NRI Telugus’ simmering dilemma over separate Telangana

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By Keerthi Kumar Ravoori

Chicago: Now that the Justice Srikrishna Committee’s report is unveiled, the NRI community finds itself wrestling with this searing dilemma as to what would be the most ideal option among the six options elucidated by this comprehensive report.  While we wrestle with the options, I am cognizant of the raw emotions and the predicament that it brings upon the people as to what would be an ideal option that best suits the aspirations of the people of the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The passions and undercurrents are too volatile and vastly strong for any one specific option to be adopted without fierce, some times vile, dissension. This ongoing strife continues to create a deepening dichotomy and sadly the end is not in sight, yet.

I can say with fair degree of conviction that there isn’t any one single option that best represents the hopes and the desires of the people of the state of Andhra Pradesh.  Each option invariably has merits and shortcomings and, therefore, any attempt to foster one option over the other could perhaps incite a fresh angry dissent.  So it is inherently challenging to find a comprehensive solution or a happy median that is likely to bring the population of Andhra Pradesh in unanimity of agreement.

Unfortunately, the ruling government was too abrupt and premature in its pronouncements in New Delhi without any foresight, analysis or comprehensive plan under its wing. While we have read extensively that those smaller states that have been carved out earlier have lesser political clout to assert in New Delhi and these are stellar examples that bear testimony that smaller states indeed do not fare well. That being said, the spirit of Telangana is lot more distinctive and it would be perhaps unfair to make a comparative analysis with the carved out smaller states in the north.

The NRI constituency has been largely mute about this simmering T-issue except for a few inner circle conversations or few unreported intra-organizational resolutions. It would have augured well if NRI communities joined in this spirited debate and articulated its enlightened point of view.  There could have been more “round-table” forums convened to foster an open, intellectually honest discussions and micro analyzing of this contentious issue  by notable academicians, thinkers, economists and business leaders – so that it could have been disseminated both to the ruling government and the Commission.

Some of us do strongly feel that there is so much of shared values, beliefs and traditions in the people of Andhra Pradesh — they are bound in common bonds with same culture, food, language, music, customs, movies and many more. Yet, the T-dichotomy continues to pull this mosaic apart.

While there is substance in the findings that Telanaga region faced gross neglect partly due to the governance and it urgently cries out for a shot of economic boost to be on par with other regions in the state.  What I think is urgently needed is that the weaker sections needed to be uplifted, the state needs to embark on a quantum leap to improve health care, create employment opportunities, education and industrial, infrastructural development, empowerment and better living standards that seek to bring about an improved quality of life to the people of the Telangana region, including the Rayalaseema region that is crying out for uplift from economic backwardness as affirmed by the Justice report. To me that is lot more critically important to the people of these neglected regions — than the options enshrined in the Justice Report. After all, isn’t that the basis on which this epic battle re-erupted !

Given the opinions, facts and schools of thought articulated, it is fairly clear that there is no single solution or panacea that will be able address the magnitude of this vexing issue.

I have a great deal of respect for those, who passionately espouse separate statehood, while I equally respect the profound sentiments of those, who seek to keep the state of A.P. firmly united. What we can do while this epic subject is being meticulously deliberated by the lawmakers is that we should rise above; and consistent with our time-honored ethos, we must demonstrate brotherhood, amity and goodwill till a final resolution is adopted and implemented.

Without inferring support for any options, allow me to submit that I subscribe to the proposition that the hopes, aspirations and the will of the majority of the people must eventually prevail.

Whatever the future may hold for the people, it is the most cherished hope of the majority of the NRI Telugus that the shining glory of the state of Andhra Pradesh – united or separated – should endure.

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