After CWC and UPA took the decision on 30th July 2013 to carve out Telangana as the 29th state in India, the Seemandhra TV channels started a tirade against their own leaders for inaction – and urged their people to agitate, instigating them with telecast of pictures and video clips of Telangana Movement. These Seemandhra TV channels called their own leaders incompetent, disunited, and lacking in conviction, as opposed to the determined leaders of Telangana. That program was relayed again and again for nearly two days. It was done with a clear agenda and purpose - to ratchet up the sentiments and emotions amongst Seemandhra people so that they rise up to oppose the formation of Telangana.
Within few days the mood started to change in Seemandhra. People started to protest on the streets forcing their leaders to comply with their demands to oppose formation of Telangana. To sustain agitations that do not have a clearly defined goal other than greed and selfishness, imaginary fears were created amongst Seemandhra population.
Traitors and Seditionists
During the current Samaikyandhra agitations and the Telangana Movement, many Seemandhra leaders called Telanganas ‘traitors’ of the nation and asked the government to charge them with ‘sedition’.
One Seemandhra writer writes on ‘Jai Samaikyandhra’ facebook page:
తెలంగాణా వాళ్ళు ముందు నుంచి భారతీయులు కాదు .. 1948 వరకు రజాకార్ల రాజ్యం లో ఉన్నారు .. పాకిస్తాన్లో కలవాలి అనుకున్న నిజాం రాజ్య ప్రజలు .
1948 లో భారత దేశం దండెత్తి భారతదేశం లో కలుపుకోక పోయి ఉంటె వీళ్ళంతా పాకిస్తానీయులు అయి ఉండేవారు . మధ్యలో భారతీయులు అయిన వాళ్ళు వీళ్ళు .
ఇలా సగం భారతీయులు, సగం పాకిస్తానీయులు కాబట్టే వీళ్ళ బాషా, సంస్కృతి ఇంత నీచంగా చూపిస్తున్నారు.
వెల్లకి మంచిగా మాట్లాడటం రాదు .. వాదనలు లేవు.
[Telangana people are not Indians from the beginning. They were in Razakar regime till 1948. They are the same Nizam people who wanted to join Pakistan. If not for Indian invasion of 1948, they would have been part of Pakistan. They became Indians somewhere in the middle. Because they are half-Indian, half-Pakistani, their language, culture is so degenerate. They don’t know how to speak well. No discussions]
For a long time Seemandhras believed that they taught Telangana people a superior culture and language. Today, Seemandhras get the moral authority to fight on the streets because they believe they are fighting ‘traitors, seditionists, and half-Pakistani’ people of Telangana. Few days ago, Sharmila of YSRCP has said that Telangana will become Pakistan. One Tulasi reddy says that Hyderabad will become ‘another Palestine’. Don’t know what it actually means. But it was intended to create some kind of fear.
One of the foremost reasons why Seemandhras continued their marginalization and discrimination of Telanganas is their superior attitude towards their own language and culture, which they think is pure and sophisticated. Once you start believing that other people are inferior to you, it becomes easy to suppress and discriminate them.
Seemandhras should realize that Telangana people launched their Movement to reject such cultural imposition in which the latter are reduced to second-class citizens with ‘inferior culture and language’.
Breaking up India
One of the common reasons cited by Seemandhras to oppose formation of Telangana is that it will lead to many more states in India. Creation of more states is equated to disintegration of India. Seemandhras being the ‘real Indians’, being genuinely concerned about India, would like to help India by opposing statehood to Telangana.
Seemandhras should know this: during 1953-2000 nearly 21 states were created in India. Formation of states has been a continuous and democratic process in India. Creation of states has not led to breakup of India – it has made India stronger and vibrant. Also, they should know that their own Andhra State was formed by dividing erstwhile Madras State in 1953.
Some Seemandhras have called Telangana Movement and the formation of Telangana unconstitutional. They do not know that Article 3 in Indian Constitution allows for creation of new states – which was used to create Andhra State in 1953.
The TDP leaders called the current unrest a ‘civil war’, a word that was not used in this part of the subcontinent in a very long time. These words are being used to create imaginary fears amongst people in the state and outside the state.
Seemandhra will become a desert and graveyard
One of the posters used in Samaikyandhra agitation in Nellore says, ‘Kalasi unte kaladu sukham; Vibhajiste - Andhakaramlo Telangana - Edariga Maaranunna Seemandhra’. [There is happiness in staying united; if divided – Telangana will be in darkness – Seemandhra will become a desert]
Here is one of the messages circulating amongst Seemandhras:
[If Telangana is formed, then Seemandhra farmers will become coolies in Telangana, and our students will be unemployed. Seemandhras will not have anything to eat, nothing to drink – Seemandhra will become a graveyard. Fight for united Andhra Pradesh. Rise in revolt. ]
Note that Seemandhras admit that Telangana can turn green only after Telangana is formed. But the minute Telangana turns green they also believe that Seemandhra will turn into a graveyard. There is a perception amongst Seemandhras that their region can be prosperous only when they take Telanganas’ share of water for themselves.
A farmer leader in Avanigadda says:
"రాష్ట్రం విడిపోతే తెలంగాణ రైతుల అవసరాలు తీరిపోయాక మాత్రమే మనకు నీరు వదులుతారు. అట్లా చేస్తే మన పొలాలు బీళ్లుగా మారే ప్రమాదం ఉంది. అందుకే సీమాంధ్ర రైతులు రోడ్డెక్కి ఆందోళన చేయాలె. కేంద్రం తెలంగాణ ప్రకటన వెనకకు తీసుకునేటట్టు చేయాలె"
The general consensus in Seemandhra is that if Telangana gets its due share of water after formation of Telangana, then Seemandhra will become a desert. There is an implicit admission of their exploitation of Telangana’s resources – they were quite OK all these days when Telangana was dry from lack of water, but now that Telangana is being formed they fear they will not be able to exploit that region any longer.
P Sainath in THE HINDU happens to be one of the fearmongers. He reports:
“Soon there will be no small farmers left,” says S. Pappa Rao in Krishna district.
“Telangana will kill the Delta farmers,” says an angry S. Venkatappaiah. He’s a small farmer at Unguturu in Krishna district. “There will be no water for cultivation.” (In Rayalaseema that fear extends to drinking water).
Why does creation of Telangana become disastrous to farmers to Coastal Andhra? If Telangana take its rightful share how will the farmers of Coastal Andhra get impacted? Do these farmers already believe that they are taking away from the share of Telanganas, that they will not get any water anymore?
P Sainath continues:
A farmer in Andhra Pradesh is three times more likely to commit suicide than anyone else in the country, excluding farmers.
According to official reports, 356 farmers committed suicide in India during October '97 - May '98. Of the total 356 suicides, AP alone accounted for 236. Of the total reported suicides in AP, Telangana region accounted for 87%.
There is enough water in Godavari and Krishna to take care of three regions, but the suppression of Telanganas and utter neglect of irrigation projects in Telangana has led to farmers in Telangana depending on bore-well water instead of canal water from rivers. One of the key demands of Telangana Movement is to ensure that its farmers get their due share of water which was denied to them all these years. There was no demand by Telanganas to deny water to farmers in Coastal Andhra.
Seemandhras will not get jobs
Why formation of a state will deprive others of jobs is a question that does even merit consideration. Creation of states has actually resulted in more jobs. Looks like, when Seemandhras say they will not get jobs, they are talking about the jobs they were robbing from Telangana people flouting the agreements and other safeguards. Coming to private sector, many Telugu people take up jobs in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai though those cities are part of other states. They will continue to take up such jobs in Hyderabad in future.
Increase in prices
The Seemandhra protestors blamed Telangana for increase in prices of onions. This is clipping from Andhra Jyothi 14th August 2013.
[Price of Onions before Telangana announcement: Rs. 20; after announcement: Rs. 50]
The idea is to create panic amongst Seemandhras that creation of Telangana is going to be bad for them in every respect including increase in prices. The reality is that the onion prices have soared across the nation for other reasons. Here is a report from THE HINDU on the same day:
Rs. 70 a kg in Bangalore
The high price has been attributed to the decline in onion supply from Nasik/ Pune region and delay in harvest of onion in the [Karnataka] State owing to heavy rainfall.
Seemandhras in Hyderabad will not be safe
Not a single Seemandhra person living in Hyderabad was attacked in over four years of intense agitations of Telangana Movement, and yet the ‘Seemandhras will not be safe in Hyderabad’ bogey is being raised by Samaikyandhra protestors and leaders. While these protestors seem to be concerned about the safety of Seemandhra people living in Hyderabad, nobody seems to be bothered about Seemandhra people living in other parts of Telangana – those living in Medak, or Warangal, Adilabad or Mahbubnagar.
Such similar fears were earlier raised by Gujarathis during creation of Maharashtra with Bombay as its capital. Today, Gujarathis continue to live in Bombay, safe and prosperous.
So, the relevant question is: Is this concern genuine for Seemandhras living in Telangana or just a subterfuge to deny Hyderabad to Telangana?
Seemandhras will lose Hyderabad
A farmer in Krishna district asks: “The Andhra rich send their children to America. We sent ours to Hyderabad. Where do we send them now?”
The simple answer is that the farmer can continue to send his kids to Hyderabad because Hyderabad is still part of India. The way the Telugu kids are sent to Bangalore or New Delhi, they can send their kids to Hyderabad even after formation of Telangana.
Creating artificial fears and artificial claims, the Seemandhras are urging their fellow people to come out and protest. Here is one pamphlet being circulated amongst Seemandhras:
Hyderabad is an integral part of Telangana in geography and history. Taking it out of Telangana does not make sense in any practical way. Seemandhras have to accept giving up Hyderabad to Telangana and focus their energies on creating a new capital in their new state.