11/03/10

a state within a state

p.s. krishnan, an ex-bureaucrat who had worked in andhra pradesh for long, and had also served on the mandal commision, in v.p.singh's team and as adivsor to arjun singh a few years ago on the obc reservations issue, suggests an innovative solution to the telangana issue:
The widespread demand for the establishment of Telangana State has met with opposition in the Andhra area on two grounds: (a) The general sentiment against division of the linguistic State of Andhra Pradesh and against the division of the Telugu-speaking people; (b) Apprehension about protection of Andhra interests in Telangana, especially in and around Hyderabad city, and particularly the protection of the large number of people of Andhra origin who came to Hyderabad because it is the capital of their State and made it their home. Leaving aside a handful of big industrialists and realtors, they belong to the middle class, the lower middle class and even unorganized labour who have invested a lifetime’s savings in Hyderabad and Greater Hyderabad over two or three generations. Most of these properties are no more than a house or a residential plot or investments in some small trade or profession.

It is possible to reconcile the sentiments and fulfil the aspirations of both Telangana and Andhra people by adopting the following measures for which a Constitutional framework exists, and to which suitable modifications / adaptations can be made:
(i) Establishment of an Autonomous State of Telangana within the State of Andhra Pradesh.
(ii) The Autonomous State of Telangana should have its own Legislature and its own Council of Ministers.
(iii) The Legislature of the Autonomous State should have power to make laws for Telangana in respect of matters enumerated in the State List or in the Concurrent List. Power to make laws includes power to repeal or amend existing laws with prospective effect in the interest of the people.

Whether every item in the State List and Concurrent List should be brought within the purview of the Legislature of the Autonomous State of Telangana or whether a few items of common interest, e.g., law and order in Hyderabad/ Greater Hyderabad, should be kept out is a matter to be settled by detailed negotiations.

In the case of the latter, if it is agreed to by all sides in detailed negotiations, it could be brought into the concurrent list or a new category of concurrent list involving the Autonomous State of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and the Indian Government.

iv) This will also mesh with the larger concern over terrorists targeting major cities of India, including Hyderabad, for which mega policing, aerial surveillance, etc., are being thought of but will be possible only with Central participation.In that case, what is done for Hyderabad in the present context will become a model in respect of other metropolises of India in the larger context also.

v) A mechanism can be created, maybe an expert commission or some other, for equitable sharing of water resources between the Autonomous State of Telangana and the Andhra area of Andhra Pradesh. In addition to this, there can be, on the basis of negotiations, a permanent expert commission to pursue matters on a continuing basis taking off from the award that will be issued by the commission set up under statute.

vi) Formula for sharing of taxes, especially taxes generated in Hyderabad city, can be evolved on the basis of correct financial principles and available statistics by an expert body and through negotiations. There is the experience of what was done in this regard about 40 years back as part of the budgetary exercise.

vii) Hyderabad, which is embedded within Telangana, should continue to be part of Telangana and capital of the Autonomous State. The futility of any effort to alter this should be evident from the aborted move in the late 50s of the last century to separate Bombay (now Mumbai) from Maharashtra as a Union Territory and the delay this caused in the formation of the linguistic States of Maharashtra and Gujarat and the bitterness that this delay gave rise to and the agitations that it set off for a few years and other events of that period ending with the bifurcation of the bilingual State into Maharashtra (including Mumbai) and Gujarat.

At the same time, since formation of the Autonomous State of Telangana does not require the division of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad can also continue to be the capital of Andhra Pradesh. Thus, the dispute and problem relating to Hyderabad can be avoided.

viii) Andhra interests that have grown in Telangana, especially in Hyderabad city and its surroundings in the last half-century, should have all lawful protection in the Autonomous State. In particular, a system should be created under the proposed Constitutional route to ensure law and order, and security and sense of security, for the people in Greater Hyderabad.

The advantages of the above route are that a) Telangana will get autonomous statehood while preserving the existing Andhra Pradesh State and b) the unfortunate bitterness that has grown between the people of the two regions may also disappear with the emergence of an agreed solution as is possible on the above basis.

This opportunity can also be utilised to provide Constitutional systems for the protection of the people of the Scheduled Tribes (STs) and their lands and other interests and also to provide proper Constitutional, legal, institutional and organizational systems for securing the economic, educational and social advancement of SCs, STs and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes, including BCs of Muslim and Christian communities.

The autonomous State concept was earlier applied in the case of Meghalaya which, of course, later became the State of Meghalaya. But, the situation in Andhra Pradesh is more propitious than it was in the case of Assam. The “ethnic” difference between the Assamese (Ahomiya) plains people of Assam, and the Khasi and Jaintia and Garo tribes of the erstwhile Assam / Meghalaya Autonomous State / Meghalaya State does not exist between the people of Telangana and Andhra. The disturbing external factors experienced in Assam do not exist in Andhra Pradesh. Further, the political experience and maturity of the people of Andhra Pradesh promise longevity for this Constitutional arrangement of autonomous State within a State in the case of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

If it comes about and succeeds it will not only help resolve the present impasse in Andhra Pradesh in a positive way and put the people of the autonomous State of Telangana and of Andhra Pradesh on the path of development, welfare and equality, it will also set up a model for resolving similar aspiration-based movements in regions of other States. This issue cannot be wished away or brushed under the carpet.

Realizing the strong sentiments in favour of linguistic States (which also had a democratic justification), the Constitution- makers provided in Article 3 for formation of new States. This was utilized on several occasions. Also, the Indian leadership showed resilience in the matter of Article 343 and the Eighth Schedule and its expansion from time to time. All these helped meet powerful regional/linguistic sentiments (which also had a democratic content) and simultaneously strengthened India’s federalism and unity.

i think a division would be disastrous, for many reasons, for both the telugus and india. the current level of 'sentiments' in favour of telangana don't reflect a permanent divide, in my view. and these kinds of 'sentiments', history tells me, have a way of changing shape and even location and may reincarnate as new upheavals in coastal andhra or rayalaseema in the near future. this is not a 'problem' that the ruling classes of india can 'manage' and 'deal' with over a couple of years and go back to being the same ruling classes of india, later. because the telugus seem to have been around even before there was any india, and political schisms over centuries haven't been able to cause any serious damage to their ability to separate and regroup. and separate and regroup.

so i find some of krishnan's suggestions interesting, because they seem to take a saner, more mature approach to dealing with this 'problem', not because i agree with them totally.

14 comments:

sravan said...

The problem is not only the political affliations of the people. The bigger problem is the bureaucratic strength of andhra in the existing union. The sheer dominance of andhra since beginning has allowed the preferential convinience such an arrangement allowed.
Most andhra do not even know that such a system exists. Those who have settled here are thus not directly involved in discriminating telangana people.
Telangana people and andhra people both have the problem of corrupt political representation. Such a state in the state system does not rectify the situation.
Telangana people need a system where they are represented both in legislature and bureaucracy by people who only are responsible for the region. Not that involving a system that works on a shared basis.

ved said...

Sravan,


'Those who have settled here are thus not directly involved in discriminating telangana people.

Telangana people and andhra people both have the problem of corrupt political representation. '


At last acceptance of truth. So how does separation help? What are we fighting for? Do you want to divide the territory so that each set of politicians can continue their corruption without competition from other region?


'The bigger problem is the bureaucratic strength of andhra in the existing union. '


Whatever dominance that was there long gone. Let us not use 1956 sound bytes and look at the issue through rear view mirror. The top layer of the bureaucracy comes from across the Nation in the form of IAS and IPS officers. It is ridiculous to say that IAS, IPS or group-1 officers have some grudge against Telangana. In fact most of the IAS, IPS, group-1 candidates comes from Hyderabad area. Going by your statement that settlers are not discriminating against telangana people, what is the issue?

sravan said...

Ved,
Bureaucracy does not just mean IAS and IPS. And do you have any data on how many IAS officers in AP state are from Andhra and Hyderabad and how many are from outside AP??
According to one estimate only 8% of the staff in AP Secratariat are from telangana.

And in 1956 the safeguards were placed because the fears of Telangana were not ill founded. And it is clearly evident that most the safeguards were broken from the day 1.
Do you expect us to believe that telangana developed in equitable proportion even when there were no safeguards?
Do you believe in the the honesty of our workforce???

ved said...

Sravan,

I was testing to see what bureaucracy means as you rightly agreed that people settled in Hyderabad are not involved in discriminating telangana people.

Now that we excluded IAS,IPS and group-1 officers that rule various departments, I was wondering who are these 92% of the employees working in secretariat but not living in Hyderabad.

sravan said...

Ved,
What about the andhra who live in Seemandhra?
What about those andhra who do not work for govt.?
What about those thosuands of small time clerks, teachers and several small company subordinate job holders, small time business owners?? And what about thei families, their sons and daughters?? and their sons and daughters??

kuffir said...

sravan,

'Telangana people need a system where they are represented both in legislature and bureaucracy by people who only are responsible for the region. Not that involving a system that works on a shared basis.'

and what do you think of the 'system' at the centre which also works on a 'shared basis'?

reality said...

This state within a state proposal is totally useless. This solution is neither here nor there. In case separation happens ,irrespective of whether Hyd goes with Telangana or remains UT , Andhra will need to work on building their capital. This state within state proposal will have andhra taxes and capital being spent on Hyd which will be remaining with Telangana. Then after some 20 years some leader will bring out some other excuse and starts the whole movement again. That will be further opportunity loss of another 20 years for Andhra.

Also ,we can see how the author is biased towards telangana. He says
A mechanism can be created, maybe an expert commission or some other, for equitable sharing of water resources between the Autonomous State of Telangana and the Andhra area of Andhra Pradesh.

What does the above lines mean? Is an equitable sharing of water not happening now ? Are bachawat awards not being followed ?

sravan said...

Kuffir,
What I mean here by shared basis is- separate legilature sharing same bureaucratic organization which is rather impractical.

kuffir said...

sravan,

well, you have the 'same bureaucratic organization which is rather impractical' running the whole country from delhi. how would you deal with that?

sravan said...

Well, AP secratariat and for instance most of the departments in AP state that cater the day-to-day works of divisions stated in state and concurrent list are accountable to state govt not Central govt.

May be you have a very narrow view of bureaucracy in India.
I am not discussing the theory of how the bureacracy in india is organized? I am discussing the working process of the bureacracy.
The bureaucracy is organized in all states and at the center in the same way. But you do not appreciate the discrete levels at state and center.

kuffir said...

sravan,

and there is no union list, of course. and no central right-of-way in making decisions on functions in the concurrent list. and whatever decisions the centre makes in those areas, and in whatever fashion the andhraites, gujaratis, punjabis etc in the central bureaucracy turn those decisions into actions has no bearing on whatever happens in the state.

you object to * a political executive shared with andhraites or * a bureaucracy (state plus central depts/agencies)shared with andhraites.

now, andhra and telangana share both. but krishnan suggests: * a separate political executive and legislature but * a shared bureaucracy. but you still object to the solution. even though telangani politicians would be making most of the decisions and the babus would only be carrying them out. why?

because you trust neither the andhra bureaucrats, nor the lower rank and file of babudom like clerks, nor the elected political classes. across classes, you've a problem with the andhraites. you find all andhraites untrustworthy.

let me pause for a moment and 'appreciate' the inherent racism in those objections, because you don't seem to appreciate much your own virtues. you seem to care only about the 'dire comprehension difficulties' of other people.

what i still don't understand is why should you choose to ignore any andhraite presence in the central executive and bureaucracy, some of whom would be posted in telangana. and also andhra executives in the central psus. i am assuming of course that you'd have found suitable ways to 'clean' the local industry and media of ndhra presence because they may try to influence (you know quite well, the lobbying powers of the 'andhra capitalists') the decisions of the pure telangani government, in the future.

sravan said...

Kuffir,
You wrongly discern my objection as inherent racism.
My objection is based on historical facts.
If you look in the past even before the formation of Hyderabad state , before 1952, Andhra were able to get jobs in telangana by showing false residence certificates. And after 1956 by producing counterfeit mulki certficates.
The tiered bureacracy if inadveratantly is filled by people of one region who have a very little local and regional understanding what help could they provide??
And we all know how corrupt our bureacucracy is.
Any work or any job is given on the basis of two things- Reccomendation and Bribe.
If the tiered bureaucracy is dominant andhra it perpetuates the people of andhra to fill the vacant posts. There is no intentional prejudice but only an opportunity. A opportunity based on illegal means.
And given that andhra have been benefitting this way for years and being richer than telangana counterparts it is easy for them to provide bribes. Telangan people even if they have qualifications could not give competetive bribes to get the jobs.
And bribes definitely would not have any regions and therefore our politicians would only see the money not the regions.
This was largely possible only because of the merger.
Demerger is the first step to tackle this.

ved said...

Sravan,

Looks like you need separate country, not separate state. The xenophobia that you try to show is very consistent with separate country demand.

Today it is against fellow telugu people and tomorrow it may be against India. On second thoughts, you guys are habituated to go against the soft target. Therefore you may continue to attack fellow telugu people until people of Telangana realize the hidden agenda. I hope that day will come soon.

Sridhar said...

Once a separate Telangana becomes a reality, the 'movement' would still not end. Being unable to keep up with the job promises the right wing leaders will keep campaigning against the 'settlers' and also harass private employers in IT, media and film industry to hire locals 'first'.

I was surprised to read Ananth Mariganti (in EPW article) mentioning 'lost cosmopolitanism' in Telangana due to the migrations of people from Andhra and their colony like concentrations. Wondering how did he fail to see such colonies of muslims or gujarati or north indian migrants and how did they not diminish the city's cosmopolitanism.

 
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