Vijayawada: “How can a political party decide to divide a state ‘killing’ the feelings of two regions when the country took years and spent crores before hanging a dreaded terrorist just to ensure that human rights were not violated,” questioned S. Pradeep Raj, an engineering graduate.
To Raj, and many engineering graduates, the decision to divide the state appears to be very unfair and a violation of the rights of Seemandhra people. “The intense protests in Seemandhra reflect the UPA’s failure to keep the sentiments of the people over resource sharing and the capital issue,” he says.
Thousands of graduates, particularly of engineering streams, migrate to Hyderabad from every Seemandhra district every year, in search of jobs or to improve their personal and technical skills as they believe the capital is the second preferred destination for a career, after foreign countries.
Lakhs of these graduates depend on the government as well as private institutions for training in job-oriented courses that do not figure in the academic curriculum but necessary to build their careers. Most of these institutions are located in Hyderabad and this is the reason that the graduates are vehemently against the bifurcation decision.
Another engineering graduate I. Revanth said, “As lakhs of students visit Hyderabad from AP and other states for top-level colleges and courses, several international institutes have opened branches there offering software, electronics, animation, technology etc courses. If the state is divided, Seemandhra will not have any such institutions to cater to the needs of the students here, forcing them to go to other states.”
After division, Seemandhra students will not have the opportunity to find jobs in institutions like Facebook and Google that have branches in Hyderabad, said S. Dheeraja, an engineering graduate. “Losing a software hub like Hyderabad will cost a lot to the students of Seemandhra. The Central government needs to immediately make efforts to develop cities like Hyderabad in Seemandhra if division is inevitable,” she added.
Leaders take a pledge
Chairman of 20 Point Economic Programme N. Tulasi Reddy on Sunday said that the resignation of nine ministers and 25 MPs from Seemandhra regions would force the Congress government to announce a decision in favour of Samaikyandhra “within an hour”.
Addressing ‘Samaikyandhra Sabha’ organised by Political JAC here, Tulasi Reddy, who recently resigned in support of Samaikyandhra, called upon the people to take part in the movement and bring pressure on the elected representatives and the Congress.
He condemned the attack by Telangana lawyers on Seemandhra employees at APNGOs home in Hyderabad. Reddy termed the attackers as ‘goondas’ in the attire of lawyers.
“Such attack against a huge employees’ organisation in its own office by pro-Telangana activists is an indicator of the situation Seemandhra people in Telangana will face in future if the state is divided,” Tulasi Reddy said.
“The process of dividing the state needs to go through 12 phases. The first phase has not yet started, it is the peak time to oppose the proposed division,” Reddy added. Former minister V. Shobanedeswara Rao condemned the proposal of making Hyderabad a Union Territory.
Rao said, “Apprehensions raised by the Srikrishna Committee in its report and by the people of Seemandhra now are similar, but the Congress is not considering them.” Official language commission chairperson M. Buddhaprasad came down heavily on the Central government and said that the Congress, which launched several schemes in the name of Indira Gandhi, is now least bothered to follow her principles in maintaining the unity of the state.
The attack on Seemandhra employees has left lakhs of Seemandhra people who settled in Hyderabad worried, Buddhaprasad said. Political JAC convener K. Shivaji, Janachaitnya Vedika state president V. Luxmareddy, former minister D. Rajashekar, former mayor T. Sakuntala, Students JAC convener D. Avinash and several others addressed the gathering.
They demanded an answer from the leaders of Telangana, who they said, were making false promises that they would protect the people of Seemandhra living in Telangana. Later, Tulasi Reddy led the gathering to take a pledge to fight for the unity of the state.
Temple staff join the stir
Extending support to the ongoing Samaikyandhra movement, members of the Kanakadurga Temple All Cadre Employees’ Association here on Sunday launched a relay hunger strike. The employees took out a rally from the temple to Potti Sriramulu statue and cleansed the statue in support of the Samaikyandra movement.
Addressing the protesters, Union leaders K. Balaram and D.V. Raju said that every strata of the society, especially employees and students, stand to lose due to division of the Telugu speaking people. The employees extended support the APNGOs’ indefinite strike.
Later, 10 newly married couples launched a relay hunger strike, along with the employees.