Remember the classic film, 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron'? The scenes where the pandemonium on stage has begun and the 'blind' and confused Dhritarashtra is constantly yelling 'Yeh sab kya ho raha hai Duryodhan?'? Makes me think of every single normal, sane resident of Andhra Pradesh today. Or my beloved Hyderabad, torn between 2 sides, one a blood relation, and the other a heart and soul relation.
My family, like so many others, has deep personal connections with the formation of the state, and the Telangana agitation of 1969. Horror tales of the Razakars brought closer home by the fact that my grandfather was a member of the forces fighting them, the family living in an area waiting to be overrun, and saved from certain death, in the nick of time, by the Indian Army. The 1969 Agitation critically damaging career aspirations of some among the next generation. And now here I am, about to return to my homeland, facing the same old story. 3 generations, same old story. Such a tragic legacy.
As a child, the Razakars and Telangana agitation were terms I heard only in hushed whispers, part of family lore relayed in tones that pre-empted small, nosy children from asking too many questions. Which is why I had absolutely no clue about the history of my state, and the city I so proudly proclaimed to be from. Over the past month, I have read up a bit, understood a little more about the places I passed through on all those bike trips - previously just names and markers on my routemaps, now little pieces of history.
Simultaneously, I have been fortunate in that my flatmates are two highly politically aware people, with open minds and 'debative' attitudes. This has forced me to relinquish what has been a much-cherished, much-used, and sadly all too common middle class escapist logic for political ignorance and non-involvement - ' Sab chor hain saale, so it doesn't matter and there's no point thinking about it. So by extension, there's no point even knowing about it. Since I don't know, there's no need to do anything about it. I have bigger things, like life, to worry about. Whatever I get dished out, I have to just work my way around, or through, it.'
Not much has changed, really, except that I have tried to educate myself a bit more about the history of the country, and our political parties. So let's say I now know a tiny bit more. Not much has changed, except that knowing a little more, the 'saale' has been upgraded to insults involving other family members also. Also, there is a point to thinking about it, because I now see how understanding national and local politics helps me contextualise more of what I see happening around me, affecting my everyday life. And lastly, I do sometimes feel an extremely strong need to do something about this, something along the lines of constituting a force of highly-trained mercenary assassins, who will pick off the bastards one by one. Not cheap-ass suicide bombers. Assassins. The mandate of this force will subsequently be diversified to include people like SPS Rathore, Manu Sharma, Santosh Kumar Singh, Monu Mittal, Sanjiv Nanda, Vikas Yadav, et al. Torture will be optional, dealt with on a case-by-case basis. In the words of Dexter Morgan, "Fear is a powerful motivator" - think of what it can achieve. Also, since this will be a 'related diversification', there is every chance of strong growth and success (ah, the benefits of a business education...). This is a fairly realistic solution, there are hundreds of people willing and able to be recruits for this special group. Who says terrorism is bad, just that we need to pick the right targets to scare the crap out of.
(Aside: as kids, we always wish our superheroes were real. And sometimes, they really are, in our heads. Strange how today I find myself wishing even more that certain fictional characters were real. When I'm ill, I'm convinced I have a really rare disease and I'm dying and I want Dr. Gregory House, NOW dammit! When I am feeling murderous and have political blood on my mind, I want Dexter Morgan.)
And yet, not much has changed, really. Our politicians are still mostly thieves, it doesn't really matter, and I am still likely to try and work around/through whatever I get dished out. This is the argument I put to 3 of my friends, all Oxford classmates, one of whom had just returned to London after supporting his uncle in elections in North India. He confessed to being flabbergasted at the scale of operations and corruption, subversion of the electoral system, and the real power of power.
We tut-tutted a bit, in true armchair philosopher style, discussed how we need young, uncorrupted blood in politics, and how the young guns paraded around a few years ago, the Deoras, the Pilots, the Scindias, have disappeared into obscurity. I asked them what they would do, and all 3 were unanimous in saying they would love to go into politics and effect real change. Now, I must state that these are 3, young, highly intelligent, highly educated men with global exposure and some understanding of our political situation, good friends who I rate highly in several parameters. And the first thing I said when I heard this was 'bullshit!' This remains my confidence in the chances of 3 people I would really trust in power, to save my country. People I know so well. What can I say about the people plotting now to carve up my beloved Telugu land? Loathsome, disgusting people like the fast-until-juice-break opportunist and his opposite number, the Deathbed Sprinter?
Below are some of the better articles and comments I have seen on the issue.
First is TS Sudhir's article, 'Divide and Rule
', on the NDTV website. Below are a couple of the comments on the page:
|Posted by Prasad on Dec 18, 2009|
|The dominant people of a region should have distinct differences in language or ethnicity with the rest to ask for a separate state which does not hold good for Telangana where the dominant people are Telugu speaking and there is not any distinct ethnic differences with the rest of the AP. Dialectic differences should not be seen as basic differences. It would be very unfortunate to consider 200 years of tyrannical rule by the Nizams as the basis for separatism while a thousands of years old connection with Telugu runs through the people and ties them to one string. How can anyone say that the Telangana telugu is different... Potana's Mahabhagavatam composed with innate powers was composed in what we call Telangana and is a divine composition for every Telugu. It would be a sin to attribute regional character to Potana today which some of our 'writers' are doing. The divisive venom spread primarily by Congress over the years brought us to a stage that today some people has the audacity to see even Valimiki Maharshi through a casteist veil. Telangana State was just an agitation created by greedy politicians either in 1969 or now and this cannot be treated as 50 year old fight as some claim since this is not the same situation post the Hyderabad Police action. (If the basis were to be the east while Hyderabad state, the demand should be to create Telangana with aurangabad, Gulbarga, Raichur etc etc.,)Today Delhi leaders are just splitting a single Telugu speaking state much against the basics of creation of states. Further more if exploitation by the other region is cited as the cause, is it not the very same politicians of Telangana who have been allowing this to happen. They were in enough strength to stop any such exploitation. It would be wrong to assume that a region is separated out for exploitation. Politicians over the last fifty years have gobbled up whatever they wanted and they showed no favor or bias for people, but for creating personal wealth. A new Telangana state with the same leaders who are crying for more power only to grab more will not make any difference to the betterment of the region which could not be achieved being in a larger and powerful state. Reject the current political leaders lock stock and barrel and the entire state can regain greater glory. How else can we explain the self serving leaders of AP today that with 33 members in the ruling party we donot have single significant ministry in the Indian Government to do any good for the state. Does this not speak of their lack of interest in the state? They only want to get a new state or stop it only to serve their personal interest. This is evident in many ways...railway projects, language status for Telugu, automobile projects and what not. All Telugu speaking people should stay together and reject the self serving, teach a lesson to the mercantile politics of family rule. I think the young should see through the game of politicians like Sonia to divide Indian Society to perpetuate her family or many others around us in AP to amass public resources at the cost of the common good by playing with the sentiments of people like us in AP... For those sitting in Delhi Telugu people are like foot ball because our leaders are ready to give up our welfare, our pride, self respect, growth, justice and everything for sake of greed and personal aggrandizement. Let us stay as one and we can do far better by electing the right leaders at least the next time around.|
|Posted by siva on Dec 18, 2009|
|The psyche of "Telangana" : Only Andhra have destroyed their culture, Only Andhras have looted their resources, Only Andhras have robbed them of Jobs. No matter whether many Marvadis, Marathis and others do any anything in Telangana-No problem!!. what a fabricated psychology.!?? Andhras are the devils who will take away everything from them, even after India is a Sovereign Country!! Andhras are devils in their children's stories who kill them as did the Razakars during the Nizam Rule, in erstwhile Hyderabad state. what a great attitude!?. For them 1956 is a sad year as they say they were forcefully married with Andhra state against the recommendations of SRC. For them , the Andhras are expansionists. After living together for 55 years together in Hyderabad as the capital of Andhra Pradesh, now they say hyderabad is theirs. Everybody's toil as combined A.P is only Telangana's fruit?! How many were there at time of merger at the time of merger of Hyderabad state and Andhra state in 1956, nobody knows, nobody knows the then Chief Minister of Hyderabad state Dr Burgula Ramakrishna and others in the Hyderabad assembly showed inclination in merger with the then coined "vishalandhra", not as exapansionsist theory but as unifying theory of Telugu Language. Now they say Andhra people/CMs have looted telanganas's resources. Think about this : When chance was given to Telangana CMS/PM , they did not do development to Telangana, then there was no Telangana Movement,ie, when in Power, they don't show oppression of Telangana (same case with Chenna Reddy) .After their tenure when Andhra CMs were undertaking development projects, all Telangana people say "Oppression of TElangana people". When chance is given to vote against Non-Telangana Parties in elections, They vote clearly against the Pro-Telangana parties at all levels_NAtional/State/Municipal. Still we should call that KCR's separarist attitude is correct?! According to KCR & others, there have been only separatist-movements throughouth the world. Poor KCR /supporters, what an ideology is he setting forward!? Then , as per this dubious theory we be united for separatism, and when development takes place, again start separatism until the whole system is broken, into disunified pieces. Remember Jinnah , until then when all were working for India's independence, suddenly he wanted separate country for Pakistan saying " Muslims will be illtreated and no scope for develeopment in hindu-dominated India". Then as per Pro-Telangana people let us open the pages of History , and claim "our own" lands. That would then bring the real patriotism in INdia?? All Telangana Parties have forgotten about the recent floods in mahbubnagar district. they did not have the guts to go and serve the people then. Now in The disguise, of satyagrahi (which has been defamed by his fast), he has brought havoc into the lives of all peaople. The solution is : NOT SEPARATE state, but good administrative system. Don't justify for smaller states by quoting high economy in Jharkhand and Chatisgarh. They are manipulated. The core issues of poverty, unemploment are still there. Go to root level.|
These writings express quite well what I would like to say, and are just two of the several coherent and cogent arguments 'against'. The arguments 'for' are quite laughable in comparison.
I am a hardcore Hyderabadi and proud to be a Telugu. I love the irresistible and unique Hyderabadi hindi, or Deccani, and I love my broken and imperfect Telugu. Irrespective of where my family comes from, I love Telangana, Andhra and Rayalaseema equally. Because they constitute, together, what my travels (admittedly limited so far) have helped me graduate to: from Naa Hyderabad to Mana Andhra Pradesh.
Please, stop messing with it.