Statehood for Telangana – An Unsettled Demand

It has been more than four months since the Sri Krishna committee filed its report on the issue of Telangana on  December 30th , but the government has failed to opt for any of the suggestions made by the committee so far. However, it is not because of the disagreement between parties over the options suggested by the committee, but because of the lack of enthusiasm on the part of centre.  When a few MPs from Telangana disrupted the Budget Session of Parliament asking for discussion on Telangana, they were assured that the matter will surely be discussed after the budget is passed. Now, the session has ended and it appears as Telangana was never on parliament’s agenda. Otherwise, parliament could have discussed it rather than cancelling the second part of the budget session beginning in April due to Assembly election in five states.

The MPs of the Telangana Rashriya Samiti (TRS), Congress and others tried everything when the house was in session to get the demand for a separate state out of Andhra Pradesh for discussion. They warned to disrupt the proceeding, to some extent they did, but the government excused their demands in the name of budget discussion. And, it is not that the house didn’t have the time to discuss it because if carefully observed, then it’s clear that the parliamentarians lacked the will. What else could the people expect in the midst of corruption scams? The government has no time to worry about statehood for Telangana, or for that matter anything, but how to save its tattered image.

Even so, the point UPA is missing here is that the negligence of the matter will bring huge problems in no time. The TRS and other parties supporting the formation of a separate state are all set to begin agitations in the region, which will obviously disrupt the peace of the region. And, this time again the students of Osmania University will be seen participating in the agitation.
If one takes a closer look at the state of affairs, then it will find that the demand of the people, asking for statehood, is not illegitimate. Rationally, when a deal is made then both the parties are assured of benefit from it. If, later one party breaches the deal and the other gets cheated, then disappointment and anger are obvious.

Back in 1956, Telangana and Andhra were separate states. They were merged on certain promises and assurances, which turned out be false. The Gentlemen Agreement  promised safeguards for Telangana, the Presidential Order which replaced Mulki Rules, the 610 GO order issued to protect local rights, the recommendations made by the Girglani Committee that looked into violations of GO 610, all raised hopes and aspirations of Telangana’s people and later turned out to be nothing but disappointments.

The bases of the demand for Telangana are strong and genuine. People have issues with the non-reciprocal immigration from Andhra region, less share in the Krishna Waters, the surplus of Telangana region being spent on the other region, lack of political will to get the Telangana Regional Council to function, the list can go on and on…

The Justice Sri Krishna Committee report which offered six options through which the issue could be resolved, itself considered some options impossible to implement and concluded that there was no material basis for treating only the Telangana districts as “backward,”. The best way forward suggested by the committee was robust “constitutional/statutory measures” – centred on a Telangana Regional Council – for the “socio-economic development and political empowerment” of the region within a united Andhra Pradesh.

People of Telangana didn’t expect such findings and suggestions after 11 months of wide consultations. It now appears as a useless exercise meant to keep the voices down for some time. For the government, it is high time to see things beyond the 2G scam and come out with rational and fair solutions for the region of Telangana.

Shikha Nehra

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