You know what. I have changed my mind. Let’s stay united. Let’s not split the state.
I am ready to abandon the Telangana cause that I have been a supporter of for nearly 20 years. When I was in my teenage years I began to ask questions and wonder why things are the way they are, I started to unravel the Telangana issue and in the last twenty years, the more I came to understand my region and the politics behind it, the more I became an ardent supporter of Telangana Movement.
Unlike what most commenters assume, my support for Telangana is not a product of brainwashing by the politicians. My stand on Telangana is NOT solely based in support for smaller states for better administration, or based in carving out region along the lines of backwardness, or along the lines of making states on every ethnicity and identity.
My support for Telangana is a product of failure of Indian democracy that has a weakness to marginalize and discriminate certain region clearly along the partisan lines that have roots in cultural, historical and geographical identities. Telangana should have got a chance on its own in new India without being clubbed with a richer, far more literate, and far less feudal, far more irrigated brother in Andhra State. It should have got a chance to prove for itself how it is going to grow up.
A fledgling region that was born out of Nizam State with no history of democratic institutions of British, with no pedigree in advanced school and education system, with no reforms in feudal system, carrying heavy burdens of bonded labor and steep zamindari system, was combined with a far mature region that had experienced the British System for more nearly 200 years where democratic institutions flourished, education system was mature, and feudal system rooted out, and irrigation system well implemented.
It was a sad marriage of unequals from the beginning. It should not have taken place but it did.
Now, my friends of Andhra ask us not to move out of this 50-year marriage. They ask to stay united. They say we can work out things. They implore us to pressurize our fasting leaders to fast for development of the state, not for petty and parochial sentiments to divide the state. They tell us to mature up, stay united, work for development and not division of the state.
I am ready to do that. I am ready to abandon my long standing cause to work things out since my Andhra brothers are so keen on making this marriage work.
Since we have had an experience of being betrayed in the past, we have many worries that the promises won’t be kept. So, how about I propose this to my Andhra brothers?
There may be more than 30 contentious issues on the table of Telangana cause. We may not be able to address all of them now. Therefore, I will be reasonable and ask you to take up only 3 issues. I just picked up any 3 from the top of my head. Since we were not able to push through these issues because of partisan politics where the Andhra-Rayalaseema majority ensured these never got implemented, we seek your support to impress upon your politicians to pass these – because without the support of Andhra politicians, even if all the Telangana politicians vote for it, they won’t pass them in the Assembly which looks for a majority.
Here are three issues that Andhra politicians should go ahead and implement.
- Pass GO 610 which has been pending since 1985 right away and implement its recommendations within the next 2 years.
- Pass the resolutions for constructing a canal from Nagarjuna Sagar dam to Telangana and complete it within the next 5 years.
- Recreate the Regional Committee along the lines suggested in ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ such that all major decisions related to Telangana can be taken up in spite of an overwhelming majority of other regions opposing them. This should be inexistence for the next 20 years.
I am not being unreasonable here. All the above points were agreed upon by Andhra politicians in the past. Even if we were to coerce all our Telangana MLAs to get these done, they do not hold the majority to pass these through. Therefore, we need the help of some of your politicians to get these passed. Currently, there are 123 MLAs of Telangana and we need at least another 25 MLAs of Andhra-Rayalaseema to vote in our favor. Please coerce your politicians to support these causes of Telangana people so that we can continue to stay united.
Think of this a test. We have had too many bounced checks. We want to try out if the check will clear this time. If you can make this work, we are going to completely stop all movements towards creating a separate state. We will start believing that you are indeed going to honor your commitments towards your Telangana brothers. Isn’t that a good start to rectifying our marriage?
What do you say?