Seemandhra on 'Seema' - Why There is a Cycle of Violence

I just don't get it. Or perhaps I am so pissed off by political and regional violence that I have nothing but utter contempt for it.

Perhaps I fall in the latter category. I do not think very highly of most so called 'unity' movements to be honest. I am also usually indifferent to the formation of new states. Maybe it's my 'Delhi-centric', blinkered approach to blame. Or perhaps living in Hyderabad for more than a year taught me a few lessons that make me really contemptuous of the current political fiasco in Seemandhra region.

Ever wondered why despite being a smaller region than Telangana, Aandhra predominantly gave the state of Andhra Pradesh it's Chief Ministers? This, when there were less seats in the state legislative assembly? The mantle for a brief while shifted to the Rayalaseema region (Naidu, YSR), but more or less the crown remained in the Andhra region. Jobs were dominated by the people from Andhra region, and this is an obvious fact when you see how things have been. Telangana also remained backward in education, healthcare and general social welfare measures. Having the largest population of tribals and the oppressed, it should have seen a much bigger proportion of social expenditure, but it did not. More engineering colleges are in the coastal region than in Telangana and Rayalaseema put together. The biggest loser on all counts was Telangana.

However, the real battle is not one of a separate state, but the battle for Hyderabad. The crown jewel of Andhra Pradesh is dominated by Andhra people, and is the real reason behind the violence. Andhra does not have anything to lose if they become a separate state; however in the classic business-politician-mafia-builder nexus there is in this country and in this state, a lot of money sunk in by politicians of all hues shall be lost. Consider this - Vijaywada and Vizag shall be with Andhra Pradesh. Their economic output is much higher than that of Telangana. Andhra region's agricultural productivity is much higher than that of the other two regions. Lower riparian rights are always recognized in India's inter states water tribunals, thus ensuring that there will never be water shortages created artificially in the Andhra deltas of Krishna and Godavari. Most of the industries lie in the Andhra region. In fact, the lack of development of irrigation facilities in Telangana to benefit Andhra has been the leading cause of farmer suicides in the state, nearly all of which are concentrated in the Telangana region.

And yet Andhra region politicians are overacting with respect to the state's division only because Hyderabad shall end up in Telangana, thus losing most of their money and their ability to influence laws in the city to their will. The other end of this story are the Telangana politicians, who see this as an apt moment to stamp their authority, will of the people be damned. But this violence we are witnessing in Seemandhra is mostly being stoked by the politicians of the Andhra region who have serious vested interests.

Google Lagadapati Rajagopal to understand my point. A large industrialist, a Congress MP from Andhra and one with significant investments in Hyderabad - the classic nexus is represented by people like him, and he has been the most vocal against the division of Andhra Pradesh. Henchmen of the Congress and others like him, who are on the payrolls of several of these politicians, are the largest instigators and are inciting violence in the region. The police, leaderless thanks to a totally useless Chief Minister, K K Reddy, does not know what to do, and is hence standing by, watching goons wreak havoc on the region, forcing power shortages and disruptions in the normal lives. Sure, people of Seemandhra are to be protected, and shall be protected from loudmouths who don't know otherwise, but that is not the real reason for the indefinite strikes that have been called in. Had the government or the party any spine, the Supreme Court could have been requested to declare the strike of essential services like public transportation and government administrators illegal within a day. But we have modern day Neros who don't stand by but instigate most of this political violence taking place through incendiary speeches. Thanks to an ineffective administration, Andhra is being reduced to Yugoslavia.


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