The article “A challenge to Indian federalism” by Jayaprakash Narayan has expressed a critical view on the action initiated for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. A federation is a compact between political units that surrender individual sovereignty to a central authority but retain limited powers. The issue of a separate Telangana remained unresolved all these years. The situation now warrants the demerger of Telangana — with Hyderabad as its capital — from Andhra Pradesh and the same has been initiated by the UPA government after taking consent from all the principal stakeholders, that is, political parties representing all regions of the State.
No doubt Andhra Pradesh was formed with the prior consent of the Andhra legislature and the Hyderabad legislature. But the erstwhile state of Hyderabad comprising the Telangana region was merged with Andhra Pradesh on a conditional basis in 1956. The constitutional provisions failed to unite the State subsequently.
Instead of creating challenging situations for Indian federalism by implementing the arbitrary decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh, the Centre should make efforts to bring about conciliation among stakeholders on both sides. The Congress should realise its responsibility towards the nation’s long-term interests which are being sacrificed for short-term political benefits.
Mr. Narayan seems to be making a last ditch effort to stop the inevitable — that is, the formation of an independent state of Telangana.
In the process, he has conveniently overlooked the almost 60-year-old struggle of the people of the region carried out in spite of violent suppression.
Mohd Abdul Sattar,