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Debate : Point & Counterpoint

Debate : Point & Counterpoint
Highlights

With Seemandhra people up in arms against the Congress decision to bifurcate the State, various issues that have never been discussed openly are...

With Seemandhra people up in arms against the Congress decision to bifurcate the State, various issues that have never been discussed openly are coming into sharp focus from the three regions. We have run a five-part series highlighting the Srikrishna Committee Report’s observations on key issues and asked our readers to respond.

The idea is to create a platform where anybody can express his/her view freely and encourage more discussion on the State bifurcation issue. The views and counterviews will be published in these columns. They can be either directly related to the subjects mentioned in the Report or on carving out a separate state. They articles should be written in English, not exceeding 800 words, and to the point. Please mention the complete address with phone number. Also attach a passport size photograph and mail to letters@thehansindia.in

Future is more important than emotional response

As the men in power in Andhra Pradesh used to encourage the IT and other companies to establish their units in Hyderabad alone, the other cities in the State could not develop
The state of Telangana, in all likelihood, is going to be formed irrespective of the agitations in the Seemandhra region and the Congress High Command may not go back on its statement made by it on July 30. In fact, asking it to reverse its decision is also not proper. It is not appropriate for Seemandhra people and leaders to agitate now. They were relatively silent when the Telangana people and leaders were agitating seriously for a separate state.
The Seemandhra people were not active when the movement was in full swing in Telangana. As the movement in the Telangana region was more intense than in Seemandhra, the Congress High Command had to take the key decision. The Congress party can’t be blamed for the decision which is the result of the way the ‘agitations’ were held. It may be recalled what the Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs and a close aide of Sonia Gandhi Vayalar Ravi said to Seemandhra ministers some time ago. His simple question to two Seemandhra ministers who met him in Delhi was, “How are you asking me to keep the State as it is without doing any large scale movement for the same?” This one question will simply answer why and how the party had to take the ultimate decision. So, it is not appropriate for anyone to ask the party to take back its crucial decision now.
Congress did not take the final decision without any study. It formed a committee with a retired judge having great credibility and capability, a distinguished IAS officer and others. It studied all aspects of the problem. An all party meeting was also held by the Union Home Minister in Delhi once to know the opinion of various parties on the issue.
All the parties, then, did not oppose the separation of the State. Further, the Congress had to face some embarrassing situations when its senior leaders like Kesava Rao, G Vivek , Manda Jagannatham and others were leaving the party to join TRS. The party had readied to face such situations too just for the sake of not taking a hasty decision which would have affected the eight crore people of Andhra Pradesh.
The leaders of any party in Seemandhra must understand one thing: The State could have been separated even if all the leaders of all the parties in Seemandhra region have opposed it. At the Centre, two big parties like Congress and BJP are in favour of separation of the State and their combined strength in Parliament is just enough to form the State of Telangana as the State Assembly has little role in the formation of any State. It means the ongoing agitations in Seemandhra region are just a futile exercise.
There is no big problem with Hyderabad. People from several countries and other states have been working in the city for several decades without any hassle. The city has never faced a situation like the one in Mumbai where Shiv Sena cadres keep upping the ante by demanding that the Hindi speaking people should go back. Once they forced the candidates from Bihar not to write the railway recruitment examinations in Mumbai.
As the men in power in Andhra Pradesh used to encourage the IT and other companies to establish their units in Hyderabad alone, the other cities in the State could not develop. If the new state is formed and if the new Seemandhra government can come up with a proper industrial policy, various companies can set up their units in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur, etc.
They can provide a good number of jobs to the local people. There are also several other benefits for Seemandhra people if the State is bifurcated.
With various forms of agitations in the Seemandhra region, the life of the common man has been hit badly in several ways. Hope, the leaders from the region will concentrate on ‘what is to be done in future’ by keeping aside the decision made on Telangana.
What I request the Seemandhra leaders is, please agitate for the right share in waters and other natural resources. They can tell their problems to the Antony Committee and they can seek some assurances on certain aspects of bifurcation from the Government of India. It is not correct to blame top Congress leaders alone for the Telangana decision.
(The writer is a freelance journalist, Cherukupalli, Guntur Dt)

An unbreakable bond with Hyderabad

After the CWC decision the Seemandhra leaders have failed to deal with the people’s agony and failed to guide the people who have no faith in their political leaders

The Congress Working Committee unanimously passed a resolution on July 30 for the creation of Telangana and requesting the Central government to take steps in accordance with the Constitution of India to form Telangana within a definite timeframe.

Andhra and the newly formed Telangana will share Hyderabad as their common capital for 10 years. The committee also assured that the concerns of the people from the two remaining regions regarding sharing of water and power resources will be addressed. This decision has ignited emotions in the Seemandhra region and people have started agitating against the CWC decision. While the political leaders and people of Telangana may be rejoicing over their achievement, the Seemandhra people are losing what they have.

The Seemandhra people have strong political affiliation and industrial and economic bonds with Hyderabad. Till today the entire Andhra people firmly believe that their state capital is Hyderabad and Hyderabad is their own capital. As soon as the Congress Working Committee announced the State bifurcation decision, the Seemandhra people were pained. The ongoing agitations in different parts of the region reflect their angst and the unrest is spreading like wildfire to all levels of people who are responding voluntarily and leading the movement apolitically.

Most of the Seemandhra people have links with Hyderabad through their sons and daughters who may be working or studying there; or, may have migrated, or set up small businesses. These are all common people who don’t have any vested interests in protecting their properties or commercial interests. After the bifurcation decision, the kind of statements TRS leaders are giving on the future of Telangana or Hyderabad are scary, particularly for those who have settled down in Hyderabad.

Today, Hyderabad has its own place in Information Technology and IT Enabled Services in the world. The city has also expanded vertically and horizontally. Many top notch companies have their presence in Hyderabad which has provided jobs to thousands of youths in Andhra Pradesh. In the last five decades, Hyderabad has grown into a more cosmopolitan city, attracting people from all parts of the country. This would not have been possible without contribution from Andhras who strongly feel they too have a share in the growth and prosperity of Hyderabad.

If the State is bifurcated, the Seemandhra people should develop their own capital. Is it possible for them to develop a capital like Hyderabad? How long will it take to develop such capital? They also feel that it is injustice on the part of policy makers to ask Seemandhra people to set up their own capital.

The decision regarding the formation of Telangana is not wrong but the way it is being done is faulty. The parties and leaders of political parties have failed to gauge the pulse of the Seemandhra people. After the CWC decision the

Seemandhra leaders have failed to deal with the people’s agony and failed to guide the people who have no faith in their political leaders. The people themselves are independently leading their agitations. Though they are asking for united Andhra, their concerns are over Hyderabad, sharing of waters, resources, employment opportunities, etc. Water crisis will have a strong impact on agriculture of both the states.

Division, obviously, disturbs the economic, political, social, employment and academic opportunities in the State and future of the State will be at stake. No doubt, the UPA government has come under fire from many quarters for the hasty decision it took on Telangana, allegedly with an eye on 2014 polls.

Anyway, bygones are bygones; the government has taken a decision and appointed another Congress party committee, headed by AK Antony. But it is not useful to reduce the tensions and doubts prevailing in Seemandhra. It is time to reduce the tensions and calm the emotions of agitating people through a more practical and viable solution.

To resolve the present crisis, the government should either appoint a new statutory committee or implement the alternatives proposed by the Srikrishna Committee.

(The writer is Professor in Public Administration,

Dr CSR PG Centre,

Sri YN College, Narsapur, West Godavari District)

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