Sunday, September 19, 2010

Telangana XIII: How the 'politically unemployed' created the Andhra state

The Congress MPs from Andhra and Rayalaseema met the SriKrishna committee and presented their case that the Telangana movement is spearheaded by ‘politically unemployed’ and so it has to be ignored as they opined this movement will eventually peter out.

It is amusing to say that the movement for demerger of Telangana is spearheaded by so-called ‘politically unemployed’ politicians. Let us examine this argument.

As we understand from the statements of these MPs , ‘political unemployment’ is defined to be a politician’s condition of being out of power or being in positions of negligible power. As we know, all the Telangana leaders are demanding demerger. So if ALL of them are ‘politically unemployed’, then it is apt to ask why all of them are in such politically powerless position while Telangana in area and population amounts to well above 40%. What could be wrong with such disproportionate political unemployment? Why is that they don’t get their share of political power through chiefministerships? What in the system of the political structure of this state is denying them their share? More importantly, the idea of ‘political unemployment’ itself has to be examined. To understand this, we should look no further than the birth of Andhra state itself.

Congress stand on reorganization of states and on the demand for Andhra state prior to 1952 elections
It is well known that the Congress party has agreed for reorganization of states on linguistic and cultural lines right after 1st world war. Even in their 1945-46 election manifesto, the Congress stated: “The Congress has stood for the freedom of each group and territorial area within the nation to develop its own life and culture within the larger framework and it is stated that for this purpose such territorial areas or provinces should be constituted, as far as possible, on a linguistic and cultural basis.” The words ‘ linguistic and cultural basis’ has to be noted here and it is also to be noted that the Linguistic Provinces Commission (the Dar Commission) set up on December 10, 1948 to consider the carving out of new states of Andhra, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra decided against their formation as they found out language in itself cannot be the sole criteria for reorganizing states and more importantly such an exercise at that moment could be dangerous for a just-born democracy.

Political equations in Madras state prior to 1952 elections 
The emergence of Tamil powercentres in 1930s
If we look at the rulers of the justice party which ruled the Madras presidency till 1930s, it is clear Andhrite Zamindars and elite ruled the roost. It is only in the 1930s, the Tamil outfits reasserted themselves when the congress entered the fray in electoral politics. Even the justice party got taken over by Periyar and renamed the Dravida Kazhagam. Tamils being majority got the levers of power. Rajaji and Kamaraj emerged as powerful leaders of opposite camps and as king-makers. In one such move, Prakasam was propped up as CM for an year in 1946 by Kamaraj to keep Rajaji out. That paid off and Rajaji instead went to join the interim government at centre. Once Rajaji is out of the way, Kamaraj unceremoniously removed Prakasam and propped up another of his supporters as CM.

In 1948, Prakasam retried for becoming CM of Madras state but was opposed by his own Andhra brethren like N. Sanjeeva Reddy and Kala Venkata Rao. Among the Andhra congressmen again, there were again 2 factions led by T.Prakasam and Pattabhi Seetaramiah. The Prakasam group again lost the Andhra PCC presidency in April 1951 to the Pattabhi group. By 1952 elections, there was disillusion among the Andhra leaders as on one hand, they were reduced to pawns being a minority in the political scene at state level and on the other hand there was too much infighting among them.

The 1952 election debacle in Andhra areas

Then came the January, 1952 elections to the Madras state in which Andhra was a part. The Andhra congress leaders miserably lost to communists in Andhra areas. The Congress could win only 40 seats out of the 133 it had contested. The Communist Party who were their first election in Andhra emerged as the single largest party in Andhra region winning 41 seats out of the 63 they contested with about 25% of the vote, higher than what they then got then in areas of Kerala.

All prominent Andhra ministers in the Madras state lost their elections!
The minister for Prohibition, Housing and Forests - N. Sanjeeva Reddy lost from Anantapur
The minister for Finance and Commercial taxes - Bejawada Gopal Reddy lost from Udayagiri
The minister for Health - Kala Venkata Rao lost from Amalapuram
The minister for Local administration and Co-operation - K. Chandramouli lost from Repalle

Post-poll politics of Andhra congressmen to secure their 'Political employment'

In February, 1952 Ex-chief minister Tanguturi Prakasam tries to foster a post-poll alliance and claims to have the largest group and ask the Governor to invite him to form Government. The Governor instead invites Rajaji. Faced with bleak future, the rival camps of Prakasam and Pattabhi join hands.The stunning defeats of 1952 bought the flock together to get out of their ‘political unemployment’. Andhra congress leaders were also desperate to break away from the domination of Tamil factions led by Kamaraj and Rajaji. They saw an opportunity in creating a new state.

They increased pressure on Nehru to concede the Andhra statehood. They sold Nehru the fear of communist takeover in Andhra if the state is not granted at the earliest. To take the sails out of the communist boat, the congress, they advised, should hijack the issue of separate Andhra state, get the state and take all credit and bury the communist party forever. Nehru more or less bought the argument but wanted to set up a commission to reorganize states in line with the observations made by Linguistic Provinces Commission (the Dar Commission) in 1948. He obviously did not want to make arbitrary decisions as is clear in his letter to chief ministers on December 2, 1952 which said “the decision to establish the Andhra state will open out questions relating to other demands about linguistic provinces”. But then, the ‘politically unemployed’ are in tearing hurry. They want the state right then. By then the communists have established sound support in the Kamma community of coastal areas and the predominantly Reddy led Congress and Brahmin led Prakasam faction were in no mood to waste time and let the communists consolidate their party post the election results.

Potti Sriramulu came handy to fast pedal their cause. In October, 1952 they provided shelter to him at the residence of the former speaker of madras state assembly (one more politically unemployed, to borrow the term), Bulusu Sambamurthy to do his fast. A few months into the 'political unemployment', Andhrite stalwart leaders thought its enough! While Sriramulu was fasting for 50 odd days, Prakasam was supposed to have visited him almost very frequently but no efforts were made to stop him from the fatal fast. In fact, the point is when the process of creating a state was already under consideration and due process, why was this extreme step taken to fast-to-death? Is it is not the fear of their political future after the poll debacle that has propelled the Andhra congressmen to insist for the state immediately? How different would have been the situation if the congress got majority in those elections in Andhra area and if the communists didn’t take up the cause of Andhra state?

How Andhra state solved 'political unemployment' and strengthened Andhra Congress
As per their ambitions, Prakasam could become CM of the newly created Andhra state. He must have thought good riddance from Kamaraj and Rajaji! Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy becomes his deputy. Other ministers who previously lost in Madras state like Bejawada Gopal Reddy and K. Venkata Rao went on to become chief ministers and ministers in Andhra state. The Congressmen strategy of securing their ‘political employment’ worked and in 1955 mid-term elections in Andhra state, with the credit of securing the Andhra state, they decimated the communist party to a mere 15 seats while they won 119 out of 196 seats. That is how the ‘politically unemployed’ created the Andhra state and furthered their strength and secured permanent employment.

What is bothering the Seemandhra MPs now?
So now what are the Seemandhra MPs complaining about? That the Telangana politicians speak on behalf of their people? Why would Telangana politicians endanger their political future (and their election deposits!)? Why would all of them want to be a D Srinivas? The seemandhra MPs would give 'political employment' to pliant politicians like D Srinivas who anyway have no political clout. They are just place-holders in ministries to be counted as Telanganites but who do the bidding for these plutocrats in all their contracts and businesses. Anyone with a mass base (like late PJR) is anathema as they fear he would strengthen Telangana's representation by roping his men. They want losers like D Srinivas not people who have their own mind like the Nizamabad MP for whom they tried to refuse a ticket in last election. Incidentally, he won while the assembly speaker, PCC president, a powerful minister all lost in the same district! That is what is bothering these MPs. There is so much 'political unemploymnet' in Telangana it really is reaching saturation point! That would be now addressed only by a separate state. No less. Especially, after this Seemandhra MPs show of hypocrisy, dishonesty and endless arrogance towards their ‘telangana brethren’.

My posts on Telangana: 

TELANGANA X: The Good, Bad & Ugly of National Media Coverage
TELANGANA IX: EPW goes on the Telangana trail
TELANGANA VIII: My letter to Sri Krishna Committee (SKC) - A case for demerger of Telangana

TELANGANA VII: Grossly discriminated against: Prof Bhalchandra Mungekar
TELANGANA VI: Why Telugu news channels bar coverage?
TELANGANA V: Plutocrats unleash terror over OU students

TELANGANA IV: Shri Krishna committee a crude joke
TELANGANA III: A case of Tyranny of Majority
TELANGANA II: Statehood at Midnight

TELANGANA I: Telangana Movement and the Plutocracy: The Gathering Storm


hariesh said...

Another ripping article by Amar. Well done buddy...I guess u have answers to all their(seemaandhra pluctocrats) dramas and hypocracies.
Guess who will be the next politically unemployed? its these vocalists from seemandhra who have done nothing in their constituencies and put a biased adamant stand against the demerger.
Its clear that they will bear the brunt in case of the demerger, so they are running their asses all around to stop any meaningful dialogue.

j n reddy said...


Madhav said...

Very well researched article...I am surprised that you have painstakingly analysed history and collected so many little known facts...

Thirmal Reddy said...


Could we meet? If yes, then how?

Thirmal Reddy

Vamsi said...

missed this article earlier. very well summarized. superb.