Hyderabad Blues

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's xenophobia comes through quite clearly in a recorded audio
Hyderabad Blues
Hyderabad Blues
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Xenophobia, Recorded

Outlook has in its possession an audio clip apparently recorded during a meeting of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao with MROs (mandal revenue officers) and collectors on August 1, 2014 at the Marri Channa Reddy Human Resource Development Institute.

The audio clip in a nutshell has KCR telling officials that the reason behind the August 19 survey is to "discourage" Andhraites so that they will go their own way. The TRS government dropped questions on nativity in the Mega Household Survey stating that its main intention was to weed out bogus beneficiaries in social welfare schemes. In one part of the audio clip, KCR talks about how people from various parts of the country such as Rajasthanis, Maharashtrians, Gujaratis or Tamilians have blended into Telangana society.

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"But these Andhraites," he says, "instead of uniting forces with us continue to insult us and try to rule us (nethi meeda savaari chestunaaru)."

In another interaction at the same meeting, KCR asks, "Who are these students standing in queue for fee reimbursement now? They are Andhraites. Earlier, their fathers came to Telangana and the people of Telangana lost their jobs. If I accept that these students are locals, then they will stand in queues for jobs next. That is why I am being stubborn," reveals KCR. "I am concerned about the future of Telangana students. What is the point in gaining Statehood if jobs continue to go towards the Andhra lot?"

In a snide reference to Chandrababu Naidu without naming him, KCR says the Andhra Pradesh CM's frequent remarks that "We are all Telugu jaati" is just a fresh conspiracy. Ee mogaadu chesthadu ata (This man says he will do something for Telugu jaati)," says KCR as the officials break into laughter.

"All of you are intelligent, you have participated in the statehood agitation. I am requesting all MROs to use their intellect before issuing local and non-local certificates. I have specifically not invited Andhra MROs and collectors to this meeting. Through the process of this survey, if we tighten screws, Andhraites will feel that this is not their land and they will leave on their own. Mana daari saaf avtundi (It will clear the road for us). I cannot reveal this to everyone. You need to understand. Apply your intellect as people who participated in the statehood movement."

While not exactly going all out to say, "Chase Andhraites away through the August 19 survey," KCR's xenophobia comes through quite clearly.

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Lessons From Abroad

While Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has been promising to transform Visakhapatnam into a Singapore since the time of electioneering, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has taken it to the next level. Touring Singapore and Malaysia, KCR is attempting to attract investors to the new state by promising a graft-free environment. KCR says that his government is striving to make Hyderabad the most livable city in India and was interested in imbibing some smart city concepts from investors. According to the TRS government, a master plan is being prepared to meet the burgeoning population of Hyderabad which currently stands at 1.2 crore and would multiply several times over in the coming five years. Meeting Singapore ministers, KCR said that apart from IT, his government would be giving high priority to pharmaceutical, automobile and food processing industries.

The TRS government is also studying the security and surveillance systems in Singapore. KCR has often expressed the opinion that an extensive CCTV system must be set up in Hyderabad to monitor traffic and maintain law and order in the city.

Despite a hectic schedule, KCR, who is known to be a religious man, visited the Sri Perumal temple, one of the oldest temples in Singapore which is located in Little India.

KCR then travelled from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur by road and visited some satellite townships. The CM wants to replicate similar townships in and around Hyderabad. He also imbibed some lessons on the mono-rail system in Kuala Lumpur. KCR visited Putra Jaya, Malaysia's administrative capital and struck a few natty poses with tourists there.

Caught At Last

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A leopard which was seen off and on at the premises of ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics) at Patancheru has finally been ensnared. It was on the loose in the premiere scientific institute's 3,800-acre campus for nearly five months. Scientists and staffers have been spending sleepless nights because of the same are now a relieved lot. The six-year-old leopard weighing about 70 kg which has been preying on various animals at ICRISAT was finally trapped by a team of wildlife experts led by retired divisional forest officer Sekhar Reddy and the Nehru Zoological Park veterinary surgeon P Srinivas Reddy. The team had set up 16 camera traps to track the animal. But the clever leopard never once fell into the trap and instead would drag out goats kept in the traps through the bars. It had been caught more than 100 times on camera. A team of vets who examined the spotted cat said it was perfectly healthy and the leopard was released into the Mananur forest area of the Amrabad tiger reserve. The populace at ICRISAT have been given the green signal to take morning walks or take their two-wheelers. All these months, they have confined themselves to four-wheelers for safety reasons.

I, Me, Mine

YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy is not taking his role as Leader of Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly lightly. In the ongoing Assembly session, he has showcased at every instance, his aggression. He sparked a furore among ruling party leaders when he called them "buffoons". But to be fair to Jagan, he felt incensed when TDP MLAs said he was responsible for the late TDp leader Paritala Ravi's killing and called him a rakshasadu (demon). But what has been most amusing is Jagan's refusal to let any of his party MLAs speak or raise important topics. On Monday, Jagan let himself go for about two hours. His marathon talk made almost everyone restive and Jagan finally had to be reminded by Speaker Kodela Sivaprasad that while the opposition would be given time, it could not only be Jagan doing all the talking. Many leaders in YSR Congress at some point admit in private that Jagan usually cannot see beyond the I, me, myself. And at most party meetings, he is the one doing the talking. But then, TRS partypersons also admit that the Telangana government is a one-man show, that of K Chandrasekhar Rao. So looks like megalomania runs among politicians.

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Original P3Ps

Suhanie Pittie, a Hyderabad-based contemporary jewellery designer, is a regular at the Lakme Fashion Week that just got over. Her clients include several socialites and Bollywood actresses like Sonam Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Esha Gupta and Tisca Chopra. Her designs are what one would term as edgy in modern parlance. Suhanie is married into an interesting family which lives in the heritage mansion Raja Bahadur Motilal haveli in Begum Bazar. Married at a young age, Vinita Pittie had her son Stouvant (Suhanie's husband) at age 19. Vinita was one of the original P3 personalities in the city when Page 3 was not yet in vogue. A fashion designer who achieved quite a lot of fame in the 90s, Vinita's sarees are much coveted among those who love traditional designs. There isn't a single social or cultural event in Hyderabad that I have not spotted Suhanie-Stouvant-Vinita in. It is a given. In fact many elite foreigners who visit Hyderabad are often told, if you want a feel of nawabi Hyderabad, visit Vinita and Naveen Pittie's haveli.

Watery Tea

The Telugu remake of Aashiqui 2, Nee Jathaga Nenundali is like watery tea. One just doesn't feel anything for the lead actor Sachin Joshi or his lady love played by Nazia Hussain. The only saving grace in the film is that the original music by Mithoon and Ankit Tiwari has been retained. It is often seen that remakes of Telugu movies in Hindi work but the other way round is a bit tricky.

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