We will not get Telangana. We won’t get Telangana because we are not qualified to get Telangana. No state will be given to those people who don’t even know how to fight for a separate state.
Telanganas can be generalized into a category called ‘naïve’. Three hundred and fifty lakh naïve people are led by equally naïve leaders. We believe in things too easily – sometimes bordering on foolishness. Long ago we believed that Gentlemen’s Agreement will be honored. It was not to be. Time and again, we believed in various promises made by New Delhi. They were not meant to be.
For the last two years, we have been ‘manipulated and managed’ by the efficient political craftsmanship of New Delhi in cahoots with equally clever Seemandhra leadership. Continuously and forever, we believe there will be decision made in the next few days. Nothing happens.
A committee after committee, a meeting after meeting, a consultation after consultation! Our own leaders stand up on the podium to tell us that they have ‘information’ that a favorable announcement will be made in the next two days. No such announcement comes. We are told that we will get a decision after Srikrishna Committee Report, then after Assembly elections in four states, then after this festival, that festival and so on. We fall prey to all their machinations hook, line and sinker.
It is amusing to watch this charade as an observer. The coterie in New Delhi sitting around the ‘high command’ must be in fits of laughter each time Telangana leaders and its people believe such cock-and-bull stories again and again, without fail, even after they have been duped so many times before.
Why can’t we get our act right?
It may not come as surprise to any historian why Telangana allows itself to be colonized while Seemandhra gets to colonize.
Like the British who were more organized, disciplined, ready to deploy forces in unison overcoming their internal differences (Scottish, Irish, Welsh, English) whenever there was a threat to the Empire and its hegemony, the Seemandhras display the same organized and concerted array of actions, statements, resignations and violent attacks whenever their hegemony over Telangana is under threat.
Like the Indian rulers of the 17th and 18th century, Telangana leadership is in disarray; they call names against each other, accuse each other. They indulge in bickering, infighting, and attacking each other. They are not able to overcome their petty differences to pose a united front.
Only when Indians got together to pose a near-united front under a political banner which was inclusive, with the sole aim of attaining freedom, did we qualify for a free nation. So, when will our political leadership unite with sole aim of creating separate Telangana?
We are not learning our lessons
Our record in the last two years shows that we are not fighting the right way and yet we don’t learn to do it right. We keep repeating the same mistakes.
P Chidambaram said that it is not up to the Indian Parliament to solve the problem of Telangana. He directed the victims to resolve the issue by pleading to the bullies. He emphatically absolved himself, his ministry and Government of India of all responsibilities to come to the aid of Telangana people.
Now, the Prime Minister of India said that as long as the ‘other region’ keeps threatening the nation with violence, he will not emancipate the people of Telangana. With that statement, the Prime Minister of India decided to keep Telanganas in enslavement forever to please the Seemandhra masters.
Naiveté is criminal
Naiveté on part of an individual can be understood and excused, but naiveté on part of elected leaders is criminal, because it affects the lives and fates of millions of people. Because of our leadership’s naiveté, so many of our youth are committing suicides on a daily basis and the frustration is only increasing amongst its populace. The current Telangana leadership is taken for a ride continuously and perennially and yet they do not wake up to the reality. The reason why Telangana is not formed is not because of threat from Seemandhra leadership but because of the New Delhi’s firm resolve not to carve out Telangana.
We are being misled by our own wishful thinking. We see only the December 9th statement but fail to notice or pay attention to December 23rd statement. What happened between these two dates is the key to understanding how the rulers sitting in New Delhi look at the issue of Telangana. Telangana was calm while Seemandhra was burning.
New Delhi realized in those two weeks that Telangana is divided, has too many detractors within, too weak a leadership, and has no capacity to launch itself into a violent movement. Whereas, it is Seemandhra which showed utmost unity, a strong and committed leadership, and the capacity to launch into an extremely violent movement – to match the violence of 1953 Andhra agitations or may be even more.
That’s when New Delhi made up its mind – they can allow Telangana to be ruled by Seemandhras for another generation or two the way British could rule India for many decades as long as the Indian leadership was divided and committed to passive movements. It is not the peaceful agitator of Telanganas who are to be feared, but it is the violent agitator of formidable Seemandhras New Delhi has to reckon with.
The way the American leadership allowed the slavery of Blacks in United States for many decades to keep the White slave masters happy, New Delhi allows the subjugation of Telangana to keep the ruling Seemandhras happy. Though the enslavement of Blacks and the segregation laws were antithesis of the very principles on which the United States of America was founded, various Presidents of United States were afraid that the White Americans of the South would become rebellious, go violent, and secede; and therefore allowed the long-standing and overwhelming discrimination of Blacks - to disenfranchise them, make them lose all political power, push them into ghettos, and treat them as subhuman for many decades. Discrimination of Blacks could continue because of the fear of backlash from White American masters.
According to our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Telanganas are like the Blacks of United States, the second-class citizens, who have to endure subjugation and discrimination because our masters are a more formidable force. Since Seemandhras, who are opposing the formation of Telangana, are more violent, united and are rich in capital, it is decided that no Telangana will be formed for now. The subjugation of Telangana will continue as ever to please the Seemandhra masters.
New Delhi is against Telangana
When will the political leaders of Telangana understand that the prime reason why Telangana is not formed is the change in the policy of New Delhi reflected in December 23rd statement, which flows down from the uppermost echelons of the Empire? After our beloved and ‘honest’ Prime Minister made the recent statements on Telangana on 12th November, 2011, saying that there is no immediate resolution to Telangana, why do our political leaders believe they can approach Sonia Gandhi, as if her stance would be different from that of Manmohan Singh? And, do we really believe that our Prime Minister has the gumption to make his opinion on this issue against the diktats of the high command?
How naïve can we get here? Why is our political leadership under the impression that the ‘high command’ has a different view on the subject different from that of entire Cabinet? Why don’t we admit that the high command in New Delhi is against formation of Telangana? How long will we believe in this fairy tale?
Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Pranab Mukherjee, Ghulam Nabi Azad et al, have been employed by the high command to double speak in order to ‘manage and manipulate’ Telangana leadership while the high command maintains its silence to allow for many myths to float around. This ambiguity and confusion works very well for New Delhi.
While the naïve political leadership of Telangana continues to believe that the high command is sympathetic to its cause, they will communicate the same to the people of Telangana to keep their hope alive, and this way the movement does not go out of control. While New Delhi can keep the movement under check using our leaders as the puppets, there are enough signs sent to Seemandhra leadership to comfort them that Andhra Pradesh will never be divided. This way they are able to do something which even British could not do. They not only keep the movement in Telangana from boiling over, they also keep the Seemandhra agitators happy by retaining the status quo.
Blame Telangana leadership for the current woes
The blame for allowing such a status quo lies with current Telangana political leadership. Unlike with British where Viceroy and Governors of the Presidencies are clearly seen as the employees of British Empire without any ambiguity, our leaders can be falsely assumed to be the elected representatives of people though they are in reality the stooges of the Empire.
This ambiguity: Are our political leaders the emissaries appointed by the Empire or whether they are genuine representatives of the aspirations of the people, is critical to the current ‘management and manipulation’ of Telangana issue. This ambiguity is essential and is retained by New Delhi to keep the Telangana issue on the status quo, though simmering, but never boiling over.
On one side, the Telangana political leaders make strong statements for the cause of Telangana but their actions do not match the strength of their words. Many of these leaders know that they are selected and elected only because of the generosity shown by the high command. Without the blessings of the high command, these leaders believe they are worthless.
These leaders are not confident that they will get the berth for next elections if not for the generosity shown to them by the Crown in New Delhi. This makes them completely submissive and subservient to the high command – so much so that they continue to praise their high command even when refused audience when they visit New Delhi. Sometimes they just come back without even meeting the high command. That is the kind of respect Telangana gets in the power corridors of New Delhi. [Contrast this with Trinamool Congress which enjoys utmost respect].
On the other hand, even if they were to get berths for next elections, these leaders are not confident if they would ever be reelected in their constituencies by the angry and irate people of Telangana. To overcome that, they stand in support of the cause of Telangana.
This dilemma in our political leadership is used by New Delhi to manipulate them. It does not occur to our leaders that when the Crown in New Delhi rebuffs our political leaders without even meeting them, it is not an insult to these leaders, but it is an insult to the entire Telangana. The people of Telangana continue to lose trust in these leaders completely. When these leaders continue to pay their obeisance to the Crown which is against formation of Telangana, they lose their self-respect.
Get back our self-respect
These leaders should realize that one of the core reasons for fighting for separate Telangana is to restore that lost self-respect. This movement is not just about getting a separate state by hook-or-crook. This movement is about bringing a revolutionary change within Telangana, and that involves transformation of our political leadership from being the mere party-flag bearers and emissaries of the bosses in New Delhi to become confident and proud representatives of the people of Telangana reflecting their aspirations and wishes. Unless that happens true democracy cannot be instilled in Telangana.
Unfortunately, our leaders are not confident of their own standing and they show no sign of improvement. Manifestation of this diffidence is their current bet - that they can put their legs in two boats at the same time – to be goody-goody in the eyes of high command while make right noises to fool the people of Telangana that they support their cause.
Such a dance, keeping their legs in two boats, is not possible anymore. People of Telangana are ready to call their bluff. These leaders are being asked to choose one boat and stick with it. Which side are they on? On the side of the people of Telangana, or the on the side of the Empire which allows Seemandhras to rule Telangana?
One of my favorite quotes is:
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.
- Alighieri Dante
Now is the time for the political leadership of Telangana to wake up, shed their neutrality, abandon their venality, and come out strong either in support or opposition of Telangana. If you are in support of Telangana, then you have to break up with the Empire in New Delhi. We are no longer ready to believe in you if you continue to profess faith in the high command which is opposed to formation of Telangana. We are not ready to believe you when you try to tell us that the high command is sympathetic to our cause. You are entitled to your blind faith, but don’t expect us to believe in your fantasies.
When will you actually resign?
It appeared that you had made your intentions clear when you resigned. So, what happened to your resignations? It is unheard of in any democracy to be working and attending the Parliament and Assembly sessions even after you have resigned. Are your resignations just natak? We all know that nobody can make you work if you don’t want to. It is your legal right to resign.
How can you sound so helpless? What kind of example you set as ‘leaders’? First, become the masters of your fates, and then decide the fates of three-fifty lakh people of Telangana.
Don’t beg for Telangana! Grab Telangana!
We cannot keep begging for Telangana anymore. We should now grab Telangana.
We should not visit New Delhi anymore. We should bring the consultation and deliberations to Hyderabad. The Crown in New Delhi has to be forced into breaking its silence, shedding its apathy, and fly down to Hyderabad to grant Telangana.
Don’t renege on your promises you made to the people of Telangana. Don’t compromise. Don’t dillydally. Don’t fumble. Show the confidence. Believe in yourself and believe in your cause. Don’t allow any Crown or master to manipulate you. For once, stand up straight, don’t bow down. Telangana people want you to be strong, want you to be bold, want you to be assertive. Telangana people look up to you! Set an example.
Restore our self-confidence, our dignity, our self-respect. Telangana wants to see you all come together! Stay united, for this cause setting aside your usual differences.
Fulfill our wishes. Make history. Become the heroes. Grab Telangana for all of us!