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State at the crossroads

State at the crossroads
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State At The Crossroads. At last, Kiran Kumar Reddy has hit the last ball. It is to be seen whether it would be a sixer or end up as a catch. His...

At last, Kiran Kumar Reddy has hit the last ball. It is to be seen whether it would be a sixer or end up as a catch. His opponents believe that he will have to go back to the pavilion swinging his bat and his cronies believe that he will emerge a 'Man of the Match'. If we leave aside the much used cricket parlance, the reality that stares at us is sickening, if not frightening.

The scene has now shifted from the State to the Centre. The capital has now become a battle ground for the pro-Telangana and Samaikyandhra leaders. It is a no-holds barred situation with both sides becoming increasingly intolerant and aggressive. The whole country is watching with great concern as its outcome will have wide-ranging repercussions on the country's stability and progress.

In the first place, the situation should not have been allowed to come to this stage and it is a failure of the leaders at the helm of affairs of the country. It is hypothetical to go into the question of what would have been the result if Indira Gandhi had been there on the scene! But, one thing seems to be clear and that her autocratic and inept handling of the very unprecedented agitation for bifurcation of the State led to the present situation. Separate State for Andhra region would have been 40 years old by now and it would have developed on its own with vast resources and natural advantages as one of the best in the country. But, that opportunity was lost and now the situation has reached this stage where those who wanted to part company and live peacefully at that time are now against it as during all these years, there has been a one- sided, top -heavy development of the capital and surrounding areas at the neglect of the coastal areas. Who is responsible for all this? It is the leaders from this area who developed capital as if that would be theirs forever and would be the pride of the country over which they would rule. TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu was at thehelm of affairs in the State for 9 long years and he himself rues now that he had done everything possible for the capital neglecting other areas. He now shouts from housetops that birfurcation will lead to great loss on both sides and knocks at the doors of all political parties in the country.

There are some who believe that if only YS Rajasekhar Reddy had been alive things would not have come to this stage but they forget that he had joined hands with separatists to teach a lesson to his arch rival TDP Naidu. How can one ignore that was due to their wily postures the situation has now reached the present impasse? It is the common people of both the regions who are greatly affected and they look upon each other as arch enemies, for no fault of theirs.

The gulf between the two regions has become so wide that those who hold different views on both sides are not in a position to express them openly.

The 130-year-old party of great stalwarts who sacrificed everything for the country and suffered incarceration has now become a party of pigmies and sycophants. No worthwhile discussion on any subject of vital importance takes place in Parliament and even important Bills are guillotined.

This situation brings to one's mind what one of our most fearless journalists, Frank Moraes, wrote long ago. He accompanied a distinguished visitor to the country to watch the proceedings of the Lok Sabha from the visitor's gallery. After watching for nearly two hours when there was utter pandemonium and nothing had happened, he commented, 'Mr Frank, your country seems to be ruled by a 'bunch of duffers'. Reporting this Frank Moraes wrote that his immediate reaction was to say, 'Not a bunch but 540', but he checked himself lest his guest should carry a very unflattering image of our country's highest legislative body. That was the time when there were still great Parliamentarians like Hiren Mukherjee, H V Kamat, Govindvallabh Panth, Shyamprasad Mukherjee and others on the scene enlivening the august body with brilliant speeches and sparkling wit and repartee. If Frank Moraes were to be present now, is it difficult to imagine how devastating his observation would have been about the caliber and integrity of the present crop in that august body?

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