The current agitation over APPSC (Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission) exams has once again pitted Telanganas against Seemandhra dominated Government of Andhra Pradesh. Telangana students, and many leaders, including those from ruling Congress Party wanted to delay these exams so that they consider the demand from Telanganas to include 42% reservation in these posts. Telanganas allege discrimination towards them in final selection of the candidates. There are stories of a Telangana candidate getting 655 marks in the written exam but only 21 in the interview while a Seemandhra candidate getting 590 in the written exam gets 88 marks in interview. The Seemandhra person gets in while Telangana person doesn’t. Can a person with very high score in written exams get very low score in interviews? Yes it can happen. Can we deduce discrimination from such isolated incident? Not really. But when it happens consistently, which the Telanganas allege, there is a need to look into the matter. Telangana people believe there is discrimination in APPSC exams and seek 42% quota to represent their population in the state citing Gentlemen’s Agreement.
The Chairman of APPSC, Mr. Venkatarami Reddy, a Seemandhra person, insisted on holding these exams on time without paying heed to the protests from whole of Telangana. He was backed by Chief Minister Rosaiah, another Seemandhra loyalist. He was supported by most of Seemandhra politicians. Even the people of Seemandhra came out to stage dharnas to impress upon this Chairman to go ahead and hold these exams as scheduled overriding the wishes of Telangana people. These exams were postponed twice already before but this time around the authorities insisted on holding them on the date much to the dismay of Telangana people, politicians, students and the leaders.
It became a challenge. Telanganas wanted to hold off the exams while Seemandhras wanted to coerce Telangana into submission with armed forces to proceed with their agenda no matter what 42% of the population thinks, because they ride the majority of 58%. One can easily imagine how the sixty years marriage has been. One party dictated terms with impunity while the other party succumbed each and every time.
On Sunday, 5 September 2010, the showdown began between Telanganas and the Seemandhra led government of Andhra Pradesh. The ruling party MPs of Telangana marched towards the examination centers and were instantly arrested. The students went into battle with the police in Osmania University campus. Some of these agitators and protestors barged into few examination halls and disrupted the exams. The agitations spread across whole of Telangana. The police forces stood ground and arrested hundreds. Only 35% of Telangana aspirants showed up, while in Hyderabad it was 45% turnout. In Seemandhra, the examinations went peacefully with 65% turnout clearly indicating that these exams failed in Telangana.
It is clear to most Telanganas that this government does not represent them. This incident is another affirmation of arrogance of Seemandhras who wanted to prove a point that they can snub Telangana agitation with brute force of state police. For many years now, Telanganas have been losing trust in the farcical marriage called Andhra Pradesh. It would like to get a divorce but the state doesn’t allow it. Because the Government of India, proving to the whole world that it is quite idiotic when it comes to dealing with certain aspects of constitutional democracy, dictates that these two parties should vote to decide the separation. Unfortunately for Telangana, the Andhra Pradesh government is controlled by Seemandhra who have 6 votes while Telangana has only 4 votes. Every time the government of Andhra Pradesh votes Telangana loses out.
Telangana cites ‘irreconcilable differences’ and ‘lack of trust’ to break this marriage. But like the Indian man who doesn’t let his wife leave, forcing her, beating her, and threatening to kill her and her family if necessary, Seemandhra holds onto Telangana at gunpoint pressing them to the ground.
The divorce has happened in the minds of the people. We are waiting for the legal separation.
[Source for the image: Andhra Jyothi]