a solution

all i can think of as a solution is what i had always believed would be an ideal solution. all the reddies, velamas, kammas fighting for and against division should be given a separate state, or nation if possible, comprising 1-2 large districts (proportionate to their share in the population) and mr.tiwari should be made their governor or president..

their perennial squabbling would ensure that at least one person in the new state/nation could go about his business undisturbed, psyche and emotions untouched.


telangana: a little education

a couple of years ago, motivated by a certain impulse, i tried to check how many colleges, of all kinds, existed in all the regions (which today constitute the state of andhra pradesh) in 1948 (the year hyderabad state became a part of the indian union). i found this page on the ugc site useful- here are the results i had jotted down and saved:

vedaand sanskrit college..nellore 1926
a. u. college of science and technology , vizag, 1932
a.j. college, bandar. 1910
agricultural college, bapatla, 1945.
andhra christian college, guntur, 1900.
a.u.college of arts, sciences, 1931
andhra women's sanskrit college, rajahmundry, 1931
besant theosophical college, madanapalle, 1915
college of engineering, anantapur, 1946
college of engg., kakinada, 1946
college of fine arts, hyd., 1940
dr.gururaju homeopathy college, gudivada, 1945
govt., city college, hyd, 1924
govt college for men, kadapa, 1948
govt college for women, guntur, 1944
govt degree college for men, anantapur, 1916
hindu college, guntur, 1935
hindu college, bandar, 1928
islamiah arabic and tibbi college, kurnool,1923
n.s.z., college of music and dance, narsapur, w.g.,1934
p.g.college, secunderabad, 1947
pithapur rajah college, kakinada, 1852,1866,1884
osmania medical college, 1846
s.r.r and cvr govt degree college, v'wada,1937
s.v.j.v.sanskrit college, kovvur, w.g.,1912,
sir c.r.r college, eluru, 1945
sri maharajah college of music and dance, vizianagaram,1919
sri narasimha sanskrit college.,bandar, 1923
sri venkateswara arts college, 1945, tirupati
st.joseph's college of education for women, guntur, 1946
university arts and science college, warangal, 1948
university college for women, kothi, hyderabad, 1924
university college of agriculture, hyd, 1946
univ college of arts and social sciences, hyderabad, 1918
university college of engg, hyd, 1929
university college of engg., vizag, 1946,
univ college of science, hyd, 1919
univ college of technology, hyd, 1929,
vr college, nellore,1920

gudivada, bapatla, narsapur, bandar (machilipatnam), kovvur, madanapalle, anantapur, eluru, kadapa-- not many outside andhra pradesh would've heard about many of those towns. some of them have not crossed a population of one lakh even now.

i might've missed some names, the list itself might not be exhaustive etc, etc., but it does give you an idea of the status of educational infrastructure in both the regions. of the importance the ruling classes attached to education. it also indicates the aspirational levels of the middle classes in both regions, maybe. 28 colleges in the coastal andhra-rayalaseema region and 11 in telangana (all of them, except for one, in hyderabad-secunderabad). there were more than a dozen towns in andhra-rayalaseema where you could pursue higher education, or a graduate degree (as it is now called) in andhra-rayalaseema. and in telangana?

please note that the list does not include colleges in madras which was the major destination of a large number education-seekers in the andhra-rayalaseema region.

another important fact that one notices is that while almost all of the colleges in telangana (or hyderabad city, to be more accurate) were started (reluctantly, it'd seem in the last stages of the feudal rule) by the government, private initiative seems to have played a major role in the establishment of colleges in the andhra-rayalaseema region. you might ask what were the jagirdars of telangana doing? their major and only contribution to the field of education was the jagirdars' college (which was/is actually a school), now called the hyderabad public school. and to think that many among them actually owned tens of thousands acres of land (one actually owned over 1,50,000 acres)!

some lies rankle, and some half-truths rankle much more. the rosy picture of a glorious hyderabad and telangana that some learned people, professors and retired dons, try to paint rankles like hell. british india was definitely better.


villages without moonlight

as one poet described it, moonlight was stolen from too many villages in telangana for too long. the fear of police patrols in 'naxal-infested', as the media would describe it, villages was too strong for people to step out of homes in the evenings.

do you think moonlight was ever stolen from the lives of these two champion bull-breeding brothers?

those bulls, as the news report tells you, are an expensive passion: almost half a dozen moonlightless families could live on the money that's spent on them every month. until a week or so ago, the brothers were champion defenders of the ysr clan's right to rule the state (one of them was a minister in ysr's first ministry and the other is a minister in the current government). now they are champion promoters of the telangana cause, champion mike-grabbers who never miss an opportunity to tell opponents of the sacred cause that they shouldn't dare step into telangana.

one of the last scenes in the movie 'maa bhoomi' shows the upper caste jagirdars in the telangana villages stepping out of sherwanis and silk dhotis etc to don khadi kurtas and gandhi caps to join the indian national congress after the annexation of hyderabad by the indian state. yes, history repeats itself like it has run out of ideas. like its growth has been stunted by too little exposure to moonlight.



sad that the telugus should allow 'higher' powers to manage their affairs. that they should celebrate their subjugation and call it freedom. that they couldn't share water, jobs and now cities.

i wish all telugus would ponder over the question: if delhi 'gives', and you 'receive', what kind of power do you have over your lives? some democracy.


mr.tharoor's high perch

soumitro das nails it:

If you ask a Bollywood filmmaker whether this is actually what he is defending, he will be surprised. He believes that the values he is defending in his film are universal — love, family, country, religion... The word ‘caste’ would never cross his mind. Then how do we say that Bollywood films defend caste society?

The arranged marriage or marriage with parental sanction is an institution that supports, that takes the load of caste society through absolute parental authority when it comes to marriage or any other kind of relationship with the opposite sex. This parental authority is taken for granted in Bollywood films. There is no need to even explain it. The world of Bollywood cinema is so cleansed of caste and religion that one is almost tempted to believe that one is dealing with a bunch of ultra-liberals for whom caste and religion do not define the human personality. But the real reason for this absence is that women must not make the wrong sexual choice that could lead to the collapse of society as we know it. So, the world of Bollywood cinema is shown to be a ‘natural’ world, where upper caste Punjabi men are linked up with upper caste Punjabi women without the problematic obstacle of caste ever coming in the way of their union. Whereas, in reality, especially for the middle-class, caste is an overriding factor in marriage in particular and sexual relations in general.

didn't expect the hindustan times to carry an article which contains such plain talk. and here's shashi tharoor, minister in the government of india, unveiling bollywood power:

That’s soft power, and its particular strength is that it has nothing to do with government propaganda. The movies of Bollywood, which is bringing its glitzy entertainment far beyond the Indian diaspora in the United States and the United Kingdom , offer another example. A Senegalese friend told me of his illiterate mother who takes a bus to Dakar every month to watch a Bollywood film – she doesn’t understand the Hindi dialogue and can’t read the French subtitles, but she can still catch the spirit of the films and understand the story, and people like her look at India with stars in their eyes as a result. An Indian diplomat in Damascus a few years ago told me that the only publicly displayed portraits as big as those of then-President Hafez al-Assad were of the Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

Indian art, classical music and dance have the same effect. So does the work of Indian fashion designers, now striding across the world’s runways. Indian cuisine, spreading around the world, raises Indian culture higher in people's reckoning; the way to foreigners’ hearts is through their palates. In England today, Indian curry houses employ more people than the iron and steel, coal and shipbuilding industries combined.

When a bhangra beat is infused into a Western pop record or an Indian choreographer invents a fusion of kathak and ballet; when Indian women sweep the Miss World and Miss Universe contests, or when “Monsoon Wedding” wows the critics and “Lagaan” claims an Oscar nomination; when Indian writers win the Booker or Pulitzer Prizes, India’s soft power is enhanced.

one'd think das and tharoor put their heads together, collaborated, to produce two contradictory versions of the same story.

i'd like to sit in mr.tharoor's enchanting armchair and watch india turn into a bollywood movie, starring miss worlds and miss universes, and wowing critics like mr.das and claiming an oscar nomination or two. wish manoj majhi could sit in mr.tharoor's chair too.


..and the wolves lying in wait

mostly upper caste 'settlers' from telangana in the u.s., expressing their 'solidarity' with 'kcr and telangana students'.

checked through youtube but couldn't find any uploadable videos of the brutal lathi charge inflicted on the mostly obc, dalit 'telangana students' participating in protest demonstrations in osmania university campus on sunday.

please look at all the people in the video carefully- you might find some of them in parliament or in the andhra pradesh or telangana legislative assembly sometime in the future. some of them, i am sure, had been serious contenders for tickets from various parties in the recent elections too.

what does it all mean? nothing, except the protesters in the u.s., were much more aware of the implications of the lathi charge in hyderabad, and the gains from it (and hence were quicker in expressing their 'pain' on you tube), than those who bore its brunt.
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