With 11 out of 15 cabinet ministers of Andhra Pradesh’s Telangana region resigning from their posts as well as membership of the legislative assembly on separate statehood issue, the Telangana issue is creating quite a stir in the country.
The problem of Telangana is not of a recent origin, but dates back to the independence era. But now it’s high time this issue is resolved and ensured that effective steps are taken by the Government to dispense justice to the aggrieved people of Telangana.
Telangana was merged with Andhra on 1st November 1956 in consent with the SRC (States Reorganization Committee) with a view that it will lead to the development of the Telangana region due to better administration of resources. But it appears to be only an outcome of manipulative politics as it did almost no good to the deteriorating situation in the Telangana region. Though the merger was not unconditional and was supported by adequate promises and constitutional safeguards, it couldn’t stop the massive exploitation in the enlarged state.
Earlier this issue was merely being used as a political pawn, but now due to both public and political participation the issue is getting explosive. During the merger, the people of Telangana feared that the sumptuous resource base of forests, minerals and water might be diverted for use in Andhra. They feared that the river water projects on Krishna and Godavari would not benefit Telangana. They also feared that the educated people of Andhra would grab all the employment opportunities generated in the large state. But now their worries appear to be rational as even after 47 years the literacy and employment rate in the Telangana region is the lowest in the state. Initially, the general impression was that only student extremists were behind the agitation but now the problems faced by the people of Telangana is visible to all the people of India and the Government has understood the need to act immediately considering the urgency of the situation.
Though there have been many objections against the formation of smaller states, I strongly feel that there is lesser harm in formation of smaller states. In fact more than half of the states in India are smaller than the Telangana. It is one of the best ways to ensure better administration and curb corruption, which is the growing need of the hour. It is important to understand that progress doesn’t depend upon the size of the state instead depends upon the efficiency of the Government in that place. Also smaller states give the common man an opportunity to participate in the administration.
The demand for separate statehood is highly justifiable given the validations and approval of majority of people. The Government must understand the sensitivity of the issue and avoid making hasty and contradictory statements as done by Home Minister P. Chidambaram during late December 2009. The Government can take immediate steps by organizing all-party meets and consultations to arrive at the most awaited decision as early as possible.
I dare to ask why the Government shouldn’t give an opportunity to the people who want to create a better state, a desirable environment to develop themselves. Why has the Government ignored the cries of thousands of people of Telangana for a separate statehood since decades? The Government must not fail to protect the rights of the people they represent, and right now only this looks like a way to uphold democracy in the times of scams, scandals and corruption.