Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nineteenth Century Politics Over Telangana

The casual and arbitrary approach of the Union Government, short-term vote-bank politics of parties and shameless political duplicity have led to a wholly avoidable crisis over Telangana, says JAYAPRAKASH NARAYAN.

Suddenly, the State of Andhra Pradesh and the whole nation are in turmoil. The tranquil climate, so vital for economic prosperity at a time of tough global challenges and great opportunities, has been vitiated by the pursuit of vote-banks and the arousing of primordial loyalties.

Politicians playing with fire have now opened the Pandora's Box and have sown the seeds of discord in many pockets of India. A dangerous message has gone out: Elections, constitutional process, reasoned and healthy public discourse are not important; indulge in rabble-rousing, promote violence and obstruction, and the government will yield.

To understand the tumult in Andhra Pradesh now, one should imagine what would happen in Tamil Nadu if a new state of North Tamil Nadu, along with Chennai, is carved out; or the consternation in Karnataka if South Karnataka with Bengaluru is carved out as a separate State.

For the first time, a region with a large capital city wants to separate as a State. So far, every demand for a new State has been from far-flung areas away from the State capital. Hyderabad is not just another city. It is on par with Chennai and Bengaluru, and with 85 lakh people, accounts for over 25 per cent of the population of Telangana and 60 per cent of the economy of the region. Millions from all over the country and the various regions of AP have made it their home.

Every significant political, business or civil society leader has made Hyderabad home, and is emotionally attached to the city, even if the political base may be elsewhere. In such a situation, the all-too-casual approach to separate Statehood is calamitous.

Firm stand

The Indian nation is still in the making. Indira Gandhi was both powerful and, on occasion, autocratic. But even when her party had monopoly of power, she understood the fragility of the nation and worked hard to find a compromise on demands for Statehood.

Two major agitations for separate Statehood shook Andhra Pradesh — in Telangana in 1969, and in the Andhra region in 1973. Indira Gandhi had complete political sway over the whole State without any challenge, and yet she recognised and stated that if each group of districts, or sub-region, wants separate Statehood, eventually every district would become a State and the nation would be ungovernable. At that time, the population of Hyderabad was 10 lakh.

Once the Congress government in Delhi amended the Constitution (32nd Amendment), inserted Article 371-D, and hammered out a six-point formula to protect the interests of Telangana, there was peace and quiet for over 30 years. Hyderabad grew very rapidly and became a major economic hub. And now, again, the casual and arbitrary approach of the union government, short-term vote bank politics of parties and shameless political duplicity have led to a wholly avoidable crisis, that has further undermined the eroding legitimacy of politics and parties.

Losing resources

There are serious economic issues to be examined on the issue of carving out a separate State in Andhra Pradesh. First, the capital city is a serious bone of contention, and once people and investors lose faith in the future, it will decline rapidly.

This will hurt both Andhra Pradesh and India, because large cities are now important clusters of growth, and if a Mumbai or Delhi faces economic hardship, the whole nation will be impacted by the fallout.

Second, parts of the coastal region are agriculturally well-developed and have resources and surpluses. For instance, the coastal region generates surplus revenues in the power sector, and is subsidising power for farmers in Telangana and Rayalaseema. A separate State will be burdened by an unviable power sector.

Costal regions are always engines of growth all over the world. Telangana is land-locked, and losing the costal region would retard growth and opportunities. Again, this is the first time a land-locked region is seeking to separate from the coastal belt. When passions subside, the pain and deprivation will be felt.

Water resources are always a bone of contention in a monsoon-fed country. Even in a relatively well-managed city of Mumbai, enjoying abundant rainfall on the West coast, water riots took a life recently. In a water-starved region, river water disputes will escalate, and sharing of Krishna and Godavari waters will be a nightmare.

In the K-G basin off the Andhra coast, abundant natural gas reserves have recently been found, and are being tapped. Already, there is the challenge of sharing natural resources between the home State and the rest of India, and now Telangana will be further depleted.

Large, unviable lift irrigation projects — at a capital cost of Rs 3-4 lakh per acre and Rs 40,000 per year per acre maintenance cost — have been unwisely proposed in Telangana. They will be a permanent drain on the economy of the region, undermining it without ensuring benefits.

Politics of inclusion

Poverty, backwardness, corruption, lack of opportunity and unemployment are endemic to many of the country's States and sub-regions. These are caused by failed policies, misgovernance and the politics of plunder, leading to kleptocracy.

Large parts of Telangana and Rayalaseema, most of north coastal Andhra Pradesh, upland areas of delta districts, and many families suffering discrimination by birth in every village — all of them are victims of terrible misgovernance and political failure.

The perpetuation of poverty and under-development is largely the result of the plunder of local politicians and bureaucrats. A change of the State's name or boundaries or capital will not alter anything.

The need of the hour is to accelerate growth and promote equity and opportunities. What every sub-region of Andhra Pradesh, indeed every part of India, needs is empowerment of people, district governments and third-tier of federalism to help people fulfil their potential.

We cannot use 19th century notions of divisive politics in a 21th century world.

Source: Hindu Business Line


  1. Excellent analysis. Dr. JP - we are with you.I hope more people openly express support to Dr.JP.

  2. Very sensible analysis Mr.JP. I don't understand why Telangana people overlooked these important aspects while supporting or maintaining silence to separatists. Such a huge and quick Investments in Hyderabad have been made only because it was capital of major ethnic telugu population, not because it was ruled by Nizams and there monuments. Politicians thrive on peoples emotions and this was proved once more.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. why JP has never questioned below things:
    1)even krishna and godavari flowing from telangana, how come coastal region bacame agriculturally well-developed? why telangan people only should be suffering?
    2) how come no one followed the Gentlements agreement since the day-1 of andhra forming?

    there are so many...

    and i even dont agree the comment made by Kiran, "Hyderabad have been made only because it was capital of major ethnic telugu population". Hi Kiran, it was made as capital due to its resources.

  5. @Hi .........,

    I didn't mentioned why hyd was made capital, but why hyd has been a major city for investments in the state, esp., Pharma and IT. Why hyd is made capital??? For resources?? Do Vijayawada has less resources, or Vizag, or Guntur.

    Leave the agitations and counter agitations of our beloved leaders. It is the matter of United Or divided of Telugus. Those leader fellows can thrive on any land in India. They will adjust within no time to suck public funds. But what about the people, what about the Telugu brand name. Don't go with some Maoists or some so called armed people. They can't provide a single Job. Today's middlce class is the result of reforms not maosist movement or separations.

  6. JP should start thinking with broad mind set...

  7. as ..... and anonymous feel.. ofcourse the points in article were only related to the loss telangana would face if they loose costal regions or so called andhra.But thats the point of issue now telengana wants a separate state and costal regions or so called andhra ask for united(lets not worry why, ofcourse much could be related to money people would have invested in hyderabad or telanaga and main rivers that flow through telangana or others.. which is not the point here) the article i think is to tell people of telangana not to be misled by political drama of TRS for power and money! there are not so many pros of making sepearate state. or say the current problems of telengana would not be solved by creation of new state. For your kind information i belong to telangana region and it only takes to rationalize situation to understand....

  8. Please dont pollute the Telangana agitation 1969 and/or 2009 by linking it to political leaders. Those both have been leaded by Students. They are not related to any political parties. Ofcourse 1969 agigation hijacked and corrupted by Political leader in due course.

    Agitation of Telangana comming up from the normal people , students, employees. Those who all doesnt understand this , cannt make the justice for them. so i am advicing them to please keep quite when u r not able to help for them.

    Benefits from coastal areas never spent for Telangana development so what is the point of thinking of losing it when separate state forms.

    As JP said (in some channel interview), Special Package to Telangana, nobody believs this now. Why this special package was not allotted after the 1969 revolution. Hyderabad state with huge surplus budget merged with Andhra state. u r just talking about 50 yrs of Hyderbad history we have bondage of 400yrs. Hyderabad was the 5/6 th biggest city in India at the time of merge. and even now it is in the same position. If u say andhra people developed HYD, then who developed the Mumbai , Calcutta. how they r still in the top position. A city development mainly depends on the availabilty of resources and it's expandability. Initially HYD was smaller , now it is expanded to RR, Medak , Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar dists. Then why the Telangana people loose their area.

  9. ravikiran, By the way how did you ranked top 6 cities in India of 1969.

  10. What a colossal waste of time and money ? Does KCR and his bunch have any proposal that is different from the existing politicians ? Do they have any intelligent proposal to develop Telangana or their pockets? Will companies and investors have the same confidence in Telangana /Hyderabad that has seen the boom in the last 10 years ( and not last 400 years) ? These companies can fly overnight to other destinations . What happens to the educated youth all over the state when there are no jobs ? I think KCR and ilk are a cancer to the society. No constructive work but can easily rake up passions to their selfish goals ..

    I can no longer claim that I am from the great AndhraPradesh. My parents are from Andhra and I am from Telangana. Na ghar ka na ghat ka . Which part of the state do I send my children ?. Thank God their future is not at the hands of a merciless bunch of ... We need leaders who are altruistic. I searched for that leader and kept following JP. I see honesty and integrity thats beyond petty politics in his words. Please keep going whether Telangana or not.We need such honest leaders. Chandrababu naidu can continue playing chess and Rosaiah can wait for the "high command". We can never govern ourselves but keep proving the "Crabs in the can" story again and again.

  11. excellent ... look at the basic problem wats this telangana issue is all about i.e devolopin the people of the region so the development should be done by the representative of the regions the so called MLA s ... if we get our telangana back can u people assure that they goona develop the region which has happen before .. see India is country and our state is developing because of our representatives who have been elected by us and this is different for different states .. so if u want telangana to be a separate state then every underdeveloped state should became a country do u agree with that if YES get the telangana and become a fool by politicians .. and same thing applies here if u want the area to be developed kick the representatives if u r so violent not the property of the people try to under stand the situation don't behave like knowledge less fools..

  12. Hi Mr.JP
    I understand you must have toured Telangana region during the 2009 election and interacted with people from all walks of life. Do you feel that most of them wanted Telangana state or just better governance? If it is just better governance then they are not alone. I would appreciate your views.


  13. Thanks Lok Satta Team. In particular the Lift Irrigation Scheme paragraph. I hope you accept me using this information on wikipedia. Thanks again for educating us.

  14. You can use any information in the site anywhere.

  15. JP is the future Chief Minister of TELANGANA
    Though JP is from non-Telangana, still TELANGANA people want LOK SATTA should Rule TELANGANA
    This is the right time (Golden opportunity) to implement LOKSATTA's Manifasto for TELANGANA people
    TELANGANA will become No.1 in the country if LOK SATTA rules (i.e., according to their Manifasto)

  16. Dear Jayprakash Naryana Garu

    With all due respects to your intellectual thoughts at this time of crisis in the state why don't you fight for a special financial package for Telangana region and don't give ur regular answers that everyone should do it its people etc you are a MLA a people representative it means people have sent u to the assemble then its your work now iam demanding you to fight for a special package for telangana and diffuse the tension prevailing in the state and ensure that the State is United.If you have the ability to do a good job more people will join you else it will be like more talk and less work. Sir I have great regards for u but there’s no time to waste at this point of crisis .



  17. Dear Jayprakash Naryana Garu

    With all due respects to your intellectual thoughts at this time of crisis in the state why don't you fight for a special financial package for Telangana region and try to develop the region don't give ur regular answers that everyone should do it its people etc you are a MLA a people’s representative it means people have sent u to the assembly then its your work now iam demanding you to fight for a special package for telangana and diffuse the tension prevailing in the state and ensure that the State is United. If you have the ability to do a good job more people will join you else it will be like more talk and less work.. Sir I have great regards for u but there’s no time to waste at this point of crisis .


  18. Ramakrishna

    Dear All Please take 30 minutes before making conclusion on Telangana a Seperate State.

  19. Also, read this before you ask for United AP.

  20. Anon at Dec 17th 9:59AM -

    They are valuable links and their assertions need to be addressed. If they are not satisfactorily addressed and ppls of T still remain unconvinced, then come what may.
    TRS is not addressing them with policy statements..

    I think corruption, bad governance is cause of all these issues. Ssome of the above press release addresses the water politics...particularly section on "Lift" irrigation. I feel these numbers are close to the mark.

    Competition for resources in India will only escalate. India and China are racing around the world tying up resources. This competition, cannot be limited. To understand the nature of agri-politics fully, one must appreciate the impacts of competition. Unfortunately, Telanaga is too high..but certainly there is much to improve in Telanaga..not sure splitting is the best option as you will end up with the same people who are in parliament in the Telanaga parliament.

  21. Awesome JP !!
    We in our friends circle realize, many of your points. And some one asked JP to be broad minded. Thats nothing lesser than utter foolishness. We need leaders like JP. Only then this political system will be revived. Love to see myself with him soon.

  22. Dear Jayprakash Narayana Garu

    Rename Andhra Pradesh as Telugu Pradesham/Telugu Rashtram/Telugu kshetram

    The Best Solution along with development of telangana,implementation of 610 GO will be to rename the State of Andhra Pradesh to Telugu Pradesh or Telugu Rashtram, Telugu Kshetram etc any name which starts with telugu it will unite people from all the regions like telangana,rayalseema & andhra. Also development has to be done in all the regions.



    know the history of telingana before commenting

    source : India: a history by John Keay

  24. reallty you should concentrate on winning local muncipal elections before commenting on topics beyond your grasp and understanding

  25. Sanjay,
    The goal of Loksatta is always developing the country, and changing the politics. Winning in the elections is only one way, and never the goal.

  26. All,

    Please hold the emotions and be friendly with your telugu brothers and sisters. Political leaders have ignited the fire for their own reasons, dont get carried away into the mess. Whichever movement you are supporting please do it peacefully, also dont encourage any violence and anti brotherhood to your Telugu brothers and sisters.

  27. All,
    Mr JP from your 12th para "Telangana is land-locked, and losing the costal region would retard growth and opportunities. Again, this is the first time a land-locked region is seeking to separate from the coastal belt". Please refer to states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand leading latest examples, your Geography should be better than this.
    Also, other views are purely looked at from Andhra side of the fence. Hyderabad was purely developed in the need of development as part of globalisation due to various factors.
    Your lift irrigation system is again distracting the reasons (please refer )
    Telangana will be very prosporous state, which you know for the fact, so why create wrong views. What is the big deal about creating a state for the sake of the majority local peoples demand, it is after all part of India.
    Administring smaller states is better controled.
    Whatever hurdles, Telanga will be formed and will be the rapid developing state very soon.
    Best Regards

  28. Venkat,
    I think you should read the geography or JP's article once again. None of the states, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madya Pradesh have coastal area. Where as Andhra Pradesh has coastal area, and Telangana wants to be separate from Coastal area. That's what he is mentioning.

    Dr.JP is never against separate Telangana. In another article, he mentioned the following.

    He made it clear that the Lok Satta is not opposed to the formation of Telangana if it is accomplished through constitutional means and in accordance with a consensus built among all the regions of the State. Similarly, the party is not opposed to keeping the State intact if the genuine aspirations of people in Telangana are addressed satisfactorily. He underlined the need once again for arriving at a consensus on the status of Hyderabad since the feelings of people in the entire State are intertwined with the capital for the last five decades.

  29. at this point of time with all the leaders speaking about nothing but this telangana n samaykhya andhra issue, one can clearly understand that the main problem of coastal ppl is loosing hyderabad but not the remainning parts of telangana. when hyd is the only thing that is depriving us of telangana state formation , lets forgo it. lets make mehboobngr or waangal as our capital. even we have developed regeions that can be easily developed into capital.
    if at all hyd becomes our capital, the remaining telangana state will be in same undeveloped state forever as the investors r more intrested in capital cities than others. so to see a seperate state of telangana or a developed state of telangana we must leave hyd. let it become a union territory or a seperate state.

  30. I had been an admirer of JP earlier. His comments on Telangana getting deprived of a share of the gas reserves IN FUTURE from Kakinada Godavari basin does not have a merit. How much of that reserves will be given or will be shared by Telangana is not known. How much of the economy of Hyd alone is being utilised by the Govt in uplifting the Downtrodden T!! Who knows, there may be more finds in Telangana with respect to natural ores tomorrow, like the oil reserves in Rajasthan. Hyd population may have grown over the years and many a investors have migrated to Hyd in the last 2-3 decades. For whose development? How many of the private sectors have allotted jobs to T people? His assumption that once the state is bifurcated, the investments in Hyd will stop, also does not have merit. The investments will increase and the jobs opportunities will improve. I have heard him speaking both and for the bifurcation. He himself is not clear. He is an administrator only and does not have technical qualities to guess/estimate the prosperity of the smaller states. The smaller states prosper faster due to increased accountability of the representatives, and due to the availability of the natural resources. The governments become more accessible to the people. JP himself along with Chiranjeevi, remember, had met speaker 4-5months ago, staging a protest that his voice is not made audible, in 294 MLA'S assembly. During the elections last year, their issue was about 2prominent figures (belonging to ruling and opposition)slinging mud over each other,stalling the assembly proceedings and wasting away the manhours of the assembly, in the last 2 years. Mathematically smaller parties in bigger assemblies cannot figure at all, and it is a herculean task to accomplish their targets. An argument shall always have two faces, and thus JP's argument that bifurcation may not help has no rationale. Just to mention that Jharkhand and Chattisgarh grew more than expectations should become an eye opener to all of us. Learned people like JP should desist from resistance to Change. Changes like these are welcome.

  31. All discussions are interesting. Many farmers in Telangana are not even aware of many irrigation schemes under progress now, leave alone be in postion to suggest new ones.
    Also, how to ensure that all the issues (irrigation, etc)are sorted out after state formation. All Indian politicians are the same rot! Hope Srikrishna commision does it's job in a fair manner.

  32. thanks for seva garu we all are with you thanks for your services to telugu people