Partitions across the world have come with or brought on blood shed throughout history. From Germany to Czechoslovakia to Koreas to Iraq-Kuwait, all these countries have had trouble separating. In contrast Germany reunited rather peacefully. Apart from Nepal and Sri Lanka there isn’t a neighbour that India doesn’t have border issues with that have continued since independence. The issue of LOC with Pakistan should have been settled in 1948 itself. Instead the GOI under Nehru had funny ideas of UN referendum and kept the LOC alive. The price is being paid even today. There have been four wars with Pakistan and now terrorism continues the bloodshed not just in J&K but extends to other parts of India. Indecision has a huge price to pay.
If Telangana was to be formed in the 1950s then it should have been dealt with and done with then itself. But it has been typical of our govts to prolong issues till they spiral out of control. The Congress-UPA govt too had nine years to peacefully resolve the Telangana issue. Some parties like the TRS started off a newer agitation and brought regions of Andhra Pradesh to frequent stand-still. In the rush to garner electoral advantage in 2014 the Congress quickly decided to resolve the issue by creating a Telangana state. For the record there wasn’t a single party that didn’t agree to the idea of Telangana save a few individual politicians. Observers in the media called it a master-stroke by Sonia Gandhi. Why wouldn’t they? Here’s a report that HindustanTimes (July 30, 2013) carried which is quite similar to other reports that appeared when the decision was finally made by the party:
“As it ended the uncertainty on Tuesday with what could be a political masterstroke to check-mate its opponents ahead of the 2014 general elections, the developments went according to the script”. A masterstroke that went according to script? It shows how little the media pundits have their ear to the ground.
The decision remains to be endorsed by parliament though. Surprisingly, the decision to form Telangana comes from the Centre without a basic resolution or decision from the AP state assembly. Even if such resolutions aren’t binding they are reliable as public voices. This is asking for trouble. It is always the case that the ones kicking and screaming are heard the most while the silent ones are ignored. Neither the Congress nor any other political party imagined or estimated the backlash that would follow. The Congress members put up hoardings all across Delhi to “Thank Sonia Madamji for the Telangana dream”. Little did they know that the dream would soon turn into a nightmare. In their political quest to have a splinter political party like TRS merge with them the Congress didn’t really estimate the sentiments on the ground in reaching the decision. The decision to make Hyderabad to joint capital is even funnier. Take a look at the proposed new map:
Hyderabad city is almost bang in the centre of the Telangana state. It is not even contiguous with the two states to be shared as a capital. This arrangement too is supposed to be for 10 years. That’s like postponing another problem which is definite to crop up after 10 years. And if Hyderabad is made a Union Terroritory the revenues of the city will accrue to GOI and not to either state. The recent partitions of states like UP, MP and Bihar were based more administrative necessities rather than sentiments or history. Given our population and size of some states, carving out smaller states seems sensible but it is hardly advisable where emotions and sentiments run high. Politicians typically exploit these sentiments. For all you know the part of Rajasthan which is west of the Aravallis suffers from multiple problems of poor management. It may make sense to separate that part as a smaller state that can bring focus and better management of its problems.
For over 2 months now AP has been on the boil and has been frequently facing partial or full shut downs. The National Broadcaster’s Association (NBA), which is a union of snakes, had decided not air stories from the state to hide the disenchantment that has flourished. What could have been easier done some 50 years ago cannot be done now when multiple issues of resources and sentiments clash. Given the current circumstances it only makes sense to postpone the creation of Telangana itself. A new state govt is due in AP in 2014. The elections will be fought on pro and anti Telangana politics. This may enable the state Assembly to first decide on the partition rather than an imposed decision from the Centre. People like Chandrababu Naidu and Jagan Reddy are now on frivolous hunger strikes. Everyone wants to fry their political fish while the state burns and has come to a standstill. All of these politicians had supported the creation of Telangana too. The CM Kiran Reddy doesn’t know where he stands half the time. Sometimes he has a yes and sometimes he has a no.
We have heard strange stories from personal lives. Here’s one that appeared in a TOI supplement on October 7. A man who was wrongly demanded to pay an additional Rs.7500 for utilities which he claims he had already paid long back was deprived of his house by a builder for non-payment. He has been fighting the case in consumer courts for the last 8 years. As the report says, he has spent 7.50 lakhs so far in fighting the wrongful claim of 7500. According to him it’s the principle that counts. Ignoring burning issues for a long time has a heavy price to be paid. Maybe Telangana should have happened 50 years ago. As with other issues of LOC, borders with China and Bangladesh, issues with SriLanka all have a heavy price that the country pays. Andhra Pradesh is now paying a heavy price too while politicians fiddle. Telangana’s fate still hangs in balance. It’s like being broken even before starting to bloom.