It was the statehood dream that the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) was founded on, a single-point agenda that stands fulfilled today. K.T. Rama Rao, party MLA and son of TRS supremo K. Chandrasekhara Rao, is spending a lot of time in Delhi these days. When not making rounds of TV studios to participate in noisy debates, KTR, as he is popularly known, is in hectic confabulations with the Congress. He shares his future outlook for the new state and his party.
Will TRS merge with the Congress?
We are still allowing it all to sink in. One hurdle after the other has been overcome. Mission impossible (Telangana statehood) was made possible because of the efforts of one man, KCR. Yes, we are in talks with the Congress. But there’s no formal proposal yet as to how we will work electorally. Our party cadre is against a merger as they feel that Telangana needs a regional party which would represent its interests better. Besides, nationwide, one can see that it is an era of regional parties. So we’ll have to wait and see.
Is this the Telangana you hoped for, the 10-year joint capital clause, law and order and municipal administration coming under the governor, among other things?
The UPA government cut it very close. So we had to choose between getting the bill passed or tweaking it to our own comfort. We are happy that most of what we wanted is there in this bill: mainly, Telangana with 10 districts and Hyderabad as capital. And Hyderabad’s revenue will accrue to Telangana. There should obviously be a financial package for Seemandhra.
The TRS has led a hate campaign against Seemandhra people earlier...
See, the remarks made by KCR—Andhrawaale bhaago, Telanganawaale jaago—at an Udyoga garjana meeting have to be seen in context. At that time, there was talk of Hyderabad being made a free zone in terms of employment. There was huge consternation about 1 lakh Seemandhra employees illegally stationed in Hyderabad. The T-movement was at its peak. My father was involved in a fight against many, including the vernacular media, which painted him as a divisive figure. If the TRS gets a chance to govern, we’ll certainly not focus on petty issues; instead we want progressive governance.
Branded as “settlers” by your party, how secure do you think they will feel in Hyderabad?
Let me make this clear. Anybody who’s made Hyderabad their home should feel secure and will be protected. There is no question of hounding anyone out. Hyderabad has already lost a lot of sheen as a brand because of the uncertainty. It is imperative that Hyderabad’s brand image is enhanced. We are not here to settle scores. In fact, the TRS has asked its cadre to be restrained in its victory celebrations too because that is the gracious thing to do. In 1969, the predominant slogan was “Andhras, go back”. The TRS believes statehood is a geographic division and not of people.
The TRS has no presence in Hyderabad or the adjoining Ranga Reddy district....
We’re aware of that. Since it’s a changed scenario, we’re looking at gaining a few seats in the coming elections.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
There have been hits like Chhatisgarh, misses like Jharkhand. One hopes Telengana and its people will prosper and flourish.
Summary of article: After daddy, I will be CM.
"See, the remarks made by KCR—Andhrawaale bhaago, Telanganawaale jaago—at an Udyoga garjana meeting have to be seen in context. At that time, there was talk of Hyderabad being made a free zone in terms of employment. " Baba KCR
Countries like the US and UK encourage talented people from all over the world to live and work there. In all the years that I worked in the US, I never once had an American tell me "Indians should go live in India" nor was I discriminated against because I was born in some other country. The emphasis was on getting the best talent and rewarding performance. This is why the US and UK are rich, advanced countries.
In my own country, we have the Shiv Sena wanting "Madrasis" out of Mumbai, the AAP wanting college seats in Delhi to be reserved for Delhi-ites, and now this collossal fraud KCR telling me to leave Hyderabad because my ancestors come from Krishna district.
This is why our country is a shit-hole run by mediocrities and why it will probably always remain a shit-hole run by mediocrities, masturbatory fantasies about superpower status notwithstanding.
Hyderabad would overwhelmingly dominate economy of Telengana. The key question is whether the future rulers of the state be able to ensure a thriving and growing H'Bad and also ensure that rest of state is freed of poverty and deprivation?
That apart - it is obvious that TRS stays apart and decides on alliance and merger with CON party based on its prospects in coming election. Fact is - both new states need a friendly government @ Delhi to get their economies going smoothly !!!
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