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
“Not a live issue anymore”
One can understand a disgruntled politician presenting a picture that is totally incorrect to push forward his personal agenda. But, what is unfortunate is there are many progressive intellectuals, who have been giving credence to the claims of the political breed by lending their support to them
The above titled part of Srikrishna Report (which was published in these columns) makes one wonder, is it factually correct or a doctored one?
It is also a commonly shared notion that the injustice in this regard has been rendered possible because the real power structure is in the hands of the Andhra politicians for a pretty long time. Even when The Telangana politicians were chief ministers, they were not allowed to function with a peace of mind. But the Srikrishna Report presents a different picture altogether. The number of employees that it showed (18,856) who are in Telangana in violations of the rules is not very big. Among them the majority was repatriated (14,856). If these figures are true, one gets a sinking feeling that one is cheated with a false propaganda.
One can understand a disgruntled politician presenting a picture that is totally incorrect to push forward his personal agenda. But, what is unfortunate is there are many progressive intellectuals, who have been giving credence to the claims of the political breed by lending their support to them. One is deeply disturbed that is it for these pittances of employment many young men were driven to death? When this small public employment is juxtaposed to the huge employment potential of the private sector, given the unabashed push of market economy and globalization, one is struck by the tragedy that has engulfed the State.
If the public employment is not the only reason, why the movement for the demerger had picked up the momentum and got public support. There is the problem of water distribution. More than anything else, there is the feeling that the region is discriminated and its people are treated as second class citizens. Surely, all these are pinching issues, more so because for good or bad identity politics has got traction in the country as a whole.Yet, it is equally true that from a different perspective, every poor man is ill-treated and his self-respect is wantonly violated in the country.Tragically, for the great majority of the articulate, it is not an issue.
Similarly, the manner in which the division statement was announced whatever ethical edge the separate Telangana movement had, had been drained away. It is true all the political parties did their best to make the situation very messy with their unabashed political dishonesty. But it is the responsibility of the party in power to see to it that the decision of this import looked fair, at least seemingly fair, sans political considerations. Instead, the party indulged in the open political calculations and allowed an impression to sink among the people of Seemandhra that all this is a political game, pure and simple.
Had the Congress party put forward the argument that there is a basic justification for the division of the state before the announcement, (with the honest contention that much water had flowed the river Godavari from the days of Indira Gandhi), instead of making it look like a pitch and toss affair, there would have been some moral edge for its decision. Sadly, it was not the case.
Oddly, Diggy Raja was brazen enough to say that in democracy, every decision is political.Yes; it may be true to some extent. But, if it is sickeneningly crass, as it is in the present context, naturally some unexpected situation erupts. What is unfortunate is, long back the political parties forgot an important principle: Democracy is essentially a political education. It is not always an exercise in political management.
One might as well argue that even if the Congress party attempted some efforts to put its stand theoretically on a strong wicket, the agitation in Seemandhra would be in the same intensity, given the unbridled self-interest attitude that is being promoted among the people by the neo-liberal economic ethos.
Admitting that there is a point in this assertion, one is very unhappy that what should have been done, was not done by the powers that be. Now that it is not possible to reverse the decision, nor is it desirable either. The only option for the Congress, to wriggle out from this sorry state is, to convene an all party meeting with two specific questions. One is “Are you for division or not?” The other is, if yes, “what are your suggestions to address the genuine (many fears of them are unfounded) concerns of the Seemandhra people?” In short, it is necessary to involve all the stake-holders in finding out an amicable solution.
There is nothing wrong to give one more chance to the parties so that they would be exposed before the people once again.This is the only way to prevent the unseemly competitive politics in Seemandhra. For this to take place and instill confidence among the people that the Congress is attempting the solution in a sincere way, the first condition is that it is time it stopped using its positional advantage and make the field flat to all.
It does not behove a national party of that standing to behave that petty for a few seats. In a way it is a chance for the ruling party to prove itself that, when push comes to shove, it can correct itself and rise to the occasion even from the nadir point of credibility. Otherwise, its glory would be history in the land/lands of Telugu speaking people.
(The writer is Lecturer in English, SR & BGNR Degree and PG College, Khammam)