Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Statehood for Telangana

On 9 December 2009 at 11.30 p.m. P. Chidambaram announced the initiation of process for statehood for Telangana. Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhara Rao, leader of Telangana Rashtra Samiti, called off his fast.
It is unlikely that K. Chandrashekhara Rao wanted to fast unto death for Telangana. There was no need to arrest him when he began fast. After two days he gave up his fast. There was hostile reaction to his giving up of his fast. He blamed the police saying they forced him to end fast and resumed his fast. He reminded me of Dev Anand in Guide who is trapped by circumstances to undertake a fast and dies. The demand for statehood for Telangana had support from students and many others and things went out of control. The announcement by Chidambaram saved KCR.
Next day Non-Telangana MLAs and MPs of Andhra Pradesh protested statehood for Telangana. Many threatened to resign and sent their resignations to party leaders. Some said Hyderabad should not go to Telangana.
When India became independent there were no linguistic states. The demand for Andhra Pradesh led to the formation of linguistic states. When Andhra Pradesh was formed in 1953 Telangana was not part of it and Hyderabad was not its capital. Telangana became part of Andhra Pradesh in 1956. Hyderabad should go to Telangana. There is no justification for making it a Union Territory or capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Comparison with Chandigarh is not justified. Chandigarh is close to the border of Haryana. According to Rajiv-Longowal Accord Chandigarh was to become part of Punjab on 26 January 1986. That was not done.
Congress MLAs who are opposed to statehood for Telangana should have said it when they were asked about it. Instead they authorised Congress High Command to take a decision.
Chandrababu Naidu said he will support a resolution for statehood for Telangana if Congress moves it in the Assembly. Now that a decision has been taken there is no point in blaming others for what happened. In October 2008 he expressed support for statehood for Telangana reversing the policy of Telugu Desam which was opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh.
The announcement gave a boost to many statehood demands. People from various regions have demanded statehood from time to time. Sometimes the agitations have been violent. There are demands for statehood for Coorg, Vidarbha, Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh, Poorvanchal, Mithilanchal, Gorkhaland and Bodoland.
Some talk demand for smaller states as opening of Pandora’s box. Some talk of Telangana virus. These reactions are unjustified. Many demands were there for a long time. There is no opposition for division of Uttar Pradesh. Coorg and Gorkhaland are small. West Bengal is opposed to Gorkhaland. Decisions have to be taken on a case by case basis.

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