Dear Andhra brothers:
Welcome the change. Don’t resist it.
Many Andhras are opposing separation of Telangana not because they are brainwashed by their politicians but because there is a change that is happening and they don’t know how react to it. They fear this change. Most people fear things they don’t know. And right now Andhra people don’t know what would happen to them, to their investments in Hyderabad, to their relatives in Hyderabad, to their Telugu state, and so on.
When their leaders supported Telangana cause during the last elections, these people didn’t know what it meant. They thought those statements were made just like that – like many empty promises that politicians usually make. They heard all other statements from their politicians but chose to ignore the ones concerning Telangana. So, they didn’t get prepared for it. Unfortunately for them, Telangana people ignored every other statement these politicians made and paid attention to only those concerning Telangana cause.
While Telangana people were getting ready to create a new state for the last ten years, Andhra people tried to ignore it, not take a look at it, assuming that by not looking at it they are going wish it away. They were not ready for the change while the change was simmering next door in the region of Telangana.
Now that the change is upon them they don’t know how to react.
I want to assure them that there is no need to fear this change. The change here is for the good of everyone. Certain people who have been suppressed, discriminated and marginalized are finding a voice - that voice may not be in the best interest of you if look at it from the lens of narrow and selfish interest. You have a choice to act mature and welcome it. At this historic moment, one should feel proud that a voice which was suppressed for fifty years is now finding its utterance.
Mahatma Gandhi wanted to make sure British left India on a good note. He urged them to make the transition smooth. He urged Indians to make their exit smooth. That’s what happened in the end. How else could India entertain a British emissary as its first viceroy of Independent India for three years? When British left, they left with fanfare. Indians cheered them, they did not boo them. That’s because the British, though they ruled us against our wishes for nearly two centuries, were mature enough to let it go when the time came.
On the other hand, the French were kicked out of their colonies of Algeria and Indochina with a bloody nose and broken bones. They were shunned. They were hated. There was no friendliness when they left. No cordial relations. That's because they didn't know when to let go.
Andhras have a choice. They could be British of India or French of Algeria/Indochina. Unfortunately, they are choosing to be French of Algeria/Indochina. Prolonging this separation is not in the best interests of Andhra or Telangana people. Andhra people are not realizing this. They are prolonging this stalemate because they see a ray of hope – that they could still get Hyderabad OR convert it into Union Territory thereby depriving Telangana of their prized possession to have the last laugh. That will not go well with Telangana people. They are watching as events unfold. More of them have become stronger supporters in the last few weeks than ever before because they see the betrayal, the greed, and the avarice of Andhra politicians unfolding on live media.
If I were an Andhra person, I would let it go right away. Shake hands with Telangana people, give up Hyderabad to those people who legitimately own it and earn the plaudits as a mature friend. Prolonging this will only sour the relationship for all of us. It will become bitter soon. And after that it will turn into poison for all of us.
While continuing to chant Samaikya Andhra on the streets of Andhra-Rayalaseema which is repugnant to most Telangana people because they see it as another attempt to force Telangana into a united state which they abhor now, some Andhras are worried that there would be a bout of mutual hatred that would spring from this separation.
The only way that could be stopped is if Andhra let go of Telangana right now instead of making it a long and protracted affair where seeds of hatred will be sown deeper and stronger. Starting a bus yatra to unite Andhra without even touching Telangana doesn’t help the situation. Telangana people ask what kind of arrogance is that, you chant united Andhra that includes Telangana but you do not even come to Telangana?
Lots of Andhra people are also worried of the future – on how they are going to lose out on the new economy and new opportunities that a united Andhra Pradesh would have brought.
Now is not the time to think of business. You will have all the time in the world to think of new economy and growth potential in your new state. You will build a grander capital rivaling Hyderabad. People will flock from different regions and settle down in your cities making them cosmopolitan. That’s all in the future. But now the time is to take a stand on one of the greatest moral crisis this region has seen in the last hundred years. Telangana is coming out into light from the darkness. Where do you stand? On the side of justice? Or will you join your politicians to further marginalize and widen the gap with the people of Telangana?
[The related posts are at: Case for Telangana, Telangana II, Telangana III, Telangana IV, Telangana V: Political angle, Telangana VI: Hyderabad State?, Telangana VIII: You need to make a case, History of Telangana I, Telangana IX: Riots turn ugly, Telangana X: Congratulations!, History of Telangana II, Telangana XI: Why so much opposition?, Telangana XII: Ignorance, Bad Faith and Low Opinion. Telangana XIII: Let’s stay United!, Telangana XIV: Letter to Andhra Brothers, Telangana XV: Concerns, Telangana XVI: Samaikya Andhra, Telangana XVII: More Concerns, Telangana XVIII: Betrayal, Telangana XIX: Hyderabad a Union Territory?]