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Have plan B: First new AP Capital, then Telangana

Have plan B: First  new AP Capital, then Telangana
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“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,” readily comes to the mind when we look at the...

For a state of pride and dignity in existence for more than the last five decades, representing now the democratic verdict of 5 crores of people, to exist as a second class government, in an alien and openly hostile city like Hyderabad, for ten years as common capital, would be a monumental shame and insult

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,” readily comes to the mind when we look at the current turmoil in Andhra Pradesh. Notwithstanding the passionate claims on either side, we have a serious problem on our hands that mainly emanated because of poor, rather destructive, rural- urban development imbalance that heavily tilted towards urban megalopolises, of which Hyderabad is a classic example.

The people of entire state working for their bright future, and generations of educated, and those with ability to invest, shoring up their resources, for decades together, and the successive state governments following the short-sighted policy of unlimited deposit of social wealth at one point, have resulted in the present impasse, where people from both the regions lay claim to the city of Hyderabad.

While the Seemandhra people have not matched word to word to the agit-prop of separatists, that drew heavily from falsification of history, glorification of the rule of Nizam, during which the erstwhile Hyderabad state was an Islamic state. Their appropriation of the local hues of culture which are in existence all over India in myriad forms, to be their exclusive characteristics for strengthening their claim for separate statehood only confused the country men. Despite their many efforts it would not be possible to prove that culture and literature of the region has any such specific separate character in the last two thousand years.

While the myth of non-development or under development was blown by Srikrishna Committee, now harping on the Telangana sentiment alone, the separatists are fishing in troubled waters. The national parties of right, Dalit and so-called secular character have more or less have dropped the pretense of being strong federalists believing in the equation of strong centre -- strong states, and now are actively pursuing the policy of strong Center – and weak states. BJP, BSP and Congress are travelling in the same boat as far as weakening the federalism is concerned to help the multi-national remote industrial and technological colonialism. In this backdrop the division of Andhra Pradesh has ominous portents to the entire nation.

Leaving the national issues, using derogatory terms as ‘residuary’ while referring to the parent state of Andhra Pradesh, even before the division is effective, only reveal the scant respect the separatists have , for the state framework, which has to allow the formation of a different state or otherwise. The Seemandhra politicians, who are caught with their backs to the wall, are only mouthing, one monotonous and rather inadequate response: “Resignation from the position – or United state of AP”.

This idea is to be communicated not among Seemandhara people, who are strong votaries of the state unite, but among the people of Telangana, regarding which no political party seriously interested in unity of the state has any minimum initiative. All along championing about blocking the separatists and their forays at national level, the elected representatives of Seemandhra, and their political bosses have wasted valuable time, without taking the people into confidence for unity or state division, and have brought the state to the brink of division, and yet their posts and positions are more dear to them, than the cause of the nine crores of the Telugu people.

If the 25 MPs resign and walk out in support of united state of AP, it would create a sort of history, and the very moment, as the Nigerian novelist said, “things fall apart and the centre cannot hold.” Instead of doing this singular act for which they can only have an opportunity once in their life time, our political brethren are playing volleyball on daily basis of trading charges and counter charges.

With loud-mouthing about a problem which needs swift and decisive action, the politicians have chosen rather to wait conveniently in collective irresponsibility and long living amnesia, to let the state roll down to the lower depths, of being a government in exile after the post-2014 election scenario, and this indeed is a shuddering prospect. For a state of pride and dignity in existence for more than the last five decades, representing now the democratic verdict of 5 crores of people, to exist as a second class government, in an alien and openly hostile city like Hyderabad, for ten years as common capital, would be a monumental shame and insult.

While we have no hope about our political lot to exercise foresight, this is an appeal to the people, to have a plan B at least in this chaos. Please demand that as a parent state, even if a division is inevitable, first the matter of the capital of Andhra Pradesh has to be settled in order to move to the new destination, and then only the matter of separate state of Telangana. Now after forty plus days of agitation and collective anger that has been displayed by the people of Seemandhra from border to border, they need to press ahead, with the demand first our Capital, then Telangana.

Since we do not know what is the thinking of Centre on this crucial matter, once we Seemandhra people raise this demand as Plan B, and the demand for united state of AP being the Plan A, we will be recognized as people with logic, and as long as there are no funds to make the new capital, the status quo should continue, i.e. one state, one government and one chief minister from whichever part he might be. In my opinion this logical question of raising the subject of our capital issue to be settled first, will stop the state separation process, even without our opposing it, at least for five years, and in this expanding chaos, there cannot be a better way to bring the entire process to a halt.

If we don’t register this demand now, post-2014 elections, with the division becoming effective, as usual our politicians left to rub their hands furiously in helplessness, we end up in a common capital, the ignominy of which, Telugus have not faced ever in the thousands of years of known history.

(The writer is a literary critic and author)

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