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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 Telangana region not making any progress, it is this area which has registered phenomenal growth in almost all areas of development one could think of, when compared to both Andhra and Rayalseema regions.

Telangana’s growthIn 1955-56, there were about 22,000 schools in Andhra and Rayalseema regions whereas during the same period Telangana region had hardly 8000 schools. After about 50 years, the numbers rose to about 55,000 in Andhra and Rayalseema regions as against (about) 41,000 schools in Telangana region. Thus the percentage growth in the Telangana region was 413% whereas it was just about 155% in the other two regions put together.

Likewise, the percentage growth of enrolment in the Telangana region was about 916% whereas the growth was just 235% in Andhra and Rayalseema regions. Similarly there was a phenomenal increase in the number of teachers recruited in Telangana Region (366%), where as it was just normal (130%) in Andhra and Rayalseema region. Similar is the picture in respect of collegiate education too.

Barring one in Warangal and a few in the city of Hyderabad, there were absolutely no Science and Arts colleges in Telangana districts up to 1955-56, since there was no educational or other development worth its name till then. This was in direct contrast to what prevailed in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

In short, the formation of A.P. in 1956 was a boon to the children of Telangana region, (both urban and rural) and to-day they enjoy facilities for every type of education at their door step.
Likewise, the formation of the State also heralded a new era of agricultural development in the Telangana region in that, several irrigation facilities were launched resulting in phenomenal growth of different crops like rice, (284%) Cotton (1472%) and so on. The detailed statistical tables and the graphics abstracted from authentic government sources running to several pages - are being appended.

Even a casual browsing of the above figures would establish how shallow the bogey of “non-development” is, raised by those spearheading the Telangana agitation. While deciding an issue of this nature emotions and sentiments cannot obviously play a part and this is exactly what the so called leaders are arousing and playing with.

We request you, Madam President to be so kind as to consider the following detailed note and keep at bay the demands for separate Telangana state made with ulterior motives. By taking a firm stand you will be carving a niche for yourselves in the annals of the country, as a head of the state who took long term view and firmly stood for the integrity of the nation.

Distortion of facts:
The allegation that Telangana region has not developed or has developed less than the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions is totally baseless. Actually, after the formation of the linguistic state of Andhra Pradesh in 1956, it is the Telangana region that has fared much better than the other two regions. This is not surprising because the capital city of Hyderabad is in the Telangana region.

It is a universally acknowledged that development takes place most in and around the capital city. This is true of even the city of Delhi. A foreign writer described Delhi an artificial city because, in its enormous development, it is not representative of the rest of India. Actually, the same is true of most of national capitals and even of state capitals in a federation.
The clamour for separation comes normally from the regions away from the capital. In the case of Telangana, surprisingly, the clamour for separation is from the region which has benefited most. However a little probe would establish that the clamour is not from the grassroots but from the self-seeking political brokers.

Greater beneficiary:
After 1956, most of the institutional and industrial developments have taken place in and around the capital city of Hyderabad, though the city had no infrastructural facilities like power, water, transport, access to a port etc. It didn’t have even abundant raw material resources. Because of the Central and State investments, many ancillary Industries have sprung up in this region. The necessary personnel to man the industries have migrated to Hyderabad not only from Andhra Pradesh but from other parts of India as well. This phenomenon has benefited Telangana most. The rest of Andhra Pradesh didn’t see such development, but the Rayalaseema and Andhra regions are not grumbling.

As far as irrigation is concerned, before the formation of the state in 1956, there were no irrigation projects except Nizamsagar in Telangana region. There were some projects in the other two regions like Dhawaleswaram dam on Godavari, Prakasam barrage on Krishna, KC canal from Tungabhadra, dam on Penna , Kanigiri reservoir etc. After the formation of the State, Nagarjunasagar, Srisailam, Somasila. Sriramsagar, Lower Maneru projects have come up. Of these, Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam projects have benefited both Telangana and Andhra regions. Somasila benefited Nellore district for irrigation, besides supplying drinking water to Tirupati and Chennai. Sriramsagar and Lower Maneru projects are exclusively for the benefit of Telangana. Considering all these it can not be said that Telangana has been deprived by any stretch of imagination.

After the formation of the State, it is the Telangana region that has developed industrially most. Also, all the major service industries like IT and Tourism etc. have developed mostly in Hyderabad city and around. The other two regions have remained virtually stagnant. They remained agricultural as they were at the inception, barring the lone exception of Visakhapatnam.

The other absurd allegation that Telangana has been exploited by the rest of Andhra Pradesh is a travesty of facts. The capital has flown from rest of Andhra Pradesh into Telangana, and not the other way round. The flow of capital has been only a one way street. The generation of employment consequent to fresh investment has taken place only in Telangana region, particularly, in and around Hyderabad. There is nothing surprising about the industries tapping, for technically trained manpower requirements from all over the country, and from other regions of Andhra Pradesh.

Lack of mass base:
In spite of such impeachable facts about the development of the Telangana region, if there is still a clamour for separation, it can only be because of the politically disgruntled class and other vested interests and self-seeking government employees. It is worth noting that the TRS which spearheads the movement for separation has seen a gradual decrease in its share of the voters in the various elections that have taken place in recent years. Had the TRS had a real mass base, it would not be craving for alliances with other parties. The very fact that the TRS is eagerly searching for political partners would show how diffident it is. Likewise, political parties too want to jump on the band wagon with an eye on the ensuing elections.

It needs to be noted that Telangana started from a lower development base. For ages, it was under the Nizam’s rule, whereas the rest of Andhra Pradesh was under the British rule, which was relatively better off, with greater facilities for education under the British government and lesser social suppression of the weaker classes.

Inequalities between regions because of historical and other reasons are such that they cannot be wiped off in a day. What is needed is to judge whether regional imbalances are being gradually minimized over a period. Judged by this standard, Telangana region has benefited more by its integration than the other two regions. Thus the shoe is on the other foot.

A slogan of culture of Telangana being in jeopardy and that its self-respect is damaged is again a bogey. In these days of global integration, no region’s culture is in tact. Every region benefits from its exposure to global culture. Concepts like individual dignity and freedom from servility have spread even in a stifled atmosphere of Telangana region after the formation of the state. If separate Telangana should happen, there is the danger of a reversion to the original state - when the servant can not see the master in the eye and he will be obliged to carry his chappals. Such slavery was widespread in Telangana region and not in the rest of Andhra Pradesh.

Pining for slaves:
The dominant castes/ classes feel deprived because, after integration, they don’t enjoy their old power and privileges. In a separate Telangana, it is exactly the minorities, the dalits, the tribes from the hills, and the landless working class that will suffer the most and will see an erosion of their dignity and relative freedom which they have slowly got after integration. The so called loss of culture or self-respect is more a call for the restoration of the old privileges on the part of the exploiters than anything else.

Historically speaking, the word Telangana originally meant only a region of the Telugu speaking people. The Telugus were united under 1) Andhrasathavahanas, 2) Kakatiyas 3) Vijayanagara empire and 4) even Nizam before certain districts were ceded by him to the British. It is interesting to know that, at the beginning of the 16th century, it was the coastal and adjoining region that was shown as Telangana in a Map from the book “India-A History” by John Keay (Page: 280) Publisher: Harper Collins.(Copy enclosed).

The formation of a separate state of Andhra Pradesh is a culmination of the dream of all Telugu people and the result of the sacrifices of so many patriotic people. The dream should not be allowed to be shattered by the machinations of a few short-sighted, self-seeking, and power-hungry, political activists. The political parties are toeing the line and are aligning only for drawing political mileage. They have no other interest except self- interest and short term gain.

The so-called “sentiment” (which is more a catchy slogan) is limited to the power brokers. If at all there is some “sentiment, it is because of the ignorance of the masses and because the relevant facts and figures are not made known to them. So there is an urgent need to make available the correct facts and figures to the masses and to educate them. This can best be done by the government in power.

The Telangana movement has been whipped up at different points of time by the politically disgruntled elements. Similarly, a counter movement for a separate Andhra region was also seen in the past. The Central leadership of those times stood rock-like and didn’t yield. There is a need to exhibit the same determination even today when political morality in generally is at its lowest ebb.

If Central leadership yields to every passing whims of “sentiment” or to the machinations of the self-declared defenders of regional interests, it will eventually lead to the balkanization of the country.

There are a number of Hindi speaking states. But that exception apart, linguistic states have a cultural unity of their own, and this unity deserves to be nurtured and promoted.

There is yet another aspect of the matter. The Dalits and minorities have a unity all over the country which the rest of the population doesn’t enjoy. So the Dalits and minorities will have a greater say in a larger state. They are more vulnerable in a smaller state.

Considering that we are passing through troubled times now, we look forward to you to be as firm and steadfast as central leadership of the fast, in not entreating bifurcation of states any further.

With respectful regards,
Yours sincerely,
United NRI Telugu People.Dallas, TX, USA.


Ok..some of the points I have mentioned in my earlier posts find some echo in the above email.They have provided some data points but I wish they'd provided the sources as well. But I think finding the sources is not that difficult. The Government, in fact, if it wishes so, can come out with a white paper as well.

But I wish to make a different point now.
One of the greatest modern Telugus, Gurajada Appa Rao said:
దేశమంటే మట్టి కాదోయ్, దేశమంటే మనుషులోయ్ !

Translated it means that a country does not mean its land (or land alone), a country means its people. Going by that logic, Telangana's development should not be measured by what was 'spent' or 'invested' here, but more importantly, in terms of how the quality of life has improved for the common people of Telangana. It is true that most investment and industrial development has occurred in Telangana, and especially the immediate hinterland of Hyderabad, but to me the greatest beneficiaries of this development are the settlers from coastal AP.It is not as if the regular Telangana people did not benefit, but the coastal AP people possibly benefited more.

And there is nothing wrong in that actually. The coastal AP people took more risks, relocated to various parts of Telangana, and especially to the Twin cities, and made the land their home. They deserve the success.

However, the question of local Telangana people remains.Why is it that, inspite of the enormous advantage of Hyderabad, inspite of rich natural resources, and well-planned irrigation projects, large sugar factories, tourism, and educational facilities, the local Telangana people could not take full advantage? Rayalaseema folks at least have the excuse of not having all these advantages to explain the region's backwardness. Seems to me Telangana is rich, but Telangana people are not.

Why is this so? I simply won't buy the 'lazy folks' angle.It is a stupid statement and does not hold water at all.I also do not want to categorize them as 'gullible, innocent' etc, the way some of the Telangana activists seem to revel in describing.And I won't stand for any generalization that Coastal AP people are 'cunning'. It does not do justice to their entrepreneural ability and hard working nature.

May be the answer lies in the feudal casteist structures of Telangana.The whole of AP is mired in casteism, no doubt about it.But Telangana is much more feudal than North Andhra and Rayalaseema, which are more feudal than Coastal AP. Krishna, Guntur, Nellore, Prakasam and the Godavari districts are also full of casteist rivalries, but I think the feudal structures vanished there during the British rule itself.

A 'mai-baap' culture, or to use a Telangana term 'baanchan dora' culture ( baanchan dora = I am your slave, Sir!) possibly enervates the soul and makes the sons and daughters of the soil, not very confident in their own abilities, in determining their own futures. True, thousands of Telangana peasants and bonded labourers sacrificed their lives in the communist struggle against feudal lords just before and after Independence. But the tradition of revolt was not channelised into an aspiration for growth through democratic means. Instead, the continuation of feudal structures ensured that the peasants ended up being guided by Maoists (Naxalites), who could not think of a world beyond 'revolution at gun point'. In contrast, the communist movements in coastal AP tended to be part of a democratic mainstream.

So, feudalism, naxalism, and resultant lack of enterprise - are these the main reasons for local Telanganas not prospering as much as the settler Andhra people? Looks possible to me. I would be happy to hear any alternative explanations though.


lakshmi said…
Dear Kumar,
I agree with your views and think that the country is not only land but made of people and social relationships.

The ongoing movement for a samakhya Andhra point to a significant revision to the decision taken by the centre on Telangana. The major limitation of the decision by the centre is based on assumption that people of Andhra Pradesh want bifurcation of the state but does not account for the differences of opinion in the state.

All communities, rich or poor irrespective of their geographical locations should be viewed as complex systems composed of people with social relationships that influence the functioning of a state. The centre fails to consider the strong attachment people have to place and social bonds that exist among people in spite of minor differences. Listening to the people of Andhra Pradesh is critical here and should be a priority irrespective of geographical location of the communities (Andhra, Telangana, Rayalaseema).

Separation of state is only effective when the needs and desires of all the people are taken into account. Separation and displacement of people may have serious repercussions if the separation is not accepted by all, and if there are interpersonal and structural barriers. Rather than deciding to form a separate state, addressing the social and economic problems of those communities which are raising the voices for a separate state is required. Working with these communities will be more effective and may avoid the negative impacts of the separation.
Kumar Narasimha said…
Thanks for visiting my blog, Lakshmi.

Most people seem unable to understand that even if Telangana is asking for a separate state, what it really boils down to is that rest of AP has to start from scratch with a new capital, assembly and secretariat infrastructure.If I am asking some one to leave after 60 years of stay together, the interests of the affected party need to be considered as well. The entire focus seems to be whether Telangana deserves a separate state but not on convincing the rest of AP.
PR said…
The writing on the wall seems to be formation of Telangana. Eventually Andhras may have to look for a new capital. Kurnool has a chance to be selected. They should find some empty space somewhere there and build a new Capital. That is not bad by itself. It will be big public works undertaking stimulating the regional economy. The monies have to come from combined states budget. It is surprising that Centre has declared in favor of forming a new state without a clear idea about the status of Hyderabad.
lakshmi said…
The fault lies with the centre and taking such a hasty decision with out listening to the voices of the people from all regions of AP. The number of media channels in the state run by every Tom Dick and Harry for their political gains is also to balme to give such a huge coverage for KCR fast. If the power of fast can change the opinions of leaders at the centre why not the decision be revised when students die while fasting.
The need of the hour is not to think about which part is going to be the capital of newly formed states and what is going to happen to hyderabad. I think all the political parties should come together in this struggle for an united AP rather than doing the agitations in their own ways. the writing on the wall can be changed when everyone fights together for a common cause.
PR said…
I will be glad to see if the centre realizes its mistake and reverses itself. A government should never give in to a person fasting unto death, however legitimate the cause is. It amounts to yielding to threats, extortion etc. Now 10 people will fast who are against division. There can be counter-counter fasts. Center should have only promised to take an early action and soon come up with a plan of action.
oremuna said…
Shamelessly copied your post to my blog :)

and now more people want to copy it to their blog.

Hope you won't mind.
Kumar Narasimha said…

No problem.I took the Open Letter from Great Andhra, and added a few thoughts at the end.The more people read it the better.

Thanks for linking to my blog on yours :)
anup said…
Hi Kumar,

If you remember, we know each other through the Offstumped blog during the crazy period of general elections 'predicting who wins what'. I have stopped visiting and reading most blogs since the shocking election results in May. I even stopped following Indian politics as I relocated to another country. But due to the burning Telangana issue, I re-started visiting some of these blogs to see popular opinion and some how came across your blog. I really like many of your articles, especially the bio on YSR (parts 1,2,3,4) you wrote after his demise. It was an awesome piece. (BTW, show it to a film-maker! RGV will surely be interested :-) Wish you all good luck in life.
Kumar Narasimha said…

Yes, I remember our passionate discussions :) The results put me off politics for a while too.

Thanks for the nice words on my YSR posts. All the best to you too !
Anonymous said…
Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) which got only 10 seats in the last elections was dismally disapproved by the Telanaga people. As abosulte majority means an approval.

In the context of which we can conclude that even the Telanga people do not want to seperate state.

Then the current violence, killings perpitrated by KCR are nothingbut terrorist activities akin with Mujahiddin seperators of Kashmir, of Sikhs demand for seperate land.

Telugu brothers and sisters where ever you are please do not support the terrorist organization TRS anymore as it was voted out last election.
Anonymous said…
I agree with the above post completly without any apprehensions.

The terrorists will form a political will and then divide the country into smaller bits as what it used to be pre-british and that is not what we got our independnce for.

There is some meaning if people vote with obsolute majority for a view but there is no meaning why a loser can demand and be allowed to choose.
sravan said…
Inspite of the vertical divide about the opinion we are seeing currently, most of the commentors are comfortably able to ignore it and say that the majority andhra people want an integrated state. They just consider Telangana as a political ploy invented by TRS. They conveniently provide the failure of TRS to gain not more than 10 seats in the assembly. They however are forgetting the fact that all political parties before the election have stated that they are willing to proceed for a separate telangana state. If the same logic is applied then during 2004 elections TRS won majority of seats in telangana with the same agenda. And failure to secure its demands and promises it is quite logical to deduce that it lost its position in 2009 elections because of the peoples trust in the party rather than weaning of aspirations for separate state. Given that all political parties have acceeded to support the telangana state before the elections it is clearly evident that telangana people wanted a separate state. Because atleast before the elections it is quite improbable that political parties go around to invent a new issue and force it on the people. Rather they would try to comply with the opinion of the people before drawing their manifesto. This was clearly evident from the manifestoes of all parties before the elections.
Also, since no politician or organization cried against this before the elections it can be safely assumed that present rejection from andhra region is more of a political ploy than its counterpart.
lakshmi said…
I dont think the common man from all regions understand political party manifestos. Even we as educates never bother to look into the manifestos and raise objections.All major polictical parties have been using the telangana issue to gain power. The present cry from both the regions although instigated as a political ploy by leaders of different parties is become a genuine demand now as common man had started to feel nd understand how seperation would affect them. whatever it might be, the ordinary citizen is become victim in the political parties game. and this issue can only be resolved through reasonable debate and discussions.
Sachin said…
Hey Kumar,

A very Happy New Year to you and your family.

Nice post indeed. But do you really think that solutions that you have given is really possible with the kind of leaders we have...I think its a far fetched dream.

I was really put off when I saw the news of so called supporters of YSR damaging properties belonging to the Ambanis....really shameful. APs image has taken a really big big hit...(:-.

Instead of concentrating on development we as a nation are always behind issues like separate states, reservations etc etc.

Madhu Koda is involved in the biggest scam, his wife gets elected in the election.....Ramalinga Raju is more in the hospital than the seems he has fever which refuses to come down...the list is endless....
Anonymous said…
Dear All,
Kumar said very niceley.
Truth Is that It is not people of Telengana or Andhra, it is our Politicians who cant get on.

The political business is profitable.The kcr and team wanted to rule like Nizams/.

Naxals, Old telengana Villege rulers will come back to oppress Masses of lower casts.The few selfish Like kcr family etc, wanted be rulers.

in this 21st centuary with open Information, these Goonads mislead all educated, and foolled fellow telugus , and Center.

One doubt, are we under foreign rule again, Party heads in the world minds rheir business of party, How come Italian Amma"Is controlling these mindless Indians and shameless People.

Kumars analysis"if all telugus understand" Can change brothers and sisters from telengana.

India needs bigger states, To cut down corruption and administative costa, And with massive illetreacy and poverty people focus on trivial things emotionally stirred by ,Cast, region, relegion, all bad mixture for nations disunity.
It seems our congress and Center faild "indian People"..

Sad part is People from telengana, the educated , living in Usa and europe falling into this trap, since most are from previlaged upper cast.

Dr,Brd, son of india
Bhanu Prasad said…
--Sad part is People from telengana, the educated , living in Usa and europe falling into this trap, since most are from previlaged upper cast.--
Like this one, over here.
ExamSheets said…
This is a great inspiring article. I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post.
Roopa Pavan said…
It was a good experience to read the articles and contents on this site.
Anonymous said…
Hi Kumar, this blog is amazing but missing points from "All Regions" perspective. Greatest quality I found here is "we are seeking realistic solutions" to current day problems disregarding political reasons.

All of you have flawlessly covered the feelings and facts from Seemandhra population, appreciated. If we are talking about "One region of Telugu speaking people" this should be on the basis of compassionate, convincing, true and legitimate grounds. Any other view cannot do justice to the words "Togetherness, Affection and Attachment".

Let me add the views of people I met here in Hyderabad.

Here we go...

1) "We have Judicial and Constitutional arrangements to build confidence in the marriage", If you are a bride and all the vows of Marriage were broken/disregarded, isn't it disgusting/devastating? What about the promises made for the security of the Telangana people.

2) Burgula Ramkrishna Rao have clearly mentioned the views of Telangana people in his letter, The state of Andhra Pradesh was formed against their will? While forming Andhra Pradesh, there was a provision: if Telangana people are not happy in a common state they can move on. Why this provision is now being Denied?

3) Governments of Andhra Pradesh should have treated all regions equally and adequately, why Telangana have been given a step son treatment? Budgetary allocations, Actual expenditure on various development aspects and diversion of allocated funds to other regions resulted in devastation in rural Telangana? (Source: 108 questions from pro Telangana activists)

4) There is no hope in Telugu Integrity in the near future, as cultural discrimination is evident among all regions, what is the factor that binds Telugu speaking people together?

5) I do not agree if someone says Capitals are more developed, then Why Mumbai is better than Delhi NCR region. We should have developed Vizag as economical capital for AP, Agree? Who is responsible for this.

6)If some one says, Kurnool or Vizag is not good enough for new capital in case of bifurcation, who should be blamed for this? Legislators from these regions, don't you think so?

7) Someone said how much successful TRS on the political grounds, good argument but not sincere in nature, we are talking about peoples view not political views, in fact every political party who contested in Telangana have extended their support to the cause of Telangana, no one has provided an organized route map for balanced development in three regions, what a shame?

8) People are vertically divided by their views, unfortunately politicians have spread the hatred among people just to camouflage their administrative inabilities and greedy agendas. No one can convince Telugu people to be together, no GOs, no Gentleman's agreements no Autonomous status.

9) British Government have setup a fund for grooming their citizens and scholars to make sure they have enough qualified resources at county level, so that they can achieve economical balance, no Government in Andhra Pradesh sincerely attempted to maintain regional economical balance, depriving not only Telangana but other backward regions as well. Smaller states are a better alternative to address this kind of issues.

10) Depriving any region in the name of not having enough qualified human resources is totally unacceptable. Andhra Pradesh Government if makes this statement after 56 years, proves that the experiment of a common state for Telugu speaking people have failed.

Last but not the least on a humanitarian view, its time to find a future plan that ensures balanced and organic growth of all regions of Telugu speaking people. The hope of integral and balanced development in a common state is paradoxical.