Monday, December 07, 2009

Telangana IX: Riots turn ugly

[The previous articles in this series are: Telangana - A New State, Telangana II, Telangana III, Telangana IV, Telangana V: Political angle, Telangana VI: Hyderabad State?, Telangana VII: Political Drama, Telangana VIII: You need to make a case, History of Telangana I]

I am not in Telangana right now – therefore I don’t know what’s happening on the ground. But from what I hear, there was rioting in the streets where petrol stations, offices and hotels were vandalized, that people were stopped right in the middle of the streets and forced to chant ‘Jai Telangana’, and that some ‘Andhra’ restaurants were targeted.

From what I hear, it is clear that this people’s movement has gone out of control. I don’t think KCR is in charge of the events except that he has acted as a catalyst. KCR has always been a catalyst, not the initiator of the movement. The Telangana Movement is nearly sixty year old movement. There was uprising against Nizam even before Independence. And after Independence, Hyderabad State existed independent of Andhra and Rayalaseema – where elections were held and Chief Minister chosen. Potti Sriramulu’s death after his hunger strike led to First Reorganization Committee to divide India along linguist lines and that’s when Telangana was forced into joining another state along with Andhra and Rayalaseema. It was clear even then that Telangana people would lose out on many opportunities that will be created in the independent India.

Telangana people under Nizam had no or little education till then. Those who had were educated in Urdu. Meanwhile the people of Andhra were educated under British – learning Telugu and English. So, when the new state of Andhra Pradesh was formed, the prerequisite languages were Telugu and English, and since people of Telangana lacked education in both these languages all the initial jobs were filled up by people of Andhra causing anticipated anguish to people of Telangana.

In 1969 there was a popular student movement in Telangana and many people were killed and jailed. Following that TPS (Telangana Praja Samiti) won 11 out of 12 Lok Sabha seats on a single plank – of creating new Telangana State. Indira Gandhi snubbed that movement while the leaders of Telangana betrayed their own people by joining the Congress and Chenna Reddy became Chief Minister of the entire state.

Our democracy is flawed

Time and again aspirations of Telangana people were snubbed by the politicians of this country. In 2004 elections, TRS and its partner Congress won most of the Lok Sabha seats. TRS had only one stance for the election – creation of Telangana State. In a country where there are no referendums and where democracy touches people only once in five years through elections – it was a clear indication of the mood of the people – that people of Telangana demanded a separate Telangana. The people did not vote for TRS or KCR for their merits – they voted for them to express their desire for separate Telangana.

And yet, this was completely snubbed by Congress to accommodate Rajshekar Reddy’s government at the center. By 2009, TRS lost most of the confidence in their leaders while other political parties also endorsed Telangana. In these elections, other parties which endorsed Telangana also won.

The people of Telangana are confused – they have no way to expressing their desire in the current extremely flawed democratic setup. Each time they vote a party into power, those parties let them down eventually. There is no way of calling back the leaders after they go back on their word. They can only switch to another wily politician. This democracy does not address the actual opinion of its people.

People of Telangana should have been allowed to vote in a referendum seeking separate state. These elections every 5 years are just not working out. The current tools of Indian democracy that include its electoral process do not allow people to express their demands and aspirations.

Rioting is not the way to do it

Even though I can understand why scores of students have spilled out onto the streets, I do not believe that this is the only way to express one’s anger and frustration with India’s democratic institutions that have failed the people of Telangana again and again.

KCR has used the tools of Gandhi – fasting to create another stir. Let the people of Telangana also use other tools of Gandhi – civil disobedience comes to mind. Instead of beating up and breaking things, the protestors should bring Telangana to come to a standstill – using the tools of non-cooperation with the all the institutes of Central Government. Coercing them to understand the aspirations of Telangana Movement is the way to go – not rioting in streets.


  1. Hey,

    I like your blog. I understand you are very committed to separate Telangana.

    I am originally from Prakasam Dist and I moved to Hyd 10 years back. I now got vote in Hyd. I like 'Samaikya Andhra' the way it is now, but if it comes to question of division of our state, I would rather have Hyderabad as separate state or UT. I don't want my Hyderabad be saddled with problems of Warangal just as much with that of Ongole. If I am presented with an opportunity to vote, I would vote accordingly and I am sure a lot of Hyderabadis would vote the same way.
    No amount of convincing will change my opinion, just the way you have a strong opinion for separation. Finally, if a Telangana state is formed, I (and a lot of people like me) have to accept the new political reality and I will probably call myself Telangana(ite?)!

  2. I will ask TRS leaders to declare assets. Let's see who much each has amassed public money by how much.

    Then i have simple question to KCR & cronies. Why can't they can't develop their constituency but they are aiming to develop a dreaming separate state called Telangana??. No way. If that happens only GOD these gullible people. I never heard KCR fighting for a industry or some facilities or anything about his constituency or state. This drunkard is acting well. Farking media is supporting endlessly. These elements are hellbent on destroying our great state AP. Even Tughlak must be laughing in his grave.
    Has any TRS idiot or Telangana supporters can tell me ten serious reasons of dividing this state. NO. They don't know ABC's of a civilized debate.
    I do realize there are lot backward areas in Telangana, Northern Andhra and more places in Rayalaseema. Instead of fighting with central govt and get funds,infrastructure, these idiots are shouting that they want Telangana. How will all these problems will go away magically with just creation of separate state without the change in attitude of these self serving politicians in service of people.
    I think we should have a referendum. Iam sure it reveals only a small minority wants a separate state.

  3. I think what you said is right, and ur educated too, pls also consider the current situation. though its mistake of goverment again, due to lack of ecomonists.
    IF you study or if u DNOT study. STILL STILL u have to go to hyderabad for work. I CANNOT FIND work in where else in AP. this problem has intensified especially with IT, every house in AP has students into IT and JOBS are only in Hyderabad. So ppl HAVE NO choice but to go to hyderabd. thats the problem. U pull out 50% of jobs and shift distribute them into rest of AP. NO one will come to hyderabad and u ppl will be happy.......BUt no dnot say.. hyderabd is lukcy that why we got jobs..... since ur educated u know why IT is developed in hyderabdad.

    the non-telanganite are coming ONLY to hyderabad and NOT to rest of telangana IT clearly states that SOMETHING is wrong...... what is and its JOBS JOBS JOBS IT jobs and dependent jobs.........
    so if u telanga ppl really want to help yourself.. Tell the govt to create IT jobs (govt can easily tell the companies to go to rest of andhra there are many rules to do that)....... then NO one will come to hyderabad.
    JUST be open and think.....andhra or rayalseema or anyone are coming to HYDERABAD not to rest of telangana......that itself must tell u.......its BCZ of JOBS and its BCZ GOVT creating jobs there.........SO PLS tell the govt NOT to over crowd hdyerabad by putting all jobs there...........
    DNOT put all eggs in same basket.

  4. "Anonymous"ising yourself is showing how much you are sophisticated on the issue.

    Do some homework on history! and then comment! get that!

  5. Seperate Telangana for People or for Politicians?????

    My common Observations...

    1) The jobs thing can be solved by implementing 610 GO.
    2) The water allocation problem can solved by Centralizing the thing at national Level.

    3) Dont talk the identy and accent thing... for every 50kms in india we find a different accent and different traditions...

    4) US got 50 india should have as many States..... Thatz crap.. US got many other things which we dont have here...

    5) Development is nothing but catering the peoples needs. the most unfortunate thing is that the policies for development is made by our politicians and they dont change if you create a new map for telugu people or any other people in india.. so why create a chios in people....

  6. While all non-violent methods of protest need to be applauded Gandhi's civil disobedience movement is too hard to replicate in the present day scenario.

    Movements such as these need charismatic leaders and followers who are ready to make sacrifices and most importantly people who are not tainted by cynicism and apathy. The civil disobedience movement managed to cripple the British raj only because it had tremendous popular support. People (which included teachers, lawyers, busnessmen and ordinary farmers) boycotted all govt. run institutions, resigned from govt. departments and refused to use govt. services so that the govt. was drained of all resources.

    Though the Telangana movement seems to be having popular support in that region I don't think all those who support it are necessarily going to march on the streets (barring a few students groups and political parties) and boycott govt. services. I don't think it has acquired that kind of a momentum yet. Also its leaders are too tainted to have any massive appeal among its followers. And most important of all the Indian govt. is not the British govt. If people refuse to work and strike enmasse for prolonged periods the govt. would most likely use force (like ESMA) to bring them back or terminate their sevices and use fresh recruits.

  7. I think people of talangana must be made part of development. What about the responsibility of telangana leaders? Since nizam times talangana leaders betrayed aspirations of telangana people. Telangana leaders should have worked/lobbied for education and development of telangana people. I think telangana leaders failed utterly on their duty. Now when telangana people are demanding their rightful access to development, the leaders of telangana are once again blaming andhra people for all the miseries of talangana people. It is like when Indian leaders fail instead of taking responsibility they blame that its because Chinese are grabbing manufacturing jobs we are left only with service sector.
    My question is how can telangana leaders escape from responsibility?

    Even if telangana forms what is the gurantee that the life of telangana people will be better off in new state.since they are left with the same leaders whose utter disregard for development of telangana people are still in power.

    I grew up in Hyderabad but my parents are from West Godavari we are not rich but we have enough. All my neighbours are Telangana people. Every time we brought a new item in our home or whenever we upgraded our home all our Telangana neighbours grew envious and used to call andraolu hyderabad ni dochukuntunnaru and used to gang up.

  8. Hi

    Even with a seperate state,the politicians bahave same way.They are not going to chnage because of seperation

    Chandrababu naidu who is catalist for IT development in Hyderabad is not from Telangana

    Every district in india has its own identity,We have history of thosands of years

    Many people i talked are more exicited about Real estate prices than welfare of people,that includes people from Kurnool,Vizag and Vijayawada

    I think KC and Thackery should be sent to Andaman fro some time for peace

  9. It is so sad and unfortunate and a failure of the democratic system that is driving people to resort to this kind of protests to get their asprations fulfilled. Violent movements seldom are successful and do not last long, but unfortunately no peaceful movement could practically fetch results in today's system where the wishes of people are mere tools for the politicians to come to power. Congress is undisputed master of this sort of politics.Telangana has been waiting for its 'right decision at the right time' for generations. Today millions of people from every walk of life have come out to plead for what they have been fighting for decades, but there is no hope that it will be met when the Govt is bringing thousands of armed forces to supress them.

    If I can speak for Telanganites,Apologies to normal people from Andhra,Rayalaseema who are suffering from this for no fault of theirs. It is not you who is working in any IT company or earning your livelihood in the hard way, we are against. It is those politicians and administrators who lead to this plight of Telangana and who are continuing to do so. But to all, who blatantly deny our wish, i think a little sensitivity and knowledge on why we wish for Telangana would do a lot better. There is no difference between the people who vandalize and the people who want to supress our wish without reason.

  10. No matter how many people oppose your views, it's important to speak-out. I liked this discussion very much, and I agree with many of you.

    People speaking-out their views, this is what democracy is, isn't it? Well, things have really gone out of control the last couple of days, and I don't know whom to blame for what've happened.

    I certainly don't believe that any of the students who got involved in the riots actually understands anything about a separate state. Who educated them about the benefits that they can possibly get with Telangana as a separate state? Did kcr do that? I don't think so. Students, especially from universities do not need a reason to resort to such violence. But, it's definitely not the students who torched the buses. This is a preplanned and well-funded drama played by these politicians.

    And I absolutely got no idea why it's always the politicians and students that go together to fight for such issues. What about the rest of the people?

    I respect the views of the people no matter where they come from, and I believe if people want something, they should fight for it, but this is not the way.

  11. Suresh,
    It is true that all people who particiapted in this movement may not have the full knowledge about it.But lot of people know what has been going on for decades.Infact I was impressed by the way a spokes person of JAC(Kumaraswamy) from Osmania University spoke in one of the TV interviews.Atleast from my personal experiences 80% of the people had knowledge about how we are discriminated and how it will help us. Three generations have participated in this movement. The movement was not just by students and politicians this time. Govt employees, mine workers, journalists, professors, teachers, peasants,lawyers, doctors particiapted in it.

    Infact it is sad that poeple have to resort to protests to get something in this country. This is because of the power politics that rule this country. Every party has been evading the demand for 50 years. In this country it is becoming practically impossible to get something without some protest. You can see the way how political parties are acting now. Two days back, one party said "We unanimously put the decision in the hands of Sonia ji". One leader said "We support Telangana demand". Even at the fag end of it, it is proven again how the promises made to Telangana people have been handled in the United Telugu state.

  12. Poverty, backwardness, corruption, lack of opportunity and unemployment are endemic to many of the country's States and sub-regions. These are caused by failed policies, misgovernance and the politics of plunder, leading to kleptocracy.

    Large parts of Telangana and Rayalaseema, most of north coastal Andhra Pradesh, upland areas of delta districts, and many families suffering discrimination by birth in every village — all of them are victims of terrible misgovernance and political failure.

    The perpetuation of poverty and under-development is largely the result of the plunder of local politicians and bureaucrats. A change of the State's name or boundaries or capital will not alter anything.

    The need of the hour is to accelerate growth and promote equity and opportunities. What every sub-region of Andhra Pradesh, indeed every part of India, needs is empowerment of people, district governments and third-tier of federalism to help people fulfil their potential.

    We cannot use 19th century notions of divisive politics in a 21th century world

  13. Sai Krishna,
    I agree with you. The only way to overcome this is by fighting against. Just by forming Telangana the fight does not end. We have so many challenges ahead. But we wont have to worry that 100% of our representatives votes also will not become a minority in the system.You know what Im saying. You see whats happening in the last two days. Even if 100% of Telangana MLAs want Telangana, the resolution will fail. We hope we crossed one hurdle.

  14. my Dear Friend Bix,

    When passions subside, the pain and deprivation will be felt.

    There are serious economic issues to be examined on the issue of carving out a separate State in Andhra Pradesh. First, the capital city is a serious bone of contention, and once people and investors lose faith in the future, it will decline rapidly.

    This will hurt both Andhra Pradesh and India, because large cities are now important clusters of growth, and if a Mumbai or Delhi faces economic hardship, the whole nation will be impacted by the fallout.

    Second, parts of the coastal region are agriculturally well-developed and have resources and surpluses. For instance, the coastal region generates surplus revenues in the power sector, and is subsidising power for farmers in Telangana and Rayalaseema. A separate State will be burdened by an unviable power sector.

    Costal regions are always engines of growth all over the world. Telangana is land-locked, and losing the costal region would retard growth and opportunities. Again, this is the first time a land-locked region is seeking to separate from the coastal belt.

    Water resources are always a bone of contention in a monsoon-fed country. Even in a relatively well-managed city of Mumbai, enjoying abundant rainfall on the West coast, water riots took a life recently. In a water-starved region, river water disputes will escalate, and sharing of Krishna and Godavari waters will be a nightmare.

    In the K-G basin off the Andhra coast, abundant natural gas reserves have recently been found, and are being tapped. Already, there is the challenge of sharing natural resources between the home State and the rest of India, and now Telangana will be further depleted.

    Large, unviable lift irrigation projects — at a capital cost of Rs 3-4 lakh per acre and Rs 40,000 per year per acre maintenance cost — have been unwisely proposed in Telangana. They will be a permanent drain on the economy of the region, undermining it without ensuring benefits.
    One main thing i would like to add is that its not you and me who will be ruling.. its our same old politicians who are going to run the show..
    I am just worried about some one getting in to Madhu koda lines...[though it wont bother us, but the state policies and administration will go for a six].
    Socially, economically we the telugu people are at big risk when we go for seperate statehood.

  15. Manohar,

    I appreciate the points you have put forward.I agree with the challenges you put forward for Telangana. But we have been having water irrigation, power problems and various other problems for decades.Lot of these problems could be resolved without help of the resources from Andhra.There is huge amount of water which is going waste into sea which wuld be sfficient for both the regions. Historically Telangana depended on lot of minor irrigation projects and local water bodies. They need to be repaired and made functional.Telangana will not be the only landlocked state.

    I agree that there are challenges and I belive a lot of them could be soved with in. So the question for us was to whether taking this into our hands and solving it ourselves or wait still for another 50 year in a system which do not care about us.I know it is going to be the same politicians, but there will be a starking difference.Though there have been Telangana ministers in the cabinet, the powere has always been centered around Andhra politicians.

    I dont agree at all with the social aspect. My perception is that Telangana is less caste infected and thanks to naxals, the feudal system is marginal now.A telanganite feels an alien in Andhra but not the otherway

  16. Dear Bix,
    Now as you said "the question for us was to whether taking this into our hands and solving it ourselves ".... its can be done with United Andhrapradesh also...
    Why break a family when we can solve things by ourselves...
    Now every one understands the seriousness of the issue.. the whole AP knows the problems.. its up to the local leaders to put the pressure on the Govt to act.
    it would be great if an agitation to solve problems than for division of state..
    let us address the root cause of the problem rather than giving a temporary solution and hoping that the same people will solve some day in future.....

  17. src:

    Posted by Indian and your well wisher on Dec 13, 2009
    Why do politicians not explaining how they are going to improve lives of people if telangana is formed? Dear Telangana Friends, Please ask following questions to your leaders. Please support telangana if you are satisfied with their vision. I wish you good luck whole heartedly for better jobs, development and administration. If not, please DON%u2019T KEEP QUIET. Your leaders might screw up your future. Agriculture: 1.Its fact that telangana is depending on coastal districts and Krishna delta for surplus RICE. How does new govt give FOOD security to people going forward, if it is separated from Andhra? How far it can depend on centre? 2.What%u2019s are plans to improve agriculture given -Average rain fall in telangana is very less -Most of the land is dry/forests/not suitable for cultivation -Most of the land is at high altitude. Lift irrigation projects would be very expensive. 3. What are plans to take up major irrigation projects (Sriram sagar would be completed any way)? How do you arrange finance for it, given state budget would be relatively lesser and there would be other priority areas also to invest in a new state? Industrialization: 1. Its known fact that most industrialized regions in the world are coastal areas. How can you establish manufacturing industries given telangana doesn%u2019t have coast access? 2.Central govt policy is to disinvest in existing govt companies itself even through they are in profits. How can you bring new govt industries into telangana? 3.Can telangana compete with other states which are coastal/mineral rich/industrialized (e.g Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat) and attract private investment (non-services sector)? 4.Telangana is blessed with huge coal reserves. What%u2019s the plan to utilize it properly? Please note that India is investing heavily on nuclear energy and dependency on coal would be relatively lesser by 2020. It means, telangana can%u2019t make much money by selling coal etc. 5.Coastal states might impose heavy duty/fee for using their ports for export/import which would increase prices of food and other goods. How do you handle it? 6.India has gas reserves in Bombay-high, Gujarat coast and KG basin only. How do you negotiate with respective state govt%u2019s and central govt to get some share? 7.If Hyderabad is given to telangana: Hyderabad is known for IT and ITES which are highly non reliable sectors as -These industries can be easily relocated to other parts of India -Highly dependent of world economy -Highly dependent of govt policies of US and Europe. -These industries are almost reached its peak. What%u2019s govt plan to create reliable sources of income? Employment: 1. More than 95% of jobs are there in private sector and govt can%u2019t hold reservations for the state anyway. How does creation of new state would improve job opportunities for telangana people? 2. India and its states are trying their best to attract investment. Why are you seeing investment from other Andhra regions as a treat/monopoly? 3. Hyderabad would definitely lose some investments to other cities (Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai etc) because of current political instability. It would definitely impacts telangana people. How do you handle it? 4. Film industry might slowly move to coastal districts as most of the current producers are from coastal Andhra. People already started constructing many film studios in vizag. How new govt will support people working in film industry. Few IT/ITES companies might also try to transfer a part of their business to get tax benefits/human resources etc. - A friend of you

  18. src: ndtv comments section

    (continution to earlier comment) Central Funds: 1. Many under developed regions in India are also looking for central govt funds. What is the plan, if central govt gives nominal funds (states normal share) only? 2.If Hyderabad is made capital of Telangana, it is Andhra which needs to build new capital. So central funds will (have to) go to Andhra but not telangana. So what additional funds you are getting by dividing state? 3.If Hyderabad is made union territory, both Andhra and telangana have to build new capitals. Its means much of funds needs to be invested in infrastructure. So what kind of development and welfare schemes can you take up? 4. You are unable(didn%u2019t ask) to get any development package for telangana when -There are 42 MP%u2019s - KCR is a central minister -Telangana is a key election issue How can you get funds with just 17 MP%u2019s? General: 1. Govt of AP has brought huge amounts of loans and invested in development of Hyderabad, irrigation projects, infrastructure etc. Telangana would also get its share and would have enough debt burden on your head. How do govt handle it? 2. When many of Indian states have developed their infrastructure and trying to grab their share in FDI / private investments, we would be starting to build our capital itself. Do you think this is right time for TELANGANA? My aim is not to scare you. I am just asking you to THINK and have a development plan before asking for a separate state. India can be called developed nation only when every Indian is developed. -An Indian and your well wishing friend.

  19. Hello Sujai K,
    I have been reading your blogs and you are absolutely fantastic. I have known many facts from your blogs. Telangana is proud to have you and we will definitely achieve separate state. But what if political parties with self-interests do the same thing to Telangana? How do we tackle that? Jai Telangana


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