Monday, December 7, 2009

Telangana - different perspectives

I was home alone. My parents had gone to Chennai on work. I was chatting online with some friends after a long time. Suddenly, I heard a lot of commotion outside my house. I caught only one phrase - 'Jai Telangana'. I rushed towards the front of my house. Through a window I saw about a hundred people with pink flags walking past my house sloganeering and shouting. Chants of 'Jai Telangana' rent the air.

I watched, not worried at all. They were not there for me, nor did I have anything to do with them. Suddenly, I heard a noise which sounded like a mild explosion. It was clearly just a few feet from the window I was at. I realized it was from inside my house. I was horrified. It was either a bulb which had broken or a stone that had hit a glass window. Immediately however, some people within the crowd shouted at one of the others. "Eh, Eh!" The crowd moved on.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Whatever it was, it had passed without much damage. For a moment however, I was petrified. I was dreading that more could come. Thankfully, it did not.

Mobs are not rational, right? Who could explain, indeed who would have an opportunity to explain to them that I had nothing to do with this. That I was not even from the state. The concept of Telangana and Andhra was completely alien to me.


On Saturday evening, I was returning from a hospital where I had gone to discuss something with a doctor. We had heard there that Section 144 was imposed in the city because there was some violence in Ameerpet and Punjagutta areas.

I passed by the Paradise bus stop. I saw about a couple of hundred people who had gathered at the bus stop. It was not an unruly crowd. It was an eclectic mix of the old and the young, men and women, children and adults. There was one thing common among them. Worry. They were all waiting for buses to take them home. Buses had been withdrawn because some unruly hoodlums had broken some buses during the violence that evening.

They had no means of getting back safely to their homes. Autos were either absent or were charging unaffordable amounts. They were all waiting anxiously hoping some bus would come and take them home.

I felt really bad for them. I have no idea how they went home. No buses plied that day.


Kartik is a software programmer. He has one major grouse. He says, "The only complaint I have had is that my Telangana dialect is not accepted by anyone around me, and as for the film industry they have come to brand it as a rogue dialect which saddens me." The Telangana dialect is spoken only by villains and comics. Never the lead actor.

It is this attitude which bugs the hell out of people from the region. Nobody likes to be made fun of. Too silly a reason for a separate state? Well, depends on which side of the divide you are on. There are other reasons too.

Two of South India's largest rivers flow through the region but the large parts still do not have access to proper drinking water. The basic reason for separate statehood is that the powerful Andhra people have systematically exploited the region and promoted their own kin. The rightful owners of the region's bounties have always got a raw deal. You can read more about the history of the demand for a separate state here.


Nicky said...

The TRS wants hyderabad, not telangana.

It was Chandrababu Naidu who brought IT into hyd and made it what it is today.

Telangana as such has nothing in terms of natural resources. If a new state is formed, the only people who will benefit will be TRS.

Andhra can easily sell every essential consumer good to telangana at a premuim and exploit it when it becomes a new state.

There is no point in having a seperate state. It will have the same plight as chattisgarh and uttaranchal. Broken and forgotten. Political parties care about A.P because it is a huge state. All that will disappear once the state is brokken.

I, for the first time, am happy that I am no longer in that place.

Do let me know if you visit Chennai with your parents sometime :D

Kamal D Shah said...

I thought exactly like this until a few days back. The difference this time is that the support for Telangana is at the ground level. I totally agree that politicians have been stoking the passions for their own selfish motives. But this time if you follow the protests this time, you will see that it is genuine ground level support.

As to whether statehood will really solve the problems of the people of the region, your guess is as good as mine.

Sure, I will let you know if I am coming to Chennai. I did not realize you were in Chennai. For some reason I thought you were in Mumbai!

s said...

I dont agree with the ground level support.
If there was one, KCR and his gang would have won unopposed in Telangana.

Kamal D Shah said...

Have an election there today. They will win.

kartikthum said...

Not sure where 's' is from :) - All political parties promised T in the recent elections, so no doubt TRS did not have much of a result in the election! 2004 was considered a referendum where they won that way in many places and the remaining places went to it's ally - Congress. So, how many times should we have one?

Nicky said...

Me a Hyderabadi living in Chennai since a few months now.

My thoughts might have seemed 'mumbai'ish :P

Pavan Guduru said...

People who dont undersatnd Telangana issue

are either not from the region
or from the region but they have vested interest like Real Estate
or they are raised under a influence and are completely ignorant of the region

And for those who dont know Hyderabad was a well developed city way before andhra pradesh formed.

And about Natural resources that is what the T region is deprived off and is the cause

If TRS would have had better leaders, Telagana Sate would have been 5 years from its formation.

T-Region has been used for political reasons by all parties

Its not that seperate state is only solution, Telangana region needs progress and better leaders

Vikram said...

I am up for any solution that provides decent opportunities for any person to make a living. People of no region should dominate over others to gain disproportionate share of natural resources or man made opportunities such as employment.

At the end of the day, we are all Indians and we all should have a good shot of making it in this country.

B said...

This is a hot topic. It is a disastrous turn of events especially the way it was gone about.

I wanted to quickly remark on one sentence of yours. You ARE part of this state. Unless you came to Hyd recently or intend to move away soon.

I know you did not mean that sentence in the way I am interpreting but just wanted to express my thought when I read it...hope you do not get that the wrong way.

Every single person living in Hyderabad and the whole of Andhra Pradesh (as it exists today) has a stake in this matter. It sets dangerous precedents and shakes the faith in the system and ability to 'settle' and plan for a future.

My own view is that this issue should have been tackled in steps. That is, the first should have been forming some sort of sub governance mechanism for telangana region and letting this team allocate resources. The resources should be allocated as part of central govt allocation or the state govt. I think nobody blames that Hyd is not taken care that should not be the contention (though for political purposes it is).

Where does this end? Probably until each district is a separate state or even further.

If TRS really cares about Telangana...then leave Hyderabad (the developed) alone and let them focus on the rest of Telangana. All they want is to plunder and make money (as is the case with the current politicians as well). However, the way they go about this is going to have much wider implications rather than just a means of making some money.

We Indians are in general insensitive. We are politically correct on some peculiar things but very grossly insensitive in certain things. I guess we should pay attention to the things mentioned here about how the hero never speaks in telangana accent.

Kamal D Shah said...

--You ARE part of this state. Unless you came to Hyd recently or intend to move away soon.

I know you did not mean that sentence in the way I am interpreting but just wanted to express my thought when I read it...hope you do not get that the wrong way.--

Of course I am. I love this place more than anything else. As you know I am desperately trying to improve my Telugu and have been successful to some extent - except that my accent is a dead give away :-) Nevertheless, I am working on this.

Yes, I meant that more from the point of view of owing allegiance to a particular region. No, I did not misunderstand your point. I understand entirely.



Nagaraj Lakkireddy said...

Right Kamal..Telangana - This is definitely a different perspective.. and PURELY A POLITICAL GIMMICK. I am deeply saddened by the news of our state being split into two parts under a threat of violent agitation by a few opportunists. Gandhians like Potti Sriramulu (who fasted until he died) and Tanguturi Prakasam have fought hard to provide a state for Telugu people in post-British India.
I understand that Telangana is striving hard to get out of the backwardness. But that doesn’t mean that there are no other places in Andhra Pradesh that are backward. Government is doing lot of things for Telangana in recent times. But people can’t stop comparing the regions. The difference lies in the rich cultivation land in other regions of Andhra Pradesh when compared to Telangana region. Having said that, Telangana is also rich in mineral resources , heavy dense forests, maximum number of rich revenue generating units (Cement, Coal, Dams, PSUs … etc).
We have the best Universities (OU, Kakatiya, JNTU Hyderabad, RECs, and Agriculture University) in this region. Telangana University started recently(if I remember correctly in 2006) are having high plans. Governments of India also have the future plans for setting up IIT in this region.
About the illiteracy rate, I firmly believe that the grass root level awareness should be brought up. We have number of plans set up by government and long list of NGOs. Transportation is a problem in this region, which should be strived hard by the regional heads and local MLAs. 1/3rd of the Assembly seats are from Telangana. Is it not the duty of the MLA to take care of his region?
My point is, there are developing places and under-developed places all across Andhra Pradesh. A state should be divided if there is a cultural, traditional and language differences. Unwanted division of states only leads to lot of bureaucracy and more corruption. I don’t understand, why people want to have a separate state. This is not the first time we had this agitation (struggles in 1960s, 1990s and 2000s).
India was an under-developed nation for 40 years, does it mean India should divide into two different countries?? It took time for India to show its potential. When nation is one, why do we need to agitation for division of states? Why do we need this meaningless destruction of property? Hunger strikes, destruction of properties and human violence is not solution, it is just to gain attention. We have 21+ channels in our state for covering news. All are worried about their TRP. That’s the difference in late 50s and now.Students should know that destruction leads to nothing and any issue should be resolved in an intellectual manner. Aftermath of this agitation, will they go and fix the damage, for what they did so far??
In my college days, I always felt that if anyone is so much worried about their region, they should stand up and do something good for his/her region. Atleast I can proudly say, I am doing my part of work.

Nagaraj Lakkireddy said...

But as per the Telangana people perspective: Whenever the topic of Telangana is raised, many of us blindly support Andhra or Telangana based on where we come from. Not sure how many really think of why the demand for separate state has been there for such a long time. The 2 major reasons why the demand has been pending for so many years is WATER AND HYDERBAD. People around the state have earned and invested in and around Hyderabad so there is a concern about the safety of the investment if the state is separated while both the major rivers in our state flow mostly through Telangana. Below are some facts that are few reasons for the demand. Sentiments can be foolish but not facts.
There are 10 districts in Telangana, 9 in Andhra and 4 in Rayalaseema. Out of these 7 districts in Telangana, 3 in Andhra and 1 in Rayalaseema are considered severely backward districts which means 70% of districts in Telangana are backward while in Andhra it is 35% and in Rayalaseema it is 25% (Not sure this is reliable). Apart from these there are some areas in all parts of the state which are also backward. 45% of the state income comes from Telangana region. When it comes to utilization of funds, the share of Telangana is only 28%. Normally canals are dug to supply water to the crops from rivers for cultivation. The amount of land cultivated through canals in just Guntur district is more than the land cultivated with canals in entire Telangana region.
Nagarjuna sagar dam is built in Nalgonda district which is in Telangana but majority of the water from the dam is used for Krishna and Guntur district. The original dam was supposed to be build much ahead of its present location but the location was changed so that it falls in the Telangana region. Due to the construction of the dam several hectares of Lime stone mines vanished as part of the dam back waters. Everyone know that lime stone is used for producing cement. Even the natural resources were not allowed to remain.
Fluorinated water problem is only in Nalgonda district which has not been resolved since decades. Two major rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra enter the state of AP in the district of Mahaboobnagar(the biggest district in Telangana) but the district always remains the worst draught hit areas along with Anantapur because there is no project and process with which the water can be utilized. The plans for utilization has been pending for decades.
RDS (Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme) is build in Mahaboobnagar to provide water to 85000 hectares of land in the district. The leaders of Rayalaseems blasted the gates of RDS and water is supplied to KC (Kurnool-Cudapah) canal while only remaining water, if any, is supplied to the lands in Mahaboobnagar. 3 TMC of water from Gandipet is sufficient to supply drinking water to our city. Every year 1700 TMC of water is wasted and is flown into Bay of Bengal from river Godavari. Starting from Nizambad to Bay of Bengal there is no project allowed to build on Godavari. If it is built leaders in Godavari districts fear that the fertile lands in the area may fall short of water. If the Godavari water is utilized properly, there will be no scarcity for food grains in our state.
In Telangana regions, only few areas cultivate one crop a year and very rarely two crops a year while most of the land doesn’t even cultivate single crop. In both the Godavari districts, Krishna and Guntur district, two crops a year is common and there are times where even 3 crops a year are cultivated. The only reason is WATER. Government issue G.O.’s for implicating its decisions. G.O number 610 is the longest non implicated G.O in the history of AP. The G.O was issued in 1986 by late NTR who was then the CM of AP, which is not yet implicated. The G.O speaks about the share of Telangana employees in Government jobs in Telangana region.

Nagaraj Lakkireddy said...

Lessons learnt: Regarding the other states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand & Uttaranchal are doomed now. The Uttaranchal folks don’t have to deal with the divide & rule politics of Mulayam Singh and his cronies. Also Jharkhand had a very valid reason to be a separate state, they held about 70% of the natural resources in erstwhile Bihar (All major industrial cities like Dhanbad, Jamshedpur, Bokaro are in Jharkhand) but the region was totally neglected by the Bihari babu’s. In fact Bihar is crying now that Jharkhand is gone (see facts from Wikipedia below)-
Overall: Is separation solving the problems? The Hindu has written a very nice editorial on this issue
Foremost thing is: How does this helps you? Common man? Rickshaw valla? Students? Software engineer? Small scale industrialists? Large scale industrialists? Investors? Investments? Etc etc..and I am sure this helps only politicians.
As I mentioned in the first, THIS IS A POLITICAL GIMMICK..Nothing will happen..Don’t be sentimental..HAVE A BEER AND CHILL OUT..

Anonymous said...

If I know that a relative of mine would be made a AP state cabinet minister shortly which in turn would make me feel secure in way, would I still go ahead and vote for Telangana and there by not care of other prospects! Yes, because I have no political interest what so ever!I genuinely feel there is a huge need for it! Here, go ahead and check this video -

Once you digest that 4 part series, period, no more arguments!

redd said...

@Nicky: it is completely beyond my comprehension what u meant by saying "It was Chandrababu Naidu who brought IT into hyd and made it what it is today. " do u mean that Mr.Naidu,being a non-telanganite (of which u seem to b proud of)has done a favor for the people belonging to telangana region??let us for a while accept ur statement blindly..what difference does it make anyway??wasnt Mr.Naidu the then chief minister of AP n was nd is not hyd the capital city of AP?n being the CM of AP was it not his responsibility to develop the capital city of AP.I dont find any reason to brag abt anyone performing his duties.
I dont know what ur educational background is.but u seem to b well educated.I wud request you to go thru wiki or google abt the economic resources of the telangana region before posting statements like "Telangana as such has nothing in terms of natural resources." with well decorated phrases like "as such",n i dont even know if u hav an MBA frm Harvard or Kellogg.could please explain me "Andhra can easily sell every essential consumer good to telangana at a premuim and exploit it when it becomes a new state."I wud love learn n understand the logic n theory behind that....
n before u talk abt the plight of other states,I wud strongly recommend u to get to know abt the plight of our own people of telangana region.the district of Nalgonda has an indisputable record 'highest fluorine content' in underground water since ages.irony being more than 70% of the catchment area of both godavari n krishna lie in the region of Telangana.y shud the people of the region be deprived of drinking water due to cheap politics.

i guess one shud not always brag abt the things bestowed upon them by virtue of wealth or place of their birth or the region they belong to,of which we cant make any is just by chance that u were not born in a poor family which culdnt afford potable water,a family whose major income comes frm agriculture n dont have enough water to irrigate their farms...sorry if i'm being too blunt..
Now I guess,education alone doesnt make us wise n judicious,it is the will to b so which matters much!!!
I am not a staunch supporter of a separate statehood for telangana.but if its the only possible solution to improve the plight of them people,then let them hav it..
If I have said anything wrong or if any of my (few) facts r awry n baseless please correct me.I wud b more than happy.wud love to hear frm u....
P.S: if only head banging n heavy metal music wud make us reasonable beings n entities,then i guess axl rose n m mansion wud hav been great philosophers!!!

Ankit said...

There is no point in having a seperate state. It will have the same plight as chattisgarh and uttaranchal. Broken and forgotten. Political parties care about A.P because it is a huge state. All that will disappear once the state is brokken...KCR needs pubilicity and he just care about himself that's y he is playing with many students life.
Those idiot students dont hve their own brain to think what is correct and wrong just distroying public properties and chanting JAI TELANGANA...
i say KCR sucks TRS party sucks...
They wont get hyderabad coz its not his father or grand father's city to own it..
Today sultan bazar was targeted by few bunch of mother fuckers and harming people by throwing stones on them...