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Showing posts from 2009

An Open Letter from NRI Telugus to Madam President and Mrs.Sonia

Found this on the Great Andhra website. Reproducing the map and the full text of the letter, adding emphasis where I find it relevant.

The President of India,Rashtrapathi Bhavan,
New Delhi.

Respected Madam President,
We look forward to you for your kind intervention in the matter of the demand for a separate Telangana State, as it is engineered and pushed forward by self-seeking and short-sighted small - time power brokers, politically unemployed, arousing passions and raising a bogey of “non-development” --- the two hallmarks of the Telangana movement. It hardly needs a mention that edifice of their case is based on twisted facts and doctored statistics.

The movement has already taken its toll, and it is fast moving towards spreading disaffection and hatred among people.

Thus there is an urgent need to arrest the movement and call it a bluff. Even a casual look at the statistics cited in this exhaustive note would conclusively establish how fallacious their argument is. Far from the Tel…

Is President's rule the only option left, for now?

I was hoping to tackle the issue of Telangana Vs. Samaikya Andhra (Unified AP) from various angles today.However, a discussion on the economic and cultural issues and the 'victimhood narrative' of Telangana, Rayalaseema and Kalinga Andhra has to wait, because the political issues have come to fore again.

Before reviewing the current political scenario, I just want to make it clear regarding where my affinities lie.The question of separate statehood has surely become an emotional issue for many people.And I don't want the emotions to cloud over a dispassionate analysis of the issues involved.

I am 37.5 years old and lived for 11 years each in Telangana (Bodhan, Mahboobnagar and Hyderabad) and Rayalaseema (Nandyal and Kadapa).I have also spent a few early years in Vijayawada and my wife hails from Guntur district, not to speak of the many friends I have from all parts of the state.I am sure there are lakhs of people like me who straddle all three areas of the state. To expect …

Telangana Issue - What exactly is going on?

Like most of us, I have been observing the mess going on - with my own eyes and ears on the streets of Hyderabad, and on the TV channels, newspapers, and of course, the internet.

I am planning to do a detailed post/s over the weekend on this. However, I have already been part of a debate or two on some blogs, and to start with, I would like to post a lengthy comment that I did on Sepia Mutiny this morning.

Here's my comment:

1.It is not true that Telangana was merged with Andhra immediately after the 1948 police action.Hyderabad state was formed and it had a separate existence till 1956, when both Hyderabad and Visalandhra were merged to form AP.There was a Gentlemen's Agreement between leaders of all three areas (similar to the earlier Sreebagh Pact between Rayalaseema and Coastal AP for Visaalandhra) before this happened.The movement to merge was as strong in Hyderabad state as it was in Andhra.The name 'Telangana' itself means 'land of Telugus'.

2.English educat…

Saluting the martyrs of 26/11

I received a forward today and wish to pass it on to my friends.In the blessed memory of all the brave soldiers and police officers who laid down their lives between Nov 26-30, 2008 in Mumbai, protecting us from the terrorist attacks.1.Sri Hemant Karkare, Joint Commissioner of Police, ATS, Mumbai2.Sri Ashok Kamte, ACP, Mumbai East3.Sri Jaywant Patil, Police Constable4.Sri Yogesh Patil, Police Constable5.Sri Ambadas Pawar, Police Constable6.Sri Mukesh B.Jadhav, Home Guard7.Sri Rahul Shinde, Constable, State Reserve Police Force8.Sri M.Chowdhary, Constable, Railway Police Force9.Sri Arun Chitte, Police Constable10.Sri Balasaheb Bhosale, Asst. Police Sub-Inspector11.Sri Tukaram G.Omble, Asst. Police Sub-Inspector, D.B.Marg PS12.Sri Bapusaheb Durugade, Asst.Police Sub-Inspector, Naigaon PS13.Sri Prakash P.More, Police Sub-Inspector,L.T.Marg PS14.Sri Shashank Shinde, CST Railway PS15.Sri Vijay Saluskar, Police Inspector, Anti-extortion cell, Mumbai16.Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, NSG Command…

Catching up..

I am coming off more than a month-long hiatus from blogging. One of the reasons: I have become a dad again, with the birth of our baby boy (yet to be named) on Oct 12. However, I have been reading the usual newspapers and the occassional online columns/blogs.And as active as ever on Facebook.

I drafted a couple of posts in between on (1) the AP situation with respect to Jagan and the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) and (2) Sachin Tendulkar completing 20 years in international cricket. Many people have written about Sachin, and in a much better manner. So, I decided to junk that post.

I have also junked the post on Jagan and OMC, but decided to salvage a few points. As far as the AP /Karnataka situation is concerned, here's my take at a high level:

1.The BJP, having benefited from the largesse and muscle power of the Bellary Reddys, cannot now survive in Karnataka without their backing. They have had it coming, and the desperate, pitiful manner in which the BJP high command ( a misnom…

Many reasons for man made floods in AP and Karnataka?

Warning: A rambling rant without any external links.

My last blog post was a translation of a famous scene from the Telugu film, Daana Veera Sura Karna. As the saying goes in Telugu, there are a thousand reasons for Karna's death.It needed the coming together of many banes (शाप, శాపాలు) to have Karna killed.

This could also be true for the floods raging over parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka for the past one week.Where does one start when pinpointing the reasons for these floods? May be some one like P.Sainath should write a book called - Every one loves a flood?

The straightforward reason is the belated reaction or negligence by the Government officials in charge of manning the sluice gates of the various reservoirs.It is evident that these civil engineers (how many of them have studied in donation engineering colleges and bought their jobs through bribes?) seemed to lack the expertise or even a sense of professionalism required for the jobs. They need not have discovered the op…

The coronation of Karna

I made an attempt to translate one of my favourite scenes from the movie Daana Veera Shoora Karna. There could be a few words that I have not translated, but overall, I think I managed to convey the spirit of the dialogues, especially the ones by Suyodhana.

Scene: The Court of Kaurava king Dhritarashtra. The court opens on to a ground. The Kaurava and Pandava princes, the elders of the clan, and other courtiers are present. The public is seated around the ground, where an exhibition of skills has been going on. Arjuna has emerged as the best fighter among all.

Drona: In the entire Bharata Khanda, my favorite disciple, the third Pandava prince Arjuna is the best and the incomparable among the archers; he is best warrior in the entire world.
Arjuna twangs his bow.
Suyodhana (Duryodhana) is unhappy but doesn't have an answer to this claim.

Drona: In the science of archery, on this entire landmass surrounded by the four oceans, there is no one who can compete against Arjuna. No one ! No…

On the age of 'ostentatious austerity'

I wanted to write about this austerity thing. But now, its taken a new turn. Will write after we see the fun with Shashi Tharoor's 'cattle class' statement, inspired by Kanchan Gupta, and taken offence to by the Congress Party.Meanwhile, here's an excellent view of the issue from former diplomat M.K.Bhadra Kumar

Hypocrisy of the 'austerity drive' must stop Now!

Will / Should Jagan succeed YSR as CM?

When I heard a confirmation of YSR's chopper being found last Thursday, I had just reached my office. I called home and asked my wife to switch on the TV.I told her to call me as soon as she sees a confirmation of YSR's survival or demise. And in a conversation with a colleague a few minutes after the confirmation of his death, I suggested that by evening we would see Jagan being sworn in as the new CM.

That it did not happen and Rosaiah was made interim CM was explained away by people.They said it was mourning period and let Jagan at least complete the last rites along with his family. Well, the funeral did not stop Rajeev Gandhi from being sworn in as PM on the night of Oct 31, 1983, did it?

Any way, there are a few issues here:

1.Who should decide on the next CM? Congress Party high command (basically Sonia and Rahul) or the MLAs of AP? The Constitution is very clear on this aspect.The MLAs have to chose their leader, and the Governor has to be satisfied that the leader can co…

YSR (1949-2009) - The 'born again' politician - 4

In the previous three posts on YSR's legacy ( Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), we looked at the political career of YSR. However, along with 'factionism', 'dissidence', 'paada yatra', and 'welfare sops' , the question of YSR's role in the spread of Christian evangelism in AP is also an important motif for polarising opinions on him.

The first point to note is that the popularity of YSR among the minorities in AP has in no way compromised his pull among upper caste as well as dalit Hindus in AP. Rather than just looking into the allegations about his encouragement for evangelism and his supposedly anti-Hindu policies related to management of temples, and the use of Hundi collections for 'secular' purposes, it will serve us better if we try to understand the issues involved in a little more detail.

Frequently Asked Question : Has there been a tremendous rise in evangelism/forced conversions after YSR became the CM, and if yes, how much of this c…

YSR (1949-2009) - The 'born again' politician - 3

Part 1 and Part 2 of this post.

The trajectory of YSR's political career post-1999 shows a gradual ascent. Playing the mature and constructive opposition leader did not come easy to him. It was a learning curve that demanded YSR to read up and understand how agitational politics in a democratic setup need to be managed.

The State Congress was not short of people who reminded him about the vow he had taken before the 1999 elections to either dislodge Chandra Babu Naidu or take poilitical sanyas. Locals say that it was just pre-poll rhetoric and that YSR, after spending two decades in politics would just have to continue, at least to retain the family's pre-eminence in Kadapa district, and also to provide political cover to his son's business interests.

Around this time, Jagan's business ventures started picking up, and the friendship with the Reddy brothers of Bellary (Gali Janardhan Reddy being the main person) came in handy. And to stay in peoples' minds, YSR chose h…