Telangana agitation intensifies as Azad report is found.....
Dubai: The Telangana agitation which is gaining momentum by each passing day has led to a total shutdown in the region. The Congress on Friday found Gulam Nabi Azad's report on the claim for a separate state to be carved out from Andhra Pradesh inconclusive.
Frequent shutdowns and disruptions are adversely affecting the brand image of Hyderabad and the tangle is taking its toll on investments. Buildings in the state capital, including Imax theatres and prestigious shopping malls are covered with nets to escape the wrath of agitating mobs.
The three-week-old Sakala Janula Samme (general strike) is a gauge of the popular sentiment of the Telangana people to have a state of their own.
While the agitation rages in the state, Telugu-speaking expatriates in the UAE have their views to share on the issue. Here's what they have to say:
Y. Srinivas of Gulf Telangana Welfare and Cultural Association said: "The much-awaited Azad report on the Telangana issue and subsequent Congress core committee meeting failed to provide any respite to the people of the region.
"Azad's report turned out to be yet another Sri Krishna Committee report without providing any solutions. For the last 21 days, Telangana has remained at a standstill with the general strike. [Home Minister] P. Chidambaram says a decision will be taken soon. Any delay in the formation of Telangana state will have an adverse effect on the government and create ill-will, disharmony and hatred among people of the two regions."
A medical professional, who requested anonymity, said the struggle should continue until a separate state is formed. "This is an acid test for our leaders and people. We should not bow down to the centre, irrespective of the consequences."
Echoing his views, Juvvadi Srinivas, an expatriate said: "It is very unfortunate that the Congress core committee has been unable to take a decision on Telangana. The general strike has crippled the functioning of schools, colleges, hospitals; affected road and rail transport closed and stopped production at Singarani coal mines leading to power shortages not only in Andhra Pradesh, but also in neighbouring states. If the Congress-led UPA government is looking at votes and seats, then this issue will remain unsolved."
Ajit Kumar, President of Telugu Velugulu, a cultural organisation, blames the politicians for the current turmoil and holds the centre solely responsible for letting the situation spin out of control. "Before things go from bad to worse the centre should settle the issue amicable to both regions," Ajit said.
Y. Sekhar Reddy, an entrepreneur, thinks Hyderabad remains a bone of contention since people from all over the country have helped it grow to its present status as a global IT and industry hub. "It is time for the Congress to make up its mind and form a separate Telangana before it widens the chasm between the peoples of the two regions. But, I'd like Hyderabad to be a Union Territory or to make it joint capital for a specific number of years.
Prakash Rao, another entrepreneur, said: "The people of Telangana region are running out of patience. As most parties are saying they would support a Telangana Bill unequivocally whenever it is introduced in the Parliament. Chidambaram wants the agitation to stop, [Finance Minister] Pranab Mukherjee says more time is needed and Azad [Union Health Minister and Congress in-charge for Andhra Pradesh] says Telangana issue cannot be resolved overnight. The agitation will force the leaders to act fast. Pranab should give a timeframe rather than merely saying more time is needed. And to Azad I'd like to say, two-years' wait since Chidambaram's December 9, 2009 announcement is not overnight."
P. Surender, General Secretary of Telugu Sravanti, Sharjah, says: "There's already an emotional divide among the people of Andhra Pradesh, so a physical division of the state will be a logical end to the problem.
"The centre is aggravating the matters by dithering on the issue. We cannot go back this time as anymore compromise will seal the fate of Telangana."