manoj mitta's lathi-wielding logic

If a woman who was forcibly married asks for a divorce on grounds of cruelty, can a court rule against it? Can a court rule that she cannot be liberated from her marriage, however bad, without her husband's consent? That's the kind of dubious logic the Sri Krishna Committee employed when suggesting, as its "second best option", that the Telangana region (the erstwhile Hyderabad state) cannot be divorced from the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions (the erstwhile Andhra state) unless the latter agree.
when an issue involves more than 80-100 million people, you can rest assured that there'd be more than 80-100 million opinions. and when some experts are called into apply their minds to the issue, you can be doubly sure that they'd produce several hundred pages of observations and analysis on the issue. then the woman, whose case mr.mitta so passionately (and patronizingly) makes, becomes the women of telangana, andhra and rayalaseema. she also becomes the adivasis, the dalits and the muslims of the the three regions. and the obcs and all the varieties within them. and she splits further into sub-castes: and into dominant and marginalised communities, into urban and rural women, men and children. and into the various segments and divisions of views within all those fragments. mitta finds it hard to digest all that democracy, i suppose. so he squashes it to down an easily chewable one voice: a woman whose case needs to be made (because she can't make it herself, you see).

mitta should understand the difference between two people and a hundred million people. a recent article by ram puniyani on the ideology of the rss says:
According to this ideology a Hindu industrialist and the Hindu beggar are supposed to have similar interests! A Muslim entrepreneur and a Muslim sweeper or beggar is supposed to have similar interests. So a Hindu king in History and poor Hindu farmer-Shudra are on the same page. It looks at history as unified Hindu community standing against others and so on, as if all Hindu Kings were hunky dory with each other and supping with the Shudras and poor peasants of society. The communal ideology, irrespective of any religions in whose name it operates, changes the horizontal social differences into vertical ones’. The society has divisions according the rich and poor, privileged and deprived. According to this ideology what matters is the vertical divisions according to one’s religion. This ideology as such focuses on issues of identity and undermines the real worldly problems. It is an attempt to undermine and sweep under the carpet the unjust social system, where the major contradiction is social and economic. It is a way to hide one’s birth based privileges under the guise of religion. Religion is a potent instrument as faith is its central component. Abuse of faith for political goals generates blind social hysteria, which is used to promote the political and social agenda of communal organizations. This pattern applies to all the faith-religion based politics. 
mitta too reduces all horizontal differences into a vertical divide between telangana on the one hand and rayalaseema-andhra on the other. and further vulgarizes it by reducing it into a marital issue between one woman and one man. and mitta's choice of the figure of a woman to represent telangana in his folksy, khap-like, analogy: please note that there's no vertical division between mitta and the woman. he's her natural spokesperson, of course. in mitta's worldview, as all horizontal divisions between vast millions of people should naturally collapse into one coherent vertical schism, it's also very 'democratic' that all women (read: all those segments, divisions and fragments i talked about earlier) of telangana..and elsewhere should bow down, collectively, to men like mitta. or the hindu/patriarchal/upper caste 'majority'.

trust the times of india to never rise above its pimply-faced market.


SS said...


Well said.

It’s curious how this notion of ‘forcible union’ has become the rallying cry for a separate Telangana, a ‘historical justification’ that cannot even be questioned, because it’s an emotional issue. It’s like getting into a time machine, determining the point where you want to stop and get off, and then using that as the starting point of your narrative. Suppose someone were to go further back, they might want to stop at an earlier time when the regions of Telangana, Andhra and Rayalaseema were indeed part of a larger state under Nizam rule. They might want to talk about how in 1766, the then Nizam granted the East India Company the five Northern Circars (present day coastal Andhra) as a gift. And how later in 1800, he ceded to the British the regions he had annexed from the territory of Tipu Sultan (i.e. present day Rayalaseema). Both in return for protection and maintenance of armies by the British. And these are not rice-fields or coconut/mango plantations we’re talking about here; these are entire regions of people that were exchanged from one ruler to another as part of their power play. This separation, this bartering away of people by rulers (and its natural consequences), has far greater legitimacy in the eyes of the separatists, than the later process of reunification of these regions in free India. Even if you grant that such a reunification was effected by the powerful, the elite, etc., how does it compare with the earlier bartering away? Why is this treachery? And not the earlier process? More than separation, it is this peddling of interpretations of history that bothers me.

Jashuva86 said...


This fighting brothers/spouses analogy is also problematic as this can be stretched to no end.

Can the same argument can be extended to say that if Kashmiris want independence from India it should be granted?

anu said...

very nice post, kuffir!

Sridhar said...

Further to @SS comments, I find it puzzling that political leaders from Andhra region are so dumb stricken and cowardly in bringing into light or putting an argument about how the three regions had existed together as they are today after unification. Also, the 'sweat and blood' argument of separatists in claiming Hyderabad chooses to disregard the contribution of Seemandhra prior to 1766 even while recognizing the 400 year legacy of Hyderabad.

It is also interesting to see how the separatists find a national consensus (via a parliament bill) sufficient and a state consensus (via state assembly) as not required.

kuffir said...


a majority decision in houses of legislature resulted in a 'forcible union' according to these worthies. but in the future, they don't realise, other dissenters would point to any separation as a 'forcible divorce'. and this is where i believe the ruling classes of india are grossly underestimating the importance of the issue.. this is not going to be about the state of andhra pradesh alone, it's about the destiny of the indian state itself. and not because, as the srikrishna committee points out, it could lead to fresh demands for new states elsewhere..but because any ill-thought action would clearly illustrate for many linguistic, minority cultures (especially the telugus)that the indian state is an enemy, not an arbiter that can be trusted. the idea of the 'indian nation', carefully constructed over the last two centuries by the brahminized classes would start falling apart..

kuffir said...


yes, it is very problematic. but i think the kashmiris' are more honest and straightforward-- they say they want freedom from indian democracy because it hasn't worked for them. but the separatists here want to remain within the indian union: so how can they say indian democracy hasn't worked for them?

kuffir said...

anu, thanks :)


'It is also interesting to see how the separatists find a national consensus (via a parliament bill) sufficient and a state consensus (via state assembly) as not required.'

that's an excellent point, sridhar. from a purely legalistic point of view, which the separatists have adopted all the time, they're right. a state consensus is not required. but how credible would be a 'national' consensus when the most significant part of it, consensus in the state, is missing? especially when a state is being separated after a union, not being created anew?

Anonymous said...

Kufr, you are right in saying that verticalization of all horizontal differences using region as a tool. But this applies to other things like language, state etc.

There is little common between the dora and the jeetagadu. This is true whether x is Telangana, AP or Telugu.

kuffir said...


in this context, language is a source of common identity of a majority of telugus, across caste and class.

yes, the lower castes/classes of both regions have very little in common with the upper castes/classes of both regions. which also means the lower castes/classes of both regions have a lot of interests in common, and it'd be meaningful if they united against the upper castes/classes. what the separatists are trying to do is to project real caste/class divisions as less important than a constructed regional divide.

Sridhar said...

What seem to unite people despite all the horizontal differences is the belief in increased per capita endowment in a state that will be free from inward migration from enterprising Andhra classes. Better and people centric governance arising out of a small and cohesive state appears to be the least motivation. An irony so telling of lack of people's trust in democracy and governance and it's ability to bring about development.

Anonymous said...

It is not Democracy's job to bring about development. Its just the most reasonable method of choosing a government.
Our mobocracy has been busy redistributing incomes of unquestioning middle classes to 'benefit' poorer sections to buy their votes.
The same robinhoodism legitimised robbery of upper classes (including dalit politicians and dalit IAS officers)in the form of contracts, transfers, postings, bribes, licenses....
Agitations spring from dissatisfied sections looking for more loot...

kuffir said...


'Better and people centric governance arising out of a small and cohesive state appears to be the least motivation.'

very perceptive.


thanks for your comment.

Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cosmic Voices said...

He has got his logic right....but couldn't correctly identify the husband and wife :P

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