Debate : Point & counterpoint
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Trifurcation will do justice to Rayalaseema
Once differences arise between the regions, just like brothers who part their ways at one time or the other, the regions also should be divided. The time to divide the State has come now
In my view the following may be taken into consideration in solving the crisis once and for all. One should be impartial and non-political to all the three regions in finalising the issue.
The crisis that manifested itself in many forms is not a surprise or a spontaneous occurrence. It may raise its head once again in future if the demands of the people are suppressed temporarily. Once differences arise between the regions, just like brothers who part their ways at one time or the other, the regions also should be divided. The time to divide the State has come now. One should compromise for an amicable solution in dividing the State.
Instead of bifurcation, trifurcation is the best solution. A day will come when the people in Rayalaseema start demanding for a separate state. Hence, the State should be trifurcated as Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana with capital cities at Vijayawada, Kadapa, and Hyderabad respectively, assuring the people to amicably solve their problems raised by Seemandhra people. While doing so, the following points should be kept in mind:
1. Hyderabad city should be declared as free zone for employment, education and business purposes.
2. The rivers Krishna, Godavari and Tungabhadra should have an independent body for water management. No state should dominate the supply of water.
3. State capitals should be built by the funds provided by the Central Government within five years.
4. A separate, independent body should be set up by the Center to settle border disputes and inter-state rows.
5. The Centre should assure the people of all the three regions to protect their aspirations in all fields and assure the development socially, economically, industrially and educationally by giving sufficient funds.
6. The people of all regions should stop their agitations and allow daily life to return to normal and leave the issue to their leaders.
7. The leaders should shed their party affiliations and think practically to ende the stalemate and cooperate with the Centre to facilitate the division of the State so that every region would benefit.
8. The issues should not be linked to the next year’s elections.
9. The Government of India should take the initiative for trifurcation of the State immediately and ask the people to stop their agitations and return to their usual life without fear.
10. The Government of AP should cooperate with the Centre and appeal to the people to stop all agitations besides lifting all cases filed against agitators during the period of unrest. The salaries and other emoluments to be paid to officials may be paid without victimisation.
(The writer is retired lecturer, BR Govt. Junior College, Punganur, Chittoor Dt)
Regional political games will continue
If two persons quarrel, the third will be benefited and the same has happened in the AP’s case. The present situation has given more scope to Congress
The Telangana movement started by KCR with a key slogan “Telangana wala Jaago-Andhra wala Bhago” clearly indicates that it is not Telangana movement but an anti-Andhra one. If not, the APNGOs wouldn’t have called for a historical agitation and wouldn’t have gained enormous support from the people of Seemandhra and lakhs of people have been voluntarily participating in the agitation for almost a month.
Since the stir for Telangana State is under the leadership of a handful of people, it is a leaders’ movement whereas the Samaikhyandra agitation is against the leadership it is people’s movement. And, the government can easily sense the pulse of the people. KCR, several times in his speeches, has said that Andhras have looted the people of Telangana. If KCR defines the earnings of Andhra people as ‘looting’, then what about the earnings of people and political leaders of Telangana region?
He also criticized Andhras in one of his speeches in January 2011 that though the Telangana people are demanding Andhras to leave the region, “they don’t have any shame and are not leaving …” Are they afraid of Andhras? Can’t they rule in the presence of Andhras?
No doubt, KCR has initiated a historic movement by shaking up the Central Government and forced it announce a separate state of Telangana. But he himself is exhibiting his incapability of ruling the state in the presence of Andhra people when a separate state becomes a reality.
Regarding the demand for a separate Telangana state, there are many views. Many experts state that the demand for separate state is 60 to 100 years old. Why there was no intensity of demand for three decades -- form 1970 to 2000. Why there were no strong agitations during NTR or Chandrababu or YS Rajasekhar Reddy’s time?
If the answer is they crushed the movement and silenced the voice of Telangana people, how did the leaders get elected? If the answer for this is they had manipulated the elections, then why lakhs of people from Telangana area voted for them? The agitation got a boost soon after YSR died in a chopper crash in September 2009. As if adding fuel to the fire, the State couldn’t find a capable Chief Minister immediately after his death. Is the Andhra region different from the Telangana region? The State is called Trilinga Desam based on three Siva kshetras situated in the three regions of Andhra Pradesh namely Draksharamam in Andhra, Kaleswaram in Telangana and Srisailam in Rayalaseema. The name Trilinga Desam was later transformed into Telugu Desam. Telugu people give prominence to Lord Siva and it could be seen when their children begin their Aksharabhyasam or Vidhyabyasam by reciting the Siva Panchakshari Manthra “Om Namah Shivaya”.
If two persons quarrel, the third will be benefited and the same has happened in the AP’s case. The present situation has given more scope to the Congress party which is the ruling at the Centre as well as the State. The bifurcation move has also helped the Congress at the Centre to divert the attention of public as well as Parliament from scams and scandals and economic crisis. The Congress now has all the tools to interrupt the Parliament sessions and one among them is Telangana issue.
Ironically, though the TRS has struggled and KCR was about to sacrifice his life during his hunger strike for the sake of a separate state, the Congress party is scheming not to let them come to power or rule the state under the TRS banner. In fact, it is demanding the TRS party to merge with Congress.
Moreover, Congress MPs and MLAs are seen more active at public functions (than the TRS leaders) who are showcasing themselves as if they have spearheaded the movement. KCR should learn that even if a separate State of Telangana is formed by dividing the Telugu-speaking people, the regional political game remains the same.
(The writer is a private employee)
Hyderabad as capital
The argument of Deputy CM Damodar Rajanarasimha is confusing. Gujarat separated from Maharashtra and hence could not get Mumbai; besides having a different language. Mumbai had been a city in Maharashtra around which the State evolved and became the gateway of India for trade and interaction with nations.
Similar is the case of Chennapatnam, capital of Madras State now Tamil Nadu. Here also Andhras, because of language difference, wanted a separate State and parted from Madras city and had Kurnool as capital. The merger took place at political level and people moved to Hyderabad. If Kurnool had remained the capital, all would have trekked to Kurnool and perhaps Hyderabad would not have got so many Central projects. This is evident from 1947 to 56. Even now, as in Nizam's time, the outsider’s participation is greater than that of Seemandhras.
Their contribution is minimal. Telangana leaders should convince the youth of Andhra that they can continue to live in Telangana and work for the welfare of the new State and invest their educational skills and money in Telangana or Andhra, wherever they like. Once a new State is formed, Government employees should move without grumbling to their offices wherever they exist. After all, Central government employees have colonies in Hyderabad. They contribute to the growth of the city. They may be from any place. Similarly, Andhra and Rayalaseema government employees who have their assets here can enjoy fully here, and Telangana people can live in other regions and acquire assets.
Such an assurance, coming from the Deputy CM and Telangana leaders, should allay fears and normalise the situation and bring down tempers. News channel talk only of the Nizam. Don’t they know of Golconda Nawabs and their tolerance, munificence to Rama temple? Even today the tradition continues. All the great historic constructions belong to Golconda nawabs, they are the heritage foreigners visit and applaud. Nizam's time Salarjung Museum enthralls; they don’t talk of Potana, Krishnadevaraya, Palakurti, Somanath, PV Narasimha Rao, Dasarathi brothers who defied Razakars and the Nizam, and Ramananda Tirtha, CNR, the Gyanpeeth awardee, and a host of leaders. It is unfortunate they do not have any knowledge of them. What will they build with this shallow thinking? TV channels should equip themselves with background about these persons before airing programmers detailing Telangana’s greatness.
-VV Sastry, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad