Category-1: Exploitation of Telangana by Non-Telangana politicians and businessmen
AP government has allocated/leased/sold several acres of land in Telangana region at throwaway prices to the relatives of non-Telangana politicians. Also, Andhra businessmen own these groups and they mostly employ the people from their region in the white-collar jobs. The government in the name of the SEZs has acquired several acres of land in the neighboring districts of Hyderabad at a minimum rate from the poor farmers and handed them over to Andhra businessmen. The Andhra businessmen are now selling the same land at an exorbitant price to the outsiders.
Just as an example, the state government has allocated the WAQF lands (which were earlier allotted for minority community development) to the real estate firm Lanco owned by congress MP from Andhra region. The dispute is still pending the
court. This is the prime land in the city. Lanco today has started a 7200 crore worth real estate project called Lanco hills.
Exploitation through irrigation Projects
The state government in recent years has sold the government properties worth several thousand crores in the Telangana region to raise funds for the JalaYagnam projects. The state government emphasized on completing the Pothireddypadu and
Polavaram projects. One of them didn’t even have environmental permissions, other one was completed by breaking all rules of Bachawat Tribunal. Both these projects benefit Andhra people. This is nothing but exploiting one regions resources
and using them for the benefit of the other region.
The SLBC (Srisailam Left Bank Canal), which provides drinking and irrigation water to the fluoride affected areas of the Nalgonda district is in construction since two decades and still not completed. Money given as mobilization advances to contractors, who are from Andhra region, was squandered in managing elections and also the same money was diverted into real estate which was booming at that time, this impacted projects progress in Telangana region.
The site selection of the projects like Nagarjuna Sagar and Polavaram is debatable. The Nagarjuna Sagar project catchment area is entirely in the Telangana region but the dam is constructed close to the bordering Andhra region so that the canal system works to the advantage of Andhra districts. The Telangana region lost many villages and limestone quarries for the catchment area, but has to confine itself to meager amount of the share in the dam water. The Andhra region on the other hand hasn’t lost even a single acre of land for catchment area but is getting a lion’s share of the canal water. The same is true with the case of Polavaram project, which is now under construction. Polavaram project once finished would submerge villages in Khammam district of Telangana region but would irrigate the bordering Andhra districts like East and West Godavari and Vijayanagaram.
Other Natural Resources and Environment:
The State government in the pretext of developing Hyderabad is also creating lot of destruction around Hyderabad. Telangana region around Hyderabad is paying a lot of price in Hyderabad’s development but the fruits of this economic boom are not
enjoyed by the people of Telangana.
The state government auctions the sand and granite around the Hyderabad city every year for a significant amount. The depletion of sand in the streams in these villages around Hyderabad has reduced the ground water level in the region. Since Telangana farmers primarily depend on ground water for irrigation they are severely affected. It would benefit Telangana if government allocates the money it raised by selling lands in Telangana region to the development of Telangana people. The pharmaceutical industry has grown rapidly around Hyderabad city in recent years. Industry exports from Hyderabad today run into several thousand crore rupees. The sudden and unregulated pharmaceutical growth has also created side effects like water and soil pollution in the 100km radius around Hyderabad. As a result farmers, livestock and the villages in this area are severely affected. The tax revenue from pharmaceutical industry is transferred to the state exchequer and is spent statewide. This is a clear exploitation of the land resources in Telangana. The income generated from this industry should be used in enforcing strict regulations and inspections to prevent pollution and also to make sure that the living conditions of people around Telangana are not disturbed. This income should be spent on providing good health care and primary education to these villages.
Category-2: Cultural Discrimination
Culturally Telangana is very different from Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. This could be attributed to the fact that for almost half a millennia they were part of different regimes. While Telangana was under Nizam rule, Andhra was under British rule. At the time of the merger (of Telangana with Andhra in 1956), the then Telangana culture was a fusion of Dakhani, Telugu, Kannada and Marathi cultures. At the same time Andhra regions were predominantly Telugu with some influences of erstwhile Madras state culture. So Andhra Pradesh formation happened in this context.
Since then, a lot of people from Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema migrated to Hyderabad and other smaller cities of Telangana taking up jobs in various government and private sectors. These migrants never really understood or adopted the local culture and in turn developed an aversion to it. As most of the Government, Media and Entertainment sectors were dominated by Andhra people,
deliberate efforts were made to ignore Telangana’s history, culture and its leaders (freedom fighters). Below are some of the items that clearly show discrimination against Telangana history, culture, language and its people.
Discrimination by government
“Bathukamma”, a festival of life, is one of the few festivals in the world that are celebrated just by women. This is one of the most important festivals of Telangana. Unfortunately, government of Andhra Pradesh does not recognize this as a state festival. This festival requires elaborate preparations, for which decent amount of time is needed. As this is not a public holiday, students and
working women have been staying away from celebrating it. If nothing is done, Bathukamma, which has been celebrated for hundreds of years, may no longer be celebrated.
About two decades ago during N.T. Rama Rao’s tenure as CM, about 33 statues of eminent Telugu personalities were erected on “Tank Bund”, a beautiful levee built on the eastern side of Hussein Sagar Lake. The selection of these personalities displays an outright discrimination towards Telangana history and culture. Out of the 33, barely 3 or 4 personalities are from Telangana.
Government regulated education syllabus does not include any topics on Telangana freedom struggle (against Nizam’s rule), its freedom fighters or its festivals. At the same it has numerous topics on Andhra freedom Struggle, its freedom fighters, or its festivals.
As part of Civics, students learn about the state government, its structure and functions. As you know Telangana merged with Andhra upon some preconditions. This information should have been part of education curriculum. But this information was intentionally censored from reaching students. This is like keeping citizens in the dark about their fundamental rights.
Ridiculing Telangana Culture in Movies
Non-Telangana people have a monopoly in the field of cinema. They have been using this medium to liberally ridicule Telangana culture, language and its people. Almost every Telugu movie in last 25 years, portrayed Telangana people and its leaders as uncivilized and criminals and there absolutely is no attempt made to censor this. Telangana characters (those who speak Telangana language) in these movies are almost always either villains or side-kicks of the main actors. A few generations grew up watching these movies and now every one has this general impression that a person speaking Telangana language is most certainly
uneducated and uncivilized. Most of the children and young people stopped speaking Telangana language and stopped celebrating Telangana festivals fearing the wrath of their non-Telangana friends. This is equivalent to “Cultural Genocide”.
All the above said, a separate Telangana state would provide an ideal environment for the prosperity of Telangana arts & culture, provide respectability to its history. Together these will form a foundation for an economically and intellectually confident society.
Category-3: Jobs and Education
Jobs and Education, is another major issue that’s causing an economic imbalance between different regions of the state. As everyone knows, one of the key drivers for getting a good job is acquiring good education. We’ll start with the differences of
education opportunities for the people in both the regions and then explain how education opportunities impact the jobs arena.
At a macro level, the literacy rate difference itself is huge between various regions of Andhra Pradesh. Telangana has 40% and non Telangana at 55% literacy rates. Mahboobnagar, which is in Telangana, has the lowest literacy rate at 35% among all the districts of Andhra Pradesh. In spite of these differences in literacy rate, government of AP is always impartial towards Telangana when it’s ready to allocating resources and investing in schools. This kind of impartiality, where the equal distribution of education funds never happens, is there at all levels of education.
Educational opportunities for people of Telangana are different compared to other regions starting from primary to high school. Telangana with 9 districts has around 17000 schools (Government, Municipal and Aided combined), where as non Telangana with 15 districts has around 52000 schools. On the other hand, AP government allowed private schools and majority of these schools are set up by businessmen from Andhra region, and these private schools are not affordable for a common man from Telangana, because comparatively Telangana people are economically backward for various other reasons. At the same time, government started ignoring the development of public schools because of which the quality of public schools went down so much that nobody even bothers sending children to government schools.
For junior colleges, called Intermediate Education, Telangana has around 170 government junior colleges whereas Coastal Andhra has 270 and Rayalaseema has 140 junior colleges. In any given academic year, there is a lot of variance on the percentage of people that pass the exams between government and private colleges. Majority of these junior colleges are owned and operated by investors from Andhra and these colleges are run like any other business organization. The fees at these private colleges are so high that majority of people from Telangana can’t even dream of attending these private schools. Also the heads of these private junior colleges are heavy in lobbying and through lobbying they make sure government doesn’t invest or spend any resources on government junior colleges. Big owners of these schools make sure quality of government colleges is so low, because these owners want to divert all students to private colleges so that the owners of these private colleges can accumulate wealth.
At university level or even degree colleges, Telangana has 74, Coastal Andhra 170 and Rayalaseema 70 government degree colleges. At the university level, until recently Telangana had only 2 universities, where as combined Andhra and Rayalaseema had around 7 universities. Even in these universities in Telangana region, majority of seats were occupied by non Telangana people by manipulating the system with fake residency certificates or by other means. Majority of the key positions in these Telangana universities, whether its head of departments, senior professors or other key positions are always held by people from Coastal Andhra and other smaller jobs are left out for people from Telangana.
Finally, by forming a separate state of Telangana, government of Telangana can focus more on educational needs of economically backward people of Telangana. Government of Telangana can invest more in primary education for Telangana, so that the quality of education in these schools will improve which will help in achieving higher literacy rates. Also, Telangana government can place tighter restrictions and regulations around the seat allotment process for all Telangana universities so that Telangana universities can benefit from Telangana region.
All these above big differences in education opportunities trickle down to job opportunities. Disparity of number and also quality of jobs held by people of Telangana and Non-Telangana region is huge in both government and private organizations. People from coastal Andhra are occupying more number of jobs than any other region. Coastal Andhra people can be seen in government and private organizations across the state, irrespective of which region these jobs are in.
Historically the job difference was caused soon after the combined state of Andhra Pradesh was formed. Pre merger of Telangana and Andhra region, Telangana region was always under Nizam rule and Urdu was always the official language of communication during Nizam rule in Telangana area. On the other hand, Andhra region, which was part of previous Madras State, was always under British rule. So people from non Telangana regions are somewhat familiar with English language. As soon as Telangana people were liberated from Nizam government, and later on when the combined state of Andhra Pradesh was formed based on common
language Telugu, Non-Telangana people started claiming that they are experts in English and created a perception that English language is needed to hold key jobs in the state government. Andhra politicians always made sure that people from their respective regions hold key positions in the government, and these key people made sure their next subordinates are from Andhra region and this process dwindled down further which historically put Telangana candidates at a disadvantage. Adding to this, Andhra politicians and senior Andhra administrative officers manipulated the requirements for all higher level government jobs either by changing tests or by introducing new rules and procedures that are suitable towards selecting Andhra. Since 1956 there was never a level playing field between Telangana and non-Telangana people while competing for a given government job, even if candidates from different regions have same qualifications.
Also, one other important issue with jobs is the type and quality of jobs Telangana people hold in the current economy in both private and public sector. In any organization whether its private or public, majority of the higher level jobs that involve key decision making process are always held by Andhra people, where as lower level jobs are left out for Telangana people. For example Singareni coal mines (which is in Telangana), by visiting any mine site it can easily be noticed that majority of the blue collar jobs, like coal fillers, drivers, fitters, electricians, or any other job that’s manual or labor intensive, are being performed by people from
Telangana. On the other hand majority of all the jobs that involve office work, whether it’s a clerk, a supervisor, an engineer, or even a general manager, are held by people from Andhra.
It can easily be noticed in and around Hyderabad by visiting any government office, public or private bank, university, government hospital, secretariat, municipal office etc, or even any other private business, that majority of the low level jobs are perfumed by Telangana example. In all the offices mentioned above, there is a clear cut difference between the types of jobs that Telangana people have versus types of jobs non Telangana people have. In majority of these offices a greater percentage of jobs like sweeper, cleaner, chaiwala, attender, driver, etc are held by people from Telangana. Whereas white collar jobs like manager, supervisor,
cashier, clerk, and etc are primarily performed by people from Andhra.
Majority of private companies, industries, organizations in Telangana area are owned by people from Coastal Andhra. Primary reason for this is the strong lobbying of Coastal Andhra politicians. Andhra politicians always make sure people from their areas get permissions or even grant government aid and contracts so that the owners of these private businesses can flourish. In all these private companies owned by Coastal Andhra people key positions are given to people from their own regions, whereas the unwanted, leftover jobs are given to people from Telangana.
The only way this disparity in number of jobs and the quality of jobs can be improved for Telangana people is by forming a separate Telangana state. If separate Telangana state is formed, all the key government jobs can be given to people from Telangana. Telangana government can place procedures and rules so that the backward people of Telangana has a chance of competing for regular jobs, not just taking the leftover and unwanted jobs because they don’t have any other means to get by.
Telangana government can be extra vigilant to whom they are awarding big government contracts or permissions for any private organizations. If the big contracts are awarded to Telangana people and also if private businesses are owned by Telangana people, the owners of these companies will start filling in key positions with people from Telangana and very soon the imbalance of number of jobs and quality of jobs can be reduced drastically.
Category-4: About Hyderabad
Hyderabad has more than 400 years of history. At the time of independence, it was already the 5th largest city in the country. It still is the 5th largest city in the country. When Andhra provinces were separated from Madras state and a new Andhra state was formed (with Kurnool as its capital), Andhra state did not have any infrastructure to run administration efficiently. On the other hand, Hyderabad state had all the facilities like assembly, high court, universities, and hospitals that a state capital needed. Eventually, when Andhra Pradesh state was formed in 1956, Hyderabad city became the natural choice as the state capital because of Hyderabad’s facilties. This is one of the primary reasons for the merger Telangana with Andhra, as suggested by Fazal Ali commission.
Over the years, Hyderabad developed just like other major cities in India. There was an accelarated development in last 10 years across the country as a result of”Free economy” and Information Technology boom. Just like any other major city, Hyderabad developed too. During this development period, a lot of wealthy investors from Andhra who were close to the government, flourished as they got prime investment opportunities. The objective behind these investments was to make profits and was not meant for the welfare or development of Hyderabad.
The claim that Hyderabad was developed by Andhra people is a misnomer. Hyderabad was built and developed by hardworking people of Telangana and only they can claim the credit for the develpoment of Hyderabad, but not any wealthy rich investors from coastal Andhra.
Although a separate state in itself will not solve all the issues mentioned above, we think it’s a good direction to move forward, it’s a new path for hope. After reviewing the current status and all the categories mentioned above, we sincerely hope that Justice Srikrishna committee understands the anguish, need and desire behind a separate state for Telangana. We are positive that the committee will analyze various viewpoints like this and make a rationale suggestion for the creation of Telangana state, with Hyderabad as capital.
Benefits of separate state for Telangana people
- Telangana government will be for, of and by the people of Telangana
- Utilizing revenue from Telangana for the development of Telangana
- Prosperity and happiness for Telangana people
- Better job opportunities
- Improved educational opportunities
- Agriculture development
- Lesser influence of Maoists/Naxals in villages
- Self-reliant, confident and prosperous Telangana
- Preserving and advancing Telangana culture