A separate State of Telangana was a historic inevitability. The demand dates back to the days of States’ re-organisation. People of the region were near-unanimous in their view and there was no reason their regional aspirations should not have been fulfilled. People of Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra did not have any objections based on sound reasoning to counter the demand for Telangana.
The Congress, which committed itself to the formation of a separate state a decade ago, dilly-dallied for no valid reason. It dragged its feet despite support from almost all parties. It maintained a stoic state of inaction, wishing away the issue and showing knee-jerk reactions whenever there was a bandh or agitation for Telangana. Much of bloodshed and ill-will between the regions of Andhra Pradesh could have been averted by prompt and determined action.
The six decades-old demand, which was outright rejected by Indira Gandhi, has at last been granted. The aspirations of the people of Telangana for self-rule have become a reality with a bang. They started the struggle for a separate state due to severe backwardness and negligence. The struggle for Telangana became an agitation for self-respect. It has ended with the division of Andhra Pradesh.
The legitimacy of the demand for a separate Telangana was beyond dispute. The UPA government should have risen above narrow political calculations to evolve a consensus on the boundaries and capital of the new State. After stoking the fire by its unilateral announcement on the formation of Telangana in 2010, the government was left with no option other than crossing the Rubicon.
Successive governments of Andhra Pradesh, right from its formation in 1956, dealt a raw deal to the people of Telangana. Thanks to their political wizardry, Congress Chief Ministers Kasu Brahmananda Reddy and Rajasekhara Reddy were successful in controlling the Telangana agitation. It is wrong to argue that by creating smaller States, the nation is moving away from integration. Many States have been formed since 1950.
The people of Seemandhra, on the other hand, have been fooled since 1972 when the agitation for a separate Andhra was foiled. Politicians made them believe that only an integrated state was in their (read politicians’) interests. As a result, Visakhapatnam, with its natural harbour, and Vijayawada, which acts as a link between the north and the south, have suffered colossally at the hands of Hyderabad, thanks to lop-sided development policies.
Seshagiri Row Karry,
I write this with a heavy heart as a unified Andhra Pradesh has become a thing of the past. The very sight of a Telangana map on television and in newspapers disturbs me. While I uphold the views of the people of the region for self-rule, I find the promise of rapid development by its political leaders rather unconvincing. Political opportunism is the only driving force behind the formation of Telangana.
Rayalaseema and Andhra did not have a strong political leadership to counter the “no-holds-barred” campaign for a separate Telangana. People belonging to the two regions committed the biggest blunder by investing all their money in Hyderabad, disregarding the development of Vijayawada, Tirupati and Visakhapatnam. As a common man, I can only appeal to the powers dividing the State to minimise the damage to the common man.
It is celebration day for the protagonists of a separate State of Telangana and a sad day for integrationists. One thing is clear: the Congress transacted the deal in the way it wanted, not the way people desired. No political party called for a consensus or referendum or, for that matter, even a second SRC. The mode the Congress has chosen to proclaim statehood for Telangana will lead to a tumultuous situation. It has set a bad trend as groups calling for separate states will henceforth choose force as their tool to accomplish their chauvinistic goals.
K. Sai Prasanna,
With Telangana becoming a reality, the old theory of linguistic base for the creation of States has been diluted and replaced by regional imbalance as the main criterion. If the government does not focus on the issue of regional imbalance, we will soon see a demand for more states. It will become a major challenge for the Centre.
The decision of the Congress to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh is certainly not guided by love for the people of Telangana. It is purely out of political compulsion aimed at lifting the sagging morale of the party.
The frequent creation of new states is fraught with high risks. It is a body blow to our national integrity, as new States will identify themselves more and more with parochial and linguistic sentiments rather than national values.
M.K. Vipin Kumar Nambiar,
In the 1970s, when people of both Telangana and Andhra agitated for an independent state, Indira Gandhi rejected the proposal saying that bifurcation on the principle of sentiment or backwardness cannot be considered. By not bifurcating the State then, the Centre denied the people of Seemandhra the opportunity to develop their own capital. They worked for 40 years developing Hyderabad. The abrupt decision to create a Telangana State now amounts to deceiving the other regions.
Hyderabad is definitely the bone of contention as the hopes and aspirations of people from Srikakulam to Kurnool are woven around it. They have invested their time, money and education in the city and, suddenly, they feel there is a vacuum.
The Congress is well aware that without Andhra Pradesh’s contribution to its kitty, it cannot return to power at the Centre. The party has divided the State for its electoral gains.
It was my home till yesterday. But today, it is no longer mine. Born in the serene Telangana region and brought up in Hyderabad, I lived in the belief that I was one of those thousands of Telugu-speaking people who shared a unique bonding with all three regions of Andhra Pradesh, singing the same Ma Telugu thalli ki.
The UPA government is most insensitive. Instead of pacifying people and maintaining harmony, it has resorted to bifurcation to conquer the State leadership in the coming elections.
The Congress has kick-started the campaign for the Lok Sabha election by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh. The decision will divert the media’s attention from Narendra Modi and the BJP. But the Congress will vanish from the media soon, when the voice of those demanding an independent Vidharbha, Gorkhaland, Kodagu and the like becomes louder.