[Originally published on other forums on 6th August 2013].
Today, when I see the slogan on the streets of Seemandhra, ‘Telangana Vaddu, Samaikyandhra Muddu’, I cannot help but wonder how insensitive you people are to the sentiments and aspirations of Telanganas. First, you say you don’t want Telangana (‘Telangana Vaddu’). That’s fine with us, because, you don’t want Telangana, and we don’t want Andhra. We are on the same page. So what’s problem? Why are you protesting?
Second, you want united Andhra (‘Samaikyandhra Muddu’). Well, you can have it. We never wanted to break up Andhra. We are only keen on making our region Telangana a separate state without touching your Andhra.
So, when you say, ‘Telangana Vaddu, Samaikyandhra Muddu’, this is what we think of your demand.
And looks like your demand is the same as our demand, so why all the fuss, coming onto streets to protest?
Giving you the benefit of doubt, if we were to assume that ‘Samaikyandhra’ actually means Andhra Pradesh consisting of Telangana, Rayalaseema and Andhra, then you need to understand why we find that slogan very insensitive and arrogant. You need to understand a bit about Telangana people. From the beginning, we never identified ourselves with the word ‘Andhra’ – you need to get this into your head. May be, we are OK to be called ‘Telugu’ people, but we don’t agree to be called ‘Andhra’. Imposing your identity onto us won’t help; it will only alienate us further.
Now, let me ask you this question – What did you do in the last four years after December 9th statement to make sure Telangana people abandon their aspirations for a separate state? Did you try to understand the reasons why they come out onto streets to agitate? Did you try to understand why their demand continues to remain the same for over sixty years?
Did you try to implement GO 610 as a first step for reconciliation? What changes did you make in yourself to make them like you and love you so that they want to remain with you in the same state?
Instead, let me tell you what you guys actually did in the last four years.
You belittled, berated and insulted our movement and our leaders. When we said our culture was different, you ridiculed it, demeaned our language, and told us we are not civilized people. You mocked our agitations, celebrated when we failed to achieve our objectives, and expressed happiness when we were arrested, beaten up and mauled by the security forces. Is this what brothers do?
You denounced our arguments which cited marginalization, and thwarted all our attempts to get a good hearing for our cases. You refused to look at the evidences on the suppression and discrimination. You ridiculed our youth when they committed suicides. Your leaders wrote books rubbishing all our claims without citing any evidence. Your leaders, instead of making overt attempts to endear us to you, spent time in Delhi to ensure Telangana is not formed. Your leaders were more interested in making back-door maneuvers to stop and stall formation of Telangana instead of trying to make a case for United Andhra Pradesh.
Your CM Kiran Kumar Reddy, in a response to our MLA Harish Rao, said, “Make a note of it. I will not sanction a single rupee (for the Telangana region). You do whatever you want”. It shows what your leaders think of Telanganas deep down in their hearts.
Do you really think that these actions bring us close to you?
And four years later when Telangana is decided, you come out onto streets to express anger and frustration. Anger and frustration at what? At your leaders? That they could not somehow cunningly stop Telangana the way they did in the previous six decades? That their craftiness did not deliver the right kinds of goods for you? That your leaders could not manipulate New Delhi the way they manipulated Srikrishna Committee? That they failed to stop Telangana at all costs using their power and money?
Why don’t you understand this for once? We are done with you! We don’t want to stay in the same state with you. This marriage is over. This arrangement called Andhra Pradesh stands rejected. We were not proud to be part of Andhra Pradesh. We suffered. We were humiliated. We want to put an end to this. We want to live our lives, on our own, with you telling us what’s good for us, without you ruling us like an internal colony.
And, there’s a big difference between you and us when it comes to the arrangement called Andhra Pradesh – and that is – we took our agreements and promises quite seriously while you looked at it is a toilet paper, to be scrapped and flushed as per convenience. The Andhra leaders signed agreements and made promises which they never honored, because they did not have the intention of honoring them in the first place. Entire history of our relationship can be summed up as follows – we expected all of us to follow those agreements and promises, but you never had the intention to abide by them. You were neither sincere nor apologetic.
And you know why your leaders show so much surprise now that Telangana decision is made? When they told the center they are OK for creating Telangana, they did not actually mean it. They thought that they could nod their heads like gangireddu, and say yes, believing it will be considered as NO by New Delhi.
And the whole reason why we are not very happy about joint-capital for ten years is that we don’t want to spend another day with your leaders in any kind of arrangement - it is like a nightmare to all of us.
You want a permanent joint-capital in Hyderabad? Imagine the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu living in Bangalore. Imagine State Assembly, Secretariat and High Court of of Tamil Nadu in Bangalore. Imagine the MLAs, Cabinet Ministers, DGP of Tamil Nadu all living in Bangalore. Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?
Your leaders want to live in another state, and you are OK with that? What is making you agree to such ridiculous propositions? Greed? Shortsightedness? Shamelessness? Or Ignorance?
Now, your leaders are demanding security for Seemandhra people living in Hyderabad. We ask - so how about your Seemandhra brothers that are living in Adilabad, Medak, Warangal, Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar? You don’t care about them? Why special interest in Seemandhras living only in Hyderabad, but no concern for those living in other parts of Telangana? Is this concern genuine or fake? Or are your leaders more concerned in grabbing Hyderabad than providing actual security to your Seemandhra brothers?
The more you protest on the streets the more we don’t want to be with you. Don’t you see what your ‘Samaikyandhra’ stands for? It stands for imposing yourselves onto us. It stands for pushing us back into submission. It stands for making Telangana irrelevant once again in your state. Maybe you don’t realize this now – but your movement is the one of the ugliest movements in the history of mankind – because it is not a fight for your own rights and freedoms, but it is about imposing yourselves onto other people depriving them of their rights and freedoms.
When you talk of ‘United we stand, Divided we fall’, we laugh at your hypocrisy. If you really believe in that, you should go back and merge with Tamil Nadu and recreate Madras State. Also, remember something, you asked for Madras in 1953, which did not belong to you. Now, you are asking for Hyderabad in 2013, which does not belong to you.
Now that the decision is made, you have a choice on how you want to make the separation – you can act mature and let us go. In the process, you can show your maturity at the discussion table so that the division is done amicably so that the two states can live in harmony. Or you can act really immature, act like Lagadapati, try to scuttle the formation of Telangana, bicker, cry, and throw tantrums, and make the division really murky and painful for all of us.
Long ago, I compared Andhra rule with British rule. But when British left, they left maturely, so that there was bonhomie between the ruled and the rulers – so much so that we even invited the last Governor General to continue his leadership.
And just look at the way you are leaving. Reflect upon it.
And just look at the way you are leaving. Reflect upon it.
Can you not, at least, make the separation little graceful?