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APNGOs have done it!

APNGOs have done it!
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The great success of APNGOs meet in Lal Bahadur Stadium in the heart of the city was not unexpected, considering the peaceful agitation going on in...

Government employees leaving their seats for a cause, however laudable from their own points of view, reminds one of their agitations earlier for their service conditions, salaries and so on, particularly during Brahmananda Reddy’s tenure as Chief Minister, paralyzing the whole administration for 55 days and finally getting only a paltry sum

The great success of APNGOs meet in Lal Bahadur Stadium in the heart of the city was not unexpected, considering the peaceful agitation going on in Seemandhra area for the past 35 days in which all sections of people, high and low, had come out into the streets without any inhibitions.

The president of the association, P Ashok Babu, emerged as a strong leader by his deft handling of the situation which had kept all the political leaders at a distance, at least publicly.

His bold attempt to beard the lion in its den is widely acknowledged. There is no doubt that this attempt in a peaceful manner will make the authorities in Delhi, who matter, sit up and take note that they can ignore and proceed with their avowed plans for bifurcation of the State only with wider ramifications in the State and the country.

Government employees leaving their seats for a cause, however laudable from their own points of view, reminds one of their agitations earlier for their service conditions, salaries and so on, particularly during Brahmananda Reddy’s tenure as Chief Minister, paralyzing the whole administration for 55 days and finally getting only a paltry sum.

During NTR’s regime employees were not quite happy with the measures adopted by him which adversely affected their interests and felt that he was out to cut them to their size. At that time, there was no public sympathy for them and NTR tried to take advantage of the situation in showing them their places. They were all accustomed to certain ways and the sudden change had upset them and then they took out a big procession and presented to him a charter of demands. He was then reported to have told them plainly, “You are only two and a half lakh. I am CM for six crores of Andhras. I must do something for them also and not for you alone all the time. I shall place everything before the people and I shall act according to their decision.” It was then, government employees versus the rest of the people.

The present involvement of the government employees in the agitation over bifurcation of the State is entirely different from all their agitations till now. It is not the employees’ versus the people but it is the employees and the people together against the great injustice sought to be done to them by those in authority. There is criticism from certain sections of the people whether the government employees could go on agitation, for whatever might be the cause, inconveniencing the people who are their real masters. Some of them have even filed cases in courts.

It all sounds reasonable for those who are affected but the fact remains that this is a situation where the leaders who should guide them have either abdicated their responsibilities for their own reasons or not in a position to assert themselves and so unusual situations lead to such unusual developments, legal or illegal. Having said that, it must be pointed out that they should refrain from taking unduly harsh measures like power shutdown for three days and so on, which will put the ordinary people to great hardship and not the leaders whose lives remain unaffected.

So, what next?

Among certain discerning sections of people, a considered viewpoint seems to be crystallizing as the best solution under the present impasse to save the State from still further dithering and consequent havoc. They feel that it is only by miracle that the decision will be reversed by the Center and that wisdom consists in taking this fact into consideration and strive for the best alternative. Rayalaseema aspiration for a separate state is an important factor that must be taken into consideration at this stage. With just four districts and insufficient revenue, it is not viable as an independent State.

Taking out Kurnool and Ananthapur and tagging on to Telangana, making it a Rayala Telangana is not acceptable to either of them. It is the rich industrialists of these two districts who have acquired large real estate assets in Hyderabad who want it but not the common people. The other proposition to bring Nellore from Coastal Andhra and Bellary from Karnataka to make it a separate State is acceptable neither to Nellore or Bellary, nor feasible. Under these adverse opinions the best thing would be to make Hyderabad a second capital of India as proposed by Bharat Ratna B R Ambedkar and keep both the capitals and develop a number of cities in all the three regions, Nizamabad, Warangal and Karimnagar in Telangana, Kurnool, Tirupathi and Ananthapur in Rayalaseema, Nellore, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam in Andhra region dispersing all the industries and offices all over these places.

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