[Reprint of the response to Yogendra Yadav of CSDS].
Looks like Yogendra Yadav and his CSDS is pulling a Manmohan on us. When CSDS says: “Such an impression arises partly from a misreading of the survey findings,” we would like to point out that our objection to the survey is not just the results or its interpretations but the means and methods employed in the survey which according to us are clearly biased and fraudulent. The question here is ethicality and validity of employing a person who has publicly professed his loyalties to a cause that is in essence anti-Telangana to conduct a survey within Telangana on an issue that dwells upon creation or non-creation of Telangana.
The flimsy and intellectually dishonest response from CSDS tends to insult our intelligence. We are not ready to buy their specious argument that: “Our survey clearly shows that within the Telangana region nearly two-thirds of those who have an opinion support a separate state.” Our contention is that it is highly improbable that 27% of the people of Telangana would have no opinion on an all-pervading issue which affects them on a daily basis, especially when the figure for the same question is only 10% in Seemandhra where there are no on-going agitations as intensive as in Telangana. It is like saying 27% Iraqis living in Iraq are either ignorant or carry no opinion on the subject of American invasion of Iraq, while only 10% are ignorant in the nearby Iran.
While we are not contesting that the “basic finding cannot possibly be read as propaganda against separate Telangana,” we do contest that the survey in Telangana was carried out by the people who have publicly expressed strong bias against Telangana, and we have strong reasons to believe that their bias has crept into the survey. It would be wise if CSDS came out of their self-professed claim to reputation of credibility to acknowledge the same. We do understand that “there still is a small section of people within the region (more in Hyderabad and some other districts) who do not support this demand”, but their survey does not indicate this opposition in the right proportion, either because of the sampling bias or because of the vested bias of the surveyors.
CSDS responds that they “have no reason to believe that the political convictions of our coordinator or the composition of the survey team has compromised the quality of the data on the Telangana question. Our preliminary internal consistency checks on the data do not reveal anything unusual.”
The above response smacks of Manmohanism because, not only does CSDS not realize its mistake, they are ready to cover up their bungling of the issue with weak-ass excuses like our beloved Prime Minister who doesn’t know that integrity also means owning up the mistakes. While coming up with this extremely insincere excuse, they go on to describe one of the arch enemies of Telangana as a person of ‘formidable reputation for professionalism and integrity’. A military General of Israeli Army can be described to have ‘formidable reputation for professionalism and integrity’ within Israel or in North America but no Palestinian would ever believe in a survey conducted by this General concerning the issue of statehood for Palestine. Patriotism, regionalism and other affiliations of identity tend to dominate one’s professionalism especially when that person is publicly known to espouse the cause of that identity-based-struggle. CSDS must be out of its mind to think that the honorary convener of Samaikhyandhra JAC who has led and participated in so many agitations against formation of Telangana would somehow act without bias.
CSDS should take a look at various agitations that P Narasimha Rao has participated in. Here are some of the links:
[News 1] Honorary president of Samaikyandhra Political JAC Narasimha Rao said bifurcation of a State would lead to social, political and economic problems. MPs of all parties should exert pressure on the UPA government against bifurcation.
[News 2] In a press release on Tuesday, honorary convener P. Narasimha Rao and convener N. Samuel lashed out at the BJP for making pro-Telangana comments and said that these statements smacked of political opportunism.
[News 3] ...honourary convener, P. Narasimha Rao urged Centre to take a decision keeping in mind the larger interest of the state.
The response given by CSDS that they ‘would therefore carry out an independent verification of these survey findings and report the findings to the public within the next two months’ is not good enough to compensate for damage they have already caused to the mass movement of nearly 35 million people. They did not take necessary precautions while appointing the right people to conduct their survey. Instead of owning up the mistake, which any organization of ‘high credibility’ would do, they are coming up with intellectually dishonest excuses. If they would like to remain an organization that is ‘absolutely fair in recording opinion’, they should publicly retract the findings on Telangana immediately citing ‘a probable or potential bias, though unverified, must have gone into our survey in Telangana because it was conducted by an avowed activist of the cause that is opposing the formation of Telangana’.
Anything less, they are succumbing to the same venality and corrupt methods most other organizations in India of ill-repute stoop down to. In future, when we look at Yogendra Yadav, we will be reminded of Kalmadi, Raja, Kanimozhi, Ramalinga Raju, etc. And please do not underestimate the passion and will of a people who are struggling for their statehood for nearly sixty years. We will not leave any stone unturned to ensure that the complicity of CSDS in this matter is recognized and condemned by the international and national bodies that monitor the activities of such organizations.