Why Telanganas refuse to celebrate AP Formation day?
Telanganas reject the farcical experiment called Andhra Pradesh. The conditional merger that was brought in on 1st November 1956 has not lived up to the promises made on the eve of formation of Andhra Pradesh and therefore it is now paving the way for an unconditional demerger. People of Telangana have filed for divorce citing breach of trust, lack of faith, incessant and consistent betrayals, broken promises, outright discrimination and marginalization, suppression and oppression as the reasons for breakup of this marriage which was imposed onto people of Telangana 54 years ago.
Therefore, today it is clear to all people of Telangana that we cannot celebrate this day. It is not a day to be proud of. It is not a day to be happy about. In fact, it is a sad day. It is the day when Telangana was tossed from pan into the fire. Getting out of Nizam rule was a relief, but immediately, it got into subjugation by Andhras that lasted 54 years now.
Many Andhras ask why we have celebrated AP formation day all these years? And why do we reject it now? Pre-Independent Indians celebrated the events of British Empire and sang their songs. They didn’t know better. Those who did, they did not have the power nor the voice. But when the movement was in full swing, people of India got enlightened and could muster enough support to boycott such celebrations. That is what you are witnessing in Telangana now. Some of us did not celebrate this day for quite many years now, but you failed to notice it because we were a miniscule people. But now, entire Telangana stands enlightened of the past deeds, and they are part of the movement. And therefore you see such huge outcry of rejection only now.
We are agitating. We are fighting for our self-expression and self-rule. We are fighting for separate Telangana. Any attempt by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in the control of Seemandhra politicians to force people of Telangana into celebrating this day is rebuffed. In fact, people of Telangana have gone onto to protest this day with black flags. The elected representatives refrained from public functions while students led the protests. We want to convey this message clearly to everyone: we are not proud of this day. And you cannot impose this day onto us. We will resist it with vehement and forceful agitations, the only weaponsavailable to us desperate people.
Why reject Potti Sriramulu?
Andhras don’t understand why Telanganas do not speak high of Potti Sriramulu and why he is not a hero to us. They don’t understand why we reject him. Andhras ask, is he not a pious man who fasted for pride of Telugu people? Aren’t Telanganas also Telugu people? So why do Telanganas reject this hero?
Potti Sriramulu has not fought for Telangana or its people. He fought for people of Andhras to secure Madras as State Capital, in which he failed, but succeeded in getting a new state for people of Andhra called Andhra State, breaking away from erstwhile Madras State. After his death, people of Andhras extended the argument of Telugu pride by merging with Telangana to form Andhra Pradesh, and that experiment now stands as a dismal failure. It is decided now that Telugu is not a common identity good enough to unite the people of Telangana and Seemandhra. Identity and pride of Telugu was used by the oppressors to subjugate Telangana. It is clear now that there are far more differences between Telanganas and Andhras which could lead to thorough and sustained discrimination and marginalization of Telanganas, and those differences are good enough to go separate ways now.
The reason for rejecting Potti Sriramulu originates in two ways. One, Andhras kept telling the lies to people of Telangana that Potti Sriramulu sacrificed his life for Telugu people and Telugu identity which supposedly included people of Telangana. His idea of Telugu people did not include Telanganas and therefore that lie needs to be rejected. The imposition of Telugu identity is now discarded, and therefore any pride that you want us to feel for Telugu identity is starkly missing. So be not surprised when we reject Potti Sriramulu for what he stood for. Two, Andhras used the statues, idols and posters of Potti Sriramulu in their Samaikhyandhra agitations against Telangana people. Therefore, Telanganas, in their effort to reject everything that is used to subjugate them further, also reject Potti Sriramulu, and attack his idols and statues because they have now become symbols of oppressors.
If Americans carry the idol and figures of George Washington to invade new lands, there is a good chance that the suppressed people will burn the effigies of George Washington and break down his statues if found in their lands. If Andhras want Telanganas to respect Potti Sriramulu, they should stop using his idols, statues and figures in their Samaikhyandhra agitations.