Thursday, February 20, 2014

To my fellow Andhraites

The biggest state of South India breaks into two. The local media and the national channels have made amply sure that this news is not missed. While the international media got a chance to see the new lows of the biggest democracy in terms of the disruptions, national media did not miss a chance to expose the rowdyism of the Andhra MPs. For the 17 seat stake the Congress bought from TRS at a price of forking out a new CM seat, whatever happened is the party. Irony it is - while the people of Telengana have no reason to celebrate in this political ploy, Chidambaram who must be doing Lungi Dance in his Madras Cafe, is shying away from partying!

Most of these are just pass time politics. But what concerns me (and probably many others) is the fate and fortune of Andhra Pradesh and the dignity of Andhraites. For the Telugus who fought hard to establish their identity in 1953, things seem to be at square one again after 60 long years. While it appears now that the Andraites are parasites claiming unlawful stake on the beautiful Nizam city, everyone conveniently ignores the fact that Andhra never wanted Telangana to be merged into Andhra State, in 1953. It was the other way round.

So they were never meant to be together. And the division is just - right? Yes, but there are only 3 problems.

While Hyderabad gave the poor country a few buildings to run the state government, in 1956, a lot was paid back. 13 governments, of 175 MLAs from the Andhra region (along with 119 MLAs from Telengana) built the state centered around the capital city of Hyderabad for 60 years. [Don't give me that argument that Hyderabad is developed by people for all places. No MLA from a different state passed any resolution towards development(or otherwise) of Hyderabad].
"When Money is lost, Nothing is lost"
Gandhi already said. (but who can take that high moral ground!) But then he also said, 
"If Health is lost, something is lost". 
How much is something? Hyderabad will the common capital for both the states for 10 years. Really?? Its like having your bedroom in your neighbors house. A hostile neighbor I should say. I am not even talking about the bigger problems of water, electricity, the government/bank jobs etc.
Well, this can also be a temporary thing. Turbulence is expected when great things happen and some of these could be induced fears.
But the perception that was created by the Telangana movement, supported by the paid media (when Congress choose to support it), hits me the hardest
"If character is lost, everything is lost"
"Its a tale of one city, not a tale of two states" one of the prominent Congress men was spotted saying. It does appear so from what I've said so far - isn't it? Hell, no! It much bigger.
Did KTR (another Raj Thackeray) forget the rampage they created (including breaking the statues on Tankbund) while he is giving these austere speeches on national media debates these days?

The real problem is, Andhra strategically victimized, orphaned and ignored. To all those Sharukh Khans of Chennai Express, Arnab Goswamis, Kumar Viswas-es, and all those who think South Indians are all Madarasis, how would you explain the costal culture of telugu speaking, intelligent and industrious people that has its own identity, different from the Pepper Spraying, spicy foodie, disruption-ists fighting to steal someone else's city. (since I have taken pain to write such a big sentence, you better read it one more time ;) )
But why even blame them, as if own house is in order. We have elected leaders who would do anything to grab Hyderabad (even for a short period), but couldn't ask for a tax holiday for the Andhra after the division. But they have given free money- right? Caste based politics are still more important. Its a shame to see the congress men fighting for the CM post (in the present situation) with election in 3 months. What you pay is what you get!

This post however, is not to just vent my frustration out, even though that is what I have done for the most part. Is it not time that we wake up, and realize that we need to awake the pride and dignity of Andhraites? Like 3 things that were wrong, lets talk about 3 things that can make things right.

May be asking of people to choose the right political leader is too much. But should we not begin there? I don't vote in Andhra, but if you do think about it. Or if have someone who does, can you not ask them if not persuade them to consider this. Should our MP at-lest not talk fluent english/hindi when they represent us, Andhraites in the parliament? Do we not need MLAs who want to grow with the state instead of growing in the state?

Then comes my second point. I have friends who have started small businesses (like Dairy, poultry etc) in Andhra. Please encourage them. Invest with them/in them, if you can. Most of us have very short term goals. Have you ever decided where and how you want to spend your life after retirement? If you are an Andhraite, you should consider returning back- that is the only way you can keep your stakes alive in the building of the new state. My personal stand is, I will move to Guntur, whenever I have something substantial to do (at this point, it looks like its either when that region gets IT opportunities or when I get to a point where I rise enough capital to start my own firm)

The most important thing though is, keep talking about it. For long, we have been told that all talk is not good. But not talking is worse! If you talk, may be 5 others will. If 100 people talk, may be 1 person will do (something about it). If 100 people do, 1 might succeed. We need at-least a few 100 success stories, to get the dignity back! You start by talking about it.. Share this post if you think it makes sense, comment on this to let me know your thoughts. And one day, we will deliver!

If an Andhraite can become the 'next Bill Gates', how practical is it (not) for Andhra to become the next Silicon Valley? Wanted to leave you with this positive thought!


  1. Excellent blog Sandeep. I agree with most of what you said in your blog. Keep blogging on such key issues.

  2. Excellent Post!! I want to take this as opportunity to show my anguish and thoughts.

    This may be history now but only because of two gentlemen, Mr. JP and Mr. Venkaya Naidu, we atleast got some consolation benefits. Sometimes, it is wise to put the Heroism aside and accept the ground reality. We, along with our MLAs MPs, failed miserably in doing that. When Mr. President sent the bill to assembly at least we would have realized the congress party adamant natureand discussed / raised problem arise due to the division. At the same time, when we ask something that is logical and more importantly practical ..not something nearly impossible (hyderabad UT demand). Whatever happened is past lets look in the future.

    I agree and confident that Seemandra will bounce back in no time. We have advantage as coastal region with good number of ports, transportation facilities, investments, people with right attitude. However, the next ten years are very crucial for Seemandra. I hope we elect leaders with vision and honesty towards people. may someone with a capacity to get five more years of special status. Frankly, we should be a opportunist here.. try to be close to a party that has better prospectus in tactical or strategical..what ever we name it.

    I am really confident that the financial packages, tax benefits boost our industrial prospectus. Jayalalitha already sent a committee to Delhi to evaluate the impact of Seemandra tax benefits on neighboring TN industries.

    coming to options we have..yes I agree IT industries are profitable, quick to establish ( i think). I am not an IT engineer so i can not speak much on this. My point is, we will be on surplus of electricity after division. We can only keep that share when we show a need for it. I sincerely suggest that we should equally invest more on manufacturing, ship building industries, offshore oil equipment, machines..what not. We can produce the same product 20% less price compared to other states. Lets utilize this opportunity not waste our valuable time on fighting for choosing next capital. Show some restraint and pave a path for next generation. We will make step at a time.

    1. Absolutely!! Great Points... For atleast a decade (if not 2 or 3) we should remember the treatment we got. That is the only way we can bounce back.

  3. I agree, was seeing the interview done by Arnab Goswami, felt ashamed of myself being form AP that the MP's who could not even speak proper English and were not able to communicate.

    1. Shameful it was... How can we expect them to communicate our point of view on the center stage, if they cannot even talk properly. (I'm not suggesting that English/Hindi are divine languages)

  4. Very good thoughts Sandy !! I already know that some of the people who had industries in hyd are now setting up their next branch in coastal regions so that this region will also develop. But real problem now again is : Politician will look for their own benefit when it comes to decide the capital and we will have fights to decide where the capital is. Good political will along with people's will is very important for development in next 10 year. Let us work towards that and let us see how it goes!

    1. True! We also should keep talking about the people who are establishing/investing in Andhra, and encourage them in any way we can.