Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Understanding Telangana … The People's perspective

Vox populi Vox dei , A Latin phrase that is pompously used to hail People in Democracies means … the voice of people is the voice of the God!
But the voice of God has remained unheard in this region…. Since last five decades.
Historically Telangana had to bear the burnt of the most exploitative kind of feudalism during the era of Nizam and Razakar rule until 1948. This was the time when people movement like the Mulki movement and the Gonds of Adilabad district had waged agitation against the oppressive rule. The state of the local populace irrespective of their religion or caste was deplorable.
Meanwhile the rest of present Andhra Pradesh was under the erstwhile Madras Presidency, they were certainly better off when compared with that to the Telangana populace as they had the opportunity of English education and access to employment under the colonial rule.
To put it in a nutshell the people of this southern region lived in two different worlds! Each having its own different political economic state… the only thing that was common between the two worlds was its language ‘Telugu’…. It was presumed to be common … but it wasn’t!
In the post independent India the states were carved on the basis of linguistic criteria and Telangana, coastal Andhra and Rayalseema fell under this category, hence forming the present Andhra Pradesh.
It is interesting to note that the leaders such as Nehru were sceptical of the merger of Telangana with the Andhra… the termed the union as the marriage of a dominant husband with a submissive wife…. Needless to say that the submissive wife was Telangana!
It was certainly a marriage of (in) convenience!! Telangana’s identity remained enmeshed in the whims of the politicians and bureaucrats who thought that they knew the best.
Since the amalgamation in 1956, the condition of the people in this region has deteriorated consistently; they have been lagging behind in all the fields of public life.
Socially the discrimination is pathetic, the reason being the lower class and the local dialect of Telugu speaking people (Telugu has a tinge of Urdu in Telangana) this is seen as mass culture and considered low. Even in the Telugu movies, the villain mouths obscenities in Telangana dialect. Hence the language and culture of the Telangana people has always been debased by the Andhraites.
The Telangana territory has two of the main rivers Krishna and Godavari flowing through its mainland land but only 12% of its land is irrigated and the maximum number of farmer suicides has occurred in this region. As the water resources of this land continues to bring bounty to the farm lands of Rayelseema and coastal Andhra, the native farm lands remains parched and thirsty. The water shortage is so acute that the farmers are forced to exploit the ground water resources through pumps and bore wells … the tragic tale is that the ground water resource is not of much help as the water level have drastically dropped in the recent times. Thu nearly 70% of the pumps and bore wells have become dysfunctional.
The telangana movement is not a new stir, nor is it being manned ONLY by the politicians of the state. It is in a true sense a people’s movement as people irrespective of the class and caste from the Telangana region have unitedly rekindled the movement!
The question is not only about separating a piece of land! The movement is about reinstating the self respect, identity and dignity of the people! It is about hope… a hope that when the natives get to participate in the democratic process and they govern their land, the resources will be harnessed for betterment the people. It is a grassroot movement by the people Telangana who want to take control over the resources and determine their fate! ( A luxury which has never been endowed upon them since centuries!)
Its high time for the saga of perennial suppression, humiliation and neglect to end… it can only end when the state recognises the voice of God…. The voice of people…the voice of Telangana!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All izz well until it is drama!

Any hit formula is destined to be replicated umpteen number of times until its magic fades away. There are numerous examples ... be it Himesh copying his own nasal twang and making it more torturous with every new composition or Ekta kapoor crafting soaps using the same saas bahu plus K formula in every Balaji production. The same phenomenon is recurring in the AP Politics where the politicians are fasting unto death?? ( sorry no one has died!) and trying to influence the decision of the centre to reconstruct or deconstruct the state boundary!

So one can expect the opera show to continue for few more days!The happiest lot is the great Indian media ... it is very rare (except for the elections) that all the jokers of Indian politics perform for the media wallas at the same time. KCR (Alas!! even his name starts with K!! ) Mayawati , Ajit singh and all other supporting actors ie MLAs of Andhra Pradesh ( to be more exact ...coastal Andhra, Rayelseema as the supporting actors are very particular about the location of their constituencies!)have been trying hard to fit in the frame!

The next beneficiary could have been the poor Indian masses! All over weight politicians going for the fasting could have contained the food crisis to some extent…But as every one knows well that the concept of ‘trickle down’ is completely dysfunctional in our country! May be media can investigate “who ate KCRs food for the nine days when he was fasting for the Telangana??” and run a prime time show! That’s what media does…who is interested in the in-depth coverage of the issues as long as the trivia is running (successfully?) on the channels!

The din will surface in a few days. The so called agitated MPs and MLAs will be contained by the party high commands, Some random tea parties and chintan baithaks will be organised! Dozens of review committee and commissions will be formed at all possible levels. Media will stop playing the story and shift its kind attention towards celebrities as the new year is approaching... again we will get to see the most interesting programs on news channels like

“What is the new year resolution of Rakhi Sawant ?"

What about Telangana… a suitable consent will be manufactured which will suit the (vested) interest of KCR, junior YSR, CBN and all the other ABCs of Andhra .

That’s it…. All izz well until it is drama!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Who's Interest ??

Many of us must have experienced this.... sitting in front of the big screen in a movie theatre, watching a story unfolding itself, we get lost into the lives of the characters forgetting our existence... and we shed tears on their miseries!! The engagements with the emotions continue until the movie is over and then we suddenly realise... it was just a story. I am doubly sure when it comes to telgus, they experience this phenomena more than any one in the country as they are the mad movie lovers!

Exactly the same thing is happening in Andhra Pradesh…and the cine star of the Telangana movie is KCR. People are empathising with him now…only to realise in the future that...all was drama!

I do not have a problem with the popular demand of carving out a separate Telangana, but my concern is the present leadership of this movement. The most opportunistic, morally corrupt and deceitful leader of the Andhra politics has stirred (restirred) this movement. If one looks at the timing of his hunger strike, one learns that...

  • TRS had performed badly in the Lok Sabha, State Assembly as the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Commission elections...some gimmick was required to pump adrenalin into the party nerves, hence this hunger strike.
  • The hunger strike commences at a time when the state government is still trying to cope up with the loss of its patriarch YSR, hence this is the best time to destabilise the government! (That is another story that that the spineless Andhra government is so incompetent to take decisions in the state matters that is awaiting a nod from madam!)
  • Its interesting to note that TRS was born of the ideologue of Telangana, but all this years KCR had been paying lip service to the cause, when he sensed that rhetoric wont be of much use now, he slipped to action
  • Given the current state of his party, KSR knows that it would be difficult for him to be able to rule the whole AP, hence carving out a separate chunk would ensure a safe political heaven in the near future

Telangana region has been wailing under the ages of suppression deserves a empathetic leader and certainly not a Power Sucker!

(P.S -This post was written just an hour before the home minister announced that the centre government would ensure that the resoulution for a separate Telangana region is tabled in the assembly, Nevert the less I will be penning down my views on the upcoming Telangana in the next post)