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OUR NATION

For EC from Hyderabad

BIRTH OF TELANGANA RAISES EXPECTATIONS

TELANGANA ON THE CUSP OF CHANGE; MUSLIMS HOPE FOR A BETTER FUTURE By Muhammad Firasat Ali

T

elangana, the child of the Nizams, has a rich and hoary past. Thanks to the idiosyncrasies of the politicians. Telangana was declared a 29th state of the Indian Union recently. Telangana has been a hotbed of political activity to wrest it from the control of the Andhra region, which have dominated the political, industrial and cultural scene for decades. The CPI started the first agitation for a separate Telangana in the 1950s. Off and on, the issue of a separate state of Telangana has hung fire for several decades with politicians of various stripes promising voters that they would create the new state but the promises to the people remained unfulfilled. This act of separation turns the wheel full circle, for the deprived regions of Telangana. Not only the Hindus, but the minority community had suffered a lot after the police action of Hyderabad in 1948, when the erstwhile Nizam state was merged with the Indian union. As a backlash to their support for a separate Nizam state, thousands of Muslims were made to retire prematurely and were thrown out of government jobs. Their intense suffering heightened during the Telengana protests in 1967-68 when the students launched an intense agitation for a separate state of Telengana.

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Voices of protest were raised time and again by various groups from Telangana, when the merger with Andhra brought them nothing but misery. The more prosperous and thriving community from the Andhra region cornered most of the business, political and educational opportunities in the state. The resentment among the Hindus

Telangana was declared a 29th state of the Indian Union recently.

and the minority community resulted in fitful agitations right from 1968 to 2004. In 2004, the Congress promised to look into their demands for a separate state. Only after the protest spearheaded by TSR Chandrasekhar that the Congress saw a political opportunity in the bifurcation of Andhra into Telengana and Seemandra and took steps to bring about the change. It is a fact that the more prosperous Andhrans have monopolised the political and cultural levers of the state, with resentment fast building up among the poverty-stricken and

neglected regions of Andhra. Here we will try to give, in brief, the topography, culture and developmental issues of the state and their impact on the growth of the new state. TELANGANA GEOGRAPHY: Telangana a strip of land measuring 1.14 lakh square kilometres on the Deccan plateau. It is surrounded by Karnataka, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh and now Rayalseema and coastal Andhra. Telangana comprises of ten districts viz., Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medak, Nalgonda, Mehboob Nagar, Warangal, Kareem Nagar, Adilabad and Khamam. HISTORY: The territory of Telangana was ruled independently by Satavahana and Kakatiya Kingdoms from 221 B.C. to 1500 A.D. This was followed by the Qutub Shahi dynasty of Golconda from 1520 to 1687 followed by Nizams from 1724 to 1948. CULTURE: The culture of Telangana, its language and traditions survived despite the Muslim culture and linguistic domination. This was because of secular nature of the Muslim rulers. Those who monopolised cinema, expressions and media industry under Andhra rule ignored historical heroes such as Komaram Bheem and the great devotional poet Pothana.


OUR NATION Telangana is placed much better than Andhra with regard to tourism. Telangana region has many historical and tourists spots. Much of the revenue can be generated by giving more attention to tourism. Telangana has lost the Tirupati devasthanam, but it can develop Bhadrachalam temple on the lines of Tirupati. Telangana plays host to a rich treasure in the form of heritage monuments, forests and wild life. The National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management is helping to promote tourism activities. Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, after bifurcation, will give a fresh impetus to the tourism sector. Irrigation and management

Water

The sharing of waters of various dams between the two states i.e., Polavaram Project, Srisailam Dam, Pulichintala Dam, Prakasham Barrage and Nagarjuna Sagar Dam may create conflicts, which gives the ultimate power to the centre. The only benefit will be construction of balancing reservoirs, minor and medium projects for the optimum use of water resources. The film industry which is a good source of revenue to the state is controlled by Andhrans and the Telangana has to struggle to develop the industry in their region. The only existing gain is that the revenue earned by the Hyderabad city will go to the Telangana region. Telugu, the third most spoken language in India (after Hindi and Bengali) is a highly developed language and Telangana has contributed much for its development. Verbs in Telugu are different in all the three regions of Andhra, Rayalseema and Telangana.

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Experts suggest that the verb forms used in Telangana are the most archaic and original. Even revered Telugu writers like Tikkanna Somayaji have borrowed words regularly used in Telangana diction for their works despite hailing from Andhra region. Writers and poets say whatever the political implications of the division, Telangana literature will only flourish. The people of Telangana have been suppressed on all fronts since its inception in 1956. Andhrans focused their attention on Hyderabad city. The rest of the Telangana remained neglected for which they had to pay the price in the shape of an independent Telangana state Moreover, the leaders in Telangana were not sharp and could not think beyond their vested interests. The main task is to develop industrial infrastructure in districts for an overall growth. An active visionary is needed to pull the state out of moribund condition. Resources and labor are in abundance to exploit the cause of development for the progress of the state. Telangana is a hub of IT and Hitech sectors and it should grow in manufacturing and export sectors. The presence of key defence establishments and its ancillary units in and around Hyderabad could serve as a springboard for the city to attract private sector defence companies as the government opened the sector to foreign investment. Another very important reason is that Hyderabad is perceived to be the safest city in India in terms of natural disasters and enemy threat. This was considered the prime reason for the setting up strategically important establishments in Hyderabad. As India shifts its focus to manufacturing, lack of ports may

hamper the prospects of Telangana in attracting the heavy industry sector and export oriented and import dependent sectors. Nevertheless, with its best air connectivity and excellent infrastructure in and around Hyderabad, Telangana may emerge as the hub of the service industry. However, the technocrats and politicians should take the help of confederation of Indian Industries (CII), to study the feasibility of setting up industries in districts rather than in and around Hyderabad city only. A national investment and manufacturing zone on about 12 thousand acres is being setup in Medak district. At least fifteen MNC’s have requested the government to allot land in the proposed electronic hardware city at Maheshwaram. Muslims are a force to reckon with, even though they are in minority. Majority of the Telangana districts have a large number of Muslims. Even then they have not been taken care of by the rulers. Muslims have to work hard to get their rights. First they should have a political voice. They must try to enter into the legislative assembly in good numbers. Secondly, they should get rid of Cassandras who block the progress of the Muslims for their vested stakes. Earlier governments have promised Muslims, job reservations and better treatment on all fronts. But they have failed to do so. Now in the state of Telangana, at least they can think of a better future. The new leaders of Telangana should adopt the administrative abilities of the Nizams and work for the welfare of the people.

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