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M.R. Venkatesh and Saptarshi Bhattacharya

M.R. Venkatesh is the Chief Political Coordinator and Saptarshi Bhattacharya is Senior Coordinator, Programmes and Administration, at The HIndu Centre.

THE HINDU CENTRE IN-DEPTH REPORT ON TELANGANA

The Rise of Telangana

M.R. Venkatesh and Saptarshi Bhattacharya
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  • A view of the mammoth congregation of students who arrived from all parts of Telangana region to attend
    A view of the mammoth congregation of students who arrived from all parts of Telangana region to attend "Vidyarthi Garjana", organised in support of a separate Telangana at the Osmania University campus in Hyderabad in 2010.
  • Students pay tribute to Potti Sriramulu during a campaign for United Andhra.
    Students pay tribute to Potti Sriramulu during a campaign for United Andhra.
  • A folk artist looks into a mirror as he prepares to participate in a cultural rally in Hyderabad, demanding the creation of a separate Telangana, in 2011.
    A folk artist looks into a mirror as he prepares to participate in a cultural rally in Hyderabad, demanding the creation of a separate Telangana, in 2011.
  • Students form a human chain in support of United Andhra.
    Students form a human chain in support of United Andhra.
  • Telangana Rashtriya Samiti party stages a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, demanding a separate State.
    Telangana Rashtriya Samiti party stages a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, demanding a separate State.
  • Telangana Rashtriya Samiti chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao takes charge as the Union Labour and Employment Minister in New Delhi in 2004.
    Telangana Rashtriya Samiti chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao takes charge as the Union Labour and Employment Minister in New Delhi in 2004.
  • Vishalandhra Mahasabha leader Parakala Prabhakar speaks at a function in support of United Andhra.
    Vishalandhra Mahasabha leader Parakala Prabhakar speaks at a function in support of United Andhra.
  • Artists from Telangana region display their work while demanding a separate State, at Osmania University, in 2009.
    Artists from Telangana region display their work while demanding a separate State, at Osmania University, in 2009.

A high-voltage political battle has broken out on the Telangana statehood issue in Andhra Pradesh in the run-up to the 2014 general elections. M.R. Venkatesh and Saptarshi Bhattacharya of The Hindu Centre offer a detailed focus on the ground realities in Andhra Pradesh, examining the various strands of this highly complex and emotion-charged issue.

On a Monsoon-drenched morning, driving down the Tank bund road overlooking the huge and famous Husain Sagar Lake, the chill winds that mildly skimmed its waters gurgling as an irregular current around Buddha’s statue, instantly transported one to Chennai’s Marina beach.

For, the row of some 30-odd finely chiselled statues of mostly Telugu cultural icons and a few others who have contributed to their socio-cultural enrichment adorning one part of the necklace-like road formation, shared a disarmingly similar political sub-text scripted by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu erecting similar statues of Tamil cultural icons along the Marina sands in the run-up to the 1968 World Tamil Conference, barely a year after the DMK had stormed to power in Tamil Nadu.

The statues here – ranging from the ‘Himmat’ lady Rudramma Devi, Mehboob Ali Khan, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Alluri Seetharama Raju, Sir Arthur Cotton, saint-poet Thyagaraja, poet Sri Sri, Sultan Abul Hassan Tana Shah, Kandukuri Veerasalingam Pantulu to Siddhendra Yogi – were erected during the Telugu Desam Party (TDP)’s founder-leader N. T. Rama Rao’s Chief Ministerial tenure in Andhra Pradesh in the mid-1980s.

If they are seen as subtly showcasing regional Telugu pride, also a key political plank of the late actor-turned-politician, a disturbing turn about 25 years later was unmistakable: those very stone-carved human representations became the protestors’ targets in 2010 at the ugly height of another renewed agitation for creation of a ‘separate Telangana’.

Frustrated over the Central government delaying a decision on the statehood issue, which has now again become a political hot potato in the run-up to the Lok Sabha and possibly simultaneous Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh in 2014 – the last Assembly poll in the State was held in May 2009 – the pro-Telangana agitators had even uprooted some of those statues and hurled them into the Hussain Sagar to reject what they term the ‘hegemony’ of the political class of ‘Seemandhra (coastal Andhra plus Rayalaseema areas)’ over ‘Telangana’ region, the heart of erstwhile Hyderabad State till it merged with Andhra State to form united Andhra Pradesh in November, 1956.

The greater National debate should be on the defining principle of reorganisation of States - Dr. Parakala Prabhakar

Ground Zero in flux

The iconic Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy is no more but political circles in this historic cosmopolitan capital city of Hyderabad are unanimous that his tragic death in a helicopter crash in early September 2009 marked a decisive turn in the course of the Telangana row. This fact quietly stands out amidst the utter state of flux that marks ground zero here, amid heightened expectations that the Congress Working Committee could take a final call on the issue in the coming week or so.

Irrespective of whatever decision that unfolds, Telangana has already become the core election issue – even as indicated by the CNN-IBN-The Hindu-Election Tracker Survey 2013, conducted by Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), dramatically raising the stakes for all political parties across the State.

In what seems a repeat of the 2009 political turmoil, at the time of writing this report, 16 MLAs of the breakaway YSR Congress – who have rallied around his jailed son Jaganmohan Reddy – from ‘Seemandhra’ region who are opposing any unilateral decision by the Congress high command on the Telangana issue, and one senior Congress MLA, G. Veerasaiva Reddy, have already faxed their resignations to the Speaker, in an expression of solidarity for a united AP.

The myth of Sisyphus may be a tactical part of the political narrative here, as the often bitter, face-off between Telangana and Seemandhra area representatives intensify, to put pressure on the Central government either to take a decision or to put it off. But this time around, when they watch the boulder roll down the hill again as in that Greek myth, fresh by-elections may become redundant as the 2014 general elections are not far away.

It is thus a Catch-22 situation that haunts the Congress at the Centre – first having made a commitment in Parliament with the then Home Minister P.Chidambaram’s dramatic late night announcement of December 9, 2009, that the Centre would initiate the process of forming the State of Telangana, and then just a fortnight later, opting for ‘wide-ranging consultations’ as violence in AP escalated, making it impossible for the Assembly to adopt a resolution on Telangana.

We demand a reinstatement or a demerger of the geographical entity that was merged with the Andhra State back in 1956 to form Andhra Pradesh. - K.T. Rama Rao

Time for the ‘T-State’ has come: TRS leader K. T. Rama Rao

At just 37 years, the articulate K. T. Rama Rao, MLA of the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) from Karimnagar, the hotbed of the Telangana movement, and son of the party’s founder-leader, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, has everything going for him. A management graduate from the U.S., Mr. Rao poured out his convictions on the need for a Telangana State in an exhaustive, exclusive 90-minute interaction with M.R. Venkatesh and Sapatrshi Bhattacharya at his Banjara Hills residence in Hyderabad. Excerpts from the interview:

THC: Amidst the latest reports from New Delhi, do you think the time for creation of Telangana or the ‘T’ State has come?

K.T. Rama Rao: Absolutely. We believe that the Union Government has now reached a position where it has to take a call, and bite the bullet on Telangana. We believe it is time. And if I may also remind you, this is a promise that was made by the UPA government on the floor of the House in December 2009. The UPA government had categorically said that Telangana will be formed as the 29th State of the Indian Union.

The time is ripe. And we see that our brothers from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema have reconciled also. We can see that in spite of all the media speculation, there is neither much resistance nor apprehension as there was three years back. We believe Telangana has to be delivered at this juncture.

THC: The Srikrishna Committee has given six options on this issue. How realistically can the government go ahead on deciding this issue?

K.T. Rama Rao: I would like to remind you that the First States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) set up in 1953 had categorically recommended to the Indian government that Telangana should be formed or retained as a separate entity. So, it goes to show that this demand for the ‘T’ State is nothing new. And this has also been endorsed as a viable and justifiable demand. The Srikrishna Committee lost the confidence of the people by actually including what is called a secret chapter, which talks about how to suppress a democratic movement. Therefore, we refuse to accept what the Committee says; we would rather go by what the people of Telangana have said on numerous occasions in the form of numerous protests over the last five plus decades.

THC: What about the proposal to merge four districts of Rayalaseema, which faces the same problem of socio-economic backwardness with Telangana, to form ‘Rayala-Telangana’ as a via-media?

K.T. Rama Rao: Look, our demand is straight; we demand a reinstatement or a demerger of the geographical entity that was merged with the Andhra State back in 1956 to form Andhra Pradesh. Under the guise of linguistic basis, Andhra State has prospered, but has exploited the Telangana region over the last five plus decades. So, today to come with a sort of via-media solution, whatever be the pretext, would not be acceptable to us. It will be Telangana as we see it today, with 10 districts and Hyderabad. That is the demand of the people and that is what the Union government should respect.

THC: But coastal Andhra people are concerned as they have contributed to the development of united AP with Hyderabad as a hub. Now, if you take away the heart, then what remains?

K.T. Rama Rao: If I may remind you, Hyderabad in 1947 was the fifth largest city and it is the fifth largest city in 2013 as well. So to say that Hyderabad has developed by being in a combined State is itself foolhardy; it is a statement that smacks of arrogance, a selfish, self-serving attitude and nothing more. The demographic expansion has happened here as it has happened elsewhere. So to say that Hyderabad’s status is controversial, is wrong. Hyderabad has become a global city with a cosmopolitan fabric. There is no reason why our fellow brothers from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra should be apprehensive. There is also no question of a new Union Territory coming up. The Chandigarh model will also not apply here as there is no geographical contiguity (with coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema) and today, instead of taking it as a challenge, they should take it as an opportunity to build a new, wonderful capital city. Look at Naya Raipur coming up in Chhattisgarh. The idea that Hyderabad could be a joint capital or a common capital (when the State is divided) is not pragmatic. I am sure the people of Andhra would want their administration to be much closer to them. When greater Maharashtra was bifurcated and Gujarat was carved out, the Gujarati investors who had invested heavily in Bombay had made the same demand. But then, did not Bombay remain in Maharashtra?

THC: Even if Telangana is conceded, what about the backlash from the other regions and fears of the T-State becoming a new breeding ground for Naxals?

K.T. Rama Rao: Because of a backlash from Seemandhra (that is Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) that Telangana should not be given, it is really unfortunate. When people talk of a majority opinion to create Telangana, I would ask them, would you not need consensus for the continuation of status quo also? Would you rather crush them [people of Telangana], impose your will and ensure they continue in the status quo of a united set-up? Even at the time of the creation of ‘Vishalandhra’, then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru likened it to a matrimonial alliance at the time of the merger. If this marriage works, great; if it doesn’t work, there is always an integral scope for divorce. The situation in the State today is that even the Congress party that rules the State is vertically divided on regional lines. As far as the Naxal menace is concerned, if we were able to contain it in Andhra Pradesh, we will definitely be able to contain it better in Telangana.

Again, to say creation of a new State will open a Pandora’s Box of demands for smaller States, is really insulting to us. We are not seceding from the country; we are asking [for Telangana] within the confines of Indian Constitutional guarantees. We have lot of affection for the people who have made Hyderabad their home. This is an emotional issue and that is why KCR in the last 12 years has done a tight-rope act. Let us divide as two States and let us both prosper.

Look at the example of the Ambani brothers. Eventually, when Telangana is born, Hyderabad has to be the economic engine that drives Telangana tomorrow. So we cannot have disturbances in Hyderabad of any kind. In fact, any kind of disturbance in Hyderabad will basically suffocate Telangana.

THC: You talk of political compulsions in a coalition era. But is there also not a regional element in your demand?

K.T. Rama Rao: No, the demand for Telangana will only strengthen India. It will showcase to the world that we are not narrow-minded, that we are not confined to this thinking of language-basis States, or to this thinking that we have selective identities. In fact, what we have been saying and what we have been propagating is the cosmopolitan fabric of Hyderabad and Telangana in general. At the same time, we are asserting our regional identity. To equate the Telangana movement with any other separatists’ movement will be an over-simplification.

The TRS factor

While Mr. Chidambaram’s statement led to K. Chandrasekhar Rao, founder-leader of the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS), which is spearheading the pro-Telangana agitation for the last 12 years, then giving up his 11-day-old fast-unto-death, Andhra Pradesh plunged into a deeper political crisis. Despite the party’s flip-flops on the choice of allies – the TRS joined hands with the Congress in the run-up to the 2004 Lok Sabha polls but switched sides in 2009 to ally with the TDP after quitting the UPA-I Cabinet – this regional party which is now expected to even merge with the Congress should a new Telangana State materialise, has been able to maintain that momentum in that region fighting for statehood.

No wonder the TRS banners here are getting bigger and bolder, also projecting the TRS chief’s son, the suave management graduate, K. T. Rama Rao, who is now almost certain that the “Time for the T-State has come” and that the Telangana State will fall like a ripe apple on their laps (see box for The Hindu Centre’s interview with Rama Rao in Hyderabad). However, in the latest ongoing Panchayat polls in the State, the TRS has not done as well in its Telangana bastion as was expected.

All woo Hyderabad

The uncertainty plaguing Andhra Pradesh in the last three years in particular, which has dampened foreign investments coming into the high-tech city of Hyderabad, a dream of the former Chief Minister and TDP leader N. Chandrababu Naidu who is seen as AP’s ‘famous CEO’- is something that everyone wants to put an end to.

In fact, the TDP rule, first under NTR and later under Naidu, as exhaustively documented by the Justice B. N. Srikrishna-headed Committee “to examine the situation in Andhra Pradesh with reference to the demand for a separate State of Telangana, as well as maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh” and to recommend a plan of action and road-map on how to move forward on this vexed and highly complex issue, had substantially transformed the “landscape of Hyderabad”. Later, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy sought to build on it.

Not only is the present ‘Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), covering a total area of 7,073 sq km and with a population of over 7 million, almost twice the size of Goa and even bigger than the National Capital Territory of Delhi, it also hosts several ‘strategic’ government establishments. Of these, 28 are related to national defence or strategic establishments, says the Committee report, adding, the structure of Hyderabad’s GDP “differs radically from the other regions”, marking out its economic development as different from the rest of Andhra Pradesh. Hence, neither Telangana nor Seemandhra people wish to lose Hyderabad.

The glitz and lights in Hyderabad’s shopping malls, multiplexes, restaurants, gems and jewellery shops may be returning, albeit slowly. The likes of the ‘Kakatiya mess’ – Andhra is famous for its messes with hot spicy vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals – in the city are daily milling with hundreds, largely youth, even as the fashionable restaurants flaunt their variety; “Biryani, Kebab, Indian, Chinese – great take-away from the ‘House of Perfect Food’.

But the Telangana issue yields no such straight take-aways. A brief look-back at its history shows it to be staggeringly multi-layered, enmeshed by historical, linguistic, cultural, natural resources – employment, administrative and political factors. So much so, the Srikrishna panel gave as many as six options that could help resolve this long-pending demand from 1945 in a way, since the Communists-backed peasants struggle against the ‘Zamindari’ rule and landlordism in Telangana region. The later Naxal movement in Andhra Pradesh had partly its genesis in this anti-Zamindari struggle, notes the report.

A long legacy of tussle

In a long legacy of tussle that goes back to the yearnings of the Telugu-speaking people in the erstwhile Madras Presidency wanting to have a state of their own to ensure their cultural and linguistic moorings, the Andhra State was first formed in October 1953, thanks to a fast-unto-death in old Madras, now Chennai, by Potti Sriramulu. Its Legislative Assembly then functioned from Kurnool, while the Andhra High Court was located in Guntur.

The pages of earlier history from the Nizam-ruled Hyderabad State becoming part of the Indian Union in September 1948 were to soon catch up with Andhra’s destiny, even as the latter’s formation triggered demands for creation of other linguistic States.

It led to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru reluctantly setting up the first ‘States Reorganisation Commission (SRC)’ under Justice S. Fazal Ali. And one of its outcomes was the birth of the present State of Andhra Pradesh, merging the Telugu-speaking ‘residuary part of erstwhile Hyderabad State’ with the then Andhra State, to make AP.

The hope then was that ‘Telangana’ would benefit by ‘Vishalandhra’ s development’. The merger was effected under what was termed a ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ that provided specific safeguards for the Telangana area including a Regional Council, which will protect its economic, cultural and political space that stemmed from the long legacy of Nizam rule in Hyderabad where Urdu was the official language. Coastal Andhra, on the contrary, under British rule in the Madras Presidency, had an edge with its English education.

However, as a new political structure was created in Andhra Pradesh, it was soon strained by internal regional Congress politics. In due course, nothing of the Gentlemen’s Agreement was kept, “a major sore point for the Telangana people,” which eventually led to their first major agitation in 1969. Even specific rules that required certain categories of employment in the Telangana area to be filled up only by residents of Telangana were not implemented.

Twists and turns in subsequent years

Mrs. Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister had a six-point formula replacing the earlier agreement and set up a separate ‘Planning and Development Board’ for each of the three regions of the State to ensure a United AP. This only reinforced the Telangana people’s apprehensions that they were ‘colonised’ by the better educated and politically savvy dominant castes from the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

That fear persists even now, despite long spells of lull in the Movement since 1992, until rather strangely, the BJP sought to take up its cause with its ‘Warrangal resolution’ in 1997.

In fact, the Srikrishna Committee’s report is a near-encyclopaedic analysis of all these factors till the latest phase of the Telangana agitation under the TRS banner since 2001. Interestingly, that was the time when the BJP-led NDA at the Centre under A.B. Vajpayee’s leadership unwittingly gave this movement an extra fillip by carving out three new States of Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, from the bigger States Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar respectively premised on ‘smaller states ensure better inclusive development’.

Justice Srikrishna’s six-fold path

After all its painstaking work, the Srikrishna Committee plumped for its sixth option. “On balance, it found the most workable option in the given circumstances, in the interests of the social and economic welfare of people of all the three regions” in the Panel’s sixth option that the State be kept united by simultaneously providing definite Constitutional measures for “socio-economic development and political empowerment of Telangana region”. This it emphasised, was different from merely maintaining the present status quo.

Though the “demand for separate Telangana has some merit,” the Committee categorically said to split the State only if it is “unavoidable and if the decision can be reached amicably amongst all the three regions”. In that eventuality, Hyderabad will continue to be a joint capital, “until a new capital for Seemandhra is created,” the panel said, ranking it as its second best option. The panel’s other four options included bifurcating the State into ‘Rayala-Telangana’ (merging four districts of backward Rayalaseema with the Telangana districts and Hyderabad being part of it) and ‘coastal Andhra’, and bifurcation with making an enlarged Hyderabad metropolis as a Union Territory, housing the capitals of both the divided units a la Chandigarh.

Alternatively, the State could be bifurcated with ‘Telangana’ and ‘Seemandhra’ having their own capitals and Hyderabad retained as a Union Territory, the Committee said. However, to maintain status quo – the panel’s ‘least favoured’ option – will only deepen the political crisis on both sides of the divide and could make the Telangana agitation even more emotional with the Maoist-extremist elements already joining hands with the TRS, it warned, adding, “some intervention is definitely required”.

It is to this last caveat that all the pro-Telangana activists and parties are now latching on. “The Centre at this point of time is quite serious to take a decision on Telangana,” feels the veteran Professor of Politics at Osmania University, Prof. Kothandaram, who heads the non-political Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Telangana Movement. “Until the Bill (to create Telangana State) comes to Parliament, we keep our fingers crossed as they (Centre) may still yield to coastal Andhra’s powerful business lobbies and go back yet again,” he said.

I am thinking of only one, single line; that is, nothing is acceptable except united Andhra Pradesh. - Dr. S. Shailajanath

"It is not a border issue, it is inter-dependability": AP Congress Minister Dr. S. Shailajanath

Unfazed by the pro-Telangana State proponents, Dr. S. Shailajanath, an unassuming but key Minister in the Kiran Kumar Reddy-led Congress government, in-charge of School Education, strongly reiterates the case for a united Andhra Pradesh. Excerpts from an exclusive interview he gave to M.R. Venkatesh in Hyderabad recently:

THC: Do you think the Congress can no longer delay its decision on Telangana, as it is now seen as a core issue in the run-up to the 2014 elections?

Dr. Shailajanath: No, I wouldn’t say that. The time has come to take a decision on the future of the State. It may be divided or be like this, unified. But it is definitely a core issue in the elections in both the areas. I agree with that. Even the recent survey by The Hindu [the CNN-IBN-The Hindu poll conducted by CSDS], says that 63% of the people [respondents] in Telengana are demanding for the ‘T’ State, while more than 70% in coastal Andhra and over 60% in Rayalaseema region are for a united State. So, people are eagerly waiting to see what happens. But the UPA government (in Delhi) stands for a united State; because this has been given by the Congress party those days; both Jawaharlal Nehru and Mrs. Indira Gandhi stood for a united State. Today also, a united State of Andhra Pradesh will bring more electoral benefits for the party.

THC: But there are reports that the government is favourably considering Telengana.

Dr. Shailajanath: No, these are just hearsay and some media reports. But till today, this minute, no responsible person [in the Central Government] has opened his/her mouth, for or against, on this issue.

THC: What is your stand on the Srikrishna Committee’s six options on the T-issue and which is the most practical to implement?

Dr. Shailajanath: They [the Committee] have already disclosed that it is the sixth option which can be implemented with the widest consensus. They have said that it should remain a united State, and whatever grievances Telengana region people have, we will sit across the table and address all those issues.

THC: But do you think the Congress will implement the Srikrishna Committee’s sixth option?

Dr. Shailajanath: I hope so, because the Srikrishna Committee was set up by the Congress-led UPA government only. Basically, problems related to formation/division of States are the concern of the Central government. So, it is a problem of governance, of the administration. It is in that backdrop that the Government of India appointed the Srikrishna Committee. It has given its report. Definitely, they will take a decision. Even our party in-charge of the State, Mr. Digvijaya Singh, has said that they will take into consideration the Srikrishna Committee report.

THC: What are your objections to the Telangana State? They say they are only asking for their original State with Hyderabad as the capital.

Dr. Shailajanath: You can’t reply to this in two or three words. We strongly believe in the State remaining united. Please go back and see what the scene was in those days when the two States were there. But it is only in Andhra Pradesh in the last four to five decades, that particularly the Dalits, the OBCs, weaker sections, Muslim minorities and women, have seen vast development in society, in both financial and social aspects. There is no doubt that this was possible only in a united Andhra Pradesh. They are also safer in this united State.

THC: But your own Congress MPs and MLAs from the two regions are divided over the Telangana issue.

Dr. Shailajanath: It is the greatness of the Congress party. It is the most democratically functioning party. So they give a choice to all the stakeholders to deliberate on the issue and speak their views. Ours is not a party like the Telugu Desam or Jaganmohan Reddy’s party. It is a democratic party under the great leadership of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi; we work democratically. So this dissent is the greatness of the Congress party.

THC: Will the Congress high command’s position be finally accepted by all?

Dr. Shailajanath: They are repeatedly saying that they will deliver a good result, a good end. I hope that the good end will always be a united Andhra Pradesh, because it is only in a few districts that the TRS problem is there, maybe not more than five districts. In the remaining, it is the sway of the Congress party and other opposition parties. So, I think sentiment alone cannot give a new State.

THC: Alternately, do you think the Rayala-Telangana proposal is workable?

Dr. Shailajanath: You see, at this time, I am thinking of only one, single line; that is, nothing is acceptable except united Andhra Pradesh.

THC: If the Centre concedes Telangana, how will the government cope with the backlash, for there is a fear that coastal Andhra will again erupt into lawless activities.

Dr. Shailajanath: Definitely, the recent history is there. On that day, Dec 9, 2009, after they [the Centre] announced [the intent to form a separate Telangana State], without any prodding or motivation from the leadership, for 10 to 15 days the entire coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema was paralyzed. If the time comes again, they will agitate more; definitely, whenever a threat comes to them [people of those two regions], they will react.

THC: But will your government act effectively if Parliament passes a law by majority?

Dr. Shailajanath: I am not going that far. We hope the State will remain like this only.

THC: You expect the status quo to remain?

Dr. Shailajanath: Yes, definitely. It is not that kind of a simple issue, or a border dispute or anything like that. It is really not a dispute. It is an issue of inter-dependability. The dependability is from region to region. For example, in Telengana, they are utilising more than 5,000 million units (MU) of power on an average till today. But they are producing only 2,000 to 3,000 MUs, like that. For their lift irrigation schemes in future, they will need another 5,000 to 7,000 MU of electricity. It is impossible... because the Godavari river is always beneath; they are upland. So, they are always on lift irrigation. Like this if you see, every party of the State is dependent on each other.

THC: How will you convince the people in Telangana that a unified Andhra Pradesh is better for all?

Dr. Shailajanath: This is not the first incident in the history of Andhra Pradesh. First, for the unity of the Telugu people, the first voice came from Telengana only; before the formation of the State of Andhra Pradesh after dividing from Tamil Nadu, we came into the Andhra State. From the region of Telengana they demanded and then both the Assemblies passed a resolution for unification. Later, we faced two agitations, ‘Jai Telengana’ and ‘Jai Andhra’. In 1971, I think, the Andhra people agitated more, staged a bigger agitation than this. But on that day Indira Gandhiji said, without any doubt, that the State must remain united. To give further clarifications, the great leader on that day in the Parliament made a speech on this State. So, this is not new to the State. But any problem, we will definitely sort out across the table.

Voices for and against Telangana

Nonetheless, in this phase of the agitation, “nearly 1,000 boys and girls have committed suicide,” Kothandaram said, adding, “after such long years of bitter struggle and humiliation, the people of Telangana feel separation and nothing else”. Refuting critics that Maoists activities will escalate if Telangana was given, as it would then become a haven for extremists from its border with Chhattisgarh, he said the Telangana Movement and the Maoists have “different social bases.” In fact, land reforms in Telangana may partly address the Maoists problems, he contended, adding, “this uncertainty is very bad”.

Things are not that simple, avers the CPI(M)’s State Secretary, B.V. Raghavalu, pointing out that dividing a State does not necessarily address the issues of under-development and socio-economic backwardness. In fact, “some of the most backward districts in Andhra Pradesh are the North coastal areas and Rayalaseema,” he said. “The division will harm federalism, secularism and dilution of democratic institutions,” he warned. The Marxist’s parent party, CPI, though, is for a separate Telangana for historical reasons, as all earlier agreements to empower that region have “failed”.

Significantly, the ‘Rayala-Telangana’ proposal has been shot down by all the political parties and even the Movement’s leaders. “Merging four districts of Rayalaseema with Telangana will be artificial, as the dominant caste from the former wield enormous political clout; we are only asking for a demerger; restore the old State of Hyderabad with the geographical area of Telangana,” argued K. Narayana, State Secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI). At the other end, “we are firmly for a United Andhra”, asserts Dr. S. Shailajanath, senior Minister in the Kiran Kumar Reddy-led Congress government. (See box for an interview with the Minister, who is hopeful of a good decision by the Centre.)

Even a key Islamic party in Hyderabad, where 35% of the population are Muslims, the ‘Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), led by its articulate UK-trained lawyer, keen cricketer and MP, Asaduddin Owaisi, strongly pitched for a United Andhra Pradesh before the Srikrishna panel. “Even after Independence, Hyderabad as a State continued for a while until it was trifurcated (during linguistic reorganisation) when areas with Marathi-speaking people went to Maharashtra, Kannada-speaking areas to the then Mysore State and the remaining that was left with us was Telangana. That itself was a big loss for us in the aftermath of the Operation-Police,” Owaisi said. Moreover, dividing the State will later only benefit the BJP in Telangana, as the TRS and the TDP would post-division lose their relevance there, he reasoned.

If the growth of ‘communal’ forces and fears of Naxalites stepping up their activities continue to be strong arguments against creation of a separate Telangana – the BJP has already promised to deliver Telangana if its alliance came to power in Delhi in 2014 according to its State President G. Kishen Reddy – there are other radically contingent factors too that discount the Telangana protagonists’ case.

For instance, knowledgeable sources here are equally appalled by the Centre’s oversight when TRS Chief Chandrasekhar Rao went on an indefinite fast in 2009. “The TRS boss was only demanding deletion of clause 14-F of the Recruitment Rules to the Police Department to make Hyderabad a free zone, but the Centre bang announced Telangana formation,” said a veteran journalist here who did not wish to be named. The Chief Minister, Kiran Kumar Reddy made this point to the Congress Core Committee recently, he said. The PCC Chief, Botcha Sathyanarayana also told the party high command that in the event of a decision to concede Telangana State, “Hyderabad must be the common capital for at least 25 years like Hong Kong and Macau”, to ensure the safety of people from Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema who have settled in Hyderabad for generations now. “There are serious water-sharing issues too that, if ignored by the Centre, could spell the death-knell of farming in the Godavari and Krishna delta areas, India’s rice bowl,” the journalist added.

All these show how exceedingly complex the problems are in granting statehood to Telangana, though historically its position is uniquely different. “They (the Congress high command) are not seeing the people’s interests or view; they are only looking at the political angle in the run-up to the 2014 elections,” remarked N. Nageshwara Rao, TDP MP who is also in-charge of its Parliamentary party.

Ironically, though the TDP itself is for Telangana, his remarks oddly squares with meta-level political assessments of the latest developments by almost all the political parties in the State, including the Pradesh Congress, amid a perception that the Congress bosses in Delhi want to hastily push through a ‘solution’ on fear of losing ground to the breakaway YSR Congress and others. Is ‘Telangana’ a challenge that still needs patient tackling, or an opportunity to be encashed for the UPA-II, has thus become a million dollar question.

Civil society’s angst

“Whether they agree to Telangana or not, please reach a conclusion soon; why are you taking the lives and livelihood of us poor,” asked Shankar, an auto-rickshaw driver, as he negotiated past numerous potholes on the road and the relentless traffic snarls. He was referring to the numerous ‘bandhs’ and violence that besiege Hyderabad ever so frequently, putting off visitors to this city in recent times.

Upon some more prodding, Shankar, who hails from a family of landless agricultural labour in Shamshabad, where the impressive, new Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has come up, slowly opens up: “If Telangana happens, at least our children will get jobs. That is my understanding. Right now, all the jobs are cornered by the people of Andhra region.” Srinivas, another auto-rickshaw driver who lives in the eastern suburb of Uppal, echoes the same feeling. Water scarcity shut off his farming, forcing him to drive an auto-rickshaw. “We are over the brink; we should ensure at least a better future for our children. That is why we want Telangana,” he asserts.

These two stories are but small slices of a much larger picture, but they point to a common thread that runs through the pro-Telangana sentiment – employment and other basic necessities of life like water. However, Telangana “is not only about jobs,” says Srikanth Rao, a research scholar hailing from Medak district, at the 95-year-old Osmania University, now the hotbed of the Movement. How did this feeling of sub-regionalism take roots in the campus?

“Most of us are from rural areas and have seen the disparity from up close,” says Rudra Reddy, a teaching faculty in Nizam College and a research scholar at the University. “While drawing up schemes, like the ones for irrigation and water supply, Telangana region has always been given step-brotherly treatment,’’ he emphasised. The benefits of granting Telangana statehood “will not percolate down immediately, but in the long run, we hope that things would be better,” he added.

Sure, skewed income distribution is the underlying premise here. But “the greater National debate should be on the defining principle of reorganisation of States,” counters social scientist and an Integrationist, Dr. Parakala Prabhakar. “Should we have a relook at the linguistic principle and find an effective alternative,” he asked. If the UPA conceded the separate Telangana State demand, other statehood movements like Gorkhaland, Bodoland, Vidarbha and Bundlkhand would gain credence, Dr. Prabhakar warned, adding, “Telangana today is a political game.” In fact, he attributed the fringe parties riding high on people’s sentiments on this issue “to turn it into a movement”, to the Congress party’s ambiguity over Telangana in the past decade.

Going a step further is N. Jayaprakash Narayan, President of the Lok Satta Party, who says that the demand for Telangana throws up several dilemmas before the running dispensation in New Delhi. They, in fact, are an offshoot of the ground realities, as was reflected in a survey by ‘Lokniti-CSDS’, a Delhi based Social Science research institution, in Andhra Pradesh in 2011. The survey revealed that support for Telangana is up to 50% within that region, while a huge 90% of people in the rest of Andhra Pradesh want the State to remain united. Will it ring a bell in New Delhi’s power corridors?

(M.R. Venkatesh is the Chief Political Coordinator and Saptarshi Bhattacharya is Senior Coordinator, Programmes and Administration, at The HIndu Centre.)

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Andhra people have been rich for a while now, due to the irrigation projects undertaken by cotton plantations "dhora". With money came the ability to influence the policy which governed water; they took most of it and left little for the Telangana region. Also, more people in Andhra could afford the bribes needed to get coveted government jobs, leaving the people of Telangana with neither water nor jobs. This is why we need a separate state. We need more water and we need more jobs. I am all for free speech, but there are quite a few people from other states who resort to the 'don't divide India' argument without understanding the reasons behind the demands. We are not asking to become an independent country, we are demanding a state such that we can manage our resources and increase employment.

from:  Aditya
Posted on: Oct 17, 2013 at 21:04 IST


Seemandhra and Telangana regions were/are never united socially and culturally.

from:  Sunthosh Haudakar
Posted on: Sep 1, 2013 at 02:06 IST

The case of Telangana is of "demerger", not separation as termed by the leaders of Andhra. The six decade long movement for the State of Telangana is based on strong historical, political, economic, cultural and linguistic reasons. One must read the post-merger history of Telangana in order to know the monumental loss (of land, water, electricity, jobs, revenue etc.) incurred by three generations of the people of Telangana under the unified government.

from:  Sunthosh Haudakar
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 22:45 IST

We are not creating States for the purpose of development of those States and development of the locals there; we are only dividing our nation on the basis of religion caste,community and languages and we have to reap tomorrow what our so-called leaders and politicians have sown today, the seeds of hate. And these creation of states is dividing us. Today Indians are not safe in India, forget what we have to face in Australia, England or any other country. Those who are from UP and Bihar are not safe in Maharashtra,those who are from Assam and Manipur don't feel safe in other parts. What Mayawati had tried before the election in U.P., the same politics is being played by the UPA before the 2014 elections. I just want to say this to the politicians: stop dividing us for your vote bank and act as Indians.

from:  bhuwan singh bisht
Posted on: Aug 18, 2013 at 23:45 IST

The demand for the separate State is high. Nonetheless, now the demand for the united State is raising. The point here is there are around 100 giant families of Andhra-Seema region who are absolutely afraid of this decision. If we talk about the factual figures of these families there would be some thousands of crores (or may be even lakhs of crores) worth properties in or around Hyderabad. The main problem here is - no one will ask them to give the crores of properties back, their problem is they cannot multiply it. Another big challenge of the normal people is water resource. It has to be noted that no one can stop the flowing water completely. The water working bodies will judge the division.

from:  Nikhil
Posted on: Aug 14, 2013 at 20:19 IST

As noted in page 440 of the Sri Krishna report: "However, looking at the their performance, it would be difficult to say whether mere creation of small States is a panacea for all ills and would ensure all round development of the region and its people. The other view is that the goals of development can best be served by providing good governance irrespective of the size of the State." The creation of a new State is not a solution but providing good governance is. Irrespective of whether AP remains one State or multiple, it will be the same political parties and their leaders calling the shots. I wonder how development will be possible when the same set of people are involved in the decision-making process. One must note that it is the same set of parties who once agreed to the gentleman's agreement but never stuck to it. While Seemandhra leaders could be blamed for having had their way, one must also note that the Telangana leaders also didn't push themselves enough to be heard.

from:  Srikanth
Posted on: Aug 14, 2013 at 00:33 IST

Even with a Telugu majority population in Chennai and the border districts, it [Madras] was given to Tamil Nadu in lieu of Hyderabad being given to Andhra Pradesh. Now that Hyderabad has been taken away from from Andhra Pradesh, the issue of Chennai and other Telugu majority districts in Chennai/Karnataka also need to revisited.

from:  Vekat
Posted on: Aug 13, 2013 at 21:11 IST

A well-balanced and informative article for those unfamiliar with the whole issue. There's a growing number of instances where we, as a society, cannot come to terms and accept the recommendations and conclusions of such committees as the Srikrishna Committee. Much thought and energy has been put into such committees. It's the best way a civilised, democratic society can deal with such contentious issues. But what's the whole point of committees, if nobody's willing to listen?

from:  Ajai
Posted on: Aug 13, 2013 at 00:02 IST

Hyderabad was already a developed city before ther merger with Andhra. It had an airport, railway stations, hospitals, courts, power generation, street lights, and more importantly, it had a surplus budget. It had very high potential for rapid development by attracting investments from all over the world due to the availability of vast government lands. Now where have these government lands gone? Where has the income generated by selling these lands been spent. The percentage of funds spent on the development of Hyderabad is far far less when compared to the income generated by the sale of its lands. The development that we see today is pollution of the Hussain Sagar, Musi river, Osmansagar etc., which were once drinking water sources for Hyderabad. Now it is high time for the leaders of both the regions to react cautiously and create a congenial environment for the experts in the power sector, irrigation, budget, employment, education, health etc. of both the regions to sit together and decide on sharing.

from:  Venkat.G
Posted on: Aug 12, 2013 at 16:49 IST

The central government had taken the decision to form Telangana State in December 2009, but acted on it in 2013 after a loss of 1,100 lives in Telangana. This decision is now going to create and develop another new city for India i.e. a new capital for Andhra Pradesh, which is a welcome phenomenon. It is time to stop quarreling for Hyderabad and concentrate on getting a fabulous new city nearer to the people of Seemaandhra so that people from Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and other far areas need not travel all the way to Hyderabad. The claim of some people that they came and developed Hyderabad is a false statement and they should not forget about the returns they reaped from Hyderabad. No one has come to Hyderabad to develop it, but to develop themselves. People from different parts of the country have come to Hyderabad and have been living here for decades in their own interests such as education, employment, business, trade etc., certainly not for developing it. Therefore they cannot claim any right to it.

from:  Venkat G.
Posted on: Aug 12, 2013 at 16:47 IST

The people of Telangana are so strong in their demand for de-merger from AP because they have been discriminated upon in several ways. People asking questions about the justification behind Telangana, first come up with answers to the questions below. 1. Why are there close to 10-15 irrigation projects in Telangana, which were allocated but are not even in the first phase of completion, even after 50 years of being together. Why are there only 3 Chief Ministers from Telangana region in 50 years of being together? A person like P.V. Narasimha Rao, who revived India's economy in 1990 as Prime Minister, did not have enough support to become a Chief Minister in the State. 3. Why are agreements tinkered with to allow people from other regions to take jobs that are originally meant for local people? People from other regions do not share a feeling of brotherhood with the people of Telangana.

from:  Mohan
Posted on: Aug 12, 2013 at 10:19 IST

One point that is really important is that sentiment shouldn't be the criteria for separation. The political leaders from Telangana region now say that the bifurcation has been done after discussions. That is not completely correct. What went into the discussion? Did they talk about capital, debts, etc? There is no point in asking many times for 'Yes' or 'No' questions. No one can save India. There may be more demands, not for separate States but maybe for a separate country!

from:  Venky
Posted on: Aug 11, 2013 at 17:41 IST

The States Reorganisation Commission in 1955 summarised the feelings of Telangana: "Telangana, therefore, does not wish to lose its present independent rights in relation to the utilisation of the waters of the Krishna and Godavari. "Telangana itself may be converted into a colony by the enterprising coastal Andhra." It gave the recommendation "we have come to the conclusion that Telangana area is constituted into a separate State." There were many projects (industrial or irrigation) and plans implemented and many in the offing at the time of the merger, in Telangana, scattered all round Telangana region. But after the merger the only place where development was concentrated was in Hyderabad. Telangana projects were abandoned, delayed or curtailed. Truth prevails.

from:  S. Vijay
Posted on: Aug 11, 2013 at 08:25 IST

The Constitution framing committee may not anticipate this type of division. What a dramatic and illegal division. The major part of the State is totally against State division, yet they are helpless. What is the fate of the largest democratic nation in the world?

from:  cherukuri.vijaya
Posted on: Aug 11, 2013 at 08:13 IST

Had they made it clear that at some point Andhra would be bifurcated, so many Andhras would not have bothered to move to Hyderabad. The creation of Telangana is like Pakistan and TCR is Telangana's Jinnah. The son is equivocating without any clarification. Such articulation does not speak of being a just person.

from:  GC
Posted on: Aug 11, 2013 at 00:16 IST

The city of Hyderabad is the bone of contention. It has been jointly developed by all people of United Andhra Pradesh. You cannot tear the capital of United Andhra from Costal Andhra. Make it a UT for 25 years. The Telengana politicians are eyeing only Hyderabad as a milking cow.

from:  Raghu
Posted on: Aug 10, 2013 at 12:51 IST

The authors seem to have come a long way after that dubious opinionated piece 'End this drift on Telangana' published by The Hindu some time back, resonating the line on Telangana statehood adopted by the CPI (M). The fact of the matter is the T announcement, whether it is followed up by a Bill or not soon, has completely erased the political prospects of the CPI (M) and YSRCP in Telangana region. With much difficulty, the former could win even Sarpanch candidates in the recent Panchayat polls. The point is: sometimes, being politically correct pays.

from:  Prabeer Sikdar
Posted on: Aug 9, 2013 at 21:21 IST

The separatist agitation has been raised and nourished by jobless political leaders since 2001. If KCR was given a ministerial berth there would be no separate Telangana movement. There are thousands of lies and cooked news articles published on many forums and media reports by these political leaders and other pro-Telangana newsmakers. At the same time selfish Seemandhra leaders always used to say that we are not against separation but the people of Seemandhra who are against the same. Till now they are looking for political gains rather than looking for the welfare of the public.

from:  Chandu
Posted on: Aug 9, 2013 at 15:40 IST

If this move is good for the development of the common man of Andhra Pradesh, then it should be done otherwise it's merely another step further to divide what we call India. Incredible.

from:  Parveen Kumar
Posted on: Aug 8, 2013 at 00:46 IST

This agitation for United Andhra Pradesh is nothing but a selfish project to perpetuate and consolidate the continued colonisation of Telangana. It is like the people of Britain protesting against granting of freedom to India in 1947.

from:  Nitin Reddy
Posted on: Aug 7, 2013 at 17:30 IST

Bifurcation of the States is not a solution for the socio-economic development of a region. No State is self sufficient on its own and has inter-dependencies with its neighbouring areas. Telangana and coastal AP have inter-dependencies and both can flourish only if they go hand-in-hand. Transparency and accountability are the key aspects which have to be worked upon in a democracy like ours. If these two aspects are implemented at every level of the administration, then there does not arise a question of separatism.

from:  Varsha
Posted on: Aug 7, 2013 at 16:43 IST

I finally realised that the entire State is backward except for Hyderabad. And this fight is for Hyderabad. Telangana is not at all backward, it has excelled in many areas. Karim Nagar is the highest producer of rice, earlier it was EG and WG. This is all propaganda and political parties are behind it. Who will give all the money for the development projects? The Hindu Centre failed to capture the backwardness of all the other regions and compiled only the series of events that took place. There should be a thorough study on the needs of the people in both the regions.

from:  Pavan Kumar N.
Posted on: Aug 7, 2013 at 16:22 IST

The authors have merely touched the icing than dig the underlying facts which are discussed in detail in the Srikrishna Committee report. The media has till date not expressed their concern about the hatred nourished by separatist leaders. Many of the united Andhra Pradesh supporters have been suppressed by their manhandling tactics.(For example, the attacks on Parakala Prabhakar, JP and Shobha Rani. The separation is painful, yet media houses and leaders are showing their favouritism. Seemandhra is losing water, employment, and burdened by loans. Yet, nobody, either from the opposition or the media, questioned the ruling party about the plan of action. How will the new capital be developed? What are the rights of people of non-Telangana supporters in the future?

from:  Annaji
Posted on: Aug 7, 2013 at 15:51 IST

This is a good learning for the whole country; if they divide or want to forcefully merge two States without lisenting to their problems, I am sure that after 5-10 years you will not find a single person from Telangana in Hyderabad. The people who are nearer to Hyderabad (Karim Nagar, Waranagal, Khammam, Nalgond, Adilabad, Ranga Reddy, Medak, Nizam) are going to become non-locals and those who are far away from Hyderabad (Vizag, Guntur, Krishna, Vijayawada, Kadapa, Kurnool) are going to become locals after 10 years, because their children are growing up in Hyderabad and they will surely complete their education in Hyderabad. As per governmnet rules, especially in Hyderabad, if the candidate studies from 6th - 10th, he or she is a local and can get jobs under the local quota.

from:  Surendar
Posted on: Aug 7, 2013 at 13:27 IST

On behalf of vested interests the Congress is trying to bifurcate the State. now so many new voices for separate States are being heard. Is the Congress not considering national integrity?

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Aug 7, 2013 at 09:06 IST

It is a good thing if somebody desires division of the State for the betterment of the people. But the central government has to remember that the entire State has contributed to the development of Hyderabad city for almost 40 years i.e., since the Jaiandhra moment. Hence it is to be noted that the income accrued in Hyderabad during the last 40 years should be shared between the two states.

from:  Mohan
Posted on: Aug 5, 2013 at 21:56 IST

Smaller states mean better representation of people in the government and can possibly result in better governance itself. In the case of AP, I suggest partitioning it into 4 - Andhra, Rayalseema, Telangana and Hyderabad. Similarly, as in the case of Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata must be separate city States. These cities are quite different to the States they are currently a part of.

from:  Anil Nair
Posted on: Aug 5, 2013 at 13:12 IST

Intelligent or otherwise, Telugus are divided and broken into two by destiny. Only an astute leadership can take up the challenge and provide good governance, which appears to be not in sight. There will be a lot of construction and activities that require a large workforce. GMR is ready to build the best roads and airports. Software,power and bio-industries can be established. Food and water are plenty. The TDP leadership, over a period of 15 years, can make the region a well-developed state. Poverty and illiteracy can be eradicated.

from:  Vyas K. Susarla
Posted on: Aug 5, 2013 at 11:53 IST

Now doors have been opened for yet another agitation for separate Statehood either by the people of Rayalaseema or coastal Andhra. The day is not that far. God save the Telugu people.

from:  K.V. Varadaiah
Posted on: Aug 5, 2013 at 01:29 IST

Any decision should keep in mind that we are answerable to generations to come for the outcomes of this action. If a small country like Australia could have 10 large cities, then why can't India have 100 large and developed citiies at par with the London's and New Yorks of the world? Why can't we BUILD at least 10 more Hyderabads in Seema, Coastal and Telangana regions? Look beyond the political borders of a State. We as a nation have to aspire for greater things and work to make them possible. If that requires breaking Andhra to 20 more States or give autonomy to each district to deliver great schools, jobs, health, infrastructure and industrial development, then let us do it. Don't waste valuable time in dilemmas. Don't look at short-term political mileage. Look at creating a wonderful and proud future for generations to come. Let the spirit of brotherhood, spirit of belonging to the great India guide us. Let each party spell out a development plan for reach region.

from:  Sudarshan
Posted on: Aug 4, 2013 at 21:26 IST

Dont bring the photos of Potti Sriramulu in the so-called United Andhra movement. Potti Sreiramulu had fought for Andhra state, let us not forget that.

from:  Siddartha
Posted on: Aug 4, 2013 at 16:39 IST

Very soon another separate country will emerge in India. Maybe Tamil Nadu comes first for a separate country followed by Telangana.

from:  Asoka
Posted on: Aug 4, 2013 at 08:40 IST

With regard to seats in educational institutions owned by the government located in Hyderabad, a survey would show that most of the seats are garnered by children of persons from other regions by virtue of having settled in Hyderabad and children of persons of Telangana due to historical backwardness cannot compete with them. This domination by people from other regions, both in jobs as well as in educational institutions, will lead to perpetuation of the domination of Telangana. In a way it will lead to a situation of colonisation of Telangana by the people of other regions. As regards the job opportunities in the private sector, especially in Hyderabad, even after bifurcation they will be available to anyone as is seen in other metros. Youth from Rayalaseema and coastal districts have job opportunities at nearby well-connected places Chennai and Bangalore. Bifurcation may restore a sense of security and justice to the Telangana people. Issues of sharing of resources need to be sorted amicably.

from:  Ramesh Chandra
Posted on: Aug 3, 2013 at 20:52 IST

When it comes to Telangana region, growth has been concentrated only in Hyderabad. Since other regions of Telangana, as well as the big town Kurnool, were near to Hyderabad, adequate attention was probably not paid to them. In Andhra region, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam have shown a good growth. It is a fact that people from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions have settled in Hyderabad in large numbers and they have garnered the government jobs which could have gone to Telangana people. This domination in jobs pertaining to Telangana has led to a situation where the people from Telangana were discriminated against and many times not allowed to grow. How many people from Telangana are there in the Secretariat of AP? Contractors, industrialists and officials from Telangana are discriminated against.

from:  Ramesh Chandra
Posted on: Aug 3, 2013 at 20:19 IST

When every political party is prepared for separation, where is and what is the problem? Hyderabad is known for its cosmopolitan culture, where people from different parts of the country live happily with a sense of belonging. Everybody should feel that they belong to this land and strive for the well-being of the people of the land, rather than seek profit, which is the main cause for the present turmoil.

from:  G.Venkata Raju
Posted on: Aug 3, 2013 at 17:32 IST

The analysis has not taken into consideration the Rayalaseema and Andhra demand for a united State and did not mention about the capital city changed from Kurnool to Hyderabad. Neither does it mention about the backwardness of Rayalaseema.

from:  M.R.L.REDDY
Posted on: Aug 3, 2013 at 12:07 IST

Telangana is backward in only four districts. The development of the region is possible through socio-economic developement. But the unfortunate thing is that political parties create a big hole between the two regions which is not filled with any solution other than that of a separate State.

from:  M.R.L.REDDY
Posted on: Aug 3, 2013 at 11:34 IST

The creation of a separate State on the basis of backwardness and cultural identities will be a double-edged sword. The progress of a newly created State can only be assessed after it stands the test of time. Being a person from Telangana, I am opposed to the bifurcation of the State as it lends credence to the discourse of divisive forces. It is really sad to know that people are only interested in addressing their own local community's grievances,without mentioning the inter-dependencies of both the regions.

from:  B.Yashwanth
Posted on: Aug 3, 2013 at 03:02 IST

A part of the blame also lies with those who try to typecast people, based on the regions. The Telangana people have been typecast as being more interested in "Daawat and Daru" (party and liquor). At the same time, the Andhra people are shown as gamblers, while those from Rayalaseema are a bunch of factionists. This type of mockery tends to spread like slow poison, and dent the feeling of brotherhood. And looking at the kind of typecasting going on these days, is a day taking shape on the horizon when people demand for a separate country "South India"? Food for thought.

from:  Bhaskara Rao Hatti
Posted on: Aug 2, 2013 at 23:24 IST

No one is against the formation of Telangana State, keeping in mind the sentiment over the years, but the way the Congress party at the Centre has taken the decision at this time keeping in mind the coming elections and to win few seats in Telangana shows political expediency, rather than respect for the wishes of people from Telangana. The way the party is speaking about the merger of TRS show that it is purely a decision made for electoral interests and shows that politicians will go to any extent to win few seats.

from:  Nomula Srinivas Rao
Posted on: Aug 2, 2013 at 22:37 IST

By creating a new State the authorities open a new phase of disputes in the name of dividing resources, revenue, energy, liabilities. Definitely the bifurcation will not be a smooth task. The central government is setting an unhealthy precedent which urges the people in other parts - Vidharbha, Sourashtra, Gorkhaland, Greater Nagaland - to demand new States.

from:  Abhijith V. J.
Posted on: Aug 2, 2013 at 19:45 IST

As the writers pointed out, the government's delayed decision on Telangana has created much confusion
in civil society. Of course, it opened a pandora's box by giving fillip to the other dormant demands. But to its
brighter side debate over a second state reorganization commission sparked. In order to achieve our policy
of inclusive growth, it is imperative to focus on the holistic development of each and every part of the
country. But often due to the vastness and backwardness of the region, our administrators show apathy in
ensuring the benefits of government policies reaching at the grassroot levels. Constituting a 2nd SRC will
help to tackle the confusion we are facing with.

from:  NAYANA .S.P
Posted on: Aug 2, 2013 at 19:42 IST

I think the separation is not for development but only to gain political dominance. First, the nation got divided into two nations on the basis of religion. Then, internally our nation got divided into States on the basis of language. Now, each State is willing to divide on the basis of caste! Until and unless the dominance of one section over another is not removed, this bifurcation of States will go on and development will continue to remain stagnant. Separation is not a solution. Hyderabad should be a common capital. Development has taken place only in and around Hyderabad. Except tourist places, there is no development in other districts of all the three regions.

from:  gomathi
Posted on: Aug 2, 2013 at 19:06 IST

The demand for a separate State of Telangana isn't new. The people of Telangana have very clearly expressed their opposition a decade before Andhra Pradesh was formed. They reasoned that in a united Andhra Pradesh they will not get justice. Even after five decades, this demand is continuing. The reason for this is the experience of past 48 years that makes them believe that justice will not be done to Telangana and that it will continue to be denied to them in the united State.

from:  karthik
Posted on: Aug 2, 2013 at 12:26 IST

The leaders from both sides who are claiming that their region is much more backward than others have not explained what prevented them from developing their region. Why have the supporters of separate State not questioned their leaders with the same zeal. The fact of matter is regardless of whether the State is big or small, unless people's representative work for their voters, no region can develop on its own.

from:  Nagarajan
Posted on: Aug 2, 2013 at 12:02 IST

The article is very interesting. Kudos to MR Venkatesh and Saptarshi Bhattacharya. They have done a nice and extensive analysis. The partition story of India was started only in A.P by Potti Sriramulu. Nehru yielded and it resulted in so many States. The day isn't far off when India will be split into small kingdoms like it was many years ago.

from:  S.Bala
Posted on: Aug 2, 2013 at 04:12 IST

"Hyderabad in 1947 was the fifth largest city and it is the fifth largest city in 2013 as well." The only reason for this constant number is being a united State(larger in terms of area and population).Otherwise, the rank might be in the bottom or in the middle. It is not because of Telangana or Coastal Andhra or Rayalaseema. It is only because of Andhra Pradesh.

from:  Sindhura
Posted on: Jul 31, 2013 at 17:30 IST

Whether smaller States are better or bigger States are better, no clear answer can be given, as evidence exists to support both viewpoints. As regards the Telangana issue, it is a mixture of things - a feeling of neglect among the people, power struggles at the top, fruits taken away by the people from Andhra region, the domination of leaders and contractors from other regions. How much of it is true is a debatable question. The reason for the backwardness of any region is primarily bad governance. There is a fear that similar requests for division may come and this will lead to the splintering of the country. As regards Hyderabad, definitely, many industries exist, but anyone from any part of the country can work here, as is being done in other metros.

from:  Ramesh Chandra
Posted on: Jul 30, 2013 at 21:58 IST

The right decision has been taken by the government on Telengana because there has been increasing violence and political instability for the past five years.

from:  Pawan Lakhara
Posted on: Jul 30, 2013 at 16:20 IST

It is pitiful to visualise the fate of students and educated youth looking for employment from Andhra region. If anyone has any doubts, please look at the website of the University of Hyderabad and see the applicable institutions from which a research scholar can continue work in their chosen field. These institutions range from public sector units like BHEL, ECIL, BDL, HAL defense labs like DRDL, RCI, MIDHANI, DMRL, NFC, research labs like IICT, CCMB, Agricultural University, NAARM, DOR, EEI. And coming to education you have IIT, IIIT, ISB, OU, JNTUH, BITS, Gandhi, Osmania. The entire IT industry is in and around Hyderabad. Is it possible to create institutions and industries in 5 years in any other city in Andhra? Congress party and politicians, wake up! This is a disaster for the entire State of AP.

from:  Ramachandra
Posted on: Jul 30, 2013 at 14:02 IST

I am not able to comprehend any facts from the article stating that the erstwhile Telangana region has been deprived of development in times when the rest of Andhra flourished. Also, as rightly asked in the K.T. Rama Rao interview, will it be justified to give Hyderabad to Telangana when all the development in the state has been around this city only? Moreover, I believe that instead of just dividing the States, the Central government should create a road-map with a comprehensive strategy to develop all the regions in case the region is divided. Also, all the regions of the divided State should be able to reap equal benefits from the development that has been done in and around Hyderabad city till now.

from:  Ved
Posted on: Jul 30, 2013 at 12:41 IST

Is it detrimental to Indian national unity if small States are continuously created? Out of the 35 States currently in India (28 States and 7 Union Territories), 70% are smaller than Telengana. Telengana's population is 30 million plus. There are 25 States that are smaller than Telengana. If these 25 States don't cause national unity issues, why would the creation of a larger State be dangerous? What would you do if the backward districts in Telengana want a separate State of their own after formation of Telengana State? The backwardness of Telengana is a major reason for the Telengana State demand but not the sole reason. All ten Telengana districts have the same historical background, geographic closeness, cultural commonality, language unity, and mutual understanding among the people. These factors are all the foundation for unity of thought. Never did the people of Telengana districts express a desire or sentiment to be separate from the rest of the State. Every time the people of Telengana open their mouths, doubting Toms raise some concerns and doubts and questions. Some of these doubting Toms don't know the historical background, some others don't understand the political strategies and outcomes. Some are protecting selfish interests while others think they are protecting the unity of Telugu speaking people. Whatever the motives and basis for these doubts or questions and concerns, investigating and finding appropriate answers backed by facts, is essential. Why are we hearing separate Telengana slogan again? The demand for a separate State of Telengana isn't new. The people of Telengana have very clearly expressed their opposition a decade before Andhra Pradesh was formed. They reasoned that in a united Andhra Pradesh they would not get justice. Even after five decades, this demand is continuing. The reason for this is the experience of the past 48 years that justice will not be done to Telengana.

from:  Varun
Posted on: Jul 29, 2013 at 22:55 IST

The article did not explore why the rest of Andhra Pradesh wanted a united Andhra Pradesh. Do you know that only a year back the 4 lane highway was created between Hyderabad and Vijayawada? This highway is the busiest highway. You can imagine the neglect the rest of AP went through all these years. Visakhapatnam got night landing facility only a few years back. Do you know that all institutions, major industries are only around Hyderabad? So, after all these are created only in and around Hyderabad, you take it out and ask the rest to grin and bear it? Where will the rest of people from Andhra Pradesh get employment, which colleges will they go to, which hospitals will treat them? All this can be created in a year? Even now we still hear about investments pumping into Hyderabad and nothing for the other regions. No wonder the rest of the State is not in favour of it. I expected The Hindu Centre to publish these facts, not just interviews. I am disappointed.

from:  Suresh
Posted on: Jul 29, 2013 at 22:17 IST

I am from Hyderabad and a pucca Hyderabadi and I don't want a separate State. If Delhi is forced to separate Andhra Pradesh then Hyderabad should be a Union Territory, not a capital shared by both new States.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Jul 29, 2013 at 16:37 IST

The development of a State depends on the way it is administered rather than the size of the State. Diversities exist but differences can be sorted out.

from:  Bharadwaj
Posted on: Jul 29, 2013 at 15:44 IST

I am agree that a small State provides better opportunities for people's participation. No region can be neglected if there is a small State. However, not all small States are developed, as in the case of Jharkhand. Providing statehood to Telengana could raise the demand for other States like Ghorkhaland,Vidharbh and Bundelkhand as these regions also are economically backward.The creation of a new State like Telengana would need a huge capital infusion and in today's scenario where the country is going through a financial crisis, it is not a viable option. The people of Telengana are not demanding the State on an economic basis but on an emotional basis as they are not ready to accept two districts from Rayalaseema region which are economically backward. In today's scenario where the demand for States is coming from every region of the country, perhaps it is necessary for the formation of a second States Reorganization Commission.

from:  Suraj Sharma
Posted on: Jul 29, 2013 at 13:53 IST

The report seems to glorify two aspects: Hyderabad's growth during Chandrababu Naidu's time and the Srikrishna Committee("near-encyclopedic analysis"). Hyderabad's haphazard expansion and iniquitous investment on roads and basic facilities, at the cost of poor residential areas during Mr. Naidu's time is also glorified. This report fails to explore the basic premise on which the aspiration for Telengana has grown. This kind of political commentary, on politics of individuals and organisations, and not on politics of the people and their struggles for better living, is not expected from the Hindu Centre. Maybe, at this time, The Hindu Centre can bring out a paper on "how Centralisation is negating democracy and resource entitlements", and what are the ways of reversing such a trend.

from:  Narasimha Reddy Donthi
Posted on: Jul 29, 2013 at 10:25 IST

The CNN-IBN-The Hindu poll conducted by CSDS says that 63% of the people [respondents] in Telengana are demanding for the State. Well, The combined vote share of the ruling Congress party, and the principal opposition at the Centre is less than 50%. When was the last time we had more than 50% vote share by any single party at the Centre or State? It is high time we listen to the heartbeat of the people of the region, stop beating around the bush and spare precious lives by carving out the State of Telengana without any further delay.

from:  Krishna Dammanna
Posted on: Jul 29, 2013 at 03:24 IST

When the demanded to separate Andhra from Madras State was made did the Andhra people ask for the Tamil people's authorisation? No. When they annexed and merged Hyderabad State, did they follow the recommendation of the States Reorganisation Commission to keep Hyderabad State separate? No. They colonised Telengana and the well-developed Hyderabad city and looted all the public lands, and water resources, educational and employment opportunities. Their excuses about Telugu language unity, about Telugu culture, are just that - excuses. Just watch the Telugu movies they produce. The culture they display is vulgar, the language is crude and all the heroines are exclusively non-Telugu. The Andhra Minister Shailajanath is uninformed. The empire of AP will end and Telengana will be demerged and the Telengana people will be freed from the shackles of Andhra domination. Andhra and Seema cannot make a living by being PARASITIC.

from:  Subhash Reddy
Posted on: Jul 29, 2013 at 00:38 IST

The formation of Telengana will result in much more disputes such as water sharing etc.

from:  Mohamed Kaleem
Posted on: Jul 29, 2013 at 00:04 IST

Why are the Andhra leaders not accepting bifurcation? It's a simple answer. They lose their power over mines and coal and real estate and reel estate (the film industry). Vizag should be the capital of the new State.

from:  Anjani Prasad
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 23:43 IST

The rightful demand of a separate state of Telengana is legitimate and should have been conceded long ago, at least after the submission of the Srikrishna Report. The author didn't mentioned about the promises made by different political parties in Andhra Pradesh with regard to Telengana in one name or the other (except CPM & MIM). Everyone accepts that Telengana didn't get its due in the United Andhra Pradesh, be it in water, jobs and other development projects in the hinterland, they also acknowledge that it got step-motherly treatment on every aspect of development despite constitutional safeguards and presidential orders. The fact is that in United Andhra Pradesh, Telengana will never get its due rightful share; only a separate Telengana will get its due.

from:  Namdev
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 23:03 IST

The article failed to mention that the Fazal Ali Commission [the first States Reorganisation Commission (SRC)] also opposed the merger of Telengana with Andhra State to form Andhra Pradesh. However, it was done by mutual consent of Assemblies through a "gentlemen's agreement" and a Bill in Parliament. So, the merger (the very idea of AP) was, in fact, opposed to the national mandate or its principalities. Hence, for de-Merger, we don't need a national mandate. When a second States Reorganisation Commission comes up, it means disrespecting and not acknowledging the first. A second SRC is in demand in this case by pro-united AP groups just to buy some time and manipulate public opinion in favour of the existing oligarchy and personal business and political ends.

from:  Padmabushan
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 22:33 IST

Creation of Telengana State also poses a threat to internal security. Smaller states are not a solution for development. Smaller states were convenient for administration when technology was not developed. But as technology improves, it doesn't make sense. When the world is in the process of globalisation, separatism doesn't make sense. If seperatism is the solution for development,it leads to even smaller states within a region in the long run.People should not always believe the words of politicians, who are hungry for power. Students,scholars,politicians, people from all social classes should come together and discuss each others' concerns and address the problems amicably and rationally. Agitations and violence only delay development. We all know the adage "Unity is Strength"!

from:  Sivasankar Bhavan
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 21:37 IST

If the political class is not committed to develop the region, then it is the responsibility of the citizens to make the politicians aware of the situation. But the people are not conscious of politics because of poverty, illiteracy and other social ills. Separation is not the solution for development. Though we get separated,if the people are kept uneducated the situation remains the same. Politicians should think rationally. We can see Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh's situation, both of which are still kept in darkness. Taking language as a basis for the formation of States is rational, as language is the factor that comes into effect in people's interactions. The people have remained united since 1956 and we have feeling of brotherhood thanks to one language. Rayalaseema is also a backward region. But blaming people of other regions is not rational. Separation also brings the conflict of sharing river waters which could have serious implications in the future.

from:  Sivasankar Bhavan
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 21:24 IST

I'm from Rayalaseema region.I agree with the concerns of the Telangana people that they are neglected. Their hope for a better future for their children is touching. These are the areas that must be addressed. But our political class is always after the prospects of coming into power. If any region is under-developed it is mainly due to the negligent elected representatives of that region whose will is always self-centered. If Telengana is under-developed it is the sole responsibility of the MLAs and MPs from the region.

from:  Sivasankar Bhavan
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 21:08 IST

The Telengana issue, which had been at the centre stage of political drama in the State, appears to be on the verge of extinction. If that be the case, it is happy news for all the people across the State who are fed up with increased agitations and disturbed public life these days. No matter what the decision may be, no one is ready to part with Hyderabad, which has emerged as the heart of soul of Telugu pride. The solution should begin with settlement of Hyderabad city first; the sharing of waters and other irrigation deadlocks is no less important. A decade of experience in small States created by the erstwhile NDA demonstrates the failure of democracy in the autonomic regions. It is time the Congress endorses the stand of Mrs. Indira Gandhi in unanimously dispelling the idea of de-merger.

from:  K.A.R.Reddy
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 19:53 IST

The division of AP or rather the de-merger is a long pending demand which is entirely justified. But the problem is with the Congress party, which has nothing else in mind other than votes. The party should realise that people can understand the minority vote bank politics that the Congress is playing by proposing Rayala-Telengana. It just shows how easy it is to actually chop the State as per the "high command's" whims; all the talk of holding "consultations" all these years to accede to the legitimate demand for a simple demerger is hogwash. The Congress should realise that people are going to throw them out either way.

from:  c sunil
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 19:20 IST

It would be utterly shortsighted to force a decision in the run-up to the election. The UPA I government had a full five years and the UPA II has had 4 more years and even now it is not taking into confidence the real stakeholders of the issue and trying to force a decision with core groups like the Azads and the Digvijayas. It should first come up with a revenue and resource sharing blueprint and get it approved by the people of Andhra Pradesh.

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 18:48 IST

Before taking a decision on Telengana the Central government should study the performance of the three States created recently. If you observe the situation in Jharkhand there is always political instability. Similarly, Chhattisgarh is unable to contain the naxal problem and unable to develop as expected before the creation of the region. In Uttarakhand also, they are not able to progress on the development as envisaged before the creation. Because of selfish politicians people are suffering. There will not be any difference for the people of Telengana whether a new Telengana State comes or not. Only a few political families will enjoy the fruits.

from:  Sreeharinarayana
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 18:40 IST

The ruling parties have known, for many years, that there is an issue in Andhra Pradesh. For that matter, there are similar issues in many parts of the country. But political expediency takes centre stage, not the people's sentiments or development issues. Whether smaller states are formed or not, the solution lies in decentralisation of administrative and political mechanisms and devolution of powers to the lower tiers. A well-calibrated approach in this direction will pay dividends in the prosperity of the nation and people. Even the NDA, which formed states such as Chhattisgarh, did not go for any such core approach. Obviously, there was and is no intention of it in either of the major political combinations. A democratic approach, understanding the vision of our Constitution framers, will light up the way.

from:  Chinta Sastry
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 18:07 IST

The origin of the Telengana struggle goes back to 1911 at least. Salarjung's land laws allotted 30% to the ruler(Sarfekhaas), 40% to the landlords and the remaining to the ryots. Taxation increased heavily when the Nizam ceded the districts to the British to come out of the French fold. The Nizam's expenditure on maintenance of the army grew from Rs. 6 lakhs to Rs. 6 crores during the period. The Nizam anyway wouldn't pay anything. The landlord extracted taxes from the ryots. The poor farmers had no way out and could not afford to even educate their children. The court language during this time was also alien to the locals under Asafjahis and all jobs were cornered by outsiders. Agitation was natural. Came independence and the three language formula denied the locals of jobs. Those coming from Andhra benefited as they knew English, Telugu and Hindi - the last due to the national movement. Locals were deprived of jobs once again. They lost out under Prussians and Lucknowhis then and under Andhras' later. History, sir!

from:  Chandrakanth
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 17:00 IST

The merger of Telengana with Andhra, much against the wishes of the people and violation of the Gentleman's Agreement at every stage is the root cause. One example is the Rajiv Gandhi International airport at Hyderabad. Most of the employees are from Srikakulam, leaving the locals in the lurch.

from:  Damoder Dev
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 15:09 IST

A thought provoking article published in the editorial pages of The Hindu by historian Ramachandra Guha: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/living-together-separately/article4358004.ece

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 14:41 IST

Andhra is in ferment because of talk about division and unity. Every State and its political parties, including the Andhra border states, all leaders at the central government and the TV media want to disturb Andhra Pradesh; and to a great extent they are successful too. It is an open secret how agitations are carried out and agitators raised funds. Also, one can see how youngsters are motivated to destruct society. It is always easy to motivate destruction than construction. The Centre knows this very well but did nothing to curtail shows center's intention. But Central government is forgetting that most parts of Hyderabad is under defense, defense establishments, defense research establishments and this may lead to major national security issue in future. A very costly lesson for our nation as a whole.

from:  Venkata Subrahmanya Sharma Kesiraju
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 14:16 IST

When Obama was elected the first time as President of the United States, I felt the greatness of the American people and the greatness of Democracy. In the same way, on December 9th, 2009, around 11 pm, when Chidambaram, then Home Minister, declared that the process of formation of Telengana State had started, I felt the greatness of our Indian democracy, the greatness of our Andhra leaders like Chandrababu Naidu, who promised us that the government would pass the resolution in Assembly in the 2009 elections.

from:  Keshav
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 14:14 IST

I am for smaller States. When a State is small, no region will be neglected. At present, development is concentrated in the capital city and surrounding towns. Other regions are not given any attention. To address this, smaller States are required. At least a few more cities will be developed and rapid urbanisation will take place. If Telangana happens (Hyderabad should be part of it), then we will have to get a new capital for the new State. Vijayawada would be a good choice. Actually I am for trifurcation of AP. Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra will have to be created as two new States with Vijayawada/Kurnool and Vizag as capitals. We need Vidarbha also to come up. Similarly, UP has to be split. It has become unwieldy. Once UP is split, the new States will no longer be a burden on India and they will flourish.

from:  Manikantan S.
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 11:56 IST

When the then government could carve out 3 additional States from UP, MP and Bihar, despite Maoist activities in those parts as well, why is Telengana being delayed for so long? The common man's hardship should be factored in and decisions taken accordingly.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 10:47 IST

It is de-merger, not bifurcation of the State. This factor should be realized by Seemandhra leaders. The notion that Hyderabad is developed by Seemandhra is totally unacceptable, because they have not contributed any money from their pockets to the government treasury. Seemandhra businessmen opened many cinema theaters, big hospitals, multi-storied residential and commercial complexes not to serve people free but to make huge earnings and become crorepathis. In Hyderabad people of other States have established their own businesses and they never expressed fear over the de-merger of the State. The Seemandhra leaders know that the Constitution gives the right to any Indian to live anywhere in India. This is nothing but to stall the de-merger of Telengana.

from:  T. Janendra Nath
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 10:03 IST

Dividing AP ends with dividing India.

from:  Prakash
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 02:00 IST

Whatever be the decision, it must come out quickly because the people of Andhra Pradesh are exhausted by strikes and discussions. Development has collapsed. Regionalism has increased. I hope that the division should be peaceful and with respect to the desires of people but not for the votes and seats for the Congress. If Congress does so for seats only, conflict increases further. A decision should be appropriate at this time.

from:  Sankar
Posted on: Jul 27, 2013 at 20:15 IST
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