Thursday, March 15, 2012

Telangana continues to attempt its secession

By Amber Skorpenske
Edited and produced by Taylor Pool

Telangana, a region in India under the influence of the Andhra Political Lobby, continues to feel deprived even in this present day.

Photo from
After the state of Andhra was pushed to merge with Telangana for its surplus wealth, the marriage yielded many deprivations for the population of Telangana including political, economic and even cultural (many people in Telangana speak Telegu). But even though this movement to join these states happened over 50 years ago, today there still continues to be movements, protests and even suicides against this merger.

It is important to remember that it is not the people of Andhra that are against a Telangana state. It is the “very few” elite Andhra politicians and businessmen who are against it. They are holding this merger because of their vested interest in “real estate” in the capital city of Hyderabad.

Groups in India work toward peace

Many groups exist throughout the region that attempt to educate others about the Telangana movement and to ask for a non-violent movement. One of these is the Telangana Development Forum, a not-for-profit organization that spongers seminars and community events to bring people together to discuss problems faced by Telangana people. Vai Jalajam, a member of this organization says, his struggle began with his grandfather being persecuted after the merger of the states because his inability to speak Urdu.

Jalajam says, “My grandfather was a very successful businessman. After the merger he was left with nothing. He was a college grad and he still had no employment. My uncles, the second generation, had no access to higher education and employment.”

It is very important to Vai Jalajam to help in the cause and to have Telangana secede, as it’s own state. He says, “It is most important that we are no longer colonized by some elite Andhra capitol and power lobbyists.”

While groups and non-profits that fight for this cause state this is a non-violent movement, reports from citizens who live in areas like Hyderabad are different.

Leigha Garcia-George, an American who recently moved to Hyderabad says, “When I go to work in the morning there have been several times I have seen buses on fire, protests in the streets and even suicides from university students. It seems like a normal way of life around here and it’s taken some getting used to.”

When confronted with the violence question, Vai Jalajam says that several of the protests have included, hunger strike camps, students walking against police brutality and mining strikes. He then goes on to say that many students have “self immolated” and died protesting the cause.

Jalajam still believes that this is a peaceful movement, saying, “Violence is relative. Yes there have been buses that were burnt when Central Government took back it statements and Andhra leaders statues were demolished. Again, I could go on and on about this but there never was a movement more non-violent and peaceful than the Telangana movement.”

The public opinion is split

But how does the general public feel about this movement? Leigh Garcia-George says, “At this point, I think it’s unfortunate that people are dying. But it’s mostly a nuisance for my husband and I when we go to work. The traffic jams and street closings just keep happening.”

Others seem reluctant that Telangana should secede and believe that this may lead to other problems.

Manish Patel, a Business Manager and Bayer employee says, “If the secession happens it could lead to other smaller communities and regions in other states of India to want to secede and form their own state.” Patel also believes that this may eventually lead to destabilization of the entire government structure as more and more smaller regions now want different things, in turn leading to making rules and regulations in India more complex.

Others believe that the Telangana’s need to keep their culture intact is a reason to not “move forward” with the times.

Neha Kasudhan, a student in Noida Area, India says, “Is backwardness really a reason for a separate state? This situation is general public views that are fighting without knowing what it will actually cause.”

Having said this, Manish Patel still recognizes and respects why Telangana would want to be separate. He says, “I can understand why the region would want to secede as the people of the region want their own identity to be represented in the government rather than a mixture of several different identities.”

TeleguOne news team member Dilip Kumar Chowdary gathered some statistics from the Bureau of Economics and Statistics to give readers a better understanding of the Telangana situation.

Kumar says, “The scenario in Andhra Pradesh is different than other states.”

It’s true. Telangana is the most densely populated, the healthiest region, the biggest economy and agriculture. With this report there is no reason why Telangana wouldn’t be able to sustain itself, as it’s own state. However, there is also a great amount of people, both Adhra officials and residents of Hyderabad that think things are fine just as they are. Of course the population must take into account how this will affect other regions that are trying to secede. With India having such a large and diverse population with many cultures it is important to think of all the reactions and effects a big decision like this could mean. Only time will tell if the marriage between Andhra and Telangana will end in divorce.

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