Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Battle of Telangana!

Book Review: Battleground Telangana: Chronicle of an Agitation
Author: Kingshuk Nag
Format: paperback
Language: English
Pages: 239
Price: RS.299
Publishers: Harper Collins/2011
Kingshuk Nag being a journalist has very sharp eyes for details that is easily evident inside his timely and well written political commentary/ Battleground Telangana on Telangana Statehood. This work is straight forward in narration, so it seems interesting in reading...primarily, Statehood has two arms-agitation and its political manipulation by the parties involved. Flaws in Statehood could be traced back since the recommendation of first State Reorganization {SRC}, led by Fazal Ali in 1953, on this basis modern Andhra Pradesh came into existence. As this book rightly establishes; that unmindful alteration in Geography and uneven spread of resources, falsified the meaning of State in the eyes of peoples from Telangana region.

Two major factors [feeble enterprising quality and low literacy rate] are still being caused for the rise of demand for Telangana Statehood. Anyhow, time of 1956-1968 remained passive regarding the Statehood but the year 1969 proved a painful year with witnessing large scale violence and misadventures of political class. Andhra Pradesh has always been a key strength of Congress, even after the emergency, Congress did fairly well in south of Vindhya and especially in Andhra Pradesh with winning 41 Loksbha Seats out of 42. In later years too, Congress has managed somehow a respectable electoral edge in AP, which is the major reason why it reluctantly been centered over its policy on separate Telangana.

Congress naturally has chosen an ambitious stand of breaking the natural leadership from Telangana. Chenna Reddy's opportunism and pacifying turn of of P.V.Narsimha Rao are two classic examples how Congress prioriiesd its electoral bnefits instead anticipating on genuine demand of Telangana as a separate State. Chapter-4 {Paradigm Shift: NTR, Naidu and YSR} inquisites the rise of NTR out of the firm minded convictions of Congress at Center which in late 1970's and early 1980's used to accustomed for cornering the local demand and changing of Chief Ministers as legislative measures. Here NTR after being rejected for a Rajya Sabha birth from Congress, sailed on Telgu pride and his own mythological image earned through an impressive inning in Cinema. That ended the monopoly of Congress for a long time; his son-in-law, Chandra Babu Naidu outgrew him later but on the cost of mass support.

Congress finally cashed on such dwindling peoples confidence for Naidu under the Y.S.Rajshekhar Reddy. These three big leaders had almost cut-size the Telangana movement. The present wave of demand is being led by K Chandrashekhar Rao{Telangana Rashtra Samiti}, which became resonant only after the unfortunate death of YSR and dramatic change of guards in State Congress.

It could be a matter of big debate, why Congress has marginalized a long demand for Telangana over the years! This book meticulously reveals the persisting biases towards the development in Telangana region that turned it to bastion of ultra-left armed movement. If development is directly related to the law and order situation and cure is lies in bifurcation of State-then, Telangana must be given its due. Afterall, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chattisgarh as States have made lot of differences in local development. There is urgency now to end the Battleground Telangana by the Center, as its Home Minister in 2009 announced for the Statehood of Telangana while en-route Delhi in his flight! Time is to act now in real world…!
Atul Kumar Thakur
Tuesday, August 16, 2011, New Delhi
Mail: summertickets@gmail.com


  1. A comprehensive overview on Telangana statehood issue-enjoyed reading it-Ravindra

  2. Liked the book review,additionally yours own analysis on the theme..overall an informative piece..Ashutosh Thakur