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Growing gulf between Andhra and Telangana డిసెంబర్ 2, 2009

Posted by Telangana Utsav in 1969, Culture, Economy, Hyderabad, Identity, livelihoods, Mulki, politics, Telangana, Telugu.
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T-movement without 60s bitterness

Times News Network, December 2, 2009

Hyderabad: When violence broke out on Osmania University campus on Sunday, among those who were shocked at the strong reaction of students was professor of political science, K Srinivasulu, who did not expect such strong polarisation on campus that reminded him of the Telangana movement in the late 1960’s. But, he is quick to make an interesting observation: while there was violence on campus, there was no antagonism between students of Andhra and Telangana regions, which was the case four decades ago.

“Most urban kids are apolitical. Besides, there has been a lot of intermingling between those from Andhra, Rayalseema and Telangana regions,’’ Prof Srinivasulu reasons.

The political science don is bang on. City old-timers say that if four decades ago (in 1969) Telangana supporters would bash up those from Andhra during the protest, it is not even a remote possibility now. At the peak of Telangana agitation in 1969, Tarnaka resident P Vijay Rao remembers how a couple of young students from Andhra region had taken shelter in his house. “But now it is a political fight. It is not about the people,’’ he says.

Keen observers of the Telangana movement say that the development in the last four decades has blunted the antagonism of the 1960s and point out the obvious: a rabble-rousing politician’s battle for eye balls shouldn’t be equated with what people feel.

While there is a divide between people of the two regions living in Hyderabad, it is not resentment, they say which was the case in the 1960’s. Those from Andhra consider being called ‘settlers’ in their own city offensive. Those from Telangana say there is discontentment when they see huge investments made in land by ‘outsiders’ in their region.

“But it is not an emotive issue,’’ says city-based builder Prem Kumar. He says that if even high school students were going on hunger strikes in 1969 chanting ‘Jai Telangana’, it was for a reason. “If you asked a child then why there should be a separate Telangana state, the child would say because he would get a job,’’ Prem Kumar notes. Clearly, with jobs in the public sector having shrunk, the same reason doesn’t hold fort anymore. Many jobs are now provided by people from Andhra who set up industries here and made Hyderabad their home several generations ago.

“In the last 50 years there has been a process of coming together. I see the (prevailing) situation in that light,’’ says Prof K C Suri, political science professor at HCU.

However, city old-timer M Bharath Bhushan and chairperson of Telangana Utsav Committee disagrees. He says what happened in 1969 cannot be equated with the violence that occurred in the last two days.

“What happened in 1969 was a movement taking shape for many years,’’ Bhushan says, adding that there is indeed a growing gulf between those from Andhra and Telangana living in Hyderabad. He notes that settlers forming a vote bank is an indication enough of the divide that exists.

Source: Times of India 2/12/09

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