Tuesday, October 29, 2013

వేరు పడడమే నేటి విజ్ఞత - వెలిచాల జగపతిరావు

Published at: 30-10-2013 00:20 AM

విభజనకు ఒప్పుకోండి. తెలంగాణతో ఘర్షణ ఆపండి. కేంద్రం ఇస్తున్న హామీలను స్వీకరించండి. ఆంధ్ర ప్రాంతంలోని కోట్లాది ప్రజల సౌకర్యం కోసం అన్ని హంగులతో కూడుకున్న కొత్త రాజధాని ఎంతైనా అవసరం. వెనుకబడ్డ ప్రాంతాల అభివృద్ధికి ప్యాకేజీ అవసరం. పెద్ద పెద్ద నీటిపారుదల నిర్మాణానికి కేంద్ర సహాయం అవసరం. విజ్ఞత చూపండి. రానిది-మీది కానిది కోరకండి.

తెలంగాణ ప్రజాపోరాట ఉద్యమం రాజకీయ నిరుద్యోగుల ఉద్యమమని ఆంధ్రులు అంటున్నారు. తమ ఉద్యమమేమో సమ-ఐక్యత మహోద్యమమట! తెలంగాణ రాజ్యం ఏర్పడితే దొరల రాజ్యం ఏర్పడుతుందని కుహనా రాజకీయ వేత్తలు పదే పదే వల్లిస్తూ పాశవిక అనుభూతిని పొందుతున్నారు.దొరలు ఎక్కడ? ఎప్పుడు? ఎంతమంది? ఎన్ని గ్రామాల్లో అత్యాచారాలు, అరాచకాలు చేశారు? ఆంధ్ర ప్రాంతంలో దళితులపై రాక్షసకాండను దేశం ఇంకా మరిచిపోలేదు. కారంచేడు, చుండూరు, లక్ష్మీపురం ఘటనలు మానవత పట్ల మహాపచారాలు కావా? ఆ అమానుషాలకు కారకులు ఏ కులాల వారు? వారి అఘాయిత్యాల చిట్టా విప్పమంటారా? వారు 'సత్యపూస'లైతే నక్సలైట్ల పేరు చెబితేనే ఎందుకు గజగజ వణికి పోతున్నారు? తెలంగాణ దృష్టిలో నక్సలైట్లు దేశభక్తులు. పేద ప్రజలకు వారు కొండంత అండ. తెలుగు ప్రజలు రెండుసార్లు దొరల పరిపాలనలో ఉన్నారు. స్వాతంత్య్రానికి ముందు ఉమ్మడి మద్రాసు రాష్ట్రానికి ముఖ్యమంత్రిగా ఉన్న రంగారావు బొబ్బిలి జమిందారు. ఆంధ్రప్రదేశ్‌కు సమర్థపాలన అందించిన జలగం వెంగళరావు కాంగ్రెస్ నాయకుడు. ఇరువురూ వెలమ దొరలే. 1960 దశకంలో ఆంధ్రప్రదేశ్ ఉప ముఖ్యమంత్రిగా ఉన్న జె.వి.నర్సింగ్‌రావు వెలమ. ఆంధ్రప్రదేశ్ పీసీసీకి ముగ్గురు వెలమలు నేతృ త్వం వహించారు. నిజాం వ్యతిరేక పోరాటంలో వెలమలది ముఖ్యపాత్ర. తెలంగాణ సాయుధ పోరాటంలో వెలమల పాత్ర శ్లాఘనీయం.

రాష్ట్ర శాసనసభలో మూడుసార్లు ప్రతిపక్ష నాయకులు వెలమ దొరలే. చెన్నమనేని రాజేశ్వరరావు ఆ బాధ్యతలను ఎంత సమర్థంగా నిర్వహించారో తెలుగువారికి తెలుసు. మావోయిస్టుల అగ్రనేత వెలమ సామాజికుడు. ఆంధ్రులకు ఆరాధ్యులైన పలనాడు బ్రహ్మన్న, బాలచంద్రుడు, బొబ్బిలి పాపారాయుడు వెలమలే. వెలమల పౌరుష గాథలను ఆంధ్రలో తమ పిల్లలకు ఉగ్గుపాలతో రంగరించి పోస్తారు.
అలనాటి బొబ్బిలి సంస్థానం వైశాల్యంలో నేటి ఒక జిల్లా అంత ఉంటుంది. దానికి నూరంతల ఎక్కువ బలమున్న విజయనగరం సంస్థానం, హైదరాబాద్ రాజ్యం, బుస్సీసేనాని నేతృత్వంలోని ఫ్రెంచ్ సైన్యం ఒకేసారి నాలుగు దిక్కులా చక్రబంధం వేసినా తలవంచని వీరులు బొబ్బిలి వెలమ దొరలు.

వెలమలు దుర్మార్గులా? శతాబ్దాల క్రితమే వారు కులవ్యవస్థకు వ్యతిరేకంగా పోరాడారు. సహపంక్తి భోజనాలు చేశారు. దేవాలయాల్లో వారికి ప్రవేశం కల్పించారు. భారతదేశంలో ఏ జాతిలో లేని ఒక విశిష్ట ఆచారం వెలమ కుటుంబాల్లో ఉంది. వెలమఇంట్లో పెళ్ళికంటే ముందు ఒక దళితుని ఇంట్లో పెళ్ళి జరిపించి, వారి కాళ్ళవద్ద పడిన 'తల్వాలను' అనగా తలంబ్రాలను పంచలో కట్టుకుని తమ పిల్లల పెళ్ళిళ్ళు జరిపిస్తారు. వెలమ దొరల కోటలపైన ఒక హరిజనుడి విగ్రహాన్ని పూజిస్తారు. దీపం పెడుతారు. మీకు ఈ సంస్కారం వుందా? మీరు దళితులను గౌరవిస్తారా? బడుగు వర్గాలను చేరదీస్తారా? మీ ఉద్యమంలో నల్ల బట్టలు కట్టినవారు, గొంగళ్ళు వేసుకున్న వాళ్లు, పెయ్యిపైన సగం బట్టలు వేసుకున్న వారు ఒక్కరు కనబడరెందుకు? ఎందుకు పదే పదే మీరు ఒక కులాన్ని అవమానపరుస్తున్నారు? వెలమలకు దొర అన్నది ఒక గౌరవ పదం.

కూలీ పనిచేసే వెలమలను, పెండ తీసే పాలేరు వెలమను కూడా వారి కంటే తక్కువ కులాలవారు 'రామయ్య దొర పెండతీయవయ్యా' అంటారు. ఆంధ్రా ఉద్యమం ఎన్నో మలుపులు తిరిగింది. ఉద్యమాన్ని ఎగదోసిన నాయకులు కనుమరుగైపోయారు. ఒక చిరు ఉద్యోగి ఉద్యమంలో చేరి ఇంతై, ఇంతింతై, కొండంతై కేంద్ర మంత్రులను దిగిపొమ్మంటున్నాడు. మెడలు విరుస్తామంటున్నాడు. శాసనసభ్యులను, పార్లమెంటు సభ్యులను బజారులో నడవనీయమంటున్నాడు. ముఖ్యమంత్రితో చీకటి రాజకీయాలు చేస్తున్నాడు. కొత్త పార్టీ పెడతామని పగటికలలు కంటున్నాడు. ఆంధ్ర ఉద్యమానికి కర్త, క్రియ, కర్మ అంతా ఒక ఉద్యోగ సంఘం నాయకుడే. తెరచాటు ముసుగు నాయకుడు మాత్రం ముఖ్యమంత్రేనని అందరూ చెప్పుకుంటున్నారు.

ఆంధ్రుల విభజన వ్యతిరేక కిరికిరి మితిమీరి పోతున్నది. సమ-ఐక్యత ఒక విషపూరిత, స్వార్థపూరిత రాజకీయ పంథా. దానికి తలాతోకా లేదు. దానికి ఒక ఫిలాసఫీ లేదు. అది ఏకపక్షం. అపహర్తులు, దోపిడీదార్లు, దురాక్రమణదారులు, తెలంగాణరాజ్యాన్ని పంచమనడం హీనాతిహీనమైన, నీతి బాహ్యమైన ఆలోచన. దోచుకున్న దాన్ని లీగలైజ్ చేసుకోవడానికి చేసే కుటిలప్రయత్నం. ఉద్యమంలో అవలంబించిన పద్ధతులు జుగుప్సాకరం. బట్టలూడదీసుకొని ఆకులు కట్టుకొని చిం దులు వేయడం, ఒంటికాలు మీద మోకాళ్ళ మీద నడవడం, నడిరోడ్డు పైన చెమ్మాచెక్కా, వాలీబాల్, క్రికెట్ ఆటలు, రికార్డింగ్ డాన్సులు, చిన్న పిల్లలను పరేడ్ చేయించడం, మాటి మాటికి అంతర్యుద్ధం, సివిల్ వార్, యుద్ధ నగారా, నీటియుద్ధాలు చేస్తామని బెదిరింపులు. ఎక్కడ యుద్ధం చేస్తారట? ఎవరితోనట? తెలంగాణతోనా? తెలంగాణ గడ్డపైనేనా? అయితే ఏమైతుందో మీరే ఆలోచించుకోండి. తెలంగాణ లేకపోతే ఆంధ్ర ఎడారై పోతుందా? అదెట్లా? ఆంధ్రను భారతదేశపు ధాన్యాగారం అన్నారు కదా. భారతదేశానికి నిండు అన్నం గిన్నెగా భావించారు కదా. 1.30 కోట్ల ఎకరాల నీటి సాగుబాటు ఉన్న ఆంధ్ర, తెలంగాణ ముందు మోకరిల్లి అన్నమో రామచంద్ర అంటున్నది. బికారులమై పోతామంటున్నది. నమ్మశక్యం కావటం లేదు.

చెన్నై పట్టణానికి తాగునీరు ఇచ్చే ఉద్దేశంతో కేంద్రం నుంచి కేడబ్ల్యూసీ నుంచి కొంత నీరును అధికారికంగా కేటాయించారు. పేరు చెన్నైది, వాడకం మాత్రం ఆంధ్రాలో! అంతా అక్రమమే. తెలుగు గంగ పేరుతో ముడిపెట్టి నాలుగు కొత్త రిజర్వాయర్లకు నీరు తోడుకుంటున్నారు. వెలుగోడు రిజర్వాయర్-16.95; పోతులూరి వీరబ్రహ్మేంద్రస్వామి రిజర్వాయర్ -17.75 ; సోమశిల-78; కొండలేరు-68 (సంఖ్యలన్నీ టీఎంసీలు). తెలంగాణకు ఉపయోగపడే గోదావరీ పరీవాహక నీరును 'రహదారి' చేశారు. 80 లక్షల ఎకరాలకు సరిపోయే నీరును కృష్ణకు తరలించే ప్రతిపాదన తెచ్చారు. ఆంధ్రకు మాత్రమే ఉపయోగపడే పోలవరం, దుమ్ముగూడెం ప్రాజెక్టుల నిర్మాణం చేపట్టారు. ముంపు తెలంగాణది, నీరు ఆంధ్రాకు. ఏమి సమ-ఐక్యత? ఎవరి కొరకో ఈ 'ఐక్యత'?
ఆంధ్రతో తెలంగాణ కలయిక ఒక పీడన. ప్రతిరంగంలో పక్షపాతం, వివక్ష. అది ఒక నరకయాతన. సంఖ్యాబలం ఉన్న ఆంధ్ర రకరకాల స్వార్థపూరిత ఉద్యమాలు చేసి కావలసింది సాధించుకున్నది. తెలంగాణతో కలిసి ఉంటామని రెండు ఉద్యమాలు, తెలంగాణతో విడిపోతామని రెండు ఉద్యమాలు-తమకుకావలసిన ముఖ్యమంత్రులను ఉంచాలని, మార్చవద్దని రెండు ఉద్యమాలు.

తెలంగాణ ముఖ్యమంత్రులను మార్చమని రెండు ఉద్యమాలు. నీటికాడ, నిధుల కాడ, పదవుల కాడ, ఉద్యోగాల కాడ, విద్యలో, వైద్యంలో, ఉపాధిలో, కరువు నిధుల్లో, వరద నిధుల్లో, రోడ్ల కాడ, రైళ్ళ కాడ, కేంద్ర పదవుల్లో, రాష్ట్ర పదవుల్లో -అంతటా అన్యాయమే. దురాక్రమణే, పక్షపాతమే. 57 ఏళ్ళ ఉద్యమం ద్వారా తెలంగాణ రక్తసిక్తమైంది. నిరంతర పోరాటాలు చేసి అలసిపోయింది. ఈ దశలో భారతదేశ రాజకీయ పార్టీలు, సమాఖ్య సభ్యులు, ప్రభుత్వాలు, కేంద్ర ప్రభుత్వం, భారతదేశ యావత్తు ప్రజానీకం తెలంగాణ గోసను చూసి విభజన తప్ప వేరే మార్గం లేదని తెలంగాణకు అండగా నిలిచారు. విభజన నిర్ణయం జరిగింది. ఆంధ్ర తిరిగి అలవాటు ప్రకారంగా ఉద్యమించింది, ఉద్యమం నకిలీది, ఉత్తుత్తది. అయినా సంఖ్యాబలంతో తెలంగాణ బిల్లును శాసనసభలో అడ్డుకుంటామని, పార్లమెంట్‌లో అడ్డుకుంటామని రాజకీయాలు చేస్తున్నారు.

తెలంగాణ ఓపిక నశించింది. మూడున్నర కోట్ల తెలంగాణకు కనువిప్పు కలిగింది. కేంద్ర ప్రభుత్వం, జాతీయ పార్టీలు, ప్రభుత్వాలు, ఫెడరల్ సమాఖ్య సభ్యుల హామీతో తెలంగాణ ఓపికతో నిరీక్షిస్తున్నది. డిసెంబర్‌లోగా తెలంగాణ నిర్ణయం జరగనివ్వకపోతే హైదరాబాద్ రాజధాని నగరంలో ఉమ్మడి రాష్ట్ర బోర్డు తిప్పేయటానికి తెలంగాణ యువత సంసిద్ధమౌతున్నది. నూరారైన, ఆరునూరైన; భూనభోంతరాలు ఏకమైనా, ఇటు సూర్యుడు అటు పొడిచినా తెలంగాణ విభజనను ఆపే శక్తి ఎవరికీ లేదని ఖరాఖండితంగా తెలంగాణ బహిరంగంగా చెబుతున్నది.

ఇక రాజధాని సంగతి - ఆంధ్రులు నిస్సిగ్గుగా, నిర్లజ్జగా, మానాభిమానాలు లేకుండా హైదరాబాద్ రాజధాని నగరం మీ అబ్బ సొమ్మా అని తెలంగాణను ప్రశ్నిస్తున్నారు. 1956 నుంచి నేటి వరకు హైదరాబాద్ అభివృద్ధి పైన, ఆంధ్ర ప్రాంతం ఒక నయాపైస పెట్టుబడి పెట్టలేదు. హైదరాబాద్ పట్టణ ఆలనాపాలనా, అభివృద్ధి అంతా తెలంగాణదే. త్రాగే నీరు తెలంగాణదే, పరిశ్రమలకు, ఇతర అవసరాలకు వాడే నీరు కూడా తెలంగాణదే. విద్యుచ్ఛక్తి తెలంగాణదే. దాదాపు 20వేల మంది జీహెచ్ఎంసీ ఉద్యోగుల జీతభత్యాలు తెలంగాణ భరిస్తున్నది. హైదరాబాద్ పట్టణ నిర్మాణానికి, నేటి విలువ ప్రకారంగా 50వేల కోట్లు రాష్ట్ర ఏర్పాటు సమయంలో మద్రాసు నుంచి విడిపోయి వచ్చిన ఆంధ్ర హైదరాబాద్ నగర విలువ కట్టలేదు. దాంట్లో భాగస్వామ్యానికి పెట్టుబడి పెట్టలేదు. అయినా హైదరాబాద్ మాదే అంటున్నారు. అది మీ అబ్బ సొమ్మా అంటున్నారు.

ఆంధ్ర ఉద్యమకారులు ప్రజలకు అవాకులు చవాకులు చెప్పి వారిని రెచ్చగొట్టి విభజన సమస్యను జటిలం చేయడానికి సర్వపన్నాగాలు పన్నారు. శాంతికి భంగం కలిగించారు. తెలంగాణ, ఆంధ్ర మధ్యన ఉన్న మర్యాదను భంగపరిచి తెలంగాణను నానా హింసలు పెట్టి భవిష్యత్తులో కలిసి ఉండటానికి అవకాశం లేకుండా విషబీజాలు నాటారు. ఢిల్లీ చుట్టూ పడిగాపులు కాస్తున్నారు. గడప గడపకు వెళ్ళి పిటీషన్లు ఇస్తున్నారు, కోర్టుకు పోయారు. అసెంబ్లీలో, పార్లమెంట్‌లో తెలంగాణ విభజన అడ్డుకుంటారట. కేంద్ర ప్రభుత్వాన్ని, జాతీయ నాయకులను, జాతీయ పార్టీలను బండబూతులు తిట్టి వారి విగ్రహాలను ధ్వంసం చేసి, మలినం చేసి, కాల్చి బొందపెట్టి వెకిలి డాన్సులు చేసారు. ఇప్పుడు మళ్ళీ వాళ్ళ దగ్గరికే పోయి మీరు విభజన ఆపకపోతే మీ పార్టీలను బొందపెడతామంటున్నారు. భారత జాతి ఆంధ్రుల నడవడిని గమనిస్తున్నారు. వారు ఆంధ్రను ఒక ధూర్త, దుష్ట 'రోగ్' రాష్ట్రంగా చూస్తున్నారు.

ఆంధ్ర ప్రభుత్వాలు, ప్రజలు, ఆంధ్ర వ్యాపార వేత్తలు, తెలంగాణను గత 57 ఏళ్లుగా వలస ప్రాంతంగానే గుర్తించారు తప్ప సమ భాగస్వామ్యులుగా గౌరవించలేదు. తెలంగాణను ఒక వ్యాపార అడ్డాగా, వలస ప్రాంతంగా మార్చారు. చేతికందినంత దోచుకుతినడమే ప్రధాన లక్ష్యం. వారి వ్యాపారాలు అనేకం. సినిమా రంగం, హాస్పిటళ్లు, నర్సింగ్ హోమ్‌లు, సూపర్ బజార్‌లు, హోటళ్ళు, లాడ్జీలు, క్లబ్బులు, కాలనీలు, పట్టణం చుట్టూ 100 కి.మీ. వరకు భూములు, రియల్ ఎస్టేట్ వ్యాపారాలు, లక్షలాది కోట్ల కాంట్రాక్టు పనులు, సారా వ్యాపారం, కార్ల, మోటారు సైకిళ్ళ ఏజెన్సీలు, బట్టల షాపులు, విద్యారంగం, స్కూళ్ళు, కాలేజీలు, పాలిటెక్నికులు, టి.వి. చానళ్ళు, పత్రికా రంగం, పెట్రోలు బంకులు, చెట్ల వ్యాపారం, లేబర్ అడ్డాలు, ట్రాన్స్‌పోర్ట్ బిజినెస్, లగ్జరీ బస్సులు, కోట్లాది విలువ చేసే అపార్టుమెంటులు... అంతా ఆంధ్ర మయమే. ఇన్ని వ్యాపారాలు చేస్తూ తెలంగాణను కొల్లగొడుతూ ఆంధ్ర ఉద్యమకారులు తెలంగాణపై అంతర్యుద్ధం చేస్తామంటున్నారు, సివిల్ వార్ చేస్తామంటున్నారు. నీటి యుద్ధం తప్పదంటున్నారు. యుద్ధం యుద్ధం అని గావుకేకలు పెడుతున్నారు, పిచ్చి కూతలు కూస్తున్నారు. యుద్ధం జరిగేది తెలంగాణ భూభాగంలోనే అని గమనించాలి. ప్రపంచ చరిత్రలో భూమి విడిచి సాము చేసిన వారు ఎవ్వరూ గెలువలేదు.

సామరస్యానికి, సహజీవనానికి తెలంగాణ ఎప్పుడూ సిద్ధమే. తెలంగాణ ఎప్పుడూ ఆంధ్ర చుట్టరికాన్ని స్వీకరిస్తుంది. ఆంధ్ర భాషను గౌరవిస్తుంది. తెలంగాణలో చిరకాలంగా నివసిస్తున్న ఆంధ్రులు మా అన్నదమ్ములే, అక్కచెల్లెల్లే. విభజనకు ఒప్పుకోండి. తెలంగాణతో ఘర్షణ ఆపండి. కేంద్రం ఇస్తున్న హామీలను స్వీకరించండి. ఆంధ్ర ప్రాంతంలోని కోట్లాది మంది సామాన్య ప్రజానీకం సౌకర్యం కోసం అన్ని హంగులతో కూడుకున్న కొత్త రాజధాని ఎంతైనా అవసరం. వెనుకబడ్డ ప్రాంతాల అభివృద్ధికి ప్యాకేజీ అవసరం. పెద్ద పెద్ద నీటిపారుదల నిర్మాణానికి కేంద్ర సహాయం అవసరం. విజ్ఞత చూపండి. రానిది-మీది కానిది కోరకండి.
- వెలిచాల జగపతిరావు
సీనియర్ రాజకీయ వేత్త, రచయిత, స్వాతంత్య్ర సమరయోధుడు

Source: Andhrajyothy

Labels:

Monday, October 28, 2013

A challenge to Indian federalism

Jayaprakash Narayan


The efforts of the Union government to divide Andhra Pradesh irrespective of the State legislature’s views, pose a grave danger to federalism and unity.

The decision to divide Andhra Pradesh raises important questions about federalism and the nation’s future. This is the first time in India that a state is sought to be divided without the consent of the State legislature, and without a negotiated settlement among stakeholders and regions, and in the face of public opposition.
All major federal democracies have in their Constitutions the provision that a state cannot be divided or merged with another state without its prior consent. This is the essence of federalism. 

Article 3
India’s Constitution-makers gave much thought to the issue of formation of new states and reorganisation of states. The Drafting Committee and the Constituent Assembly were aware of the circumstances prevailing at that time. India witnessed Partition, accompanied by violence, bloodshed, and forced mass migration. In addition, there were several kinds of States — Parts A, B and C — and there was need to reorganise all states and integrate the 552 princely states. If the consent of every State or Unit was a precondition to altering the boundary, reorganisation would have become an excruciatingly difficult exercise. Consequently, the final text of Article 3 as promulgated provided for the President’s recommendation and ascertaining the views of the state concerned both with respect to the proposal to introduce the Bill and with respect to the provisions thereof. 

Our nation-builders were wise in drafting the Constitution to suit our requirements. More important, successive governments have wisely applied Article 3 in dealing with states. While prior consent of the state was not necessary under the Constitution, in practice every state has been formed with prior consent, in most cases after a detailed, impartial examination by an independent commission. Only in the case of Punjab, there was no legislature at the time of dividing the State in 1966. But there was a broad consensus among stakeholders and no opposition.

So far, Parliament and governments have acted with restraint and wisdom in dealing with boundary issues and formation of states. They rejected the notion that anything could be done to alter boundaries, provided it is not expressly prohibited by the Constitution. While prior consent of the state legislature is not mandatory, in practice care has been taken to obtain consent, or to act only on the express request of the state. The 1956 reorganisation was based on the fundamental principle of language; there was broad national consensus on the issue. 

Articles 3 & 4 in their present form are enabling provisions empowering Parliament to act in an exceptional situation when national interest warrants it, or to settle marginal boundary disputes between states when they are recalcitrant and efforts to reconcile differences and arrive at a settlement fail. The framers of the Constitution did not intend to give Parliament arbitrary powers to redraw boundaries; nor did successive Parliaments and governments act unilaterally or arbitrarily without consent, broad consensus or negotiated settlement. 

Even after 1987, in every case of state formation, the consent of the state legislature was obtained. The broader principle of federalism and the willing consent of constituent units and their people has been deemed to be necessary before a state is formed or a territory merged, unless overwhelming national interest demands action by Parliament. The procedure was observed in creating Jharkhand, Uttaranchal and Chhattisgarh in 2000. 

Dr. Ambedkar said in his reply to the debate in the Constituent Assembly on states’ rights: “The… charge is that the Centre has been given the power to override the States. This charge must be admitted. But before condemning the Constitution for containing such overriding powers, certain considerations must be borne in mind. The first is that these overriding powers do not form the normal feature of the Constitution. Their use and operation are expressly confined to emergencies only”. 

It is this spirit that informed the actions of the Union government and Parliament over the past six decades. There were blemishes in the application of Article 356 earlier. But over the past two decades Indian federalism has matured a great deal. The Supreme Court, in Bommai (1994), made Article 356 more or less a “dead letter” — as Dr. Ambedkar had hoped. Though the Finance Commission’s recommendations are not binding on Parliament and government, those of every Finance Commission in respect of devolution of resources have been accepted and implemented. Since the report of the Tenth Finance Commission, there has been greater transparency in devolution: most of the tax revenues of the Union are being treated as the divisible pool, and a fixed proportion of it is shared with states as decided by the Finance Commission. States are now more in control of their economic future. 

Limited sovereignty
This does not mean states can act as they please, or that their territorial integrity is inviolable. There is one nation and one citizenship, and the nation’s territorial integrity is paramount. However, within that overarching framework, states exercise limited sovereignty, and the federal spirit informs the operation of the Constitution. The Constitution did not intend to make India a unitary country with states functioning as municipalities, their survival dependent on the will and whim of the Union government. Nor did the operation of our Constitution over the past 63 years suggest a de facto unitary state. In fact, federalism has been deepening in India, in keeping with global trends. 

The determined efforts of the Union government and its oft-repeated declarations that Andhra Pradesh will be divided irrespective of the legislature’s views, pose a grave danger to federalism and unity. Andhra Pradesh was formed with the prior consent of the Andhra State Legislature, and the Hyderabad State Legislature. When two popular movements for the state’s division were launched in the three regions — in Telangana in 1969-70, and in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema in 1972-73 — the Union government encouraged all regions to arrive at a negotiated settlement. Corresponding constitutional provisions were put in place to safeguard the interests of all regions. An explicit and implicit compact was made by the Union with the people of Andhra Pradesh to the effect that the State would remain united. It is on this basis that people migrated on a large scale to the other regions and to the capital, Hyderabad, and built their lives, livelihoods and the State’s economy. In this backdrop, any redrawing of boundaries would need another agreement arrived at by the affected parties through patient negotiation. The Union has a seminal role in helping reconcile conflicting interests harmoniously. Parliament can act only on the basis of such an agreement, consensus and consent. Any other approach would be ham-handed, arbitrary and uneven, and run counter to the principles and practice of federalism as they have evolved under Indian conditions.

The way the President and Parliament handle the Andhra Pradesh issue will, in a fundamental sense, shape the future of the Union itself. This is a defining moment not for Andhra Pradesh alone, but for our federal Constitution and India itself. 

If such an arbitrary decision becomes a precedent, any and every state could be divided or boundaries altered without consent, and without a negotiated settlement, that will effectively convert states into municipalities, and India into a unitary state. Neither the Constitution-makers nor nation-builders intended such an outcome. And India’s future will be in peril if such an effort is made to make the nation effectively unitary at this stage. 

In critical moments like this the President and Parliament have to act with restraint, foresight and wisdom. The President is not only the head of the Republic, he is also a part of Parliament. The President is elected by members of both Houses as well as members of State Assemblies. In a fundamental sense the President represents the nation — both Union and states — and is the final defender of the Constitution and federalism along with the Supreme Court. This is therefore a fit case where the President should exercise his constitutional duty independently before recommending introduction of any Bill to divide the State of Andhra Pradesh. 

Leaders of parliamentary parties too should act with clarity and wisdom, and with the knowledge that division of a state without its consent and a negotiated settlement among all stake-holders converts the nation effectively into a unitary one. Every state will, in future, be vulnerable to unilateral action for short-term electoral expediency. 

The Constitution, the President, Parliament and the political parties will be put to a severe test in this case, and the way they respond to this challenge will shape the future of our Republic, and the future of federalism in India. 

(The writer is president of the Lok Satta Party. He is at drjploksatta@gmail.com)

Source: The Hindu

Labels:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Telangana should have come two years ago, says Former Union home secretary GK Pillai

Saturday, Oct 19, 2013, 6:57 IST | Agency: DNA


Former Union home secretary GK Pillai tells dna's Manan Kumar in an exclusive interview that the Telangana decision was wrongly timed. It should have come one or two years ago, he said. Edited excerpts:






















Is carving out a new state of Telangana a right decision? Will it create more problems?
If people in Telangana do not want to be part of Andhra, they have full right to demand a new state. If after 60 years, Andhra hasn’t been able to give them confidence... I do not see any reason why they cannot be given a state. But the timing of the decision is bad. It should have come one or two years ago.

The Centre too should have pushed for the first best option given by the Justice Sri Krishna Commission — to give Telangana a regional council. The government should have tried it out for two-three years. If that did not work they should have then gone for the full statehood option.

Which major problem do you foresee once Telangana is carved out?
Most of the problems like capital are highly exaggerated. I think the main problem would be water because water flows from Telangana to coastal regions, which has more fertile land. The real fear of Seemandhra region is what if Telangana constructs a dam. That is something that Telangana should not do but then there is inter-state water commission and recourse to law to take care of such issues.

There is a strong view that creation of Telangana will help the Maoists?
On the contrary, I think a delay in creating Telangana will help the Maoists and allow them to exploit pro-Telangana sentiments.

There are fears that Telangana will give rise to new statehood demands

The way out is to set up the second states re-organisation commission. Its terms of reference should be criteria under which new states will be formed. Let it hear out everybody. Once it determines the criteria for setting up new states that are accepted by Parliament they can look into each demand and decide.

When you were home secretary, you said the main problem of J&K is every agency has a vested interest there. How do we get rid of these vested interests?

For this the government of India needs to reach out to the people of J&K. People want panchayats to have more power. When you have done it for the whole country why can’t you do it for J&K.
Agreed that the 73rd and the 74th amendments are not applicable to J&K. Bring a separate but similar law for the state and force the JK government to implement it. About 70-80% people voted for panchayat elections thinking that devolution of powers will happen and they will run their area efficiently by solving problems locally. 

The people of Kashmir want to get rid of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act
I am convinced that AFSPA can be slowly phased out except from border districts. You cannot have such an extensive army presence in civilian areas for so many years. The army must come when there is a serious problem. This will also break the vicious cycle of vested interests developed over the years by the security forces.

But why is the Centre not taking any initiative?
Because there are vested interests in the Centre as well. That is why the need for public opinion... They need to come forward and hold the government accountable...

A central committee paper of the CPI (Maoist) suggests that Maoists are on the backfoot. Do you agree?
A. Yes, it talks about reverses and the need to make a lot of changes. This shows our strategy has, at least, been partially successful. I don’t think that the Maoist can ever succeed. The question is how long can their struggle continue. 

As the union home secretary you were of the opinion that government would take 5 to 7 years to defeat Maoists. Is the government on the right track?
Very difficult to know what currently is being done but yes the path is correct.

The key issues are tribal land rights and rights over minor forest produce. In both these aspects, I think we have taken steps in the right direction. Now their implementation is critical. If we are able to implement these rights, many of their complaints will go away. I think the time has come when the government can say that in these areas at least land acquisition in a large sense leading to displacement can actually be kept on hold for two years.

What are the reasons for current communal strife? Is it posing a threat to our social fabric? How do we correct it?
The basic thing is communication. You must keep the communication channel open between communities. I look upon it as how many friends do I have among the Muslim community. Ten years ago did I have fewer friends or more Muslim friends? If your self-examination shows that your Muslim friends have come down, it means there is something wrong.

I come from Kerala where Hindus, Muslims, Christians all live together, celebrate festivals. Nobody looks at you as a Hindu or a Muslim. In the north, people do not do that. As a result you have ghettos of different communities. We need to break this barrier.

Social media has emerged as a big trouble-maker lately by showing morphed and doctored videos leading to communal clashes. What are the effective ways to deal with it?    
Government cannot ban it, it is unstoppable. It will have to learn to make use of it. Media information flow needs to be monitored better. Government can be more vigilant to come out with forceful denial of a wrong act committed on a social website and at the same time find ways to proscribe a particular video or a message and take action against those who uploaded such content.

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif wants to have good relations with India. But there are ceasefire violations and attempts to push terrorists inside. How should India go about it?

We must strengthen democracy in Pakistan. But at the same time infiltration by terrorists from across the border should not be tolerated. India should do surgical strikes and knock off terror camps.

At the same time we should improve trade, and have more people to people and business to business contacts. When there are shared interests nobody wants war as it affects economic interests. Who knows that the Pakistani army and the ISI that already have large business interests may find business with India lucrative once it grows and slowly leave its anti-India stance that it currently finds essential for their existence.

Source: dna

Labels:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Festival holidays cancelled for students in Seemandhra

TNN | Oct 26, 2013, 01.06 AM IST

HYDERABAD: In order to make up for the disruption in the academic schedule caused by teachers participation in the Samaikyandhra agitation, the education department has cancelled Sankranti and Christmas holidays for students of the Seemandhra region.

According to the latest circular, classes will also be held on Republic Day next year besides Sundays and second Saturdays as well. The circular was issued to the Regional Joint Director of School Education, Kakinada, Guntur and Kadapa.

The decision to conduct classes on all holidays was taken as teachers agreed to compensate for the lost working days after the Samaikya Andhra Upadhyaya Porata Samithi called off the strike on October 10.

Students will now have to go to school to even off the loss of 33 working days. The circular stated that quarterly examinations will be conducted from December 1 to 6 while half-yearly examinations will be held from January 7 to 12, 2014.

"The headmasters and teachers should attend schools on the compensatory working days. Any slackness on the part of the teachers and any deviation from rules will be viewed seriously. Disciplinary action will be initiated against such teachers," the circular signed by G Vani Mohan, Commissioner and Director of School Education said.

School inspectors will visit the schools on all the compensatory working days to ensure proper completion of the syllabus and report back to the District Educational Officer on a regular basis, the circular said.

However, child rights groups in the city said the government should not cancel all holidays. "Students are entitled to have some leisure time as well. The government cannot conduct classes on Republic Day as it goes against the constitution of the country," said Achyuta Rao, president, AP Balala Hakkula Sangham, a child rights NGO. Government should instead reduce the syllabus to be covered, he added. 

Teachers working in Andhra and Rayalaseema areas were on strike against the proposed bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh from August 22 to October 10.        

Source: The Times of India 


Labels:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

India has 20,000 medicinal plants: Expert

Published: 22nd October 2013 08:25 AM 
India is virtually an epicentre of biodiversity as it has around 10,000 species of higher plants, which are used systematically for treatment of a wide spectrum of human ailments, Prof Chandrakant Kokate, vice-chancellor of KLE University, Belagum, has said. He was speaking at the international conference and exhibition on pharmacognosy here on Monday. About 20,000 different medicinal of plants are grown in India totally, he said.
A three-day Pharmacognosy-2013 conference will deliberate on herbal medicine, trends and drug discovery from natural products. Over 200 researches from 15 countries will present papers at the conference. Biotech and herbal companies and leading universities are also participated in the meet. Pharamacognosy is a science of medicine derived from natural sources.

Prof Kokate said plant-derived drugs constitute major share of different systems of healthcare practiced in India. “Indian herbal drugs is the fastest growing sector. Europe leads the world market, followed by Asia and North America. The global market for this industry is $70 billion, with an average growth of 10 to 12 percent,” he said.

Expressing concern at growing extinction of medicinal plants, Nobel Laureate S Mohan Jain of the University of Heilsinki, Finland, said it was difficult to imagine future cures for diseases. “Hundreds of medicinal plants are at the risk of extinction, which will have detrimental effects. Cures for diseases such as cancer and HIV may also become extinct. And, 30 to 50 percent biodiversity faces the danger of extinction,” he said.


Labels:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

No legal, constitutional basis for creation of Telangana state

Published: 19th October 2013 01:00 PM 
AS per the recommendation of the States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) headed by Justice Fazal Ali, Andhra Pradesh was formed as the first linguistic state in India on November 1, 1956 by merging the Telangana area of Hyderabad state with Andhra state.

The Hyderabad state comprised, in addition to Telangana, five districts of Marathwada and three of Hyderabad-Karnataka. The Marathwada region was merged with Maharashtra and the three districts of Hyderabad-Karnataka were merged with Karnataka. About 25 states have been formed in India on linguistic basis since 1956.

Thus, Telangana is not the only region that was demerged from the Hyderabad state and  merged with another province to form a new linguistic state. Several other provinces were similarly demerged or merged with other provinces for creation of linguistic states. Thus, there was nothing unusual about Telangana being merged with Andhra for formation of Andhra Pradesh.

NO POLICY: The Union cabinet, which met on October 3, 2013, took the decision to create Telangana state with Hyderabad city included therein. But it has not spelt out the basis for such a major decision. Apparently, the government does not have in place any policy for creation of new states. Article 3 empowers Parliament to create new states. But, it is to be understood that such a power has to be exercised according to a policy created for that purpose and not whimsically, selectively or on a case-to- case basis. Arbitrary exercise of authority will not stand judicial scrutiny. It is now too well settled that every state’s action, in order to survive, must not be susceptible to the vice of arbitrariness which is the crux of Article 14 of the Constitution. Arbitrariness is the very negation of the rule of law.

This is also evident from various pronouncements of the apex court. Be it denial of passport in public interest (Maneka Gandhi) or imposition of President’s rule (SR Bommai) or removal of governors (BP Singhal) or alienation of natural resources (presidential reference under Article 143), the apex court was clear that there should be a policy in place. When it comes to creation of new states, the central government has to act with greater responsibility by coming up with a policy, particularly because the Constitution has not entrusted any role for the State Assembly beyond merely expressing its view. There should be some valid basis like language or ethnicity or backwardness or need to create smaller states. None of this is present in the case of Telangana.

PREMEDITATED: The very objective of bringing in the Right to Information Act is to enable the citizens to know not just the decision of the government in a particular case but also the basis of such a decision. When the Parliament wants the citizens to know the basis for a decision taken by all layers of government, how is it that the Union cabinet took such an important decision of bifurcating one of the biggest states without any basis, that too, by bringing such an important item as a table item before it? On the one hand, the Union government says that Telangana is a long-pending issue and, on the other, it hurriedly brings such an important issue as a table item without allowing the ministers to take a considered decision on such an important issue. This confirms that the whole process is vitiated by premeditation.

It is not as if the Congress party was not aware of the need for a valid basis for creation of new states. The Congress Working Committee had, at its meeting held on October 30, 2000, considered the demands from various regions of the country for separate statehood in detail and decided to refer the matter to another States Reorganisation Commission by passing the following resolution:

“While respecting the report of the first States Reorganisation Commission, the Congress party notes that there are many valid reasons for formation of separate states of Vidarbha and Telangana. However, the reorganisation of existing states raises a large number of issues. The Congress feels that the whole matter could be best addressed by another States Reorganisation Commission to look into all the issues involved”.

DUBIOUS BASIS: Going by the CWC resolution dated July 30, 2013, it appears that it decided to recommend creation of Telangana state because it is a longstanding demand. Why were other longstanding demands such as Vidarbha not taken up? Moreover, can a longstanding demand alone constitute a rational and valid basis for creation of new States? On November 21, 2011, the UP Assembly passed a resolution to split the state into Purvanchal, Paschim Pradesh, Bundelkhand and Awadh Pradesh. In case of Andhra Pradesh, there is no such resolution. It is, therefore, clear that the UPA government has taken the decision to create Telangana in the hope of winning a few additional MP seats, taking advantage of the ongoing agitation for a Telangana state. Such caprice shall never stand judicial review.

(The writer is a member of the political affairs committee of YSR Congress Party)

Labels:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Eid-ul-Azha celebrated with gaiety in Andhra

Eid-ul-Azha was celebrated Wednesday with religious fervour and gaiety across Andhra Pradesh.

The day began with Muslims, attired in their best, offering Eid prayers at Eidgahs or open grounds and mosques in Hyderabad and 22 other districts of the state.

After the prayers, Muslims sacrificed goats and other 'halal' animals commemorating the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim and urged Muslims to follow his teachings and the Holy Quran.

Also known as Bakrid or Eid-e-Qurban, it is the second major festival of Muslims.

The meat of the sacrificed animals is distributed among neighbours, relatives and the poor.

Muslims also exchanged greetings with relatives and friends and treated the visitors to their homes with sweet dishes.

The biggest congregation in Hyderabad was held at historic Mir Alam Eidgah where over 200,000 people offered prayers. The historic Mecca Masjid witnessed the second biggest congregation. Prayers were also held in hundreds of mosques in the city.

Eid was also celebrated in Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Adilabad, Warangal, Vijayawada, Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur, Guntur and other towns of the state with people turning out in large numbers at Eidgahs and mosques to offer prayers.

During their speeches before the prayers, the imams also prayed for peace and prosperity in the country.

Muslims constitute about 10 percent of the state's 84.6 million population.

Labels:

Monday, October 14, 2013

Kiran takes on high command again

Special Correspondent
 
After a break of a week or so, Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy showed his anger again at the party high command, this time for issuing “conflicting statements over a sensitive subject of bifurcation” leaving the people of the State confused.

Mr. Kiran Reddy is stated to have got so upset that he telephoned AICC general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh, Digvijay Singh, now camping in Madhya Pradesh, and took exception to the way he ( Mr. Singh ) and the Union Home Minister, S. K. Shinde, spelt out divergent views in public at a time when he was trying to convince the Seemandhra employees to call off their strike.

Ample scope

He reportedly reminded Mr. Singh that it was at his behest that he told the agitated employees that a resolution on bifurcation would come up twice before the Assembly leaving the members ample scope to voice the concerns of the people of Seemandhra.

“You have even told me that I should be your voice while conveying this to the employees and when I gave an assurance on this score, Mr. Shinde took a contrasting stand announcing that a draft Bill will be sent to the Assembly for its opinion only and that the bifurcation process will be expedited”, Mr. Reddy said in a note sent to the media.

It was not proper on the part of the party leadership to make such contradictory statements on a subject involving future generations of the two regions, Mr. Reddy said and wanted Mr. Singh to clarify in one voice the procedure being followed in dividing the State and how justice would be done to people of all regions.

‘Fresh controversy’

Supporters of the Chief Minister said he was annoyed that the high command has triggered a fresh “Telangana resolution versus draft bill” controversy as if the deep division among the people was not enough and when the need was for adopting a conciliatory tone to calm the ruffled feelings.

The latest detailed statement of Mr. Shinde of how the Centre plans to circumvent the problem it would encounter if the AP Assembly rejected the bill on Telangana, too had vertically divided people with those favouring the separate State rejoicing and those opposing it feeling let down.

Source: The Hindu

Labels:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Centre to woo Seemandhra with financial package, new capital

PTI | 11th Oct 2013

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde with other Union ministers during the GoM meeting on separate state of Telangana in New Delhi on Friday. PTI
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde with other Union ministers during the GoM meeting on separate state of Telangana in New Delhi on Friday. PTI

New Delhi: The Group of Ministers (GoM), set up to look into the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, will focus its deliberations on the recommendations of Justice B N Srikrishna Committee that gave an extensive report on Telangana in 2010.

"Srikrishna Committee's report will be the basis of the whole exercise," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who heads the seven-member ministerial panel, told reporters here. However, the option of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and Seemandhra with Hyderabad as the capital of Telangana and Seemandhra having a new capital- given by the central government was not the most preferred one of the committee.

"After taking into account all the pros and cons, the committee did not think it to be the most preferred, but the second best option. Separation is recommended only in case it is unavoidable and if this decision can be reached amicably amongst all the three regions," the five-member Srikrishna Committee, headed by Justice (retd) B N Srikrishna, had said.

The committee said if this option is exercised, the apprehensions of the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema people and others who have settled in Hyderabad and other districts of Telangana with regard to their investments, properties, livelihood and employment, would need to be adequately addressed and confidence instilled that their safety and security would get highest priority from the new dispensation.

"Considering all aspects, the committee felt that while creation of a separate Telangana would satisfy a large majority of people from the region, it would also throw up several other serious problems. The implications for the other two regions also cannot be ignored," it had said.

The Srikrishna Committee said this option implies accepting the full demands of a large majority of Telangana people for a separate state that will assuage their emotional feelings and sentiments as well as the perceived sense of discrimination and neglect.

The committee's impression, gained during its extensive tours of Telangana region, indicated that a very large number of people from Telangana were highly supportive of the demand for a separate state.

The panel had said the implications of this option are that if earlier agitations are anything to go by, this decision will give rise to serious and violent agitations in the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, where the backlash will be immediate; the key issues being Hyderabad and sharing of water and irrigation resources.

The Srikrishna Committee also said that There will be every likelihood of pressure being put by the general public on the leaders of the political parties of Seemandhra region (MLAs/MLCs/MPs) to resign and fight for united Andhra Pradesh.

The agitation for separation of Rayalaseema from coastal Andhra may also start taking shape sooner than expected.

Even though water and irrigation issues can be handled by creating autonomous/semi-autonomous structures, the apprehensions of the people of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema will continue to be voiced.

The impact on internal security situation with the anticipated growth of Naxalism and religious fundamentalism.

The committee said the division of the state will also have serious implications outside Andhra Pradesh.

It would not only give fillip to other similar demands but it will be for the first time, after the re-organisation of states, that a political demand for dividing a linguistically constituted state would have been conceded by the Union government with the creation of two Telugu-speaking states.

The issue requires a most calm and dispassionate consideration of the consequences.

The matter should also be seen in the larger context of whether a region can be allowed to decide for itself what its political status should be, as that would only create a demand for a great number of small states resulting in problems of coordination and management.

The option of keeping the state united by simultaneously providing certain definite Constitutional/Statutory measures for socio-economic development and political empowerment of Telangana region– creation of a statutorily empowered Telangana Regional Council had been termed by the committee as the best way forward.

The other four options are (a) Maintain status quo, (b) Bifurcation of the state into Seemandhra and Telangana; with Hyderabad as a Union Territory and the two states developing their own capitals in due course, (c) bifurcation of state into Rayala-Telangana and coastal Andhra regions with Hyderabad being an integral part of Rayala-Telangana and (d) Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Seemandhra and Telangana with enlarged Hyderabad Metropolis as a separate Union Territory.

This Union Territory will have geographical linkage and contiguity via Nalgonda district in the south-east to district Guntur in coastal Andhra and via Mahboobnagar district in the south to Kurnool district in Rayalaseema.


Personal Comment: Given the treatment of "CWC and CONGRESS CABINET" towards Seemandhra people I will doubt that Congress will ever win a seat in this Region in the near future. Existing parties YSR, TDP, BJP are no better either. It is high time to float a new party to protect and safeguard the rights of Seemandhra People !!!

Labels:

Monday, October 07, 2013

శ్రీ కౌముది అక్టోబర్ 2013

‘The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide’ by Gary J. Bass

To Nixon, the Indians were “a slippery, treacherous people.” To Kissinger — who comes across as a cold-blooded practitioner of realpolitik given to rages when he doesn’t get his way — the Indians were “insufferably arrogant,” with “convoluted minds.” At one point on the tapes, Nixon remarks, “The Indians need — what they really need is a” — Kissinger interjects, “They’re such bastards.” And then the president finishes his thought: “a mass famine.”

Read full article below: The Washington Post

Neil Sheehan, who spent three years in Vietnam as a war correspondent, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam” and “A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon.”

We seem to live in an era of massacres. More than 500,000 Tutsis were hacked to death by their Hutu ethnic rivals in Rwanda in 1994. The following year, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were shot to death by the Bosnian Serb army at Srbrenica. In Syria, more than 100,000 are dead, and more keep dying in massacres large and small by bullet, shell, bomb and poison gas.

Now Gary J. Bass, a journalist and professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton, has come forth with “The Blood Telegram,” a profoundly disturbing account of the hitherto hidden role of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of inhabitants of East Bengal (subsequently the nation of Bangladesh) and the making of 10 million refugees during Pakistan’s civil war in 1971. Apparently no precise figure is available for the deaths, but Bass cites a CIA and State Department estimate of about 200,000 midway through the killing.

(Knopf) - “The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide” by Gary J. Bass.


The partition of British India in 1947 into mainly Hindu and mainly Muslim areas created a bifurcated Pakistan in a bizarre configuration that was a recipe for political instability and military dictatorship. West Pakistan was forged from the Muslim-dominated provinces on the western side of the subcontinent, while East Pakistan was created on the other side from the chiefly Muslim province of East Bengal. Roughly 1,000 miles of India lay between. East and west shared virtually nothing except religion.

Serious trouble began in 1970 when the president of Pakistan, Gen. Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan, permitted a national election. The winner was a charismatic Bengali leader named Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman and his Awami League. Mujib enraged the army leadership, whose troops were drawn almost entirely from the Punjab and other western provinces and had no affection for the Bengalis, by publicly advocating autonomy for both wings under a federal system, while privately promoting secession and independence for East Bengal.

On the night of March 25, 1971, Yahya Khan launched a ferocious crackdown. The orgy of murder, rape and mayhem went on for months, focusing in genocidal fashion on the minority of Bengali Hindus regarded as most friendly to Pakistan’s enemy, India.

Nixon and Kissinger, his national security adviser, have sought to draw a curtain of silence over their role by omitting or glossing over the atrocities in their memoirs. Bass has defeated the attempted coverup through laborious culling of relevant sections of the Nixon White House tapes, declassified State Department documents and interviews with former officials, American and Indian, who were involved.

Archer Blood, the U.S. consul general in 1971 in Dhaka, the principal city of East Bengal, and his staff were horrified by the violence. Their reports to the State Department in Washington described the killings in gruesome detail and urged the strongest possible intervention to try to bring the carnage to an end. Pakistan’s generals were highly susceptible to pressure from Washington. Virtually their entire military, from the F-86 Sabre jet fighters in the air force to the armored, artillery and infantry contingents, was equipped with American weaponry and depended on the United States for the ammunition and spare parts required to keep it operating.

But the consulate’s cables met with what Blood later called a “deafening” silence from Washington. With the Bengalis being killed by American weapons wielded by an American-sponsored army, and Washington doing nothing to try to stop it, the United States had become complicit in the massacre. In desperation, Blood’s younger staffers drew up a “dissent cable,” a Vietnam War-initiated reform in the Foreign Service meant to allow diplomats to speak out, confidentially but frankly, against official policy. Bass calls it “the Blood telegram” after its most important signatory — and as a double-entendre title for the events the book recounts. The cable accused the Nixon administration of “moral bankruptcy” and demanded action to stop the murders “in order to salvage our nation’s position as a moral leader of the free world.” Twenty members of the consulate staff signed the cable, a “roll call of honor,” as Blood put it. As the senior man, he had the most to lose by signing, and lose he did in the years to come.

What Blood and his young associates did not know was that Nixon and Kissinger were using Yahya Khan as a secret communications channel to Mao Zedong’s China. It was Yahya Khan who would arrange Kissinger’s clandestine trip to China in July 1971 to prepare the way for Nixon’s epochal visit there in February 1972. Nixon and Kissinger were determined to let nothing interfere with their enterprise to checkmate the Soviet Union in the Cold War by turning China into a friend of the United States. The cables from Blood’s consulate about this inconvenient massacre in East Bengal infuriated both men.

And there was more stroking their anger. They loathed India because the Indians had adopted a neutral position in the Cold War and then turned to the Soviet Union to obtain weapons, which they could not get from the United States, to fight Pakistan. To Nixon, the Indians were “a slippery, treacherous people.” To Kissinger — who comes across as a cold-blooded practitioner of realpolitik given to rages when he doesn’t get his way — the Indians were “insufferably arrogant,” with “convoluted minds.” At one point on the tapes, Nixon remarks, “The Indians need — what they really need is a” — Kissinger interjects, “They’re such bastards.” And then the president finishes his thought: “a mass famine.”

Nixon had a particular animus, a dislike that was mutual, toward Indira Gandhi, the prime minister and daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, a founder of India and its first prime minister and greatest statesman.
 
Rather than seeking to restrain the Pakistani military, Nixon and Kissinger did all they could to strengthen it for the open clash with India that loomed because of the bloodshed in East Bengal. Once the fighting started, Bass recounts that, in a precursor to Watergate, the two men knowingly broke U.S. law by approving the transfer to Pakistan of American-supplied F-104 Starfighter jet interceptors from Jordan and Iran, then still under the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. John Mitchell, Nixon’s attorney general and subsequently one of the major figures convicted in the Watergate scandal, was in the room at the time of the decision and made no objection. In the end, the Indian army decisively defeated the Pakistani forces, liberating East Bengal and fostering the birth of Bangladesh.

After reading Bass’s account of this shameful episode, one has to ask if preservation of the secret conduit to China via Pakistan was worth the lives of more than 200,000 Bengalis. Mao clearly wanted to do business with the United States, and some other channel presumably could have been found. One has to conclude that where the Bengalis were concerned, Kissinger and Nixon simply did not give a damn. And one has to wonder too, what had happened to the America that once stood for liberty, justice and decency.

Labels:

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Experts stress need for dictionary on Telangana dialect

Ch Sushil Rao, TNN | Oct 5, 2013, 06.16 AM IST

HYDERABAD: A separate state of Telangana could mean that you may have to learn the nuances of the dialect, even if you hail from the region. A complete, etymological dictionary is therefore the need of the hour, believe academicians.

"There is a need to compile words from the different districts of Telangana. One has to get to the origin of the words per se," said Prof Ghanta Chakrapani, sociologist and professor at the Dr B R Ambedkar Open University. It is not as if a dictionary comprising words used in the Telangana region has not been attempted so far. "I myself compiled hundreds of words," Chakrapani said.

A Telugu writer Dr Nalimela Bhaskar, published a dictionary of Telangana words after extensive research, a couple of years ago. Bhaskar who hails from Karimnagar district compiled as many as 9,000 words spoken in the Telangana dialect which were published in 2003 and 2010. "It was a herculean task. I spent several years of research on it," Bhaskar told TOI. With the Union cabinet clearing the proposal for a separate Telangana, Bhaskar stresses the need for a more comprehensive dictionary.

The Telangana dialect shows marked differences in different districts of the region. Although the Telangana dialect is spoken in Hyderabad, the influence of Urdu, in the city is evident.

Noted linguist and former vice-chancellor of University of Hyderabad Bhadriraju Krishnamurti had classified Telugu into four different categories in the state. The categorisation was done based on the way the language is spoken. The eminent linguist was also instrumental in compiling "A Telugu Dialect Dictionary of Occupational Vocabularies in Andhra Pradesh".

According to Krishnamurti, Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam districts were included in the Purvamandalam category based on the way Telugu was spoken in the region. The districts of Rayalaseema, Nellore and Prakasam districts were listed in the second category called Dakshina Mandalam. In the third category called Uttaramandalam, the districts of Telangana were included. As Mahbubnagar and Khammam districts are geographically close to Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions respectively, the influence of Telugu spoken in those regions would be evident on the dialect in the two districts. East and West Godavari districts, Krishna and Guntur districts were included in the fourth mandalam.




Labels:

PIL filed against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh

TNN | Oct 5, 2013, 06.27 AM IST

HYDERABAD: Stating that Article 371(D) was inserted in the Constitution to do justice to the people living in various zones of the state when AP was formed in 1956, a public interest litigation was filed in the AP high court on Friday urging it to direct the central government not to initiate any further action in pursuance of Article 3 of the Constitution for bifurcation of the state. The Centre has no power to invoke Article 3 when it was made clear that regional injustices could be set right through Article 371(D), contended petitioner PV Krishnaiah, an advocate practicing in the high court. In his petition, Krishnaiah urged the court to direct the authorities concerned against forming the new state of Telangana in pursuance of the decision taken by the Union cabinet on October 3

. He submitted that AP was formed in 1956 by having the 32nd Constitutional amendment wherein Article 371(D) was inserted, giving the impression that the issue was settled permanently. Therefore, the government does not have any power under Article 3 of the Constitution to bifurcate the state again until and unless the special Constitutional provision is deleted, the petitioner contended. He also wanted the court to direct the non-official respondents not to undertake any agitation, bandhs etc. for bifurcation of the state or opposing the same, including the ongoing strike of the APNGOs

. tnnUnion cabinet secretary, secretary to ministry of home affairs, state chief secretary, presidents of the CWC, UPA, TRS, TDP, BJP, YSR Congress, CPI, Telangana political JAC, TNGOs and APNGOs were named as the respondents.

He urged the division bench comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice KC Bhanu to take up the matter. The bench said it would hear the petition on Monday.

Order on Vijay Sai's bail plea reserved to Oct 8

Hyderabad: Principal special judge U Durga Prasad Rao of the CBI court on Friday reserved to October 8 his orders on the bail plea of V Vijay Sai Reddy, the accused auditor in the Jagan assets case. CBI counsel K Surender argued that Vijay Sai Reddy was the brain behind the illegal flow of bribes into Jagan's firms in the guise of investments from various beneficiaries of YSR regime and opposed his bail plea. Sushil Kumar, counsel for the auditor, contended that his client never tried to influence the witnesses in the last two years.                                                                                                                                                                  

Source:  The Times of India   

Labels:

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

States of Health

by  

October 7, 2013 


Ours can be an unforgiving country. Paul Sullivan was in his fifties, college-educated, and ran a successful small business in the Houston area. He owned a house and three cars. Then the local economy fell apart. Business dried up. He had savings, but, like more than a million people today in Harris County, Texas, he didn’t have health insurance. “I should have known better,” he says. When an illness put him in the hospital and his doctor found a precancerous lesion that required treatment, the unaffordable medical bills arrived. He had to sell his cars and, eventually, his house. To his shock, he had to move into a homeless shelter, carrying his belongings in a suitcase wherever he went.


This week, the centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act, which provides health-insurance coverage to millions of people like Sullivan, is slated to go into effect. Republican leaders have described the event in apocalyptic terms, as Republican leaders have described proposals to expand health coverage for three-quarters of a century. In 1946, Senator Robert Taft denounced President Harry Truman’s plan for national health insurance as “the most socialistic measure this Congress has ever had before it.” Fifteen years later, Ronald Reagan argued that, if Medicare were to be enacted, “one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.” And now comes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell describing the Affordable Care Act as a “monstrosity,” “a disaster,” and the “single worst piece of legislation passed in the last fifty years.” Lacking the votes to repeal the law, Republican hard-liners want to shut down the federal government unless Democrats agree to halt its implementation.

The law’s actual manifestation, however, is rather anodyne: as of October 1st, healthcare.gov is scheduled to open for business. A Web site where people who don’t have health coverage through an employer or the government can find a range of health plans available to them, it resembles nothing more sinister than an eBay for insurance. Because it’s a marketplace, prices keep falling lower than the Congressional Budget Office predicted, by more than sixteen per cent on average. Federal subsidies trim costs even further, and more people living near the poverty level will qualify for free Medicaid coverage.

How this will unfold, though, depends on where you live. Governors and legislatures in about half the states—from California to New York, Minnesota to Maryland—are working faithfully to implement the law with as few glitches as possible. In the other half—Indiana to Texas, Utah to South Carolina—they are working equally faithfully to obstruct its implementation. Still fundamentally in dispute is whether we as a society have a duty to protect people like Paul Sullivan. Not only do conservatives not think so; they seem to see providing that protection as a threat to America itself.

Obstructionism has taken three forms. The first is a refusal by some states to accept federal funds to expand their Medicaid programs. Under the law, the funds cover a hundred per cent of state costs for three years and no less than ninety per cent thereafter. Every calculation shows substantial savings for state budgets and millions more people covered. Nonetheless, twenty-five states are turning down the assistance. The second is a refusal to operate a state health exchange that would provide individuals with insurance options. In effect, conservatives are choosing to make Washington set up the insurance market, and then complaining about a government takeover. The third form of obstructionism is outright sabotage. Conservative groups are campaigning to persuade young people, in particular, that going without insurance is “better for you”—advice that no responsible parent would ever give to a child. Congress has also tied up funding for the Web site, making delays and snags that much more inevitable.

Some states are going further, passing measures to make it difficult for people to enroll. The health-care-reform act enables local health centers and other organizations to provide “navigators” to help those who have difficulties enrolling, because they are ill, or disabled, or simply overwhelmed by the choices. Medicare has a virtually identical program to help senior citizens sort through their coverage options. No one has had a problem with Medicare navigators. But more than a dozen states have passed measures subjecting health-exchange navigators to strict requirements: licensing exams, heavy licensing fees, insurance bonds. Florida has attempted to ban them from county health departments, where large numbers of uninsured people go for care. Tennessee recently adopted an emergency rule declaring that anyone who could be described as an “enrollment assister” must undergo a criminal background check, fingerprinting, and twelve hours of course work. The hurdles would hamper hospital financial counsellors in the state—and, by some interpretations, ordinary good Samaritans—from simply helping someone get insurance.

This kind of obstructionism has been seen before. After the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, in 1954, Virginia shut down schools in Charlottesville, Norfolk, and Warren County rather than accept black children in white schools. When the courts forced the schools to open, the governor followed a number of other Southern states in instituting hurdles such as “pupil placement” reviews, “freedom of choice” plans that provided nothing of the sort, and incessant legal delays. While in some states meaningful progress occurred rapidly, in others it took many years. We face a similar situation with health-care reform. In some states, Paul Sullivan’s fate will become rare. In others, it will remain a reality for an unconscionable number of people. Of some three thousand counties in the nation, a hundred and fourteen account for half of the uninsured. Sixty-two of those counties are in states that have accepted the key elements of Obamacare, including funding to expand Medicaid. Fifty-two are not.

So far, the health-care-reform law has allowed more than three million people under the age of twenty-six to stay on their parents’ insurance policy. The seventeen million children with preëxisting medical conditions cannot be excluded from insurance eligibility or forced to pay inflated rates. And more than twenty million uninsured will gain protection they didn’t have. It won’t be the thirty-two million hoped for, and it’s becoming clear that the meaning of the plan’s legacy will be fought over not for a few months but for years. Still, state by state, a new norm is coming into being: if you’re a freelancer, or between jobs, or want to start your own business but have a family member with a serious health issue, or if you become injured or ill, you are entitled to basic protection.

Conservatives keep hoping that they can drive the system to collapse. That won’t happen. Enough people, states, and health-care interests are committed to making it work, just as the Massachusetts version has for the past seven years. And people now have a straightforward way to resist the forces of obstruction: sign up for coverage, if they don’t have it, and help others do so as well. 
ILLUSTRATION: Tom Bachtell
Source: The New Yorker
 

Labels: