Sunday, December 13, 2009

Telangana XII: Ignorance, Bad Faith and Low Opinion

In the last few days, many commenters hailing from Andhra region living either in Telangana or Andhra region have expressed extreme concern for their fellow brothers in Telangana. They have tried to warn us that we will be worse off in a separate Telangana. They have told us that we will be better off in united Andhra Pradesh.

They cautioned us about Telangana politicians who are wily and cunning. They have tried to enlighten us from the brainwashing our politicians have done to stir this agitation which has only sole purpose – to benefit politicians. They have tried to tell us that this whole charade of Telangana agitation does not benefit any one – that it is a zero-sum game. The only benefiters are the corrupt Telangana politicians. They have highlighted the wretchedness of our Telangana leaders and ridiculed our leaders only to make us understand that these are the kind of leaders Telangana would have.

They have opined that Hyderabad would lose out in investments, that it would lose its shine, that the development would stop, that the new state would not develop at all, that it would just waste away. They told us that the new state of Telangana would be very different from other cities of India - settlers would be targeted and that investors would live in fear. They told us that unlike in Bangalore or Mumbai, where settlers from various regions invest and make it their home, Hyderabad in the hands of Telangana people would be parochial and chauvinistic, thereby kicking out the non-Telangana people.

With so many well wishers of Telangana coming from Andhra region it is becoming hard for me to separate from Andhra Pradesh. I am wondering then how come so many people of Telangana, the students, the professors, the bank employees, the teachers, the government employees, the miners, the officials, the administrators, scientists, intellectuals, are coming out to voice their support for a separate Telangana. Don’t the Telangana people realize how much their Andhra brothers care for them? How come we are under this spell of madmen politicians? How come we are not able to see through their guise while our brothers in Andhra are so perceptive?


So what is wrong with this picture?

Why don’t Telangana people trust their Andhra brothers when they care so much for our development and well-being- when they want us all to stay united like one family?

For a while, I am going to take this concern of Andhra people at the face value. Many of them expressed anguish at this separation. I am going to believe their care and concern for us is genuine and they have completely no ulterior motive to keep Hyderabad for themselves. I am going to believe that they really came to Telangana and occupied all the high positions and then invited their kith and kin to occupy other positions only to educate and enlighten illiterate Telangana people, the way British came into India with a divine purpose to civilize the uncivilized Indians. Or maybe it was just an opportunity that they rode on without an ill will for their Telangana brothers.

These people from Andhra who don’t want to see this state broken up to serve the petty politicians and their agenda of fomenting parochialism want the people of Telangana to stay united and work towards betterment of Telangana people under the aegis of united Andhra Pradesh. These people will believe that somehow the politicians of Andhra are better off compared to politicians of Telangana – why else would they warn us not to get swayed by the crafty politicians of Telangana?

They want us to work things out. If there is any problem they want to hear it and address it. I am quite sure that these are genuine people with genuine interest to see their Telangana brothers get the necessary incentives to improve their region.

But before we come to the common ground where our genuinely concerned Andhra brothers can solve the problems of Telangana, they need to understand few things. First, they need to understand how our democracy works. Next, they need to read a bit about history. That way we can talk the same language, otherwise there will be huge disparity in our information content.

Workings of Indian democracy

They need to understand how our democracy allows a majority to completely suppress a minority consistently for decades without having to be accountable for it. If a region called Telangana elected Communist Party to the Assembly and a region called Andhra elected Congress to the Assembly and if the majority happens to be Congress and if the Center is also governed by Congress, almost nothing that these Communists represent would lead to fruition. Every demand of theirs can be thrown out without having to pay for the consequences. They could be marginalized consistently and still the democracy appears to be working. The only people facing the wrath of such democracy happen to be those people residing in those regions which had voted those communists into power. That happened to be Telangana.

Even if Telangana people learn the art of democracy and vote Congress leaders into power, you could lose out if the leaders of your region happen to be in minority. Nothing that you promote would be taken up by the majority and there is a chance that you will be marginalized consistently for decades. Take the current case for example, when the Center said that they will pass the resolution in Andhra Assembly the majority belonging to Andhra and Rayalaseema has already decided to vote against it making it impossible for minority leaders of Telangana to make a case. In such starkly partisan politics, the minority would always lose out.

A little dose of history

Second, our brothers need to learn history in greater detail. They have been fed with stories from our text books which embellish all our achievements and completely cover up all our mistakes. They create artificial stories to tell them that Potti Sriramulu fasted for entire Andhra Pradesh when in fact he was solely concerned with welfare of his Andhra people. They do not tell the students how Andhras first fought for Madras and when they did not get it, they fought for Hyderabad by combining Telangana into the state. They do not tell the students that even when Andhra Pradesh was formed it was clearly recommended that Telangana could go separate way if things didn’t work out for its people. They do not tell the students how First SRC clearly made a case for Telangana as a separate state which was ignored by New Dehli. They do not tell the students how Gentleman’s Agreement that was agreed upon to protect the interests of Telangana people was eventually flouted completely. They do not tell how the agreements were broken to give thousands of jobs to Andhras in Telangana region. They do not tell how each and every agreement on irrigation, resources and revenues were flouted to benefit Andhra people.

Telugu people do not learn about why Telangana agitation took place and why 350 people died in those shootings. They do not tell the students how a deal was brokered to keep Telangana by offering six-point program and that it was later revoked. They do not tell how GO 36 and GO 610 were initially promised and then when the agitation subsided they were revoked by Andhra politicians.

They do not tell you how the majority Andhra took the state to ransom each time when Telangana leaders try to get what promised to them. They don’t tell the students that it was Andhra politicians who asked for a separate state in 1973 to overturning the Supreme Court ruling that protected the interests of Telangana people. In the last twenty years the implementation of GO 610 was stopped against the wishes of Telangana people.

Bad Faith

The history of Telangana is fraught with broken promises, suppression of minority Telangana by majority Andhra, overruling and overturning of legal judgments that favored Telangana people protection, implementation of discriminatory policies in irrigation, education, employment and energy.

Andhra people wrote many checks which eventually bounced. The history is fraught with so much bad faith that people of Telangana are unable to trust their Andhra brothers anymore. So you have to excuse us when we don’t take your words of care and concern at the face value. Too much has happened in the history that we cannot ignore those cases.

Low Opinion

The commenters from Andhra have cajoled their Telangana brothers to stay united, not to break this country into tiny states, and preserve a united Telugu land where all Telugu people can prosper under one banner. While those remarks show utmost care and concern for their fellow Telangana brothers, one cannot ignore a tone of condescension in them.

When the give their advice, they do it as if they occupy a superior moral ground and higher purpose of keeping the country united, preserving Telugu culture, and ensuring investments continue to happen, while their Telangana brothers go about streets, rioting, burning buses, drunken by the parochial and chauvinistic passions of identity politics creates solely to get political mileage by wile and cunning Telangana politicians.

They deride Telangana people, and their inability to grasp the loss they are going to endure. They believe that Telangana people are acting like as zombies who have no mind of their own. They describe Telangana people as lazy, losers, who didn’t fight enough for themselves in the past. They believe that Telangana people are na├»ve, completely ignorant, a herd of sheep that follows the butcher to the slaughterhouse.

These words of care and concern sound hollow to us when it is coming from such a supercilious stand and we dismiss them the way Indians dismissed the caring words of Winston Churchill.

What do we expect from Andhra people?

We expect solidarity from Andhra people on this juncture, a sense of camaraderie, a note that suggests they understand our plight, not ridicule our cause. Without that, it would be hard for us to believe that there is even a chance we could continue to stay united.

We want them to question their own leaders why so many GOs that were designed to protect Telangana people were never implemented. We want them to question their leaders why there was no canal from Nagarjuna Sagar dam to Telangana. We want to question their leaders why they allowed so many Andhra people to take up jobs in Telangana while almost no Telangana person was given a job in Andhra.

We want to question their leaders why they voted the minority Telangana into submission each time their raised their issues in the State Assembly. We want to ask their leaders why they flouted each of the ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ that harmed the relationship with Telangana people.

Also, we expect Andhra people NOT to keep raising the issue of Hyderabad again and again. That’s when we start doubting your motives. We start believing that your only incentive to stay with us is because Hyderabad belongs to us. And each time you say that you want Hyderabad as a Union Territory it further corroborates our belief that you don’t have an iota of care or concern for your Telangana brothers. We start asking, so not only did you do injustice to us all these years, now, you want our only city as well?

[The related posts are at: Case for Telangana, 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, Telangana IX: Riots turn ugly, Telangana X: Congratulations!, Vision for Telangana I, History of Telangana II, Telangana XI: Why so much opposition?]

15 comments:

  1. You mentioned: "We want to ask their leaders why they flouted each of the Gentlemens Agreement that harmed the relationship with Telangana people".

    I would say, ask YOUR leaders why they were asleep and were not working for their constituents. It is not like all of Andhra colluded and worked together for their development at the expense of Telangana. Our political hierarchy works upwards from villages, mandals, municipalities to Districts to State and there is no place for regional politics here. Even in Andhra, whatever development is done is despite our politicians, not because of them.

    Are you not ashamed to use the word 'settlers' or compare people from Andhra with the British? The British came to India to loot and go away. People from Andhra moved in search of jobs and for business, to live there and have highly contributed to local economy. The same is true for people from Telangana who moved to Andhra, albeit in far fewer numbers.

    How can anyone not talk of Hyderabad. The city is what it is today because it is the capital of AP and people from all of AP have contributed for its development. You sing great paeans to 400 years of Hyd history, but name one industry/ company which existed before independence and is still present now? So many families of AP got investments or their family members working in Hyd. People like you accord greater importance to 400 years of perceived glorious history than the more relevant last 60 years of history.

    The separatists call us 'Andhra palakulu', characterize us as evil blood sucking parasites to build their case and keep emotions boiling. The same mouths also assuage the vast businesses that their investments will be safe. How can anyone trust this? People are worried more about Hyderabad than any place because there is tremendous amount of money at stake and any gullible can understand this.

    You used Martin Luther King's analogy of bounced check. In the spirit of great King, fight for your rights within the existing framework rather than fanning separatist agenda.

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  2. Manohar:

    I would say, ask YOUR leaders why they were asleep and were not working for their constituents.

    You may not know this but however corrupt and wile our politicians were, they came under pressure many a times in the last fifty years and did try to work for their constituents. But the political framework of India was such that they could not manage anything. When they raised objections as Communist and Opposition parties in 1960s, they were granted agreements which were later revoked by the democratic process. When in 1970s, they voted themselves as TPS to get a separate state they were cowed down by Indira Gandhi with a grant of another agreement. When this agreement was once again nullified in an assembly which was dominated by Andhra-Rayalaseema region, our leaders took the recourse of law. Supreme Court upheld the agreement, but it was later revoked by an act of Parliament when the Andhra-Rayalaseema held the Center for ransom by demanding a separate state for themselves.

    In the last twenty years, the implementation of GO 610 was held back by the majority of Andhra-Rayalaseema though it was raised by Telangana politicians, however corrupt and wily they were.

    In 2004, when Telangana voted TRS-Congress alliance to power because they guaranteed a separate Telangana, the Congress went back on their word eventually leaving the leaders of TRS in lurch.

    In the last sixty years, nothing worked for people of Telangana. All the recourses, electoral, democratic and legal institutes failed to safeguard interest of Telangana thereby proving that things will never work out for them within a single state.

    A little dose of history would help. I really hope that commenters have a historical perspective before they start writing anything on this blog. It helps in making a rational discussion. This is way too one-sided where one of them is teaching history while the other is just obstinately refusing to learn.

    It is not like all of Andhra colluded and worked together for their development at the expense of Telangana.

    If you look at the history of Telangana, it does indeed look like they colluded and worked together though there was no preset agenda as such. The current fiasco of December 2009 only elicits further where all the MLAs of Andhra-Rayalaseema resigned en masse to ensure the current resolution on Telangana is not taken up. This only proves further how partisan our assembly works.

    Are you not ashamed to use the word 'settlers' or compare people from Andhra with the British?

    I am not ashamed to use the word ‘settlers’ in this context. I am a ‘settler’ in Bangalore and have no problem in calling myself one. Domicile guarantees agreed in ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ of 1956 should have ensured that Telangana region and Andhra region were treated separately though they belonged to the same state. Hence a person moving and living in another region can easily be called a ‘settler’ the same way as a Gujarathi who lives in Mumbai.

    The British came to India to loot and go away. People from Andhra moved in search of jobs and for business, to live there and have highly contributed to local economy. The same is true for people from Telangana who moved to Andhra, albeit in far fewer numbers.

    Once again a little dose of history would have helped. I am getting a bit exhausted answering the same queries of people.

    Mulki rules agreed in ‘Gentelmen’s Agreement’ clearly stipulated that a huge percentage of new jobs and opportunities arising in each region would be reserved to the people of that region. These were completely flouted for the last sixty years.

    So, Andhra people moving into Telangana to take up jobs is not to be treated as ‘moving in to search for jobs’ and instead seen as ‘usurping the jobs’. Those jobs were deemed illegal by the courts of India again and again.

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  3. Manohar:

    So many families of AP got investments or their family members working in Hyd.

    Absolutely, there is no denying that many people from many regions contributed to Hyderabad. The way many settlers of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, North and South have contributed to the city of Mumbai. The way many settlers from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala contributed to the city of Bangalore.

    But no matter how many settlers settle in these cities and contribute towards its development these cities continue to belong to their regions. Mumbai belongs to Maharashtra and not Gujarat. Bangalore belongs to Karnataka and not Tamil Nadu.

    The separatists call us 'Andhra palakulu', characterize us as evil blood sucking parasites to build their case and keep emotions boiling.

    That’s unfortunate. Such characterization is very common with any heated political movement. It does show how Telangana people perceive of Andhra people. There may be no truth in such characterization. But I can assure you that once a separate Telangana is created such animosities will subside.

    The same mouths also assuage the vast businesses that their investments will be safe. How can anyone trust this?

    Once again a little dose of history helps. Most Indian cities have a history of targeting certain settlers. Shiv Sena came into existence by targeting Tamil businesses and people. Almost every year, some incident or the other leads to targeting of Tamils in Bangalore. Biharis were targeted in Kolkata. In comparison to the targeting of settlers in Mumbai and Bangalore, Hyderabad may have seen less than 1/100 of the incidents. With such a rating, I would say that businesses would be safer by 100 times in Hyderabad compared to Mumbai or Bangalore. That’s good enough for us.

    You used Martin Luther King's analogy of bounced check. In the spirit of great King, fight for your rights within the existing framework rather than fanning separatist agenda.

    We are fighting with the existing framework. The existing framework allows for new states in India.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ Manohar
    So many families of AP got investments or their family members working in Hyd

    Manohar, let me allay your fears, if I may.

    The people of Telangana have been through a brutal regime. In case you haven't noticed, Muslims exist and continue to thrive Telangana area despite the countless atrocities committed by them in Nizam rule.

    You guys are not as bad a Nizam, so you will not be forcefully evicted. No worries. We will keep you employed and continue to watch your movies even though you make a caricature of us and make us villians and fools.

    characterize us as evil blood sucking parasites
    Assume, a metric unit N, 1 Nizam as the most brutal rulership.

    Andra rule = 0.68 Nizams. No, you are not as evil and as blood sucking as them. Marginally better!!

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  5. Sujai,
    I agree with you. Its enough we take insults on our politicians. Who is not selfish nowadays? Even the andhra politicians are opportunistic. If I said this any other time, how many andhra people would disagree with me? My statement would have been just washed away as something everybody knows and that I did not make a point that nobody understands.
    Actually in reality the politicians and in fact behavior of every representative whether they are government officials, clerks and all other concerned with the administration usually represent the behavior of the population they come from. Like king like people is of course an old adage.
    So if our leaders are being scrutinized for their opportunism, selfishness, incompetency it indirectly points towards each and every person in the population, each one of us.
    In the case of telangana and the allegations put forward by our brothers and sisters against the politicians of our region is actually directed against each and every one of us in telangana. But this is put forward in a compassionate mask so that we feel weak.
    Actually the helplessness, we the people of telangana feel as part of unified state is also felt by our politicians. This everyone recognized today and that is why we are revolting.

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  6. I have to admit that this is quite an informative blog and it definitely made an impact on how I would perceive the issue of Telangana. Having been born in Mahabubnagar and brought up in Hyderabad, I could say that I am as Telangana as anyone else. The whole problem is because of the water and money being spent on projects in the 2 regions. Leaders have every right to develop their own region otherwise people will blame him that being elected he is not caring about their constituency.
    YSR developing kadapa for example, not many leaders of that stature have been from the telangana region. I mean people who have strong fist on things and can decide how the policies go.
    I am open for a seperate Telangana State and would love to see my area being developed. But I cant see the present party under KCR is good enough to handle Telangana. They are formed not because of their love for Telangana, they are formed because they don't have any other identity to rely upon. These politicians are agitating for the positions, money, fame and not for the development of the region. Tell me one good thing that KCR has done by becoming Central Minister for the region.

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  7. Srikanth your worries are genuine regarding if politicians would successfully lead telangana into development.
    But remember if at all KCR is going to be leader of govt then it is only for few years. He has to contest in elections again and people of telangana are not naive anymore, they already showed him that by voting him out in elections 2009.
    So atleast we need not suffer under a political party that gained power by alluring some leaders of this region and winning most of its repr. from andhra. It is better to have our politicians hold responsibility and blame for our state/region rather than reprimanding the politicians of other regions in an unified state.

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  8. Sujai, You wrote "The coal mines and power plant of Singareni lie in Telangana region, but the backward districts of Telangana get no power. " The true picture in coal and power does not help the cause of your advocacy. Better remove these lines. Please find the clarifications below:

    1. Allocation of coal is a central subject. So, it does not help if Telangana state is formed. Telangana cannot decide where the coal should be used.It would be decided by the central government.
    2. In fact, today, coal from singareni is supplied to other states Karnataka (large quantities to Raichur Thermal Power Plant), Tamil Nadu (displacement method) etc., apart from Andhra Pradesh.
    NTPC Ramangundam plant gets coal from Singareni. But 70% of the power share belongs to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Pondicherry.
    3. Singareni coal fires up Kothagudem, Ramagundam (state plant) and Bhupalapally plants in Telangana apart from feeding the old Vijayawada plant. But all new plants in coastal /seema got coal linkages from talcher in orissa.
    4. Power to agricultural pumpsets in AP is today free. The government pays the subsidy amount to the utilites. The fact is 20 Lakh pumpsets of the total 28 Lakh pumpsets are in Telangana. and more than 70% of the power subsidies paid by the government benefit telangana farmers.
    5. Even after you include the revenues from Hyderabad city, the power sector in Telangana would make losses. This is a hard fact. See the annual accounts of the power distribution companies. In fact if you see the annual accounts of the power utilities in the last ten years, you would find that the telangana utilities are cross subsidized by the revenues generated by coastal region.

    I can substantiate all these statements from public domain information avaialable on the electricity regulatory commission's website.

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  9. Sujai, You said " Out of 10 government medical colleges in AP, only one exists in non-capital Telangana while 7 of them are based in Andhra–Rayalaseema.".
    I wonder why it is a common practice among Telangana proponents to use statisitics of "other than Hyderabad". Isn't Hyderabad part of the Telangana region ? We are all aware that 85% of the seats in Government Medical colleges in Hyderabad are reserved to local candidates of the Telangana region.

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  10. Sujai, you wrote "Domicile guarantees agreed in ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ of 1956 should have ensured that Telangana region and Andhra region were treated separately though they belonged to the same state."

    True.. But we should be clearly aware that Gentlemen's agreement talks about only the lower classes of the employee cadres. (Certain classes of NGOs and workmen). It does not cover higher classes of employee cadres. Just like there is no local reservation for IAS/IPS. So senior officers in the state level cadre are not covered by Gentlemen's agreement or 610 GO. I am just mentioning these lines since many Telangana proponents seem to think that "Andhra officers working in Telangana is a form of injustice to Telangana."

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. Chandra,


    Out of 10 government medical colleges in AP, only one exists in non-capital Telangana while 7 of them are based in Andhra–Rayalaseema

    I wonder why it is a common practice among Telangana proponents to use statisitics of "other than Hyderabad"


    First, Sujai made it clear by saying: non-capital

    The problem is of double-standards. JNTU was moved from Warangal to Hyd. Open Univ from Nalgonda to Hyd. The reasoning used was -- all Univs should be in Hyd.

    However, this was conveniently forgotten when NTR Univ of Health Sciences, SVIMS, Dravidian, Padmavathi Mahila Vish were formed in Andhra.

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  13. Chandra,

    Reg your power post. There are a million ways to solve this.

    Best way is to nationalize gas resources in Andhra, setup a gas-based power production plant in Adilabad, Nalgonda or Mahabubnagar (or anywhere else in Telangana!).

    If coal in Telangana can be nationalized, so can gas. Transporting gas is also far cheaper, just lay a pipeline.

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  14. Chandra,

    Andhra officers working in Telangana is a form of injustice to Telangana.

    Regardless of any agreement, it is an injustice. It is called colonialization.

    When the British did it to you, you complained colonialization, imperialism, blah, blah.

    When the Tamilians did it by taking over most of the administrative position, you whined about it and got a new state. This, inspite of you (Andhra) having the same amount of exposure to British administration as Tamilians.

    Second, cite your sources.

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  15. Chandra:

    I wonder why it is a common practice among Telangana proponents to use statisitics of "other than Hyderabad". Isn't Hyderabad part of the Telangana region ?

    What is obvious to you isn’t obvious to most proponents of Samaikya Andhra movement. They lay claim to Hyderabad and hence such a practice.

    ReplyDelete

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