the stronger-than-iron fence

dalit poet gorati venkanna asks in a song:

will the earth split open if we separate?
shall an iron fence divide us like india and pakistan?

the questions are addressed to the andhraites who oppose separation. does gorati venkanna know what the separatists' chief ideologue prof.jayashankar has in his mind? look at what jayashankar thinks about the proposal to make hyderabad a union territory:
The proposal is not feasible as it is fraught with serious negative consequences, said Telangana ideologue K Jaishankar. “Union Territory status for Hyderabad is neither feasible nor advisable. The very survival of a Union Territory in the heart of Telangana is a problem. If it is created against the wishes of the Telangana people, will they allow the city to be supplied with water and power from Telangana?” Jaishankar asked.
india and pakistan were separated in 1947 but it never occurred to the rulers of india, whatever their many despicable faults, that they should cut off water supply from the indus river system to pakistan. india fought for nearly a decade over how the water should be shared, but never disputed or even thought of disputing pakistan's right to a share in the water. look at how easily that thought occurred to prof.jayashankar.

'indian genius is to divide'

the divide in prof. jayashankar's mind is much wider than the one between india and pakistan, much stronger than a mere iron fence. the fluid casualness with which he can talk about cutting off water to nearly a crore people, is only something we can gape at and admire. contrast his reaction with what a learned man, who played a bigger role than anyone else in bringing together india, had to say over five decades ago when discussing a similar issue:
When Gujarath and Maharashtra are separated—and they must be— Gujarath will claim the revenue derived from electricity produced and consumed within Gujarath. Maharashtra will claim the revenue derived from electricity produced and consumed within Maharashtra. Bombay City as a State will do the same. Can Bombay be allowed to do so and appropriate the revenue to itself ? Is it just ? Bombay City does not produce electricity. It is produced outside Bombay City in Maharashtra. Therefore the new Bombay City State has no right to appropriate to itself the whole revenue derived from electricity. The proper thing to do is to apply the principle of the segregation of the sources and division of the yield well known to all students of State Finance.

To put it in concrete shape let the Centre take over the taxation of Electricity and divide the yield among the four States of Maharashtra— (1) Bombay, (2) Western Maharashtra, (3) Central Maharashtra, (4) Eastern Maharashtra according to their needs. It will also ease the financial strain that the three Maharashtras are likely to suffer on account of the separation of Bombay.
do you notice even the slightest hint in those two paras that maharashtra should cut off electric supply to bombay because it doesn't produce any electricity on its own? because it shall be separated from the rest of maharashtra?

is there anything more shocking, more utterly sickening than the fact that prof. jayashankar, the glib proposer of cutting off of water supplies to a city of nearly 1 crore people, uses dr.ambedkar's views on division of states, very selectively and very repeatedly, to push his agenda of hate?

the separate telangana movement is 60 years old?

the wikipedia page on dr.jayashankar says that he, 'as a young student of intermediate walked out of his class as a protest for state reorganization in 1952'. when he was 17-18 years old. he had decided before the state of andhra pradesh was formed that it was wrong. when he was 17-18 years old or younger (because the idea could have been formed much earlier because the other idea, of visalandhra, had been around even before he was born). a 75 year old man who has nurtured the incoherent passions of his teenage years, not questioned or subjected them to any rational tests as most people do, so that they grew so big, consumed all his life and became fossilized as a monomania--- he is an ideologue of the 'democratic' separatist movement?

in 1948, when it joined the indian union, the literacy rate in telangana was barely 6%. much lower than in all other provinces, regions of india (the all india literacy rate was 17%). so someone who reached the stage of pre-university education in telangana in 1952 must have belonged to the most fortunate 1-2% of the region's population. right at the top of the region's social order. if one minuscule section of this tiny 1% of the region's elite (the elite of the region who wanted a quota for themselves in government, in the name of the poor masses of the region) comprising people like jayashankar, opposed the merger of telangana with coastal andhra and rayalaseema in 1956, that makes the separatist movement a 60 years old 'people's movement'?

the separate telangana movement is 40 years old?

the 1969 agitation, totally dominated by the upper castes, started as a movement for securing an extension of the special protections offered to people of the region (read: elite of the region) and ended when some protections were extended, in a different form. you could call it a movement of the new elite which had now expanded from 1% of the region's population to 5%. you can clearly see that it was not a people's movement because it failed to respond to a similar call for the division of the state, led by the 'jai andhra' movement, a couple of years later.
they showed no inclination to join hands with the 'jai andhra' separatists and build a bigger movement to divide the state. the elite of telangana had got what they wanted, so they had called off their own 'people's movement' to divide the state to meet the 'people's democratic aspirations'.

the current separate telangana movement, in the most objective sense, is neither 60 years old, nor 40 years old. but the reactionary interests, and logic of hate, fuelling the movement are as old as prof.jayashankar or channa reddy or konda venkat ranga reddy. or as old as caste. because it's only caste which speaks so very casually of cutting off water to those who are 'outsiders'. it's only caste which sees the most basic human rights as privileges that can be doled out or withheld by a few to the rest.


SS said...

Indeed. Can the Telangani speak? Who speaks for her? Kodandaram studied at UH. KCR I hear hails from Bobbili. The colonizers are a frightened minority in Hyderabad.

ved said...


This is one your best summary of the true nature of telangana separatism.

My biggest worry is not that Telugu people are being divided, but the way they are being divided is absolutely irreconcilable and dwarfs India-Pakistan conflict.

The forces of hate are mutual. T vadis may think that hatred is an easy weapon to rally the people of Telangana, but they have no idea how the reactionary forces of hate would boomerang on them once the state is divided. My guess is that the pent up humiliation and frustration will explode in Hyderabad in not very distant future after separation. This will be very destructive for both regions and could be very infective for the rest of the country.

gaddeswarup said...

There is a puzzling freom Hindu in 1952. I do not know where this fits in:

Bhanu Prasad said...


As expected, your skill and patience at collecting data to refute separatists is un-paralelled.

On a similiar note, the bus yatra of Prof.Kodandaram has got zero response, as per today's eenadu news paper. That shows the "strength" of the movement.

Even the media seems to have forgotten this courtesy the ruckus over women's bill.

Reality said...

Kufr ,

Excellent write up.
Hate ideology is very dangerous to mankind. Once people start on that road we dont know where we will stop. And does this hate even has a valid reason. The answer is a big NO.

You wrote about 'cutting off water' , but he used even severe words like 'civil war'. Does this Jaishankar even understand what civil war means for this state and country.

Also in the same Ambedkar article ,ambedkar writes this :
The real objection to the creation of Bombay as a separate State arises from the fact that the name Bombay does not carry within it the sense that it is part of Maharashtra. It is to remove this objection that I propose that the new State of Bombay should be renamed by another name which will carry on its face the word Maharashtra.

This also involves the separation of Bombay. With this change in the name of the City I like to know which Maharashtrian can raise objection to the creation of Bombay as a separate City State on the ground that this scheme separates Bombay from Maharashtra ? To say that Bombay be made a separate State is merely stating that Maharashtra be divided into four States. If there is no objection to Maharashtra being divided into two or three States what objection can there be to Maharashtra being divided into four? I can see none. For the sake of similarity in language I propose that Calcutta be called Bengal City State and Madras be called Tamil City State.

This is one proposal which I make to ease the tension between Maharashtrians and Gujarathis.

Ambedkar didnt have any objection to bombay city being made a separate state. He just wanted the name changed to marathi name so that marathis wont get offended.

We can use the same logic here and make Hyd as UT if separation is inevitable but change its name as " Telangana Nagar" or "Telangana badu".

Sridhar said...

The separatists show their true colors whenever there is the talk of Hyd as UT. They can never give a good reason other than saying Hyd is integral part of Telangana. If it is all about self-rule, self-respect, managing water resources, and protecting jobs from outsiders - I do not understand why can not they accomodate interests of people of all regions of the state in the state capital. After all, it is about a state capital that flourished with the participation of all citizens of the state for over 50 years.

If the fight is all about Hyd at least they should admit it.

kuffir said...


'Can the Telangani speak?'

she's speaking, and quite clearly: ' maa neellu, nidhulu, udyogalu maaku kaavali'. those are the issues she's speaking about: water, jobs, fruits of development. those are issues many people in many regions of india are also talking about.it's only the too 'broadminded' intelligentsia in universities like yours who hear only 'telangana, telangana'.

the problem is: why aren't the people of andhra-rayalaseema speaking? most of them face the same problems.

kuffir said...


hmmm.. thanks for sharing those thoughts.


yes, it's puzzling. but not very, because it seems to indicate the disturbances were intermittent, not so big, and stemmed from varied motivations.


'On a similiar note, the bus yatra of Prof.Kodandaram has got zero response, as per today's eenadu news paper. That shows the "strength" of the movement.'

yes.. the media, unlike in '69, the separatists have to thank the media for all the generous support they received from it through the 10 years, despite poor electoral performance and very little mass participation until a few months ago.

kuffir said...


'You wrote about 'cutting off water' , but he used even severe words like 'civil war'. Does this Jaishankar even understand what civil war means for this state and country.'

jaishankar has survived all the agitations since 1952. should tell you something about: who actually paid, shall pay, with their lives and much else for the ideas jaishankar espouses.

kuffir said...


when i say:

'why aren't the people of andhra-rayalaseema speaking? most of them face the same problems.'

i mean 'the people of andhra-rayalaseema' in andhra-rayalaseema. yes, i understand why the 'colonizers' don't speak. had written about it.


'After all, it is about a state capital that flourished with the participation of all citizens of the state for over 50 years.

If the fight is all about Hyd at least they should admit it.'

yes, very true.

Add to Technorati Favorites