Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Can SriKrishna Committee Verdict Answer Telangana Demand - Prof.K. Nageshwar
The demand for a separate state of Telangana is unlike the statehood demand in many other parts of the country. It is a sub-regional aspiration that encompasses several tangibles and intangibles.
You have to bear in mind that there was a state in existence prior to the formation of present-day Andhra Pradesh on November 1, 1956. Just like there was a separate Andhra state with its capital in Kurnool. So the feeling that the people of Telangana lost their home, their land in the merger to form Andhra Pradesh is very strong.
There is a perceived educational deprivation and this perception is crucial to understand the psyche of the people of Telangana today. Inequalities elsewhere cannot be seen the same way here. Whether it is in terms of jobs, irrigation, political power, culture and so on and so forth.
Political assurances and Constitutional safeguards were promised in 1956 and many a time thereafter to keep the state together. History is witness that many of these promises were neglected. The Gentlemen Agreement that promised safeguards for Telangana, the Presidential Order that replaced Mulki Rules, the 610 GO issued to protect local rights, the recommendations of the Girglani Committee that looked into violations of GO 610, etc., were all consigned to libraries for historians to refer.
Meanwhille, the farcical theory of Hyderabad as aFree Zone mocked at people of Telangana. This theory has further infuriated those who are demanding separate state. Infact the inept handling of this issue by the state government gave a fresh lease of life to KCR who was then drubbed by series of desertions and defeats. Unfortunately the protagonists of United Andhra Pradesh never expressed serious concern over these violations that provided fertile ground for politics of separate state for Telangana. Scores of leaders from M.Chenna Reddy to K.Chandrasekhar Rao ploughed on this fertile land to reap rich political harvest.Even today ruling and opposion parties, leaders of major political parties are making a hectic bid to do the same.But unfortunately even many of today’s self proclaimed leaders of Telangana cause were made little or no effort to implement the political promises and constitutional safeguards promised for Telangana. Those who remained nude spectators to this spectacle may once speak about separate state or else second and revised edition of similar such safeguards. So if Srikrishna committee now talks of safeguards again, people will obviously say it is old wine in new bottle. If a similar promise is made this time, the onus is on the political system to give confidence to the people of Telangana.
A suffering man will be not satisfied if you recite John Keats' poetry to him. A thing of beauty is certainly not a joy for ever for him. The political leadership has to bear that in mind. The issues raised by the people of Telangana are real and serious whether or not some one sympathizes with the demand for separate state for Telangana. It was promised that surplus generated from Telangana will be spent in Telangana. That is not done. Even legendary leaders like P.Sundarayya questioned this in the State Assembly in the first few years of formation of Andhra Pradesh. One certainly cannot call him a supporter of Telangana separate statehood demand. There is a sizable migration from coastal Andhra region to Telangana and it is a factor that separates people. The integration can never be effective when there is resentment against people of the other region. Interestingly enough the migration is not just confined to State Capital. On the other hand there is no such migration from Telangana to Coastal regions. This fact of demography cannot be wished away.
Source of Irrigation has been a sore point for Telanganites. If Nagarjunasagar dam had been constructed a bit above where it is now, Telangana would have benefitted more. The region feels it did not get a good share of the Krishna waters even though it enters Andhra Pradesh through Mahbubnagar. Paradoxically, yet 10 lakh people migrate from the district every year. The Jurala and RDS projects do not get even 50 per cent of the water allocated to it. The Icchampally project was never taken up, due to lack of political will. Whereas YSR went overboard trying to get the Polavaram and Pulichintala projects implemented.
The bias is pretty obvious. A civil contractor from coastal Andhra working on a project in Hyderabad will get his labour from back home, not from closer by areas in the Telangana region. Even though Telangana gave a prime minister to the country in the form of P V Narasimha Rao, it didn't achieve anything for the region. Ditto with Chenna Reddy as chief minister.
On the other hand though Telangana accounts for nearly 42 percent of state, the leaders from this region occupied Chief Minister post for relatively much shorter period. The promise of deputy Chief Minister still eludes Telangana.
These may seem symbolic, but the symbolism of having a CM does matter to people of Telangana. The Telangana regional board which was constituted as part of the Gentleman's agreement, never got to function because of lack of political will.
Even the Telangana dialect being made fun of in Telugu films is a sore point. Why should only the villain or the comedian speak in Telangana dialect? Telangana festivals, places, social customs and cultural practices hardly find place in telugu films which are symbols of popular culture. Interestingly, telugu films often receive huge collections in Telangana called Nigam Area in film industry.
There are obviously no easy answers to a complicated problem but first and foremost, it is important to diagnose the ailment properly. The Telangana people should have the confidence in the radiologists who conducts this diagnosis and the doctor who prescribes treatment.
Posted by Prof.K.Nageshwar at 9:50 AM