ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Telangana Simmers

The old Congress strategy of procrastination will not solve the tangle; it will only make it worse.

One of the most dependable and oft-used strategies of the Congress, particularly when dealing with matters which require taking sides in a polarised debate, has been to let matters fester till both sides of the conflict lose energy and hope. It then works towards foisting a muddling compromise which meets none of the basic demands of either side but concedes ground on demands which are high on symbolism and hype. The former prime minister, P V Narasimha Rao ­almost raised such “masterly inactivity” to the level of official policy. It appears that over the last eight years since coming to power in Andhra Pradesh and the Centre in 2004, the two Congress governments have been following precisely such a policy with r­egard to the revived demand for the separate state of ­Telangana. However, instead of helping to resolve the matter, they have only made it more intractable and divisive for the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh was a pioneer in the formation of linguistic states which were spurred on by popular demand stretching from the anti-colonial movements. But even at its moment of birth, there was visible opposition to the merger of the Telangana region – then termed Hyderabad State – with the other Telugu- speaking regions of the Madras Presidency. The naysayers had been won over by the promise of safeguards for the people of Telangana in the new Andhra Pradesh and of a review of the merger decision a decade on. In the mid-1960s, those in Telangana who had opposed the formation of Andhra Pradesh came out to demand a demerger of the state and the formation of a separate Telangana. It led to one of the most intense agitations for a separate state, with hundreds of people losing their lives. It was a combination of police repression, special packages for the people of Telangana and for the leaders of the movement who were awarded with plum positions.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top