By Sujai and Dileep
The Secret Chapter of Srikrishna Committee Report gave step-by-step instructions to subvert the genuine people’s movement of Telangana. It advised the Government to use the media outfits to manipulate the news and opinion in order to suppress the movement in Telangana.
The recent survey from two national media outfits CNN-IBN and CNBC-TV18 in collaboration with Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) throws open the question if indeed there is anything called fair media in this country.
To the question asked: People have different opinions on the issue of a separate Telangana state. Some people say that Andhra Pradesh should be bifurcated into Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, while State should be trifurcated into Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Rayalaseema. Others say that Andhra Pradesh should continue as a united State. What is your opinion on the issue?
The survey concludes:
The sentiment against dividing Andhra Pradesh and carving a separate Telangana state from it, has only increased in regions outside Telangana. Most people in these regions want Andhra Pradesh to stay united, more so compared to 2009. While the sentiment in favour of a separate Telangana state can only be found in the Telangana region and has increased there compared to 2009, it is still not as strong as the overwhelming sentiment against it in the rest of Andhra Pradesh.
According to the above survey, only 50% of the people living in Telangana want the state to be bifurcated. This comes as a bit of surprise to most Telanganas and observers who are familiar with Telangana Movement because there is a palpable and an overwhelming support for a separate state within the region. An opinion poll conducted by Andhra Jyothi in December 2010 in South Telangana has a different take on this.
According to Andhra Jyothi, nearly 96% of the people living in South Telangana want a separate state. The recent by-elections conducted in ten constituencies of Telangana held after P Chidambaram’s December 9th statement, observed as an unofficial referendum on Telangana issue, gave TRS as high as 85% of the votes. Such huge percentage of votes to one candidate is unheard of in Indian democracy. There have been more than thousand agitations that have taken place in almost all parts of Telangana, from the cities to towns to villages, clearly displaying an overwhelming support for bifurcation of the state. In light of the above knowledge the current results published by CSDS come as a rude shock to most Telangana people.
On the next question: The Srikrishna Commission Report has provided six options on the issue of Telangana (See answer categories 1 to 6). Which recommendation do you agree with most?
The survey concludes:
A massive majority in Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra supports the ‘status quo’ (united Andhra) recommendation of Srikrishna Commission. In Telangana, while the support for a division of Andhra is strong, it is nowhere close to the strong opposition to it in other parts of the State.
What comes as clear surprise is that nearly 27% of the people living in Telangana ‘have not heard of the Srikrishna Commission report and its recommendations/No opinion’. The number for the same question in Coastal Andhra is only 10%. Bulk of Telangana agitations are carried out within Telangana. Such ambivalence or ignorance within Telangana on an issue that touches almost every Telangana person doesn’t reflect the ground reality. It is like saying that 27% of Iraqi population has not heard of Iraqi war with Americans. Out of nearly 150,000 submissions made to Srikrishna Committee, most of the representations were made by Telangana people. More Telangana people were concerned about Srikrishna Committee and its conclusions than Coastal Andhra people. Even in a remote village of Telangana, the Srikrishna Committee report, its findings, its conclusions are known to common men and women, much more than the awareness that is spread amongst urban population of Telangana, or any population of Coastal Andhra.
It becomes obvious that the report looks doctored or manipulated or badly done. Definitely, it does not capture the mood of the region.
Here are some interesting news items from last month which reveal the truth behind these distorted statistics. On 23rd July 2011, a group of Seemandhra youth was caught by Telangana JAC of Rudrampur of Khammam district while they were conducting a survey in Telangana. The T-JAC got suspicious when these Seemandhra youth were taking only the signatures from the people of the village without getting the questionnaire filled.
In another incident, a group of Andhras hailing from Nagarjuna University of Guntur were caught when they were conducting a survey in Mahbubabad of Warangal district. The identified youth were Kanneti Nagaraju and Tejawath Laxmandas. The questions include the preferred options on Srikrishna Committee report, status of Hyderabad, etc. The news item which reported this event writes the following: “The Seemandhras were cleverly using the ploy of representing Center for the Study of Development Societies-CNN-IBN, State of the Nation Survey-2011”. It could be a matter of sheer coincidence or a clever conspiracy that on the same day a group of Telangana activists tried to stop the convoy of Lagadapati Rajagopal, MP from Vijayawada, who was in Khammam.
In Wardhanapet of Warangal district, a group of women surveyors hailing from Vijayawada were caught by local youth while when they were trying to get only the personal details from illiterate people so that the actual questions can be filled by surveyors.
It is clear that methods employed by CSDS/CNN-IBN/CNBC-TV8 in their survey are questionable. The survey included people brought over from Seemandhra into Telangana thereby introducing the worst form of bias and cheating. The media outfits were following the recommendations from the Secret Chapter of Srikrishna Committee Report to employ Seemandhra journalists and analysts in Telangana to manipulate the news and opinion reports in order to contain the movement. Such egregious moves employed reputed media outfits are a disgrace to modern democracies.
Here are the new entrants in the long list of venal and corrupt analysts and media outfits in India who collude with the Government of India to suppress a genuine people’s movement: Yogendra Yadav, CNN-IBN and CNBC-TV18.
Part 2 (updated on 17 Aug 2011):
CSDS employed a staunch anti-Telangana activist, P Narasimha Rao of Acharya Nagarjuna University, who is the honorary convener and president of Samaikhyandhra JAC. P Narasimha Rao has employed the students of Nagarjuna University, which is a hotbed for anti-Telangana Movement, to conduct the survey in Telangana. P Narasimha Rao and many students of Nagarjuna University actively participated in many agitations in support of united Andhra Pradesh, making their bias clearly in open forums against bifurcation of the state.
Given the credentials of these activists, it is very surprising that CSDS should employ to conduct the survey in Telangana. It is obvious that these activists have manipulated this survey as clearly indicated in the events that transpired above.