By Sujai Karampuri
For the last thirteen years, Seemandhras have consistently attacked KCR on almost everything he said or did. He was their arch nemesis, their bugaboo. And during the last four years, they have called him many names, attacked his personality, his language, and his actions. They called him a drunkard and ‘unemployed politician’ (don’t know what that means). They said he was insincere. They said he is not interested in achieving Telangana.
In the last sixty days of Samaikyandhra agitations, they have released hundreds of posters and cartoons depicting KCR in insanely crude ways. They burnt his effigies, and pasted his face onto animals. There are thousands of disgusting jokes on KCR, and there are facebook groups called ‘I hate KCR’.
So, the essential question is ‘why do Seemandhras hate KCR so much?’
According to me the answer is as follows: KCR represents the very antithesis of Andhras attempt to Andhraize Telangana. He disproves everything Andhras have assumed so far about Telangana people.
Before we go further, we need to understand what Andhraization of Telangana means.
http://missiontelangana.com/why-seemandhras-hate-kcr/ [7 Oct 2013]
Andhras, consciously or subconsciously, knowingly or unknowingly, have colonized Telangana over the last sixty years. The White man, while colonizing the colonies, believed he was carrying out a divine task, a responsibility, called the ‘White Man’s Burden’, a duty ordained upon him by Providence to civilize and modernize the natives. With this pretext, they monopolized the natural resources, appropriated all opportunities, with the primary motive to serve their business and commercial interests.
Andhras did something similar to Telangana. They tried to Andhraize Telangana. They came onto us with the pretext that they were emancipating us from the “bastardization effects of Nizam”. They tried to purify us and our language with their ‘chaste’ version. In the process, they colonized Telangana to appropriate our jobs, resources and opportunities. They built vast industrial empires to create a class of nouveau riche entrepreneurial political class that boasts some of the richest and most corrupt politicians on the planet.
The first step towards colonizing a population of natives is to tell them, and make them believe, that they are inferior in language, in culture, in technology, or in competence. If you don’t prove to the natives that they are inferior, the colonization doesn’t work. That’s why you tend to see many Andhras telling us that our language is inferior, that we don’t know how to farm, how to make breakfast, how to milk the cow, and nowadays we hear Ashok Babu tell us that we were slaves that were freed up by Andhras. They want to be seen as our saviors, our emancipators.
One of the essential attributes of a colonial rule is to create a set of native rulers who act as the intermediaries between the colonial master and the native population, through a system called ‘indirect rule’. This serves two purposes – the British colonial power can rule a very large native population with very small set of its own officers. The second is that native population tends to see more of their own ruling class than the actual British – therefore the animosity towards British is lessened. But this ‘indirect rule’ works only when the native rulers are subservient to the British – and this is taken care by passing on small dividends to those who comply, while removing any rebellious ruler that shows up.
Andhras have done something very similar to Telangana. Our erstwhile leaders were selectively chosen such that the hegemony of Andhras could continue for almost fifty years. Many of our elected leaders were subservient and docile who accepted the colonial rule without a word of protest, barring few exceptions.
European colonialism worked fine for many generations. The colonial masters saw trouble only when suddenly an individual shows up to challenge it all – that local leader demystifies the charade, and calls spade a spade, challenges the colonial master and asks him to explain why he is superior. He tells his own people that they are not inferior. That ruffles up the colonial setup. And that’s where the problem starts – sooner or later the colonies start becoming independent. That’s what KCR did. He upset the colonial order that was carefully and delicately crafted by Andhras over the last sixty years.
KCR stood up and talked in Telangana Telugu, the very same Telugu, which the Andhra mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts, grandparents and grandmothers told their kids, morning and evening, day and night, not to speak, not to utter, not to bastardize their language.
The very same language that Telangana kids went to schools to discover that what they have been speaking so far was Vikruti; the very same language of coolies, of the rickshaw pullers, of the auto drivers, of the vegetable vendors, of the banana sellers, the little goons, the little villains, and the little rowdies shown in thousands of Telugu movies; the very same language that Andhras tried to cleanse from the contamination of Urdu and other North Indian languages. The very same language they told us is the language of our slavery, reminding us that to speak Telangana is to speak the language of servitude and Nizam’s rule.
KCR is probably the first Telangana leader, who stood up on a podium, and spoke unabashedly, unashamedly, brazenly, the raw, the bare, the unadulterated, the unartificial Telangana dialect, as if he was reciting the Illiad in Homeric Greek, or the Ramayana in Valmiki’s Sanskrit, proudly, unflinchingly, unhesitatingly, looking towards his comrades to make sure they are enjoying it, with a twinkle in his eye, to enrapture, ecstasize, enthrall the Telangana audience, making them feel at home, as if they are listening to their own grandfather or uncle speak, making them feel secure, making them feel free, making them feel proud of their identity, culture and history. KCR brought revolution, a sea change in our attitudes, restored our pride, all in one go – just by speaking his language on the dais.
And then he did something more.
For all these years, Telangana leaders were expected to comply; were expected to be content with little morsels that were thrown their way. Our erstwhile politicians were quite happy with those insignificant positions they got in the Cabinet – they did not protest. They did not come in the way of their colonial masters and their schemes.
Suddenly comes KCR who defies all conventional logic. What does he want? Can we buy him off? Can we offer him incentives to just shut him up?
No, he says. I want separate Telangana.
How do you convince a political leader who seeks nothing else but a new state? Andhras immediately looked for instructions in their manual called, ‘Colonial guide to tame and rule over Telangana’, but there was no answer for this ‘unreasonable’ demand.
They abhorred him because he proved to everyone that the Emperor has no clothes. He just took up his mike and spoke about the system as it stood, and talked about what they were doing to us all these years, and immediately the entire charade of Andhras just started falling apart like a house of cards.
The only thing that remained unchanging in entire history of Andhra Pradesh was that every politician eventually changed his stance. They are known for that. Even our own Telangana leaders of the past betrayed us.
KCR turned out to be that politician, going against all conventional political wisdom, who stood his ground on one stance, unwavering and unyielding. During the same period, Chiranjeevi changed his stance on Telangana, Naidu changed his stance, YSR, his wife and son, changed their stance, Lagadapati and Kiran Kumar Reddy changed their stance. But KCR refused to budge, refused to relent, refused to give up his single-point agenda – and it’s been like that for thirteen years – a record of sort in Indian history of politics.
What do you do to such person who just refuses to change his stance in Indian politics? Nobody knows. Rarely, we get such specimens. Rarely, we find this extinct species. Andhras find this very disconcerting; it completely upsets all their game plan. They were used to Telangana leaders who would eventually capitulate and give in to some kind of incentive. Even Telangana people got used to such leaders of their own.
In fact some of our own people find it difficult to believe that KCR is actually standing firm on his commitment. Many of them expect him to drop his commitment anytime and become like every other politician. His refusal to back down, his steadfast stubbornness, and his obstinate commitment has surprised many, even in Telangana.
KCR’s refusal to be tamed, his refusal to comply, to follow suit, really frustrates and infuriates Andhras.
They all know that what stands between them from continuing their colonial rule over Telangana is KCR. All they have to do is get this one person out of the way, and there will be no Telangana. Therefore, they focus all their energies to disrupt him, they gang up against him, with single-point focus to defame, sully, vilify, to insult, and to demonize KCR. They do everything in their capacity to find fault in everything he says, in everything he does. They find fault in his speech, in his metaphors, in his allusions, in his extrapolations and examples. They find fault in his body language, his personality and even his long nose. They find fault when he goes to his farm, they find fault when he is silent. They want to do whatever they can so that he loses the support of his people – so that he gets alienated and sidelined, dethroned and discarded.
Also, Seemandhra leaders don’t want their own people to understand the real issues and concerns of Telanganas raised by KCR. They don’t want to debate the issues or address them. Trying to directly deal with democratic aspirations of Telangana people is a dangerous step – it would expose their carefully built colonial empire. Also, there is a dangerous outcome in going that path – it will enlighten their own people – and tomorrow those enlightened people may challenge the Seemandhra corrupt politicians. But if one were to keep the debate away from the real reasons, away from the real democratic and constitutional issues, away from the actual economic, cultural and historical facts, and instead portray KCR as the archenemy, who like the Telangana villain in the movies, is only keen on disrupting a nice and homely family because he is the personification of dreaded evil, then it serves two purposes – Seemandhra leaders will use their people’s support to continue the colonization of Telangana, while the people will continue to be as ignorant of the real issues as before.
So, for them KCR becomes arch villain in the movie called Andhra Pradesh. If KCR is defeated then Telangana is defeated.
Seemandhras hatred for KCR is a natural reaction of frustrated colonial masters who are about to lose their colony against their will. Therefore, KCR should not take these attacks personally. He should take it in stride and realize that the reason they do so is because he is about to crumble an imperialist empire that was built over sixty years, an empire which was almost dreaming of retaining Telangana as a colony for another sixty years.
So, next time when Andhra media criticizes KCR, let’s celebrate, because that means we are inching towards Telangana, and it means they are losing their grip on Telangana.