Friday, February 25, 2011

TELANGANA XVII: Demerge Waltair from ECoR but not Telangana from AP!?

Today, I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine as we were watching Mamatadi present the railway budget. My friend was disappointed that a decision has not been taken regarding the demerger of Waltair division from East Coast Railway (ECoR) and merger of the same with South Central Railway (SCR). Alternatively, the division was preferred to be made a separate railway zone. Explaining the long-standing demand, my friend said the Waltair division comprising Vizag is the largest revenue earning division in ECoR but ECoR is supposedly giving the division a 'step-motherly treatment'. Apparently, before Waltair division was merged into ECoR in 2003, it was having rich funds. My friend gave few examples about depots and their budgets. These budgets were slashed by ECoR once it absorbed Waltair. In short, all revenue generated in Waltair is being moved to develop other parts of ECoR, mainly in Orissa. ECoR also seem to have extended all trains originating/ending in Vizag till its headquarters Bhubaneshwar. Waltair also seem to have lost quite a few railway engineering jobs to Bhubaneshwar in this process. And now these jobs are seen 'out of bound' for local youth as they are harassed and beaten in Bhubaneshwar when they go there for recruitment exams.

And now the issue is that ECoR wont let go of the cashcow and it is quite understandable! ECoR does not want to lose revenue by losing the 'rich' Waltair division. So despite a very prevalent demand among public, no railway minister is granting the much sought divorce.

What is not understandable is that the same friend, who is generally quite objective, does not apply the same logic for Telangana's demerger from AP and instead argues how the demand is 'regressive'. Waltair division feels discriminated in ECoR Zone and the people of that division think their division should develop and what more, they think they can survive as a separate zone. There is nothing 'selfish' about this. Nor is it anti-national to demerge from the predominantly Orissa division and merge with adjoining Telugu areas. So how come Telangana struggle is not seen through the same prism?

I told my friend that if the demand for Telangana is 'narrow-minded', so is the demand of Waltair's demerger. If Telangana movement is a hate campaign against Andhrites, so is the Demerge Waltair campaign against Oriyas. Of course, neither me nor my friend think the Waltair demand is a hate campaign. All we need to understand is that we should not over simplify these demands. They are justified demands and aspirations. These demerger decisions would bring localised focus on regional development and a more transparent scheme of things where we know sources and destinations of revenues which contributes to better planning and a faster development of resources and infrastructure.

Let us not change the logic, rationality of arguments simply because we think we will 'lose' by accepting the truth. In fact, all of this 'loss' or 'profit' is just perception. Neither me nor my friend would benefit or lose anything personally depending on whether Waltair or Telangana is demerged. So I am not sure why friend can not be objective in both the cases. As my friend said, Vizag station would remain just the way it is, despite a potential to become a central station in the south-east region, because it is not the priority of those in power in ECoR at Bhubaneshwar. However he would not agree that Telangana would remain the same because it is not the priority of those in power in Secretariat. At least, not yet. But I think it is a matter of time before he realizes. Right now, To each, his own truth!


Vamsi said...

brilliant comparison except one thing. here, waltair is not made HQ of ECR and somany Oriyites didn't migrate to waltair and put their hearts and souls in it.

Hope above argument is rational enough :) i am open to know if there are any loopholes :D

Ravinder said...

Wow!!! What an excellent comparison buddy!!
I believe we need to unearth these kind of real facts to make them understand how important is the demerger of Telangana for us.

Ramky said...

In my opinion, people have the potential no matter where, Telangana or Andhra or Andaman and I think it requires a major development program and not a separatist program to achieve success. If we rely on the latter as an excuse to achieve the former, I think the motive is not so much the former.I am interested in knowing two things:
1) Would you agree that in today's world, despite being a part of Andhra Pradesh state and having undergone suppression for a long time, Telangana and Telanganites can still stand on their own and establish a success model of thier own?
2) Based on this comparison above, would you rate the separatists' demand in Kashmir at par with the demand in Telangana?
I am not trying to undermine the ideas and aspirations from my people, but being a Telanganite myself (if you want the branding - I otherwise dont identify myself by state or language), I want to see all this energy and the TRS party to focus on actual development rather than separatism. The future I see after a separate Telangana, is a few rich TRS politicians.

jshanthkumar said...

I don't agree with Ramakrishna, since a state de-merger shall not be compared to the nation. Development is possible only when you got the power/ authority to implement it. Will a jr. programmer demand for the project plan change, if there is a commercial loss in the project execution. Can a member himself develop his own project without the support of Leader. There is only way to stop the loss is to convince the leader or he should become the team leader/project manager.
Here the project is small drop in a ocean in comparison to politics. In words the development is simple but in reality it is tough. Why the TRS alone responsible for development when rest are looting since years.

Amar said...

@ Vamsi

/waltair is not made HQ of ECR and somany Oriyites didn't migrate to waltair and put their hearts and souls in it.../

Hyderabad too was not 'made' capital. It was already capital of Hyderabad state, for centuries.

Migrants changing political status of a city/country is a colonial idea. Like the British, French, Portuguese etc who conquered and ruled over colonies. Modern times have no place for colonies.

Amar said...

@ Ramky

According to your lines, the biggest 'separatists' are the fathers of Indian constitution. After all, without their Article 3, how can Indian government carve out new states? And yes, the fathers of American and Australian constitutions too are separatist as they planted the Articles too to carve out new states.

Anonymous said...

How about applying your own comparison to a new demand(in coming days) that Hyderabad be separated from Telangana. Why the heck should Hyderabad bear the other backward districts. There is no end to this kind of shit dude.

Anonymous said...

To the 'shitty anonymous dude'. We have answered this dumb question a zillion times but yet these shitty dudes don't get it.

Let us cross the bridge when the river comes okay? Let Hyderabadis ask for a separate state and we will support it whole heartedly.

We dont deal with statehood agitations based on hypothetical 'what if ..' questions.

Gattu said...

@ Anonymous(Shitty(Sorry to use this word but forced to do so)????)

If Hyderabad is to be separated from Telangana, and kept as UT, then We will also keep the Trade capital Vijayawada, Steel Capital Vizag, Pilgrimage Capital Tirupati aslo the UTs? Why can't we think in this way???????????????
Hyderabad is heart and soul of Telangana and only Telanganites... others are also welcome to live in this Telangana... Why do you want to throw Hyderabad out of Telangana when we are saying that we will not throw anyone out of Hyderabad.... Its secular country and anyone from any state can settle in any place.
We all will welcome and we are doing the same since decades......
Guys, TRS is not the all for Telangana... It is only the part of Telangana movement, infact TRS was not at all evolved when Telangana movement had started....