Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Why Naidu campaigning in Telangana is arrogant and hegemonistic?

Imagine Jayalalitha (erstwhile Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) fielding her own candidates and campaigning in Karnataka Assembly elections! 

Anyone who understands the political history of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu would find such a scenario silly, weird and even dangerous.  The reason is: unlike two friendly neighbours such as Odisha and West Bengal, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have serious issues over sharing of river waters, and those burning topic brings people regularly onto streets in protests.   Therefore, Jayalalitha fielding her candidates in Karnataka would be seen as hegemonistic, a way of entering Karnataka politics to subvert the political system, only to gain something for her own Tamil Nadu State.  It would undermine the democracy within Karnataka.  Such a scenario is unlikely.  Jayalalitha would never have campaigned in Karnataka.

And yet, today, we see such unlikely scenario happening in Telangana. 

There are two essential reasons why Naidu campaigning in Telangana is not just downright amoral, but is sinister, and a threat of democracy within Telangana.

The rivalry between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh is an accepted fact.   Almost every political pundit knows about it.  There are many unresolved issues pending from the bifurcation, many corporations are still undivided, and most importantly, there is this issue of sharing of river waters.  Whenever Telangana moved ahead to build an irrigation project within Telangana to tap into their rightful share of river water, Naidu has objected to it by writing a letter to the Central Government.  He has demonstrated that he unequivocally stands against the interests of Telangana and its people.  Therefore, such a leader, from the neighbouring state which is unfriendly, to come to Telangana to position his candidates and campaign has only agenda: it is a subversive attempt to undermine the interests of Telangana, an attempt to tamper into the democratic process within Telangana to unfairly gain something for Andhra Pradesh. 

Also, when Telangana State formation was announced on 9th December 2009 by P Chidambaram, it was Naidu and his MPs and MLAs who stood against the formation of Telangana by protesting openly.  Naidu was one of the main leaders of the opposition to formation of Telangana.   He sat on a strike in Delhi openly opposing the formation of Telangana.  After the bifurcation, he used his clout as a partner in NDA to steal few of the mandals from Telangana, which were then merged with Andhra Pradesh.  He blatantly took the position of opposing the interests of Telangana.  Therefore his campaign in Telangana once again shows the same arrogance of the Andhra leadership, the very leadership Telangana fought against to form a new State.   His interests are antithetical to interests of Telangana.

His campaign in Telangana is not just amoral and sinister, but it is hegemonistic and in every aspect completely anti-Telangana.  It should be summarily rejected by the people of Telangana.