BY Sujai Karampuri
Now that the Cabinet Note is prepared, the people of Seemandhra are in open revolt. They launched violent agitations against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. For the first time in four years of agitations in the state, curfew has been imposed in Vizianagaram. Many Seemandhra leaders, the media channels, the activists, and the people, are blaming UPA for the current crisis in Andhra Pradesh. They have been openly accusing UPA government for the method and process it followed. They accuse it of acting in haste. They accuse UPA of announcing this decision only for political gains. They believe that the bifurcation is an insult to Telugu Jaati (Pride). They also believe that the process followed in announcing formation of Telangana is anti-democratic and anti-federal.
In reality, there is no merit in any of these accusations. Formation of Telangana has been a thirteen-year long process. There have been many promises, manifestos, meetings, decisions, committees, and consultations on Telangana, and each of those steps inched Andhra Pradesh closer to the bifurcation. In fact, there was an inordinate delay caused by activism of Seemandhras who tried to obstruct the formation of Telangana all these years. Now that the decision is made, Seemandhras find themselves in a state of self-created crisis.
Who should be blamed for this crisis?
The blame for the current crisis in Seemandhra falls directly on Seemandhra leaders, media outfits, activists and the people.
These include YS Rajashekara Reddy (late), Chandra Babu Naidu, Chiranjeevi, YS Jaganmohan Reddy, Kiran Kumar Reddy, Lagadapati Rajagopal, et al.
These include TV9, TV5, NTV, Sakshi, Z24, Andhra Jyoti, Eenadu, et al.
These include Parakala Prabhakar, Nalamotu Chakravarthy, Ashok Babu, et al.
These include all sections of society – students, teachers, NGOs, farmers, et al.
The core reasons for the current crisis can be explained through two phenomena – ‘institutionalization of lies’ and ‘arrogance’.
Institutionalization of Lies
All the above stakeholders – Seemandhra leaders, media channels, activists, and people – got involved in a massive campaign of creating lies and believing in those lies. Right now, almost entire Seemandhra is in a state of denial.
They believed in the following lies for all these years:
· Telangana will never be formed – no matter what. Formation of new state is ‘not like cutting a cake’. ‘Would you give a state just because some unemployed people come onto streets and agitate?’ There are so many other regions in India which are asking statehood. The center will never create Telangana because it will open up Pandora’s Box.
· Our leaders are capable of obstructing the formation of Telangana forever. When needed our political leaders will use their majority power to suppress the minority in State Assembly. If needed, they will intensely lobby in New Delhi and use their power and money to ensure Telangana will never be formed.
· Though our leaders have promised Telangana in their election manifestos, they did not actually mean any of it. We all know that we are not serious about formation of Telangana. All these promises are made by our political parties only to calm down the Telangana people so that Telangana Movement eventually dies its natural death. Wait for few more years, and Telangana Movement will just fade away.
· All the issues and demands raised by Telangana people are bunch of lies. There is no need to listen to their concerns or demands. There is no need to address them. Telangana people are raising bogus issues only because they are brainwashed by KCR and TRS.
· There is no popular sentiment for separate statehood in Telangana. Very few people in Telangana want separate statehood. There is no widespread movement. Those who show up for agitations are incentivized with money, liquor and chicken biryani. If they don’t come for meetings they are harassed and beaten up. The only people who are supporting the movement are KCR, his family members and his stooges. Very soon most of the people of Telangana will realize the real intentions of KCR, and they will abandon him – and this movement will evaporate into thin air.
Seemandhra leaders created these lies, their media propagated them into all households, and their activists legitimized them. Over a period of time these lies were institutionalized into Seemandhra. Today, people of Seemandhra do not know who to blame and therefore they blame UPA government.
Today, Seemandhras are in a state of shock. They don’t know how Telangana statehood could be formed. They ask, ‘how can these lazy, incompetent, drunkards, get their own state which includes Hyderabad?’
The arrogance plays a big role here. They believe that Telangana people do not deserve statehood. They believe that Seemandhra leaders are capable of obstructing Telangana at any time. Even now they believe that the ‘game’ has only begun, and declare that ‘it is not over till the last ball is bowled’. They believe they have ‘brahmastra’ which can be used to stall Telangana.
The arrogance does not allow Seemandhras to concede we are equals. They think that Telangana can be created only if Seemandhras give their permission. They always believed they were operating from a position of strength. Since we are not equals, they don’t believe they can come to the negotiation table to discuss terms. Because if they do, then it would mean they conceded Telangana, and conceded that we are equals.
Seemandhras are not ready to accept the reality
Right now, instead of preparing their own people to face the reality – which is creation of Telangana – the Seemandhra leaders, the media, the activists and the people are involved in massive agitations to obstruct the formation of Telangana. Their leaders and activists clearly admit that there can be no compromise. They believe we are at war. They are ready to fight till the end – they are not going to accept creation of Telangana no matter what. They want to defeat it in the State Assembly. They want to defeat it in the Parliament. They want to go to Supreme Court. They want the government to roll back the decision.
There is no common ground for debate or discussion
I don’t see how we can sit across the table to discuss when there is no common ground. I have been following TV debates in the past few days. Each of those meetings turned into a violent clash of opinions. Our demands are mutually exclusive – we seek separation and they seek united state.
We are trying to combat ignorance with awareness. We are trying to combat an ‘institution of lies’ with a ‘sustained movement based on facts and reasons’. It is like Telanganas and Seemandhras are from different planets.
Right now there is not much we can do except send out a message that we are ready to listen to their concerns and problems. If they avail the opportunity, well and good. Instead we should focus on achieving a clean state Telangana.
I don’t think we can really debate and discuss the issues with Seemandhras at this point of time. We should not try to educate them or try to reason with them. They were not ready to understand us in the past, and definitely now is not the right time.
Sometimes separation has to be imposed, like how a ceasefire is imposed between warring factions. Only after we are separated, then may be, they will be able to see us as equals. That’s when we can hug each other as brothers and discuss the past 😉