Wednesday, 4 May 2011

On Telengana

Resolution of The Central Committe
In an earlier resolution, the CC in its call to the people of Telengana "called upon the people that Telengana or no Talengana, all the toiling masses of present Andhra Pradesh will have to keep their unity and fight for their democratic rights, fight against imperialism, big bourgeoisie and feudalism." In that call the central committee did not put forward its own opinion on Telengana. Because at that point the central Home Minister P.Chidambaram had announced the formation of a separate state i.e, Telengana. So, the CC felt "rationality of forming such a state and arguements for or against such formation has become redundant" At the same time, the CC observed the way it has been announced has created lot of resentment among the people of Andhra Pradesh." At that particular juncture the CC felt that to keep the unity of the people was the task of the day. But the resentments were so deep, movements developed in both parts of Andhra Pradesh- one region asking for separating Telengala without delay and the other opposing division of Andhra Pradesh.
P. Chidambaram had to go back on his words and a commission headed by Justice Sri Krishna was installed. On January 6, 2011, the Report of the SriKrishna Commission had been made public by the central government.
The complex nature of the probelm of a separate state of Telengana is clear from the Sri Krishna Commission Report. Studying opinions of representatives of different cross section of the people of present day Andhra Pradesh, the report could not come to a clear cut and concrete solution. Though the commission felt that a united Andhra Pradesh was the "most workable option in the given circumstances and in the best interests of the social and economic welfare of the people of all the regions", but also said that "separation is recommended only in case it is unavoidable and if the dicision can be reached amicably amongst all three regions" The latter observation created the ground for further agitations both for and against formation of a separate Telengana state.
In the report six different options are put forward. They are:
1. Maintaining status quo
2. Bifurcation into Seemandhra and Telengana with Hyderabad as a union Territory and both states developing their own capitals.
3. Bifurcation of state into Rayala-Telengana and coastal Andhra regions with Hyderabad being an integral part of Rayala-Telengana.
4. Bifurcation into Seemandhra and Telengana with enlarged Hyderabad metropolis as a separate union Territory. The Union Terrritory will have geographical linkage and contiguity via Nalgonda district in the southeast to Guntur in coastal Andhra via Mehboobnagar district in the south to Kurnool district in Rayalseema.
5. Bifurcation of the state into Telengana and Seemandhra as per existing bounderies with Hyderabad as the capital of Telengana and Seemandhra to have a new capital.
6. Keeping the state united by the simultaneously providing certain definite constitutional and statutory measures for socio-economic development and political empowerment of Telengana region as well as creation of a statutorily empowered Telengana Regional Board.
Of these six options, first one presents no solution, the Report itself admitted that it "favoured the least."
The second one i.e., bifurcation into Seemandhra and Telengana with Hyderbad given a Union Territory status is a solution which would satisfy only a few, commission also found it as "not practicable."
Commissions opinion on the third option of bifurcation into Rayala-Telengana and Coastal Andhra with Hyderabad as integral part of Rayala- Telengana is that "it is not likely to be accepted either by pro-Telengana or pro-United Andhra Protagonists. While this option may have economic justification, the Committee believes that this option may not offer a resolution which would be acceptable to people of all three regions."
Fourth option of dividing present Andhra Pradesh into two state, Seemandhra and Telengana and a Union of Territory of enlarged Hyderabad cannot be a practical solution and would satisfy only very few and cause stiff opposition from many was clear to the commission.
Finally, out of the six option the commission had only two options left and it preferred the sixth or the last option.
Now let us see whether this will really resolve the issue. To arrive at a conclusion as a proletarian party we will have to look at history of the problem and class forces that are active for and against Telengana, general aspiration of the people and unity of the people should also be considered.
Historical Background.
Post 1947, the princely state of Hyderabad ruled by the Nizam wanted to remain out of India. At that time the territory under his control was simmering with a great peasant struggle, well known all over India and abroad as the Telengana Struggle. Indian government led by Jawaharlal Nehru sent armed forces to bring the Nizam state under it, but the real intent was to suppress the Telengana struggle under the jackboot of India military forces. Nizam was forced to join India. Telengana struggle was betrayed by the all India leadership of the then CPI. At the same time another movement also developed. The aim of that movement was to separate the Telugu speaking territory of the then Madras Presidency to form a state with Madras as its capital. Hyderabad state was formed with Hyderabad as capital. During the first general election of 1952, a state government was also formed. But movement to curve out Telugu speaking area from Madras Presidency was continuing. Finally after the death of Potti Sreeramalu while carrying on hunger strike and militatnt struggle developed to realise a separate Telugu speaking state, a separate state of Andhra Pradesh was formed in 1953 with the coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalseema regions of present day A.P. with Kurnool as capital. The demand of Madras as capital was not met.
In 1952, another movement developed in Hyderabad state, this movement was known as Mulki Movement. The demand was jobs for the local people of the Telengana region in Hyderabad state. Reason behind this was after Nizam’s rule was over the Telengana region with Hyderabad as capital was being administered by a military- civilian rule directly under the centre. So far in the Nizam’s rule the administration was carried on with the Urdu-knowing persons, but during this period administration needed English-Telugu-knowing people. So, there was an influx of people from adjoining Madras Presidency for different jobs from top to bottom. Telengana people started opposing it. Mulki movement yielded certain results-preference to the persons of Telengana region was accorded. It was popularly known as Mulki rules.
But throughout India people at different regions started movements demanding separate states on the basis of language. Finally states reorganisation committee was formed. In Andhra and Hyderabad a movement started for a Telugu state which was called ‘vishalandhra movement’. There was an appeal of linguistic state among the people in both Andhra and Hyderabad state. But the people of Hyderabad state were also afraid of being out-manouvred by the Andhra elites. It was a tricky situation. The observation of the commission was that the people of Telengana region were afraid of surplus revenues of that region might be diverted to Andhra region, they were also afraid that distribution of waters of Krishna and Godawari will be in favour of Andhra. But at the same time the commission felt that merger of two states would be justified on the principle of linguistic state and also the problem of a capital for the then Andhra State could be solved by making Hyderabad as capital for the united state. So keeping the resistence of the Telengana region the commission recommend that a unified Andhra state could be formed if a 2/3 majority of Hyderabad state assembly resolved for it in 1962. But suddenly in 1956 a unified Andhra Predesh was formed. Congress leaders of Hyderabad opted for it, with only an assurence of a resolution moved by the Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra, Neelam Sanjeev Reddy that the development of Telengana would be a pre-condition for such a united state.
But very soon it was found that development of the people and land of Telegana region was being neglected. The fourteen point guaranties during merger were just on paper. Preference to local people in employment in Telengana area; distribution of irrigation waters beneficial to the underdeveloped Telengana region were violated. Telengana Regional Board became defunct. So in 1969 an agitation developed in Telengana region for separation. Agitators were mainly the students and unemployed youth. At that particular time another movement was brewing throughout Andhra Pradesh. It was the struggle of the peasantry inspired by the great Naxalbari movement and with the tradition of Telengana peasants uprising. So it remained mainly a movement of one section of ruling elite against the dominant section, utilising the dissent of students and unemployed youth. In fact, at that time, the leaders of the Telengana separate state movement were die-hard suppressers of peasant struggles. However, the movement ended with an agreement to fullfil the aspirations of the Telengana region. An Eight point formula was announced by Indira Gandhi. Mulki rules were reaffirmed.
But the leaders of Andhra region very soon challenged the Mulki Rules in the High Court and it was strukdown, only to be upheld by the Supreme court later. Following that in the coastal Andhra a movement called "Jai Andhra" started. Finally with a six point formula and certain government orders the Mulki Rules were abolished.
From then on discrimination against the Telengana region went on unchallenged. Revenues of Telengana region were diverted for development of other regions. Development of people and land of Telengana region except the twin cities of Hyderabad and secenderabad were neglected.
The present agitation for a separate Telengana state has developed in that background. Now let us discuss the present agitation.
Present Agiatation and Its Specific Feature.
This time also the mainstay of the Separate Telengana movement is the students, unemployed youth and professionals. One can easily find out proof of this by looking at the major centres of agitation-the universities. But this time peasantry also have come out strongly. The real leaders are the regional small and medium capitalists and businessmen.
Each of these classes or strata has its own logic for a separate Telengana. Students of Telengana region are finding that after education they are not getting jobs. There are only a few goverment jobs, but most of them are cornered by the people of other region.
Though there are some of the best universities and Engineering colleges in the Telengana region, very small part of the government funds for development of primary and high schools are spent in the Telengana region. Same is true for health programmes. Telengana people do not get the fruits of Godavari and Krishna river projects. Peasantry feel that they are being deprived of their legitimate right on water.
But under all these talks of development, the reality remains masked. Througout India centre and state governments are clamouring for ‘development.’ But when the real face of ‘development’ comes before the people they find it is not the development of the people, or for the people, but development of a small section for the interest of the imperialists and big bourgeoisie. Were the people in Sonepeta being killed by the police to serve the interest of Nagarjuna Construction Co. found that Andhra government forces were more friendly and more concerned for the development of coastal people?
The small and middle capitalists contractors and businessmen of Telengana region feel that with a separate state they can avoid competetors from other regions who have been historically poised in a firmer ground and thrive on government funds for so-called development work.
But the real underdevelopment of the region and lack of development of the people have not been because of discrimination by the people or elites of the other two regions alone. That is only a small part. The main reason is the development process followed by the ruling cliques in the Centre and the states. The process is dictated by the imperialists. So many cotton growers did not die because of the discrimination, but because of policy of the government as a whole in India. People are starving due to sky-rocketting prices of food not because of discrimination, but because of the policy of the ruling classes. Their few jobs for the educated youth not because of discrimination, but because of an imperialist oriented policy. True, whatever little jobs are there are mostly cornered by the people of other regions. So, separate Telengana might help to solve a few problems but basic problems can be solved by a Telengana that the revolutionaries in 1940s dreamt, a Telengana for that matter in India that is free from shackles of imperialism, comprador bureaucratic capital and feudalism.
If one looks at the problem on the basis of linguistic unity and cultural affinity, there are many complexities. All the three regions viz, Telengana, Rayalseema and coastal Andhra are Telugu speaking areas. In that sense they have a solid basis for a united state. The three regions have certain differences in culture. But those are to be found everywhere, even variations exists from district to district. But here one will find complexity once coming down to Hyderabad. Hyderabad being seat of power of Muslim rulers for centuries had, and even in many areas still have, dominance of non-Telugu speaking people and a different culture. But both pro-Telengana and anti-Telengana forces feel that it is a part and parcel of their own state. The demand and talk of forming the twin cities and areas around it to be a separate Union Territory or a state has developed in that backdrop. But it is clear that at present such a solution will only complicate matters than solving it.
So it comes down to the question of whether a separate state of Telengana does have enough basis. True, that in present India linguistic unity has been taken as a basis for separate states. But this cannot be an end-all, especially where people of a big region feels that they are being discriminated and their development being neglected in such unified state, their aspirations should be honoured. One argument is there that if such demands are honoured then many other states in India might have to be conceded. This is no argument at all. If such other states are conceded will it be harmful? Rather once such aspirations of people of regions are fulfilled, then they will find that the real problem of the people are not in the formation of a separate state. Students and unemployed youth, peasants and workers will find that regional discrimination is only a small part of their problem, the basic and major reason of their non-development is the imperiealist-dictacted development policy of India as a whole.
What should we do?
We still feel that ‘Telengana or no Telengana’ people will have to fight against imperialist-comprador bereaucratic capitalist-feudal nexus for their ultimate development. Even the present unemployment, price rise, problem of irrigational facility, right to land, water and forest produce etc; will not be solved by forming a separate state.
But when vast majority of a region aspires for a separate state, and there is enough reasons behind it because of decades long discrimination and histrorical separation for centuries before forming a united state as the representative of the proletariat we should rather stand by their side than opposing it or remaining mere spectators. But we will fail in our proletarian duty if even while stading by their side we not caution them that the final solution of the under development does not lie in the formation of a separate state but fighting out the alliance of imperialism, comprador bureaucratic capitalism and feudalism. Real development of the people of Telengana will only be possible in a really democrative Telengana within really independent, self-reliant, democratic India.

No comments:

Post a Comment