United AP not tenable : Jai Andhra leaders డిసెంబర్ 28, 2009Posted by Telangana Utsav in 1969, Andhra, BJP, Congress, G.O 610, Hyderabad, Identity, Mulki, Police, politics, regionalism, Settler, students, Telangana, Telugu, universities.
Separate Andhra rising from the ashes?
Express News Service : 28 Dec 2009 10:43:01 AM IST
IMMERSING the ashes of Kakani Venkataratnam, an inspirational leader who died at the peak of the Jai Andhra movement on 25 December 1972, his fellows took a pledge on the banks of the Krishna in Vijayawada that they would realise his dream of a separate Andhra.
Yesterday, 37 years later, votaries of Andhra met to commemorate the death anniversary of Kakani and determined that only separation was the solution to the present political crisis in the State.
Former home minister Vasantha Nageswara Rao and former Rajya Sabha member Yelamanchali Sivaji, who played an active part in the agitation under the late Kakani are once again in the thick of the movement. And joining them are Congress MP GV Harsha Kumar from Amalapuram in East Godavari district and several others. They are of the firm view that “enough is enough”.
Andhra and Telangana should part ways on a cordial note.
“It will be mutually beneficial for the people of Andhra and Telangana if Andhra Pradesh is bifurcated. The two separate States will automatically dissolve the long-pending problem of categorisation of SCs. For a long time, Madiga leaders in the State have been demanding the same alleging that Malas have taken a big chunk of benefits at the cost of Madigas under reservations. It is a fact that Madigas constitute about 90 per cent of the population in the Telangana region and similarly Malas constitute about 90 per cent in Andhra. Once the State is bifurcated, the issue of categorisation does not arise,” says Harsha Kumar.
“With such mutual suspicion and mistrust, how long can the people of Andhra and Telangana live together? And to what purpose? The Andhra region will witness unprecedented development on all fronts if it becomes a separate State. It has advantages of both geography and resources. The so-called Samaikhya Andhra movement was launched by vested interests and those who wanted to destabilise the government for their own selfish reasons. It is not a popular movement,” he stresses.
According to Harsha Kumar, the UPA Government did not roll back its earlier decision on starting the process for the formation of a separate Telangana.
“The UPA Government is committed to the statement made by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on December 9. The latest statement by Chidambaram on December 23 never said that the government was going back on its earlier stand. In 1951, Gollapalli Sitarama Sastry (Swamy Seetharam) opposed the formation of States on a linguistic basis. Later, in 1952, Potti Sriramulu took the agitation to a high pitch which led ultimately to the formation of Andhra Pradesh.
“But the Mulki agitation in 1969 and the Jai Andhra riposte of 1972, have since seen bitterness between the two regions. However, a wide range of discussions should take place on Hyderabad, as many persons from Andhra and Rayalaseema have invested crores of rupees. I am ready to extend my help for a Separate Andhra movement and have expressed my views to AICC president Sonia Gandhi.” Harsha Kumar was confident that a separate statehood for Telangana would be a reality. “I am ready to take plunge into separate Andhra State agitation, if people desired so. The separate Andhra region should consist of 11 districts of the then Andhra State before formation of Andhra Pradesh,” he said Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on December 19, 1953 in the Parliament announced the formation of states on linguistic basis. Then 11 districts– Chittoor, Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur, Nellore, Guntur, Krishna, East Godavari, West Godavari, Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam were part of Andhra State. Later two more districts were added, Harsha Kumar added.
Former Rajya Sabha member Yelamanchali Sivaji
“It is unfortunate that the State was not bifurcated way back in 1972, when the Jai Andhra movement was at its peak. Had that happened, a separate Andhra would have become the most-developed State in the country by now.
The Vijayawada, Guntur, Tenali and Ibrahimpatan region would have been a model State capital city in the country, outshining Chennai and Hyderabad.
“Major infrastructure projects like the Hitech City, IT Hub, film studios, pharma cities, knowledge parks, international airport and hotels, RFC — you name anything that Hyderabad is proud of now — a separate Andhra State capital would have had all of them.
“Since 1956, when Andhra Pradesh State was formed, to date, the people of Andhra and Telangana, though physically integrated, have remained emotionally aloof. It is futile to go on in such a fashion and it would be better for the two regions to live happily separately.” “I still remember all of us who were followers of Kakani Venkataratnam taking a pledge on the banks of the Krishna in Vijayawada while immersing his ashes in the river that we would strive for a separate Andhra State — the cause for which he gave his life. But nothing happened.
“Now the time has come for the people of Andhra to seize the opportunity and, in demanding a State of their own, also boost the case for Telangana.
We have ample evidence that the economic indicators are brighter in smaller States.
Chhattisgarh has pulled ahead of Madhya Pradesh, and the case is no different in respect of Uttaranchal and Jharkhand.
“There are baseless apprehensions over river waters if the State were bifurcated. People with no knowledge of irrigation are saying separation would mean denial of water from the Krishna and Godavari by Telangana which would become the upper riparian State.
“All over Telangana, geography and geology entail lift irrigation which is far more costly than irrigation through gravity. Take for example the Devadula Lift Irrigation project.
The power to be consumed by this project is equivalent to the power consumption of all sectors in all of Guntur district.
“In other words, to irrigate an acre of land for one year under the lift irrigation scheme will mean an expenditure of Rs 50,000 per acre.
Moreover, when heavy rains lash the catchments areas, the upper States have no option but to release water downstream. Hence, water denial scenarios are ultimately baseless.”