Friday, September 20, 2013

Is it the formation of Seemandhra or Telangana?

The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference. 
High profile Congress MP from the city of Vijayawada, Lagadapati Rajgopal made a pertinent point in one of the Telugu TV channel debates last week. It is not Telangana State that is being formed, but Andhra Pradesh all over again. Telangana will still get to retain the capital city of Hyderabad. It is the rest of Andhra Pradesh that has to scourge for a capital city, build it, nurture it so that it attains the stature of Hyderabad. Telangana will become the upper riparian State and therefore, the rest of AP might have to face the brunt (in the event of a water sharing problem).
His logic sounds extremely reasonable – a new State is being formed, which is definitely not Telangana, strictly in the technical sense.
And this is precisely, why ordinary folks from Rayalaseema and Andhra regions are up in arms against Sonia Gandhi’s decision from the last 20 days. Yes, it is has been 20 days since the region is burning (if you follow the national media, chances are very low that you will know this!). With demands flying back and forth from all quarters, various parties and organisations in the Telangana region have upped the ante now. Let’s take a look at what exactly is happening in both the Telangana and rest of Andhra Pradesh regions.
In the Hyderabad and Telangana regions
1. Hyderabad sirf hamara hai - This is a new slogan that has been coined by the TRS. They don’t mean to shunt out people who are outsiders. The slogan is to tell the Union Government that they will not accept any kind of Central Government control on Hyderabad. The law and order must come under the Telangana Government; there is no way that they will accept this as a permanent common capital or a Union Territory; out of goodwill, they are okay to allow the Andhra Government to run their affairs from Hyderabad for a limited period of time. Hyderabad must and should belong to Telangana only – TRS has decided to take this message to the town level.
2. The MIM party has stoutly opposed any move to make Hyderabad as a Union Territory. Like the TRS, they too oppose a central control on the law and order of Hyderabad.
3. The Telangana Joint Action Committee (T-JAC) has given a call for peaceful rallies across the region to a) Urge the centre to speed up the process of formation of Telangana, with 10 disctricts only and Hyderabad as its capital; b) oppose the unconstitutional demands of the folks from Seemandhra region. Sadbhavana Deeksha are being planned across the region too.
4. Congress MP from the Rajya Sabha, V Hanumantha Rao has commented in Tirumala that though folks from Seemandhra are welcome to stay in Hyderabad, they are not welcome to hold jobs in the Government. This has set out a furore in the region, with his car being attacked and vandalised too. It is precisely this kind of vitroil that is fuelling the protests in Seemandhra region.

In the Seemandhra region
1. Nearly four and half lakh employees of the State Government are on indefinite strike since Monday last. While the national media does not find it fit to cover this news, such a massive strike is crippling every known aspect of public life in the region. The demand is that all public representatives from the region have to resign. The strike will continue till the last person resigns!
2. YSRCP Honorary President, Vijayamma, is scheduled to begin her indefinite fast demanding status quo.
3. Many MLAs from Opposition parties are also on relay/indefinite hunger strikes in the region. Even vendors who sell stuff on carts have joined the protest rallies on Sunday.
4. Nearly 60 public representatives met at the residence of the Chief Minister over the weekend. After a nearly 5-hour-long meeting, they have decided to meet the Anthony Committee on the 20th and submit only one demand – no bifurcation is acceptable. Along with the CM and PCC chief, they signed yet another resolution urging Sonia Gandhi to reverse the Congress Working Committee (CWC) decision.
5. More and more organisations and people are coming forward to join the strike. At least 30 teacher associations have given notice for strike from the 22nd August – this pretty much means that all schools and colleges in the region face an uncertain future as to when classes will resume. If the situation is so grim, you must be wondering what the State and Central Governments are doing. In nearly 400 hours, since the CWC announcement was made, the Chief Minister of the State has only spoken to us once. He has also met public representatives from the Seemandhra region thrice (each meeting lasted more than four hours) – thereby giving an impression that he is scheming up against the bifurcation.
The leader of the UPA, Sonia Gandhi, as is her wont, hasn’t spoken to the people of Andhra Pradesh yet. All we get to hear is from Digvijay Singh, who is a nobody for the people of the State. It beats us, the people of AP, as to what we did to deserve a daily sermon from the likes of Digvijay Singh.
The Anthony Committee (which according to the PCC chief is of no use) will meet leaders from Telangana today and Seemandhra tomorrow. Next update will be on the morning of Wednesday, post these meetings (though nothing much is expected from these).


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