Plebiscite in Hyderabad
When I said that there can’t be any plebiscite in the city of Hyderabad to decide its future, some commenters interpreted it as a sign of Telangana’s fear or cowardice. If I challenge Mike Tyson for the title of World Heavy Weight Boxing, and if Mike Tyson fails to hold a match, then I have an option to believe that Mike Tyson is afraid of fighting me. But then I would be suffering from bouts of self-aggrandizement and self-delusion.
The only reason why a plebiscite cannot be held in a city is because cities in India are not treated as distinctly different from their regions. A region is a collection of districts and cities. Gates of cities are opened to all kinds of people to come in and live. But that does not mean the city dwellers will now start believing they can somehow escape the outcome of regional politics. If cities in India are given an option for plebiscite then all of them would show their disenchantment with the regional politics and would like to opt out. If that happens no region would like to build cities in future because they will lose out eventually.
A demand for plebiscite in a city does not make a case. If there is no response it is a result of common sense, not because of fear or cowardice.
The offensive T-word
An MP from Andhra, Purandeshwari, was commenting on Samaikya Andhra agitation on TV yesterday. This is what she said: [Translated from Telugu]
Since I was a little kid, I always learnt I was a Telugu. I never learnt I belonged to Andhra region or Rayalaseema or.. (pause) any other region...
She couldn’t say the word ‘Telangana’. It has almost become an offensive word like F-word that we don’t normally use. The whole charade of Samaikya Andhra is quite amusing to me. Never do they say anything about Telangana. They don’t mention the word ‘Telangana’ and they don’t talk about it. They only talk about one person – KCR, as if he is Telangana.
One sided love story: Tu hain Meri Kiran
During 1990s there was a movie released called Darr starring Shah Rukh Khan who is obsessively in ‘love’ with Kiran (played by Juhi Chawla). The sad part is that Juhi Chawla does not love him back. So Shah Rukh Khan goes after her like a mad man. He sings:
Tu Haan Kar, Ya Na Kar, Tu Hain Meri Kiran [Whether you say YES or NO you are still mine]
That’s how Samaikhya Andhra is wooing Telangana. They are forcing themselves onto us when we are completely over them. This one sided love story is becoming a little bit suffocating for Telangana.
In the beginning Juhi is still sympathetic to this obsessive lover. But over a period of time she starts hating him and eventually the whole one-sided love affair becomes quite violent. That’s what is happening in Andhra Pradesh now. Samaikhya Andhra people are becoming violently in ‘love’ with Telangana; and are not letting them go.
Andhras and British
When I wrote that British left India on a good note in my previous post Welcome the Change, some Andhras got offended by such a comparison. Some asked if such a comparison was warranted. Here I explain.
Though British build Indian Railways, Indian Administrative Service, Post and Telegraph, and installed democratic institutions, judiciary, rule of law, and built the cities of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, and build Lutyens Delhi, British did not claim any of these when they had to leave India. They didn’t intend to carry any of them with them when they left India. Their exit was graceful because they didn’t play any such antics.
Unlike British, Andhras are making this separation really messy by clamoring for Hyderabad claiming they have built the city.
Andhras had a miniscule contribution to development of Hyderabad and yet they make a claim to the entire history as if their insignificant contribution in taxes and investments actually makes a case. Even if there is any contribution, it is easily compensated by the loss Telangana endured because of this union in the last fifty years. Telangana people believe that they have lost more than what they have gained because of their forced association with Andhras.
Are small states really bad?
Some detractors warn us that as a separate state Telangana would not be able to improve or develop. Just take a look at the examples of other small states that have broken up from their mother states.
Here is an article from Times of India, 20 December 2009:
Amazingly, all three new states have grown fabulously fast. Uttarakhand has averaged 9.31% growth annually, Jharkhand 8.45%, and Chattisgarh 7.35%. All three states belong to what was historically called the BIMARU zone, a slough of despond where humans and economies stagnated. Out of this stagnant pool have now emerged highly dynamic states.