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From stalemate to reconciliation (in AP) - 3

Telangana problem is the symptom of a much deeper root - underdevelopment. People keep asking why not attack the root instead of concentrating on the symptom.(people tell this as if they were superb analysts & must be lauded for such an unimaginably intelligent deduction!). But again, such development is possible only when politicians are made accountable for their actions which usually goes missing in large area. (Actually speaking, there is also a cultural-emotional aspect of Telangana, people would argue that they were systematically discriminated against, which is quite a valid point..Within the present system, since they're minority they can never get justice within united AP is what they say). They also point out that they need self-rule. (Infact one put it all rhetorically very well "Would you join Germany just because its more efficient?")

Anyway a major argument that I haven't discussed so far is about the distribution of water resources. This issue is also very important for Andhra as it stands to loose a lot if some new arrangements are made. I'll try to discuss that later. Here I'm talking of immediate possibilities for this stalemate alone.

The 3rd possibility goes like this

3.) Telangana state(TS) granted with Hyderabad as UT, while Telangana & Andhra build separate Capitals.

This is what most Andhra people want, they are concerned about the security of Andhra settlers in Hyd (who constitute a significant number) & also are anxious about their businesses. Also, they don't want Telangana region to reap the benefits of their "work". Most of Andhra people argue that Hyderabad is what it is now, because of them.

Even I honestly thought that this stand is right until I read one headline somewhere on net "Just because Reliance invests crores in AP, does AP belong to it?" Investors are different from citizens. Investors may invest a lot, create lots of opportunities & may also be able to generate goodwill among localites. Yet, a city belongs to the region it is in. Its not a Kohinoor to be transported to another place. I found out this excellent piece on what should be the status of Hyderabad here. Please check out the discussions that followed too. I think its quite valid. Moreover without Hyderabad, Telangana would not be able to stand the pressure in immediate future. Hyderabad would act as a buffer for some time during which good measures could put the region in the path of progress firmly.

There is however some validity in the Andhra argument that all the major investments came to Hyd by virtue of its being the capital of AP & to deprive it of Hyd is very wrong. However, making Hyderabad a UT is not the answer. It will not help out the cause of crores of Andhras except for a small minority. Staying united is not the answer (because the other party fiercely desires to move out of the alliance). Infact I was given this link wherein the author argues that Samaikyandhra is beneficial only to certain 100 families in state. Very diplomatically he avoids naming them, but its obvious to anyone adequately aware of AP who most of them are. They at the very least are indicative if not entirely true.

At best, this is purely a way to punish Telangana people for demanding their own state. A very negative tactic with streaks of sadism is what I would call such a move. As far as settler's safety is concerned, I don't think anything could happen given the relatively peaceful history of Hyderabad. Moreover, in a way of pure commonsense, new Telangana state needs to prove that it is a safe place to invite new investors. The recent outburst over Mumbai Taxi drivers issue wherein the initial proposal was to allow only Marathi-speaking people which was later extended to Hndi & Gujarati shows how much difficult it is to impose such discriminating rules in Metros.

Andhra can however ask Centre to compensate for the loss of Capital & demand funds for the creation of another city.

4.) TS granted with Hyderabad as Capital. Andhra builds another Capital.

This according to me the win-win situation. Sure, Andhra stands to loose a well-developed Capital to which it contributed in no small measure.Yet, in order to generate goodwill among Telangana (presently most are angry on Andhras). Also, what I really imply is that this could be the only feasible solution.

Somewhere in Sherlock Holmes collection I recall the following observation made by Holmes about a culprit "But he had not that supreme gift of the artist, the knowledge of when to stop. He wished to improve that which was already perfect–to draw the rope tighter yet round the neck of his unfortunate victim–and so he ruined all."

(This is merely an analogy & not to be taken seriously or literally)

I really don't believe that a commoner in Andhra would be bothered if Telangana separates unless he feels that his own life & interests would be jeopardy if such a thing occurs. Again I think its not fair to think of our immediate concerns & disqualify a movement which is based on historical reasons of underdevelopment & discrimination. Can our cause however important be allowed to suppress the significant injustices that occurred to these people?

I believe that the last option is the most agreeable option as this would cause only temporary disturbances to us, while in longer run most of commoners on both sides would be benefited.

As a final note, I think India has severe deficiency with regard to cities. We have hardly 6 Metro size cities & most other tier-2 cities are not yet strong enough to attract MNCs etc. Most of the future for middle-class lies in cities & in the present scenario we need more cities to match the increasing growth.

The present Metros including Hyderabad are in most pathetic condition with respect to traffic jams, severe constraints on infrastructure, and ever-increasing burden on existing infrastructure which can't meet the huge influx into these cities. I think to meet our present requirements we need minimum 20 more cities. If TS is formed alongwith some other separate states these would lead to building more cities as capitals & this would lighten the burden of the existing cities while providing us middle class with more opportunities.

I shall argue in my forthcoming essay on "Why India needs more cities?" soon.


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