.
If the indifferent high command at the Centre is unmoved and the state politicians do not bother about hanging hundreds one can understand it as anti-Telangana hate. But it does not explain why these suicides are not generating any sense of shame among those ministers from Telangana. It appears that they are dreaming of getting re-elected without realizing that the tide of Telangana can wipe out their political career. The letter writers hoped that the lead resignation of Jaipal would put State Congress ministers to quit the dysfunctional government in AP.
They felt that the presence of Jaipal in the Union Cabinet is the biggest obstacle to the establishment of Telangana, besides legitimizing continuation of the other ministers in the state Government that is dominated by a lobby bent upon suppressing the Telangana movement. A Signatories of the letter include Prof. K. Madhusudhan Reddy, Prof. Rama Melkote, Mr. M. Veda Kumar, Dr. M. Gopala Krishna, Mr. Mahboob Alam Khan, Mr. Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, Prof. Burgula Narasing Rao, Prof. S. Sreedhara Swamy, Prof. Harinath Polasa, Prof. G. Laxman, Prof. E. Revathi, Mr. Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, Mr. D.P. Reddy, Dr. Biksham Gujja, Mr. R. Shailesh Reddy and the writer.
(The writer is Professor and Coordinator, Center for Media Law & Public Policy, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad)