From Ours to Yours: The Andhra Tale

Christopher Waltz as Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds quips, “Facts can be misleading however rumours true or false can be revealing.” This perfectly seems to fit into the current situation in Andhra Pradesh/ Telangana. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. No doubts about that. But when there are just too many opinions to take, all you end up in is a sea of rumours, i.e. chaos! Perhaps, this must have been the reason for not having The First Amendment in India as yet. The situation in the state does not seem to return to normalcy very soon.

Let us quickly recall the historic “events”. Potti Sriramulu had fought for liberation of Andhra from the erstwhile Madras not to see it being divided again. He had fought strongly for it, going on a fast unto death. Nehru, who was very apprehensive in having a state based on linguistic bias had to yield ultimately. These facts or so called ones are being mutilated and repackaged to match the interests of the party’s agendas. While one end resonates with the idea of Samaikhyandhra (United/ One Andhra), the other echoes the complete polar of view asserting that the initial movement was only for a Pratyekandhra (Separate Andhra, i.e. from Madras) and not for Telangana and Andhra to be united. The KCR show more recently seems to be just a rip off of the earlier success of Potti Sriramulu. However, while the former struggle had a basis for being separated, which was the language and the related cultural idiosyncrasies, the latter falls behind, according to some, since it has underdevelopment of the Telangana region as its main agenda.

Some opine that if development had ever been the focal point of these politicians, then the region could have been well developed by now. These rants on development begin to crumble at the very base, since out of 294 MLAs in the Legislative Assembly; about a 120 of them belong to the Telangana region. Also, if the voters, the so called concerned and vigilant citizens of the state were to elect politicians those who perform rather than those who vaunt, then getting this region on the path of development would not have taken long. The people of Andhra and Telangana have started agitations and bandhs in order to vent their anger. These seem just seem to be the pent up emotions of the general public that the politicians have deftly touched upon and aroused them. How else, could you mobilize the whole caboodle of students from their Colleges onto the roads in protest march? Consummate artists, these politicians, have cleverly manoeuvred the youth population on their side. This remains a fact on both sides of the state- Andhra and Telangana. Osmania University tops in the number of students taking part in these agitations in Telangana, while Andhra University does it in Andhra region. The ludicrous part in all this farce is the jarring rumour/opinion/fact that MLAs/MPs have no left no stone unturned in enlightening their teams to resign and express their opposition to the whole movement. The number of resigned members peaked at something close to 140, when all the while the backbone of this seemed to have been the “development” issues, albeit of their own personal properties and other vested interests.

Initially, this movement did not gather much attention and was very limited to the top brass politicians making their usual harangues. But, this gathered momentum post the KCR fast. Conspiracy theories were raging like wild fires precisely at that point of time that KCR was in fact forced to continue the fast. His depleting health conditions proved to be healthy for the campaign, per se. This moved, both literally and figuratively, the students and propelled the Telangana movement.

Politicians on either side began their war. This war did not remain confined to mere words but riveted on mass destruction. This threw the general governing system out of gear. Buses were halted, Theatres were closed. Even to this day, movies are being postponed owing to a fear of poor audience turn out.

All said and done, even if you did not have any numbers to back yourself on this moot question, the common sense which doesn’t seem so common in this scenario takes you in only one direction. The blame lies with the politicians, who should have wrested the initiative to force development in the region. Fight for resources and not regions should have been the mantra. If KCR were to go on a fast and get Centre’s nod for a Ramagundam Power Project, the power problems that are plaguing the region would have been long solved. Sadly, what should have been ours is now turned into mine and yours.

Disclaimer: Everyone has their take on the issue. While this might seem to be biased in Andhra’s favour, I am a Hyderabadi (FYI Telangana region) and I’ve resorted to no bias in voicing my opinion. I support a United Andhra Pradesh. Only time will have to tell if a separate state is given away or if an Andhra Occupied Telangana (AOT) to drive out non- Telanganites will make the news?

Madhav Chandra

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