'they're asking for a separate state, not a separate country'

despite having a 'distinct' culture, as you're told in almost all the op-ed columns you'd read on the subject? why?

have been reading another article, by kalpana kannabiran and others ('On the Telangana Trail'), which tries to produce a sickeningly sweet account of how homogeneous telangana is, across social and religious divides, and how unitedly every telangani heart beats for telangana. yes, you'll also find lots of references to telangana's 'distinct' and 'composite' culture in the article. how can a culture remain 'distinct' and 'composite' at the same time? and what is it 'distinct' from? from other cultures in the neighbourhood? like the kannadiga, marathi cultures or only from rayalaseema and andhra cultures? or from the one 'national' culture the rest of india is supposed to harbour?

one of the telangana theorists, uppunoothala purushottam reddy of the congress, proposes this formulation: 'localisation is a cure for globalization'.

now, too many supporters of the telangana agitation, like ms.kannabiran, support it on the grounds that it is a 'democratic' movement, that it challenges the onslaught of liberalization and globalization etc. it's another matter that most of the political forces, the agitating students and intellectuals now spearheading the movement had long ago abandoned a demand for a 'democratic' telangana. all they want is a geographic telangana, which would yield not an inch of adivasi land to the adivasis, or upper caste benami landholdings to the dalits. nor concede any extra legislative representation to the obcs or the muslims.

is 'localisation is a cure for globalization'? globalization is a policy-philosophy of the ruling classes of india, cutting across political party lines. a telangani state can't change federal policy. don't these theorists know that? they do, of course.

from a certain perspective, it seems very clear to me that the problem is indianization or hinduization, not globalization. liberals like kalpana kannabiran and the sangh parivar, both supporters of telangana, share a vision of india that is upper caste hindu. for them, india is a readymade nation. for people like dr.ambedkar, it was a nation that had to be made.

how is hinduization a problem? this latest article by kancha ilaiah offers some clues:
I was shocked when one activist quoted a United Nations report stating that the average lifespan of tribals who live in those areas is just 40 years while the lifespan of people who live in the plains is 60 years. Their education levels are the lowest in the state and employment rate is also abysmally low. Their food consumption levels are worse than that of any dalit or other backward class (OBC) community of the state.

The Gond, Koya and Konda Reddy tribes were also finding it difficult to compete for their quota with the Lamabadas, who are plain tribes. They made all of us feel that 60 years of Samaikhya Andhra and democratic governance had done nothing for them. Hence, a separate statehood for them was presented as the best solution.

They are now planning to place their demand before the Srikrishna Committee and were asking our moral support.

Most of the upper caste Telangana leaders were of the view that those who live in the region should support Telangana and no other issue of caste, tribe, gender or exploitation should figure in the debate in any form. They are actually bent upon killing all other form of consciousness that exists in Telangana region and once the separate state is formed they would assume power and suppress other struggles for equality and improvement of life.

Many OBCs, Scheduled Castes and some Scheduled Tribes have been drawn into their fold because regional movements allow such space. But this has killed other modes of human consciousness.
for the congressi nationalists, and their marxist cousins, and the sangh parivar, linguistic identities are problems ('fissiparous tendencies' as they're often referred to in the mainstream media), that have to be 'solved'. so are caste and religion based identities. those are 'consciousnesses' which challenge the class based worldview of the liberals and the manuvaad of the parivar.

the movement for a separate telangana is neither a movement, as in a movement towards social progress, nor an agitation, a shaking up of a stratified society, but a bargaining ploy of the upper caste elites of the region. they wish to gain entry into the central elite of 'indians', or hindus. those who represent the essence of indianness, transcending language and caste (because most of them are from the upper castes, and hence above caste, and because they speak english or a sanskritised hindi, or both or a combination of both power languages) which has grown to the size of nearly half the population of urban india since independence. why do these elites, who have great contempt for lower class maharashtrians or kannadigas participating in sons-of-soil movements in mumbai or bengaluru, look upon the telangana separatists, using much more objectionable methods of harassing 'outsiders', with great respect and even affection? because all the separatists in telangana, i mean the most articulate and powerful among them, are asking for is an adjustment, an accommodation, and not anything resembling comprehensive structural change. they have neither the desire nor the courage to ask for real autonomy.


gaddeswarup said...

An aside. There have been several posts in Kafila and other blogs about adivasi problems after the recent article of Arundhati Roy in "The Outlook". You may find this article from last year interesting, if you have not already seen it:
Redressing 'historic injustice' through Forest Rights Act 2006: A Historical Institutional analysis of contemporary forest rights reform. About the problems of implementation, some of the kafila posts cover it and there is an article in The Hindu about the work of Shriprakash on the imlementation in A.P. Endless Loop.

SS said...

It seems futile to insist that the 'Truth' is something else when this is what the world gets to hear: http://nyti.ms/9kDY5i

rajkumar said...

The EPW article is a bundle of non-sense.It has been an avocation of these armchair socialists to publish accounts on Telangana singing paens to how great and happy thier lives were in so called Hyderabad State. Telangana is much more discrete and heteregenous than Coastal Andhra.Atleast there are so many common threads between them in terms of rituals and practices,o course on caste lines.
In Telangana every district has its own identity and pecularities.
A Palmoor man has nothing in common to one in Khammam.The culture is different and even language is not mutually intelligible.As much as the elites like Kalpana want the rest of the world to believe that Telangana has its own culture.the stark reality is that other than Nizam rule and common language there are no divergence of culture ..

Karthik said...


Your comments seems to show that you have no understanding on what is culture.

Culture is way of life of people and it evevolves with time. Being under the Nizam for more than a century, the people of telangana (10 districts of AP) and people of some districts in karnataka and Maharastra have developed common sense purpose and living. This can be seen in the dialect and usage of certain words, From way people celebrate festivals (Dusshrea for eg) etc. Yes, there will be small heterogenous differences in every culture (but, whole of telangana is more homegenous and costal Andhra). The fact that people from all the districts and all sections of the society are participating itself shows that these people have a shared sense of belief and purpose. That's what is culture about.

kuffir said...

swarup garu,

thanks for the links. yes, i've been reading some articles.


truth? truth is what the trps seek. i prefer to look at all realities.


'Telangana is much more discrete and heteregenous than Coastal Andhra.'

hmm.. yes, personally, i find wide heterogeneity in coastal andhra.


thanks for your comment.

Sridhar said...

Not sure if Dr. Ilaiah's idea of Manyaseema will be the only way to improve the lives of tribals but he deserves great appreciation for his sensitivity to their plight and for the intellectual rigor to see through the separatists ideology and that the present Hinduist movement for a separate state accommodates too little for the upliftment of under privileged and minorities and that it would amount to no real structural change other than improved economic opportunities for the already privileged classes.

Many intellectuals that belong to Telangana seem to sympatathise for the movement cognizant of movement's appeal as the voice of 'oppressed' and 'exploited' and that it would enhance their liberal quotient. Some probably do so out of fear. Dr Ilaiah is a great exception. Also thanks to Kufr for persistently exposing the holes in the leadership and the idea of separatist movement.

kuffir said...


thanks to you too, sridhar. many of the issues you and other commenters here have raised have been very helpful.. some of the points you made earlier are still on my mind..

Anonymous said...

EPW Article etc everything is non sense >>> So are poems and literature about a single telugu culture and so on

The World is so full of shit that we are forced to believe whatever is given to us...

But what i feel is wrong about kufr's writing is that you go about writing with a single minded focus to prove that-- "the IDEA of TELANGANA itself is wrong" and then somehow twist and turn around facts to prove yourself right

And to get things right>> Upliftment of the lower castes should be a very big priority for every govt but you prophesying that telangana will not lead to their upliftment and only cause further discrimination is wrong

kuffir said...


'So are poems and literature about a single telugu culture and so on'

good. this post was about what do telanganis have in common with the andhra-rayalaseema and the rest of india? and why do the separatists cling so obsequiously to india and its ruling classes?

thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

^^ anon here @kufr the only thing that they have in common is that the were ruled by a tyrant Nizam

And the only thing thats keeping them together is their pursuit of a better life thats all...

I fully agree that telangana or any dispute in the world is bcos of corruption

But I dont see corruption going down so they are trying to achieve the next best thing possible :)

You are doing nothing different--> u are in pursuit of a better life for yourself as well

The only thing that everyone should keep in mind is that they should not crush some one else's life in their pursuit for a better life

Anonymous said...

Jinnah's great concern was that a united India would treat its Muslims as second-class citizens, persecuted by the Hindu majority. Sachar committee proved him right. Committee report admitted that 138 million Muslims across India are severely underrepresented in government employment, including Public Sector Units. Ironically, West Bengal, a communist ruled state, reported 0 (zero) percent Muslims in higher positions in its PSU’s! The share of Muslims in government jobs and in the lower judiciary in any state simply does not come anywhere close to their population share.
The only place where Muslims can claim a share in proportion to their population is in prison! Muslim convicts in India are 19.1%, while the number of under trials is 22.5%, which exceed their population ratio. A note sent on January 9 by the army to the Defense Ministry in 2004 said that there were only 29,093 Muslims among a total of 1.1 million military personnel — a ratio of 2.6%, which compares poorly with the Muslims’ 13.8% share in the Indian population.
As per a survey on Media, The share of upper caste Hindus or `dwijas' in the upper echelons of the media is 85 per cent. These castes account for 16 per cent of the national population.
Brahmins alone, the survey found, hold 49 per cent of the top jobs in national journalism. If non-`dwija' forward castes like Marathas, Patels, Jats and Reddys are added, the total forward caste share stands at 88 per cent.
In contrast, OBCs, who are estimated to constitute around 40 per cent of the population, account for an "abysmally low" four per cent of top media jobs. In the English print media, OBCs account for just one per cent of top jobs and in the Hindi print media eight per cent. Muslims too, the survey noted, are "severely under-represented in the national media": they account for only three per cent among the key decision makers in the national media, compared with 13.4 per cent in the country's population.
Not only the Muslims even SC/ST/OBC are living as second class citizens in India, The cumulative percentage of SC/ST/OBC employees in Central government services continues to be below their percentage in the general population. :
Depts/Bodies Class I Class II Classes III & IV All Classes
Ministries / Departments 7.18 2.59 13.66 3.98 30.95 8.41 16.83 4.83
Autonomous Bodies 6.64 5.09 18.16 11.74 20.78 20.98 18.06 14.43
Public Sector Undertakings 4.51 4.59 18.74 9.91 31.72 15.77 19.95 10.61
Total 5.68 4.69 18.18 10.63 24.40 18.98 18.72 12.55
[OBCs are considered to be 52% of TOTAL POPULATION]

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