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Immediate task is to reduce tensions

Immediate task is to  reduce tensions
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The Congress Working Committee’s decision to carve a state for Telangana has ignited emotions in some parts of the country and made the people...

The decision to carve out Telangana per se is not wrong but the way it is being done is faulty. The parties which had submitted letters to the Union government about their consent on bifurcation have utterly failed to gauge the pulse of the people

The Congress Working Committee’s decision to carve a state for Telangana has ignited emotions in some parts of the country and made the people of Seemandhra to pour into streets to agitate against the decision. The unrest is spreading like wildfire to all levels and the masses are responding voluntarily and leading the movement apolitically.

The political leaders of Seemandhra region are caught in a catch-22 situation and are afraid of facing the public rage. The situation is getting worse because of Freudian slips of Congress party’s mouth pieces and TRS supremo KCR. Rowe is right when he said, “The decision you make today can affect your way of life tomorrow. Always think carefully before making any big decision.” Had Sonia followed this, the conflict of emotions and opinions we are witnessing now between the people of the two regions would have been curtailed.

The decision to carve out Telangana per se is not wrong but the way it is being done is faulty. The parties which had submitted letters to the Union government about their consent on bifurcation have utterly failed to gauge the pulse of the people. Besides, they don’t have any elementary knowledge about the concerns of the people and failed to represent their aspirations. They stand as best examples of Napoleon Bonaparte’s observation, “In politics stupidity is not a handicap”.

After the decision was taken, leaders from the Seemandhra region have started playing their wild games with the people’s emotions .The ruling party and the opposition party MPs had tried to stall the proceedings of both Houses of Parliament and some of them were even suspended. What is comic about the whole situation is some of the Union ministers from Seemandhra trying to stall the process of bifurcation though they are well aware of the CWC decision. Still they are trying to fool the people. It is

better if they visit their constituencies and douse the flames of the agitation and address the concerns of the people. It is not easy to snap ties with Hyderabad all of a sudden; or to fight for Hyderabad alone. It is the duty of intellectuals to sit along with the people and discus with them what to do next? There are many issues relating to irrigation, jobs, sharing of income and development of a new capital. More important is to look at the hardships the common man is facing due to the prolonged agitation.

The Congress party as per its promise has taken a decision but still there is a bigger process to follow. Our Constitution will surely protect the interests of all sections in the united or bifurcated State. Let the process start and let it be debated in the temples of our democracy. If the Congress party has some secret plan behind the division move, it will be vetoed.

It is not good for Seemandhra political leaders to obstruct the process of Telangana state by projecting Hyderabad as bone of contention. What is required of them is to try to get assurances from the Union government to build a new capital anywhere in the Seemandhra region but they should not forget parallel development of other cities in the area. Moreover, it is better to put pressure on the Union government to form an independent board for the just distribution of water between the two states. The Seemandhra leaders should not utilize this situation for gaining political

mileage. They should reach out to the agitating people and assure them of their better future. Meanwhile, the Union government should do proper exercise in all aspects before bifurcating the State. If not, Seemandhra people have courts to challenge what they call injustice meted out to them. As the agitation for united Andhra is intensified, the Seemandhra leaders have no plan B to satisfy the people. So they are singing a new tune that If Hyderabad is made Union Territory, then the problem will be s solved.

Can it address the problems of farming community? Can it address the sufferings of jobless youth? Can it yield any benefit to the common man? Certainly not. It will create more problems to both regions. Let the media and intellectuals try to reduce the tensions between the employees of the two regions and provide a better environment for smoother bifurcation. In this respect, The Hans India has done a commendable job by publishing the Justice Srikrishna Committee report recommendations on core issues like

water, power, employment, etc. and placing them before the public for debate. The report’s recommendation for creating an independent water management body and an irrigation and water management board are worth implementing.

(The writer is School Assistant in Biology, Badvel, Kadapa district)

Answer to Hyderabad tangle may be found in Madras

“It is possible that in view of the fact that Andhras are still persisting in their claim to Madras city or for converting it into a Chief Commissioner province, they will carry on an agitation in Madras city”

Here is a report published in the March 3, 1953 issue of the Indian Express, in response to recommendations made by Mr Justice Wanchoo on the separation of Andhra from the Composite Madras State. (Mr Wanchoo is understood to have expressed his view that no amendment of Constitution is necessary either for locating Andhra capital temporarily in Madras City for three to five years or to extend the jurisdiction of the residuary state’s High Court to Andhra).

Referring to this, 32 Members of Parliament representing the non-Andhra portions of Madras State and representing all parties have submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru against considering Madras as capital for both Tamil Nadu and Andhra states. In their representation, they mentioned that Andhras have been demanding:

a) City of Madras should become part of Andhra (b) alternatively, it should be made Chief Commissioner’s province and capital of both Andhra and residuary Madras state should be located there. The MPs pointed out that the city of Madras is preponderantly Tamil in its population and taking all non-Andhras together, the population of Andhras is a small minority. In fact, in the recent elections to Madras State Assembly, in respect of George Town area, which is in the heart of the city and which contains largest concentration of Andhra population, the election was fought on the straight issue of claims of Andhras to Madras city and Mr (Tanguturi) Prakasam, the Andhra candidate, lost his deposit.

All this indicate that the feelings of non-Andhras, particularly the Tamils, if the Andhra capital is located in the city of Madras, could be considerably exacerbated.

The next point to be considered is, if the report submitted by Justice Mr Wanchoo that Madras should be guest capital of Andhra state, the city being within the jurisdiction of authorities of the residuary Madras state is correct, with the feelings between Andhras and non-Andhras being as indicated above, the problem of preserving law and order will be a difficult one for the residuary Madras state.

If members of Andhra Legislature or officers of Andhra government are in any way attacked by the people of residuary Madras state or vice-versa, the responsibility on the residuary state will be an onerous one indeed.

It is possible that in view of the fact that Andhras are still persisting in their claim to Madras city or for converting it into a Chief Commissioner province, they will carry on an agitation in Madras city. In that contingency, what is the attitude of the government of the residuary state to be in respect of putting down such an agitation. Such a decision as has been purported to be recommended by Mr Wanchoo will be fraught with all kinds of difficulties which are, at the moment, not possible to envisage.

Assuming that the above points are not of material consequence, the third factor is what are the sanctions which can compel the Andhras to leave Madras city and choose another capital in their own area after a period of time. Since the Constitution does not envisage the location of the capital of one state within the jurisdiction of another, the Constitution provides no power to the Parliament of India to compel any state to change its capital whether it is within its own jurisdiction or outside.

And if such a contingency should arise, and if authorities of the new state refuse to budge, it will be almost impossible to make them leave Madras unless it be that the central government is prepared to wink at the extra judicial methods that the authorities of the residuary state might take to achieve that end.

However, peacefully the Andhra province might be brought into being, it would undoubtedly take some time before the strained feelings of people of two states die down and this culmination could only be achieved by excluding rigorously all points of friction.

If this recommendation ascribed to Mr Wanchoo is implemented, the inauguration of two states would start with a first class quarrel withimplications, all of which could not be envisaged. We, therefore, strongly feel that any capital of new Andhra state, whether permanent, provisional or temporary should be situated within the limits of the proposed state and that all political agencies belonging to Andhra state should be located within that state. The Andhra High Court should also have its principal seat within the state. One other point that we would like to bring to your notice at this stage is that there is in Tamil Nad, a very large Telugu speaking population which is expected to be anything between 30 and 40 lakhs.

They are living now at peace and amity with the rest of the population and the implementation of any such unfortunate decision as has been ascribed to Mr Wanchoo will not only make the city of Madras a battleground but will also project these troubles into the areas in Tamil Nad where a large Andhra population is now living at peace with their neighbours.

(Courtesy The New Indian Express)

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