Thursday, March 04, 2010
Telangana 51: My answers to questions for JP
I have taken liberty to answer some of the questions that Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) of Lok Satta was asked. In most cases JP was vague and completely evasive. He is not taking a stand on many questions. Here is my rebuttal.
kondal311: Do you mean politicians are using this sentiment for their gain. In 2004 elections TRS was part of UPA and during 2009 it joined hands with TDP. Almost all parties said they are OK for telangana during 2009 elections. Is it oppertunistic politics or Do we need Telangana really ?
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: In our first-past-the-post system(our election system in which even one vote majority gives the victory to a candidate), parties are desperate to get a few more votes to be in power. So, they mean one thing, but say another thing. It is these short term political tactics which lead to this crisis.
Sujai: Yes, politicians are using this sentiment for their gain. Every political party in India, Congress, TDP, Praja Rajyam, TRS, and even those who are not contesting in Telangana, like NCP, Trinamool Congress, BSP has endorsed Telangana. They all want to get political mileage out of this sentiment. During British rule in India, Congress and Muslim League won most of the elections because they all said they are fighting for freedom. Just because some political parties have used a sentiment doesn’t mean the sentiment does not exist. Most of Telangana people want a separate state and they voted those parties which promised them Telangana, which happen to be many parties.
K Suresh:Good evening sir.Earlier we didnt see much responce from students on telengana issue.why do you think students are actively participatiing in telengana issue?
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Jobs are important, and there is a misplaced hope that everyone will get government jobs if a new state is created.
Sujai: Every great movement on the planet which brought about great changes for their people was carried out by students. The fight for freedom in Tiananmen Square in China was carried out by students; the fight against Vietnam War in US was carried out by students. Even the recent anti-Iraq War protests in US were carried out by students. The fact that there is a Black man as US president is a change the young people of United States brought about. Therefore, the fact that students are carrying out this movement in Telangana shows that it is beyond political parties and that it is truly a people’s movement. We should celebrate this instead of ridiculing it like JP is doing.
Yogeswar:In the same breath, I would like to know if Telangana is relevant at all. Though the question is very direct, i would like to know the answer in a holistic way.
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: I have addressed this question in my earlier replies.
Sujai: Yes we need Telangana. It is a political decision that 3.5 Crore Telangana people are waiting for and demanding for. When two distinct regions exist within a region, and if one region continuously suppresses the voice of the other region using the clout of majority, flouting all safeguards and protections, creation of a new state is a practical solution.
srikanth:I'm more concerned with the development of hyderabad happened so far.Do you think hyderabad as an union territory will develop further or as a state capital of an unified andhra or telangana?.
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We should not jump the gun at this stage. Let us calmly sit and resolve the issues.
Sujai: Making Hyderabad an UT just because some people have paid taxes to develop it or because some people feel they are not safe is a dangerous precedent for all cities in India. That way Mumbai and Bangalore will become UT right away. We should not deprive the regions of their cities. A city is crown jewel of a region. That region sacrifices a lot and diverts lot of attention and resources to a city to make it attractive for all immigrants to come and settle. Depriving Telangana of Hyderabad and making it a UT sets a wrong precedent in India. In future no city will allow immigrants after that.
sharif:What is your stand on Justice krishna's panel. is it political gimmick played by indian Govt.
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: At this stage, we need a platform for peaceful dialogue. We also need an impartial body to gather views and to determine facts about development, discrimination, if any, and problems. Therefore, constitution of the Committee is a sensible step.
Sujai: There is no need to form a Committee at this stage. This is a delay tactic. We have reached a stage where people are looking for a political decision, not another statistical report. There have been many reports and many recommendations before this. What about them? All parties endorsed Telangana? What about them? So many agreements have been flouted, all promises broken? What about them?
Dinakar:Also Sir, the main point being raised by all these political leaders is "No-Development in the region". But in my view the main block for this was PWG. The same happened in districts like Sri Kakulum, Vijayanagaram etc. also, because of PWG. But since 2002, after govt. taking stern action against pwg, we are seeing lot of development in this region. Nobody is even looking in that aspect. Everybody is behind vote bank politics. what is your say?
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: I have given plenty of statistical evidence to show that Telengana districts are growing fast economically. But we need to do a lot more im education, healthcare, skills, small towns development, agro-processing, rural power supply, infrstructure etc. But that is unrelated to seperate statehood.
Sujai: We are being made fools today. The statistical data showing percentage growth is flawed. A country like Ethiopia grows at 11.4% GDP while USA grows only at 2% GDP but the actual growth of USA in absolute numbers is thousands times more than the growth of Ethiopia. Impoverished regions show a very high percentage growth even if they make small progress. Telangana showing rapid growth is like Ethiopia growing. PWG came about because 1969 agitation for Telangana was ruthlessly suppressed. If we don’t give Telangana now there will be another wave of Naxalism in this region. Naxalism takes roots when there is no development and not the other way round.
PC:Sir, What do you feel would be the best strategy on Hyderabad just in case a separate telangana state forms. Would it be justice to Andhra in case Hyderabad forms only Telangana Capital? Would Telangana accept the idea of common capital?
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Any solution will have to be broadly acceptable to all. Let us wait and see
Sujai: Hyderabad belongs to Telangana because it resides in that region and also because it is linked to Telangana historically and culturally. Any bifurcation on this planet leads to one region getting the capital while the other region has to build a new one. The region which has to build a new capital should get funds. Common capital will not work mainly because Hyderabad lies inside Telangana; there is lot of mistrust amongst Andhras and Telanganas making it even more difficult.
Badal:Sir, As an ex IAS officer do you support separation of state. It is more of a political play rather than development need. More division means further more descimination and it will create more regionalism and hatred b/w AP and telangana people...
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: This is not a great moral question. We can decide either way provided all stake-holders are satisfied, national repercussions are addressed, and the real solution of district governments is implemented. Strong views are not necessary, as it is neither a catastrophe, nor a panacea.
Sujai: Yes, I do support more separation of states. India can easily accommodate another 20 states. More states results in giving voice and expression to many suppressed groups in India. It also leads to better administration and governance. More division does not lead to more discrimination because each region is now protected against the onslaught from another region. It minimizes discrimination. Hatred is more when you are forced to stay under the same state. Andhras would have hated Tamils more if they had been forced to stay in Madras State. Now, the hatred is almost nonexistent because they got separated before animosity became too much. It is better to let go of Telangana. That will immediately decrease hatred in the region.
pavva:Is it true that really telangana region losing their funds and water?
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: - About funds - there is no discrimination whatsoever. - Regarding water, Telangana accounts for about 20% of the total catchment area of Krishna river. But Telangana contributes 263 TMC of water to the river, and is allotment 280 TMC for the projects in Telangana. Coastal Andhra region gets more because AP gets a higher share than the catchment; water always flows down-stream into the sea; and there is prior use of water in the coastal belt that established riparian rights for about 150 years. Clearly, there is no discrimination. Growth of irrigation in Telangana is much higher over the past 50 years - partly canal, partly bore-wells. But there has been no discrimination by governments. Geography gives each region same advantages, and causes some problems. Everything cannot be equally distributed.
Sujai: Yes. There has been discrimination towards Telangana for a very long time. Telangana does not get the share of waters it is supposed to get. Bachawat Tribunal guaranteed 260 TMC (41%) of Krishna water from Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, but Telangana gets only 185 TMC (30%). Clearly, there is lot of water that is being diverted to Andhra that actually belongs to Telangana. Canal water comes for practically free. Because Telanganas are not given their water, they have to depend on borewells. Right now, the situation in Telangana is grim because water tables are depleted and farmers have to try 7 to 8 attempts before they hit water. Those farmers who don’t hit water end up in big debts and commit suicide.
Yogeswar:Sir, This discussion is very intellectual. In order to make a common man who is a student or a villager in Telangana , who are seeing a great advantage in Telangana, understand that it is not the Panacea, what would you suggest?
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: - Let each district have its own government. - Let all simple jobs go to locals - and let us create an authority to enforce it. - Let each village have Rs. 1000 per capital right away every year to take care of local problems. - Let us ensure that each child has real education, healthcare and skills to be able to stand up with dignity and self-reliance. This is the language everyone understands. We need this message to go everywhere - all over India.
Sujai: First Telangana, then sort out other problems, the way India sorted out many of its problems only when it became independent from British. JP should first implement his method in some place and show that it works before he tries to push another experiment onto Telangana people. He is giving ideal and romantic ideas instead of giving a practical solution to a real problem. Its like we are facing a war with a neighbor who possesses nukes, and he is preaching that all countries should get rid of their nukes.
mahesh:I need some clarification on what factor telangana districts are growing much faster than andhra region districts. Can u please ans me?
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: I have presented many parameters and the growth in Telangana & rest of AP over 50 years. The facts speak for themselves. If you see the annual growth rates of gross district domestic product of various districts from 1994-95 to 2006-07, the facts are revealing. 1994-95 to 2006-07 - Annual average growth rate. AP: 6.68% Nalgonda: 7.38% Khammam: 6.99% Warangal: 7.57% Karimnagar: 7.53% Adilabad: 6.46% Nizamabad: 6.30% Medak: 7.34% Hyderabad: 10.41% Rangareddy: 9.32% Mahabubnagar: 8.34% Rayalaseema: Kurnool: 5.33% Ananthapur: 5.82% Cuddapah: 4.90% Chittoor: 4.73% coastal AP Nellore: 5.09% Prakasam: 6.80% Guntur: 4.81% Krishna: 7.01% West Godavari: 5.79% East Godavari: 6.46% Visakhapatnam: 9.65% Vizianagaram: 5.81% Srikakulam: 6.58% you can see these trends - these are long term trends aggregate economic growth over 13 years for each district. The facts speak for themselves.
Sujai: If you are going to JP for lessons in logic you may become really dumb. You may pass IIT-JEE or IIM-CAT exam but not fit for anything else in life. It is well-known fact that the more impoverished you are the faster you grow. Example: A younger brother who was earning 1000 starts earning 2000; it will result in 100% increase though the increase is only 1000, while the elder brother who was earning 150,000 starts earning 200,000; then the increase is only 33% though the absolute increase is 50,000. For an extremely stupid person, it looks like the younger brother is growing faster though the elder brother is doing much better. The absolute increase for the elder brother is 500 times more than the younger brother. Now you may want to check where JP got his degree from and never ever send your kid to that college.
pravik:Dear Sir it is interesting to observe that most of the people involved in Telangana moment are students....., Is there a real moment first of all, if so then why are Ordinery People not coming out...? I guess Ordinery man is more concerned of Job Opportunities, Local development, better education for there Kids & other basic needs....? Your response will be highly appreciated. - PRAVIK
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: A myth has been spread that if a State is formed, every youngster with 7th Class(!) qualification will get a job, and every acre will get irrigation. Both are myths. It is easy to fall prey to such propaganda. It is easier to think that someone else is the cause of our problems. This is an ages-old tactic employed by politicians to manipulate gullible people.
Sujai: In any movement, there are agitators, then organizers, then leaders and then a huge number of sympathizers. Right now, there are lakhs of people, ordinary people, government employees, teachers, bankers, miners, lawyers, etc, who show up for an event, like rallies, vanta-varpu, dhoom-dham, manavaharam, etc. They may not participate in the agitation on a daily basis. However, the students tend to participate and reflect the mood of the rest of the population. It is true of any movement on the planet.
venky:Dear Sir, Recently there were reports that Maoists are also getting involved in the Telangana agitations, what have you got to say?
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We all have seen these reports. It is not unrealistic that those who believe in armed revolution will fish in troubled waters. The key problem is our political process and leadership, not Maoists.
Sujai: Just because communists with extremist views participated in our Independence Movement we cannot rubbish the entire movement. Most of the current Telangana movement has been non-violent – we should celebrate that.
srinath:Is broad consensus not needed for United Andhra?
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: No government at the national level will act unilaterally without a broad agreement among all stakeholders in the State. This is true not only in a democracy like India, but even in dictatorships like China where large questions of ethnicity and statehood are decided.
Sujai: When a victim complains that he is being bullied, you cannot tell him, ‘Go get a consensus from the bully, only then I will protect you’. That’s the most idiotic thing I have seen in the current context. Our forefathers anticipated this problem and hence introduced Article 3 which allows a Parliament to decide the creation of new states without having to consult the bullies. Consensus with Andhras is not possible for Telanganas. All such suggestions should be rejected. Proper understanding of democracy is needed. Constitution of India does not seek consensus nor does it recognize a political party as a legal constituent. If the division within parties is clearly along regional lines, it is clear that most of Telangana leaders differ from their Andhra counterparts. That is called bipartisanship, a mood or idea that is accepted and endorsed by all elected leaders irrespective of their party allegiances. Such a scenario should be celebrated as a success of Indian democracy. Right now, what P Chidambaram is suggesting goes against all norms of a true democracy. He should read his Constitution once again and understand its true purport.
Arunn Bhagavathula:When more than 100 MLAs, MPs, Ministers and Chief Ministers from Telangana haven't done much to solve the problems of that area for more than 50 years.. can they be expected to solve them once a separate state is carved out?
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Problems exist all over the state. We need to find real solutions. Mean while we need to promote healthy debate and channelize our anger against centralized MLA-Officer raj, corruption, ugly politics and failure of education and healthcare.
Sujai: For many years, the entire British administration was handled by Indian leaders that were elected by the people of India. Did that actually mean we had freedom? Not really. Only when the entire government belonged to Indians, all the way from the top, did we actually feel free. The same is true for Telangana. Though there are hundreds of MLAs from Telangana, the majority of Andhras still prevails. There are many examples from the past where every demand from Telanganas was overturned.
Sarath Myneni:DO you think bifurcation of states that were formed on the basis of same language cause damage to the indian union integrity
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: It is hard to say. But any upsetting of linguistic reorganization has national level repercussions. Therefore a conscious decision should be taken by the national government, because it will fuel demands all over India. There are already about twenty demands for separate statehood after Dec 9, 2009
Sujai: Carving of states based in language was the wisest move that made sense in those times. But stopping ourselves to only language as the valid identity for statehood is the most foolish thing to do. It’s time we recognize other identities which have roots in history, culture, geography, and social conditions as valid identities and then take measures. Some identities deserve statehood; some others deserve protections – like reservations for women and lower castes. JP will not take a stand on any issue. He will give evasive answers even to the most practical questions.
S W Kamath:In a one city state that AP unfortunately is, and assuming that a part of the state is carved out to make for Telengana, can we really believe that Hyderabad will also be a part of that smaller state? If so, what happens to the Andhra/Seema areas considering that a large part of the investments in Hyderabad come from outside.
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: Highly centralized development in one city is both the cause of this crisis, and a hurdle to resolve it. There is no substitute to creation of a large number of small towns, and job creation at local level, along with real empowerment of district governments.
Sujai: Andhra/Seema people who have invested in Hyderabad will continue to stay invested; like they continue to invest in Bangalore or Mumbai. Creation of new states does not mean you cannot invest in new states.
Yogeswar Reddy:Is Telangana movement relevant in this day and age or what could be its credibility now.
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We must understand that the underlying factors and address them. Deep seated insecurities as a result of inadequate opportunities in wealth creation leads to serious social strife. The form it takes may vary from time-to-time, but there is a real problem we need to address.
Sujai: There is no date when we can say that all new movements are invalid. For the problems that originate in the past, sometimes we have to fix it in the present. Telangana problem is one such problem which was left unfixed. We have to fix it now.
venkatesh medabalimi:A new trend that seems to have evolved is to declare Bandhs and violent protests if a group wants something. Do you think India should move on and these forms of protests that effect productivity be declared illegal ? If so, how do you think these people can express their wishes without waiting till next elections ?
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: We all need to reflect. Constitution is the vehicle for peaceful reconciliation of conflicting interests in society. If violence, obstruction and inhibiting the liberty of others are the currency of public discourse, obviously we have failed the constitution. We need to recognize that healthy and reasoned debate, peaceful elections and legislatures are the only means of resolving issues.
Sujai: Elections are just one way to bring about democracy but not the only way. Protests are an essential ingredient of a vibrant democracy. A legislature, executive and judiciary cannot always exercise true democracy. A non-violent protest is as important as an act of Parliament in a true democracy. JP doesn’t know history of other democracies and has not read enough except mugging up for IAS exams.
gottimukkala raju:Is Hyderabad a major stumbling block for the formation of telangana state.
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: It certainly is. Also the evidence shows that Telangana is growing much faster than the rest of AP over the past 13 years. Therefore the economic rationale is suspect. And, if language ceases to be the marker in State formation, we need another, clear marker. this has huge national implications.
Sujai: Yes it is. Demand for separate Telangana including Hyderabad is 53 year old struggle. In 1969 there was no major development due to globalization in Hyderabad and still Telanganas fought for separate state that included Hyderabad. To suspect that there is an ‘economic rationale’ for this fight is foolish. Right now, Andhras are not letting go of Telangana because of Hyderabad. So the obstruction to Telangana is definitely because of Hyderabad.
gottimukkala raju:when do we think, we would find telangana a reality? what do u think are the major stumbling blocks?
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan: A new State can be created only when there is a broad consensus within the State. In this case, AP is the first non-Hindi state sought to be divided, and Telangana is the first region with a major city as State capital in it, which wants separation. Both make it hugely complex.
Sujai: Opposition from Andhras is the only stumbling block. If they had lived up to their promises they made, we would have had Telangana by now. A broad consensus is not required to create a state. One cannot expect the rapist to sympathize with the victim. A good democracy has to protect a minority region from further subjugation without having to force the minority to convince the majority. Article 3 is the immediate and pragmatic solution.