telangana: a movement without a social agenda 2

if the popular beverage coke is a social movement, so is telangana. a brand is built around selling 'benefits' to individuals: tangible benefits like quenching thirst, and intangible benefits like feelings of being 'cool', 'special' and 'unique'. brand telangana offers tangible benefits like '3 lakh jobs in government' to the students agitating in osmania and other universities, while the competing brand, a united state, does not. and the intangible benefits? martyrdom celebrated on television is one of them.

in a country where thousands of educated applicants line upto apply for a few railway porters' jobs, what could be more alluring to a couple of million students and unemployed ex-students from rural telangana than desk jobs that ensure regular pay (or pensions) and benefits for over 4-5 decades? especially when jobs in the private sector pay far less and require technical skills and english speaking abilities?

how many people would benefit from 3 lakh jobs?

3 lakh or less families, directly. we don't know how many people would benefit indirectly, but it'd be a huge expenditure on the new state to be shouldered by around 80 lakh families (and around 40 lakh more by 2050), every day, month and year for 40-50 or more years. [i'm going by the trs' estimate of the population of telangana, which is 4 crores, or around 80 lakh families].

but why 3 lakh jobs?

but why only 3 lakh jobs? why not 5 lakhs? or 15 lakhs? or 80 lakhs? or sarkari jobs for all 180-190 lakh people of working age in the region/new state? over 3-5 lakh new job aspirants graduate from various colleges every year. the number would perhaps double in another 5 years because several new universities have been established in the past couple of years, and a few more are in the pipeline. 3 lakh new jobs wouldn't satisfy the needs of all the graduates coming out of universities even this year, how about those who graduate next year, and the next, and so on?around 6 lakh new kids are born in the region every year, shouldn't the new state plan for at least 5 lakh jobs in government every year?

3 lakh new jobs would benefit only 0.75% of all individuals, or 3.75% of all families, or 1.35% of the working age population of telangana, shouldn't a new telangana state benefit all the 80 lakh families in the state? or, because 80% of indians, as arjun sengupta report says, live on less than a dollar a day (or, live on less than rs.20 a day per capita expenditure), shouldn't jobs in government be given to at least one member from each of the 64 lakh or more families which live on less than a dollar a day in telangana?

how did the ideologues of the telangana movement arrive at the magic figure of 3 lakhs? there are around 12.5 lakh government (and state owned public enterprises) employees in andhra pradesh and around 5.5 lakhs of them are in telangana. kerala, a state of comparable size (3.1 crore population), has around 5 lakh government employees. doesn't telangana already have enough employees? why does it need 3 lakh more?

why would telangana need 3 lakh more employees?

the separatists' answer is, probably, that the andhraites stole 3 lakh government jobs which rightfully belong to telanganis, so the 3 new lakh jobs are not really new jobs. prof.jayashankar, so-called ideologue of the telangana movement, says:
It should to be noted that the number of employees recruited between 1973 and 1985, violating the statutory requirements, was estimated to be around fifty nine thousand. There could be difference of opinion about the figure. Whatever the number, it was as in December 1985. Since then, neither the G.O. has been implemented nor making illegal appointments stopped. Therefore, the first thing to be done in this regard is to work out the number of these appointments made from 1973 till now, spanning a period of nearly two decades. According to several unofficial, but reliable, surveys the figure has already crossed two Lakhs.
prof.jayashankar seems to have written this article around 2003 (34 years after 1969, is what he indicates in the beginning of the article). between 1985 and 2003, he seems to believe, around 1,40,000 new employees from andhra and rayalaseema had been recruited, violating the statutory requirements.

could 1,40,000 jobs have been 'stolen' between 1985 and 2003?

is it possible that jobseekers from andhra and rayalaseema could have 'stolen' 1,40,000 jobs from telanganis, in addition to their share (around 60%, keeping in view their share in population for most of the period we're looking at ) in all government jobs, between 1985 and 2003? as i don't have the exact figures of how many jobseekers were recruited between 1985 and 2003, i am going to work on the possibilities of job 'theft' in a roundabout fashion by looking at some figures compiled by the government of india on public employment between 1981 and 2003 here.

the first thing you'll notice when you look at the data is that employment in government and public sector undertakings has remained almost static for almost two decades since 1991. the second interesting thing i noticed is that employment in the andhra pradesh govt now is almost one-sixth the total employment in all state governments (12.5 lakhs and 73.67 lakhs respectively). how much has total employment in all state governments grown since 1981 (as we don't have figures for 1985)? by, roughly, 17 lakhs. assuming, employment in andhra pradesh government formed roughly the same proportion of total employment in all state governments as it is now (1/6th), by how much could have employment in andhra pradesh government have grown between 1981 and 2003? 1/6th of 17 lakhs is 2.9 lakhs, say?

now, going back to my original question: could jobseekers from andhra and rayalaseema have 'stolen' 1,40,000 jobs from telanganis in addition to 1.74 lakhs (their 60% share in jobs) between 1981 (not even 1985) and 2003? 1.4 lakhs plus 1.74 lakhs would make 3.14 lakhs (which is more than our guesstimate of total recruitment of 2.9 lakhs). could the jobseekers from andhra and rayalaseema have obtained more jobs than all the jobs actually offered by the andhra pradesh government?

such is the wisdom of prof.jayashankar. look at the figures, play around with them a little. even if you assume employment in andhra pradesh government is 1/5th (3.4 lakh growth in govt jobs between 1981 and 2003) of the total employment in all state governments in india put together, you've again arrived at an impossible number (3.44 lakhs) that says jobseekers from andhra and rayalaseema have obtained more jobs than all the the jobs actually offered by the government of andhra pradesh. if you assume employment in andhra pradesh government is 1/4th (4.25 lakh growth in govt jobs between 1981 and 2003) of the total employment in all state governments in india put together, then you get the figure of 3.95 lakhs. could 3.95 lakh aspirants from andhra and rayalaseema have obtained jobs while only 30,000 aspirants from telangana managed to get through?

right from 1969, restless minds in telangana have exercised too much imagination over this issue of stolen jobs. how many jobs could have been stolen if so many overactive minds, overstimulated after such events as the tragic 1969 agitation (which seemed to have miraculously spared the clever 'ideologues' and 'thinkers' while hundreds of innocent youngsters lost their lives and thousands of others lost their careers and much else), were ever ready to use their magnifying lenses and the courts?

forget 1,40,000 jobs between 1985 and 2003, could 1,40,000 jobs have been stolen between 1981 and 2003, or between 1973 and 2003? the original figure of 25,000 in 1969 had some substance, perhaps. because there wasn't a large enough educated middle class in telangana to absorb all those jobs that were due to them. the figure of 59,000 in 1985 is, as prof.jayashankar himself says, an opinion. the figure of 2,00,000 in 2003, in my honest opinion, is pure fiction. and that fictitious figure has now grown to 3,00, 000 even though recruitment has slowed down, and total employment in government has actually fallen, since 1991.

we did not need an advertising campaign

we needed a social movement that could take all the crores of people who live on less than rs.20 a day to a less oppressive future, not a divisive campaign to instigate millions of innocent students to learn to hate because a few lakh among them would get secure jobs.

[more later].


Reality said...

You are spot on. Telangana movement is built on 10% truth and 90% fiction. Also to add to your "3 lakh jobs " argument, there are 60 lakh andhra people in telangana (30 lakh in Hyd ,30 lakhs in rest of Telangana),most of them domiciled in Telangana (as per normal rules ), even if these "3 lakh jobs" are to be given to Telanganites , these 60 lakh andhra people will also be eligible to apply.

What we need is the institutions, infrastructure ,culture which creates jobs , just creating new states will not create jobs

kuffir said...


yes, what you say is true..around half of telangana is composed of minorities..andhraites, muslims, adivasis, dalits.. what's left are the obcs and upper castes. right now, some misguided obcs are going along with the upper castes.. if they realized there's nothing in it that would help obcs substantively, this movement wouldn't last a week.

Bhanu Prasad said...


Great article.

I just wonder how you extract time for putting together all these statistics from various sources. Requires huge patience

kuffir said...


thanks. i know generally about most of these figures, i know particularly about the public employment scene in india for long. i've written a few posts on the state of the informal sector in india which employs 93% of the workforce, while organized public private sector employment is only around 7%..

you rarely get accurate or honest figures from any govt source, but you can get a sense of how things are from their disclosure/non-disclosure..

about all the stuff quoted by the separatists, there's always a tendency to select the kind of data they want, only the portions they want, avoiding the larger picture, or context etc.. this is clearly visible in most writing of jayashankar. even now, most politicians and academics/babus supporting the separatists know, instinctively, that many of the facts bandied around by the separatists are flawed. but, in politics, perceptions are important, and the separatists have managed to convince the most gullible sections, students and the unemployed, over the last ten years that 'discrimination' is happening through careful dissemination of select data.. the politicians can't speak against those perceptions now, not at the cost of popularity,.. and the academics/babus are enjoying their new found market on television, to put it mildly.

Sridhar said...

you rarely get accurate or honest figures from any govt source, but you can get a sense of how things are from their disclosure/non-disclosure..

kuffir: surprising that there are no govt sources that publish the state and central employment data at least at the state level. I wonder how aren't the govts obligated to publish actual data periodically about indicators like employment. At least this should be straight forward in case of govt employment?

And what are your thoughts on the silence of the intellectuals and informed in the rest of the state about facts and figures? Do these people have no reliable data or are they simply being polite or politically correct! Recent statements by JAC that they would oppose Sri Krishna committee if it were also to study the need for separate statehood - tells that the separatists would only want the govt to consider the dominance of sentiment rather than a need or any other justification. Also the way they want to preempt any talk about the future of Hyd or a reasoned debate on any aspect of separate state demand and the way they are allowed to prevail is mind blowing.

kuffir said...

those are very good questions that you raise, sridhar.

kuffir said...


there are some laws which lay down that govt depts/ministries put the data you mention on their websites etc..very few do, even at the centre. there is no one person, including the prime minister, who can accurately tell you how many people are employed in the central govt at any moment of time. the ministry of statistics and personnel publishes some data, yearly..but it's hard to find.

i think the reasons for hiding/concealing employment data is obvious--they don't want the dalits, obcs etc to learn about how many of them are actually employed in govt, and in the public sector, especially. that's one major reason, because it's during the course of some searches online that i'd done a few years ago that i realized how big a problem finding the correct numbers is.

'what are your thoughts on the silence of the intellectuals and informed in the rest of the state about facts and figures? Do these people have no reliable data or are they simply being polite or politically correct!'

they've been taken in by surprise, most of them have grown very smug over the years. nothing much matters to the leaders from the krishna delta, for instance, than their constituents getting water in time during kharif/rabi seasons..rest of the time, they'd be left alone and can go make money anywhere..

but i mostly blame the educated middle classes-- their careerism, their inability to question the deeprooted casteist tendencies prevalent in the region, in fact they seem to revel in it... the middle classes of the delta played a leading role in the spread of progressive movements across the state in the past, long ago. now they still haven't found answers to why karamchedu happened in their midst.

it's because of the lack of a societal perspective, to put it crudely, that the educated middle classes of andhra haven't produced enough intellectual leaders in the recent past to question the flawed, unsubstantiated, claims of the separatists systematically over the last one decade..

Sridhar said...

Thank you Kuffir. I think in lines of Nilekani's UID project we need some serious efforts in real time capture and warehousing of data pertaining to all social and economic aspects of our country. Politicians indeed revel the darkness and confusion that emanates from lack of data. Many of the current problems and disputes can be solved by technology and intelligent ways by providing objectivity in decision making.

Your comment about the people in delta is though provoking. Economic prosperity indeed seem to push the struggle for egalitarianism to back seat.

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