Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Divided States of Andhra Pradesh

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Within days of the announcement by the Congress government on splitting the state into two regions, the people of Andhra Pradesh have simply forgotten their common bind having been a united Andhra Pradesh. Everyone is simply in favor of a separation or a united Andhra Pradesh for different reasons; which seem to come out of nowhere and only after the announcement of breaking up of the state. All of a sudden there is nothing in common for the same people who have lived together for generations. There are no common interests, no common identity, no common politics, and no common anything; if you listen to the rhetoric or read the news papers. Andhra Pradesh has become like two countries that seem to not coexist as one people, rather two states that simply loathe each other.

All of the bickering is fueled by the politicians who probably will have nothing to gain but a term in the office, and survival just because of the rhetoric that fuels the hatred in people. There is a comingling of people from the different parts of the state, in fact from all parts of the nation; over decades of working together, marriage and migration, education and employment and many other normal and natural aspects of human existence. It is not just people of the same state, but people of all states and all countries adapt to their environment as it best fits the needs of the land. It is not a foreign concept for people to migrate and adapt to their new home. The kids grow up to become entrenched into the new place much faster than the adults, and in reality it is their real home. People of all walks move constantly, and for a fact some statistics in the USA refer that 20% of the population moves every year, which is a normal and natural way of life which takes people wherever there is opportunity and need.

The situation in Andhra Pradesh is fueled by emotion and rhetoric rather than common sense. Every politician is claiming the injustices done to their region and how they will make it better or what might be worse for their region, thus fueling the fears of the public. These are the same guys who have represented people of the state for a long time, and the injustices meted out to their regions were not an issue for their time in the office to date? What were they doing in Hyderabad or in Delhi if things were so bad that other regions of the state were stealing from them? Why did they not raise the issues in public forum as elected representatives of their individual constituencies on a regular basis to make sure that they received the necessary allocations to meet the demands of their people? There are a thousand questions that come into mind on the idiots who are elected to represent the interests of the people. Each one of the elected representative is better off monetarily after getting elected to public office, and not a single one of them can claim that they are not better off after getting elected, and their family and friends get favors bestowed on them that are not available for the common man.

To divide or not to divide the state is not a common man’s issue. It is a political and power issue. The common man goes where there is opportunity and also looks for a stable and well managed economic situation, and not wanting to be in a constant state of fear and posturing by the few individuals who seek to further their personal ambitions by stoking the flames of fear amongst the people. The media channels constantly feed on the negative coverage and sensationalizing the statements of the politicians, which in turn create constant uncertainty in people. No one knows what is true and what rhetoric is.

India is famous for its fights about division of family properties and we constantly have examples of how brothers fight with brothers, and families kill each other over division of what is left behind by their ancestors. Siblings turn into enemies and friends become foes overnight when the time comes to dividing wealth. Dividing the state is no different, and our inherent attitude to keep everything for our own self is not going to go away with the division of the state. It is engrained in us, that we want all the wealth and give nothing to our siblings. The division of the state will face the same separation issues as we face in our family properties being split. There will be a lot of bad mouthing and bickering and nothing will be polite and gentlemanly.

We are at a point of no return and are heading for a split, and as we can see from the last few days of destruction. It is difficult to separate the state and satisfy all involved, and it has also become increasingly evident that the people in high places will not allow us to be together. This is going to play out like any other family situation embroiled in separation, with a lot of acrimony and animosity. It is our age old practice to divide and live by destroying each other and fighting within family.

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