The possibility of creating an independent state of Telangana has created tensions in Andhra Pradesh and the rest of the country. The contentious issue was in limbo for long, and the UPA has dithered quite often bowing to extraneous pressures. In UPA-I, it was a slip between the cup and the lip for the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, which had almost brokered a deal with the government. It is unfortunate that considerations of political gains and losses have assumed centre stage.
While there are mixed examples of smaller States doing justice to their creation, Telangana has always been met with emotionally surcharged reactions as the issue involves regional pride and the biggest bone of contention, Hyderabad. Now that the formation of Telangana appears imminent, the Centre should concentrate on controlling the after-effects of the move.
The Congress has proved yet again that its decisions are governed not by principles but by political calculations. If people’s sentiments or aspirations are the basis for dividing a State, the status of Kashmir should be different. The TDP, the BJP and the CPI are equally responsible for the Telangana tangle. None batted for a united Andhra Pradesh.
The demand for a separate state of Telangana was almost nullified by Indira Gandhi. Subsequently, it lost much steam, thanks to development work in the region and the astute leadership of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. The Telangana movement got rejuvenated after the Congress failed to provide an able successor to YSR. The party’s decision to carve out Telangana at this juncture is aimed at short-term political gains, not long-term benefits. A separate Telangana will pump massive fuel into the demands for new states across the nation.
N. Sadhasiva Reddy,
UPA II is stuck between a rock and a hard place. People of neither Telangana nor Seemandhra are ready to part with Hyderabad, which has emerged as the pride of Telugu speaking people. In view of rampant left-wing extremism in adjacent Chhattisgarh, a small state is no wise decision. The idea of Hyderabad as a Union Territory and a common capital is not feasible because there is no territorial connectivity with both the regions if the present boundaries persist. I strongly wish status quo continues. The solution is probably a sub-state with financial autonomy.
The carving out of a separate Telangana seems to be directionless. Those who have taken the responsibility of sanctioning it appear to be oblivious to the fact that tagging Kurnool and Anantapur with Telangana will not please the people of the region and will also hurt the people of Rayalaseema.
The proposal is a case of utter lack of knowledge of the situation that existed when the Andhra State was formed with Kurnool as the capital. Later, the Telugu-speaking areas of the Nizam state were merged to form Andhra Pradesh. One wonders whose brilliant idea Rayala-Telangana is. It will tear the emotional fibre of those who have been living in Rayalaseema for ages. One hopes sanity will prevail on those about to use their inexperienced surgical prowess.
It looks like political expediency, not development, is behind the formation of a separate Telangana. The Congress is aware that Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy is from Rayalaseema and has never openly backed the demand for Telangana. It is evident that his views were not taken seriously by the party high command which appears to have made up its mind after the BJP’s strident support for the cause.
The Congress will gain nothing from its latest move. It has lost its identity in all three regions of Andhra Pradesh. The party leaders from Telangana cannot hope to perform a magic in the region as the TRS, which has been pursuing the demand since 2001, will gain an upper hand. It may well turn out to be a straight contest between the TRS and the TDP. One thing is certain. Andhra Pradesh is heading for a long phase of uncertainty and violence.
The UPA government is playing politics with people’s emotions. Why has the Congress become the arbiter in the statehood issue? Is there no difference between the party and the government? Should not the Centre take all stakeholders into confidence?
Our nation is moving away from the integration of the 1950s. The government should look at creating regional committees, giving special economic packages for the underdeveloped regions, and decentralising governance instead of breaking up States.
Padmaneri V. Sivanand,