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Sardar Patel to Chidambaram: Long journey of Telangana ఏప్రిల్ 25, 2010

Posted by Telangana Utsav in Andhrapreneurship, Congress, Culture, Economy, elections, Fazal Ali Commission, Identity, Mulki, politics, Reddy, regionalism, Telangana, TRS, YSR.
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Telangana: From princely state to pauper state

Pervaram Ramulu, New Indian Express, 23 April, 2010

THE road to Telangana has been long and winding. It was charted by the then Union home minister Sardar Patel when he took ‘Police Action’ in September 1948 to integrate the princely state of Hyderabad with the rest of free India. it is in the fitness of things that the present Home Minister Chidambaram is overseeing the last leg of this journey.
The people of Telangana feel reassured and hopeful.

After 53 years of Andhra rule they feel let down by successive regimes in New Delhi. These years have been years of discrimination, neglect and economic exploitation. The composite state of Hyderabad was trifurcated in the year 1956. While the Marathi-speaking districts of Aurangabad, Nanded, Parbhani, Osmanabad and Beed merged with Maharashtra, the Kannada-speaking districts of Bidar, Gulbarga and Raichur joined Karnataka. The remaining nine Telugu-speaking districts, historically known as Telangana, were forced to accept the merger of 11 districts of Andhra state and metamorphose into what has been labelled as Andhra Pradesh. This metamorphosis has been truly Kafkaesque.

These nightmarish years have seen rural Telangana slide into abysmal poverty.

The ‘planned development’ turned the rural masses of the region into Singareni coal mine diggers, construction workers in Hyderabad, unskilled migratory labour in the Middle East and factory workers in the cotton mills of Surat, Mumbai, Bhiwandi and Sholapur.

Successive chief ministers from Andhra region, beginning with Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy and till recently Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, paid no heed to the crying needs of rural Telangana.

Though lying between the two mighty rivers of Godavari and Krishna, the vast rural areas of Telangana remain dry, its farmers always looking to the skies for the rain god to shower his elusive blessings.

The Telangana farmer is “born in debt, lives in debt and bequeaths debt.” If Telangana, located in the heart of India, bleeds, can the rest of the country remain unaffected? It was in the year 1957 that it all began.
The formation of Andhra Pradesh saw the English educated Andhras storm the capital city of Hyderabad and district headquarter towns. They occupied key positions and encouraged their compatriots from Andhra to migrate to Telangana in large numbers. They bought lands from farmers at dirt cheap prices. Equipped with maps of planned irrigation projects they would scout the country side and persuade farmers to part with their lands. Eventually the farmer would spend all the money and become a labourer in his own land.

The few profit-making industries that there were, such as Nizam Sugars, Allwyn, and Azam Jahi Mills, would somehow become sick and be closed, rendering thousands and thousands of people unemployed.
The enterprising Andhras cornered prime land in Hyderabad in the name of industries, film studios, schools and colleges, etc, and make a killing by tur ning these lands into housing projects. Over the years, successive governments o f A n d h r a Pradesh have allotted thousands of acres of government land, turning many an Andhrite into an overnight millionaire.

While the original Hyderabadi remained stuck, migrant Andhras zoomed past him in his newly acquired limousine and bought up posh bungalows on the slopes of Jubilee Hills.

But the question remained: How to satisfy his poor “Telangana brethren”? Many ‘welfare schemes’ were launched to satiate and quieten the dissenting Telanganite.

The lame and the blind would be offered Rs 300 per month. The widows and the old would get Rs 500.

But the game is over. Gullible and vulnerable though he was, the Telanganite has seen through this. The talk of Telugu culture, Telugu literature and Telugu Talli began sounding hollow.

The only people left in the villages are the very old and the very poor. One cannot and the other does not know how to leave their village hearths. Many youths have been drawn to the Maoist fold. A few even rose to be leaders of the Maoist party. One notices with dismay that many CPI (Maoist) Central Committee leaders are from Telangana. You notice them in Lalgarh, Nandigram, Chhattisgarh, Koraput and even in faraway Rajnandgaon and Narmada and some other river valleys. They have no work back home. It is this or starvation.

The plight of the Muslim youth is no different. Most work in semi-skilled professions as auto-drivers, push-cart vendors, electricians, etc. Some managed to migrate to the Middle East. They form a sizable 17 per cent of the Telangana population. In fact in many villages in the Bodhan area of Nizamabad district and in the old quarters of Hyderabad they are the preponderant majority. You do find some young and middle-aged persons in the villages. They belong to the shepherd and toddy-tapping communities.

Somehow they manage to live, you see. Then the question is, who devoured all the fruits of development? Who is responsible for this sorry state of affairs? Only three persons managed to become chief minister of the state of Andhra Pradesh from Telangana in 53 years of its existence. One, P V Narasimha Rao was made to step down after he took up land reforms in right earnest, that is, enforcing a ceiling on cultivable land. There was the Jai Andhra agitation engineered by the Kulaks of Andhra. The ostensible reason was the High Court judgement in 1972 upholding Mulki (nativity) rules. The real reason was intolerance of a Telanganite becoming the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.

The late Chenna Reddy became chief minister twice. And twice he was asked to step down, after brief spells. The envious Andhra political leadership was responsible on both occasions. In fact, communal riots were engineered resulting in the loss of 300 innocent lives in Hyderabad to get rid of him in 1990. Before that Telangana lost 400 of its students in the separatist agitation during the late 1960s. During the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s it regularly lost a thousand lives on an annual basis in the naxalite movement.

The separate Telangana movement has gathered such momentum that it is sweeping across all Telangana. It cuts through all parties, communities and castes. The government of India would do well to recognise this as fact and grant immediate statehood to Telangana.
Remember what the poet Oliver Goldsmith said: “Ill fares the land to hastening ills a prey/Where wealth accumulates and men decay.”
Pervaram Ramulu is a former director-general of police of Andhra Pradesh

source: http://expressbuzz.com/states/andhrapradesh/telangana-from-princely-state-to-pauper-state/167551.html

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