Act now on Telangana- The Hindu జూలై 10, 2011Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in agitation, Andhra, Congress, elections, Hyderabad, Identity, Mulki, politics, regionalism, Sonia, struggle, Telangana, Telugu.
Tags: capital, resignation
End this drift on Telangana
The Hindu, 6 Jul, 2011
When a government in drift mode adopts delay as a political tactic, the end result often is a crisis that becomes intractable. In the six months after the B.N. Srikrishna Committee submitted its report on the Telangana tangle, the United Progressive Alliance government did virtually nothing — not so much in the hope that the problem would go away as in the fear that any forward movement could trigger another round of violent agitations. This course of events was anticipated, and indeed cautioned against, by Mr. Srikrishna, whose report concluded with a quote from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel: “It will be a folly to ignore realities; facts take their revenge if they are not faced squarely and well.” The report provided the basis for the government to push for a consensus on the strength of some viable proposals, which included the creation of an empowered Regional Council within the State. But instead of completing this process as expeditiously as possible, the government took the soft option of waiting for things to happen rather than making them happen. Keeping Andhra Pradesh united with “constitutional/statutory measures to address the core socioeconomic concerns about the development of the Telangana region” (as suggested in the report) is workable, but it will need a consensus that can be achieved only through broad-based and amicable consultations.
Quite astonishingly, the Centre practically abdicated its role and let Congress party managers try and clinch backroom deals with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, which spearheads the separate statehood movement. Such political manipulations to counteract the effect of what clearly is a movement with huge popular support in the Telangana region were bound to fail. The Congress now faces a situation where its own Members of Parliament and Members of the Legislative Assembly have submitted their resignation in an attempt to pressure the central government to concede the demand for a Telangana State. But just as there is support in Telangana for a separate State, a majority of the people in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema favour a united Andhra Pradesh. Even in Hyderabad, envisaged as the capital of Telangana, many of the elected representatives have not joined the resignation drama, an indication that statehood does not have the same resonance in the cosmopolitan capital as it does in the rest of the region. A political consensus is therefore a must, and the central government should pro-actively work towards creating such a consensus instead of letting matters drift. So far as the people of India are concerned, what is at stake is the future of Andhra Pradesh, not the survival of the UPA or the Congress regime in the State.