( ‘Pro-Telangana medical staff members of Gandhi Hospital perform death rituals over an effigy of India’s central government during the second day of the 48-hour strike in Hyderabad’ Photo courtesy: Hindustan Times -24 Feb 2013)
Wikipedia states .. ‘The Telangana Rebellion was a peasant revolt supported by the Communists. It took place in the former princely state of Hyderabad between 1946 and 1951. It was led by the Communist Party of India. The people of Telangana had several concerns. Their region had a less-developed economy than Andhra, but had a larger revenue base which people of Telangana feared might be diverted for use in Andhra. They feared that planned irrigation projects on the Krishna and Godavari rivers would not benefit Telangana proportionately, even though people of Telangana controlled the headwaters of the rivers. It was feared that the people of Andhra, who had access to higher standards of education under the British rule, would have an unfair advantage in seeking government and educational jobs.’
Then, as a solution to the ‘unrest’ problem in the Andhra state, the States Reorganisation Commission Report (SRC) had proposed – the Telangana region be constituted as a separate state with a provision for unification with Andhra state, if a resolution could be passed in the Telangana state assembly with a two-thirds majority. That’s the story about Telangana rebellion or uprising. But, this foregone resolution of the commission remained only on paper and it was not acted upon till now.
As India gets ready for her 29th independent state, there is great celebration in the constituency that’s been demanding the creation of Telangana for more than a half century. But there is also a worry that this concession made has opened a Pandora’s box. Other agitations for separate statehood have quickened, extending from Bodoland in Assam to Vidarbha in Maharashtra. In the past, India has witnessed the reorganization of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh states in 1966, through the creation of Arunachal, Meghalaya and Mizoram in 1971, to the formation of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh in recent times (year 2000). Fortunately, all that was earlier combative in these troubled states has quietened into harmony in time. It is with this fervent hope that everything will become harmonious in Andhra Pradesh, the ruling Congress-led UPA government has agreed to the separation of Telangana as an independent state.
The major issue is – Will smaller states and better governance lead to overall progress of the country ? Uttarakhand has performed better than its parent state Uttar Pradesh – while Jharkhand has done worse than its parent Bihar state in economic development. The population in India is diverse and religiously tied down to superstition, blind faith, and is largely un-developed in the rural areas. There will be natural unrest, especially when people suffer trough their struggle to meet their basic livelihood needs. This is quite understandable because every individual wants to progress in material (or wealth creation), in gaining education, in meeting his or her medical/ hospitalization requirements and improving general lifestyle quotient. When these needs are not met, frustration sets in the minds of those who are oppressed by the situations they are caught in. But, let me remind you as a word of caution, recognition of Telangana movement may lead to greater success of Maoist movement causing grave concerns to ruling government. Change is a double-edged sword that has to be used correctly and without delay.
How do we effectively govern a population that is so diverse and huge in numbers. It is quite easy to criticize or be ‘only’ judgmental, resign to fate and run away from the problems being faced. India is a multitude of religions, race, creed, languages, rituals and is a hodge-podge of mass people in numbers. I can really empathize with the governing body (UPA Government) and even actually sense the pain experienced by the oppressed people of Telangana and many others trying to improve their daily lives. One needs to be ‘patriotic and humane’ to understand the problems of this earliest ‘aryan’ civilization settled in India. One needs to extensively travel into the interior parts/ rural areas of India – to engage with or to sense and understand the several issues faced by our country. I will do it. Will you ? You should try to discover our India and not be closeted in your comfortable nest. 🙂