This is how they passed Telangana Bill

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The way Telangana Bill was introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha is an outcome of the unholy ganging up of the Government and the principal opposition. It was against all norms of parliamentary democracy.

Visitors’ galleries were cleared, live telecast of the proceedings was interrupted, and only two members spoke – one from the ruling party and the other, the Leader of the Opposition – in addition to the Home Minister. There was no discussion on a Bill of far reaching consequences. Their speeches concluded in just 23 minutes and about 33 amendments proposed by the government were rushed through in under an hour. Amendments moved by the AIMIM and TMC members were summarily dismissed.

Since the time the Congress Party moved on the Telangana issue, it was in an indecent hurry and resorted to dark secrecy. Here is a quick blow by blow account of the ugly manner in which the AP Reorganization Bill was forced down the throats of the Telugu people.

The Congress Working Committee in July 2013, without even five minutes of deliberations, reversed the resolution it passed in 2002 for constituting a second States Reorganization Commission. The UPA coordination committee rubber stamped its acceptance in less than two minutes. The government’s resolution to divide the state was placed in the Union Cabinet meeting as a table item, meaning no papers were circulated to the ministers in advance.

A Group of Ministers (GOM) was constituted. The GOM did not step on to the soil of Andhra Pradesh. It decided only to entertain emails from the civil society to express its opinions. The draft bill prepared by the GOM was placed in the Union Cabinet meeting again as a table item without circulating it to the members of the Cabinet even a minute before they arrived for the meeting. The draft bill was approved by the Cabinet without even a semblance of discussion. It was then dispatched to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly. A special paramilitary aircraft carried it.

The AP Legislature was given very little time to deliberate on it. The resolution passed by both houses of the state legislature against the move to divide the state and sent to the President of India went unheeded. The Chief Minister and several ministers of the state expressed complete disapproval of the way the Centre was riding rough shod over the state. In fact, the Chief Minster himself staged a protest demonstration in Delhi to press the point.

The Union Government tried to introduce the bill in Rajya Sabha. The Deputy Chairman had to remind the government that a bill with financial implications cannot be taken up by the Upper House in the first instance. The government was both clueless and nonchalant about the business rules of Parliament. The ruling party expelled its own Members of Parliament. It could not restrain its Union Ministers from protesting and going into the well. There were ugly scenes and a member brought shame to our temple of democracy by using pepper spray to scuttle the proceedings of the House.

And then the Bill was introduced amid din in the Lower House. It was passed.

To divide a sate is a momentous decision. It is an irreversible decision. Division of Andhra Pradesh, especially, is likely to have far reaching consequences for the Indian polity. It marks the departure from the linguistic organization of the political map of India. In addition, people from two of the three regions of the state strongly feel that they are short changed. The mother state is left high and dry and now has to look for a capital, a High Court, and a whole lot of educational, R&D, and industrial infrastructure. There is bitterness. The common people came out on to the streets and agitated for over one hundred days against the move to divide the state. The government in Delhi and the principal opposition were blind and deaf to the protests. Ironically, the fact that the principal opposition party has no representation from the state in the Parliament has not deterred it from deciding the fate of the people there.

Should a decision of such magnitude be taken in such a hurry, and in such an undemocratic fashion? Should not the government and the responsible political parties that sat down to hive off a part of the state not engage with the people and listen to them and persuade them? Why has the federal spirit given a go by? And why do the political/civil society not pulling up the Union Government for this arrogance towards a state and its people?

Today these questions are raised by millions of Telugu people. There is outrage. To millions of Telugu people division of the state is a sad episode. But the manner in which it is done has hurt them deeply. Its political consequences for our polity, both in the short term and in the long run, can be grave.

If this unholy process is not interrogated forcefully a day may not be far when any state in the Indian Union could become prey to a few insanely cynical political parties that could gang up for their electoral gains and put it on the chopping block.

6 Responses to “This is how they passed Telangana Bill”

  1. February 22, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    sir, Political parties are not keeping candidates on the basis of individual ability,commitment to democratic principles and service.Most of the political parties are selling party tickets for money.some were given to their political saves.Honest and sincere people were not considered for giving tickets.caste and relegion has their own place in political system.There are so many other weaknesses to candidates who are getting tickets which i can not express here.Willingly or unwillingly people are voting for them.We can not expect any more justice from these representatives.
    People can teach them a lesson for their political betroyal by throwing them out from parliament by voting against them in the comming elections

  2. February 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    parakala prabhakar is a intellectual liar,a person who has the educational background J N U and London School of Economics is unaware of parliamentary proceedures .Separate Telangana State is a long pending dream of telangana people.Paraka Prabhakar is trying to misleed the whole issue

    • March 11, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      I would like to summarise a few points:-

      My DoB is in 1974 and lived in both Andhra and Telangana Regions. I came to city in 1995 and I donot know anything about the history of Telangana agitation till KCR formed a party because of his disputes with TDP. People of Telangana have not given any importance to separation demand and he was limited to only 18 and 10 MLA seats. Both the elections (2004 & 2009) can be considered as a referrendum and people have not voted in favour. Now every politician says its a 60 year old demand which is absurd. They could have waited till next elections before deviding the state foolishly.

      When there were agitations in 2010 for separate Telangana the Govt. appointed Srikrishna Commission and the report is in vain.

      People who are in teaching filed should never support division. But, there are professors actively involved in Telangana Agitation.

      I am from Andhra studied in Nalgonda Dist and Working in Hyderabad ; married a Telangana Woman and want Andhra Pradesh to be united. What’s wrong in it. I have many friends in Hyderabad who married Andhra Women and life is cool.

      If there are differences, the differences are only between the poor and the rich and not because of region or religion.

      If we can not live together as Telugu people we can not live together as Indians tomorrow – who knows? Moghals and the British ruled us because we didn’t have unity in the past.

      In the globalisation era, we wanted a separate state and people who want it to be united become an enemy. We condemn the atrocities against our indian /Telugu students in Austrialia. We fight for it ; but ignore in our own state. We give a beautiful name “racism ” to it.

      When do we learn from the example of reunion of Germany which has happened in 1980s.

      We are Indians.
      We do not vote (especially educated).
      Even the educated voters in our country also lack maturity.
      We believe in caste system/religious system including educated.
      We take money and vote to idiots.

      Let us not give any chance to Congress at lest the next 50-100 years.

      Let us not support the MLAs/MPS who served congress in the recent 5 years irrespective of their shift to other parties.

      A STRONG LOCAL PARTY IS VERY MUCH NECESSARY FOR OUR TELUGU PEOPLE. TAMILNADU IS THE BEST EXAMPLE.

  3. May 31, 2014 at 4:29 am #

    To Dr.A .Hariprasad, My long pending dream is to become a billionaire. Should I rob bank / kidnap people / do some other illegal activities / or last option is hard work and earn billions. I don’t think you should be using a word of ‘Dream’, how many people are getting a good sleep even to dream?

    Talk about development issues people are facing in the region, the real ground issues (education, water, health). Being from telangana, I never dream about getting a new state, I always dream getting opportunities.

    I see some people are using words like sentiment, dream, etc.

  4. June 7, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    I try to reflect my views in the above regard:
    1. One may accept or not it is evident that the division was done contrary to the democratic principles. There is an apprehension that otherwise it is not possible to get Telangana State. Technically it was approved and passed by the parliament. Hence no one can say any more or can change now. The entire episode has remained as a bitter experience in Indian history for those who are for telangan and or for united state of Andhra Pradesh. What Dr. Prabhakr says is a fact and nothing to do with the history of the telangana agitation of sixty years old. It should be looked into as an heard experience for the nation which remains as a black mark in the history of this democratic nation.

    2. Whoever opens their mouth in time gets benefited. Those who were opposing division ought to have moved much before. In this country educated do not vote, do not come forward and or open their mouth. Uneducated follow whatever they were told in belief. The politicians (irrespective of the party) successfully induced in the minds that Andhra people particularly from costal districts have taken away all of their opportunities (employment / earning sources) and grabbed the fruits which are meant for telengana people. If they get a separate state, automatically the local people can enjoy all those fruits. But the natural law is who ever works hard will be benefited. The demand for Telangana in 1960s was subsided because Mr.Marri Chenna Reddy became chief minister. Now the only beneficiaries are politicians after that the state government employees representing a fraction of the total telangana population as they have hazel free ladder in promotions.

    3. Selling party tickets / vote and purchasing the candidate are natural hurdles while implementing the democracy more so for the largest democratic state. This will change over a period in line with the education and income growth. Unfortunately for same reasons and because of the political parties the growth rate remained very low. Therefore still we are facing these experiences and paying heavy costs.
    4. Now we could see some positive change in the society and the present youth is responsible for the same.

  5. July 15, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    Why to respect Parliament? How can seemandhra People respect parliamentarians. Especially, Chinnamma, Peddamma, Speekaramma.

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