Red Sandalwood Encounter

It’s not that you encounter these Red Sandalwood trees in every forest in India. Unfortunately they are rare and endangered!
It’s not that you encounter incidents of illegal trade of wood of any other tree. Unfortunately red sandalwood is in demand and valuable!
It’s not daily you see smugglers looking for wood anywhere else. Unfortunately it happens in case of Red Sandalwood.
It’s not daily you encounter so many people become millionaires illegally selling wood. It happens in case of Sandalwood!
It’s not an encounter so many smugglers out there looking for this wood and government appointing a special task force to protect this wood. It happens in Andhra Pradesh!
And it’s not a daily encounter when 25 sandalwood smugglers were killed in an encounter with police. What happened in Seshachalam forest is sad considering 25 people were killed. There are voices saying Guns should not have been used, the smugglers should have been arrested.

There Human Rights commission out there asking questions. There are Tamil Nadu politicians asking for thorough inquiry knowing there wont be one. And then there is AP government defending the killings.

Source: OneIndia.com

Rather trying to find out what really happened, which anyway will not come out or blaming the police,
Tamil Nadu Government on its part should see
1. why the youth had to tread on this illegal path.
2. Why these youth cannot be provided more job opportunities rather falling prey to illegal activities.
3. How future generations can be stopped from committing the same mistake of crossing the border for wood.

AP government should
1. Reign the big hands behind the smugglers. Or they will find more hungry mouths to enter the forest for wood.
2. Ask the special task force to act with restraint.

Lets stop all this fight as it will not get the dead back or avoid future encounters.

Andhra Pradesh Divided

Finally Congress has divided Andhra Pradesh and carved out residual state of Telangana. The haste with which the bill was passed in both houses of parliament shows the desperation of Congress government to see Rahul as the next PM. The most surprising thing was how all the MPs, AP NGOs, MLAs stood as mute spectators to all this drama. Only thing they did try was to use pepper spray, hold some banners for the cameras, play snatching with the speaker. Did Pepper spray or banners stop the process? they stalled it for some time but could not stop it.

VAGUE TERMS
No solid conditions or terms of division were laid down. There was no discussion, consensus about how to divide the state, how to share the resources, employees, property. While everyone knew in the back of their hearts that Congress was hell-bent to form separate state, we lost crucial time in having a consensus, in discussing the terms. Meanwhile these congress leaders made promises of stopping this process, NGOS formed JACs but did they make any difference other than fighting for TV space. They never resigned from government, parliament, assembly, or their jobs but showed dreams of stopping it. The only sensible persons Chandra Babu Naidu and Venkaiah Naidu were relegated to back seat. While these two tried to negotiate the package to Seemandhra, they were portrayed as Division supporters.

CONGRESS CONFIDENCE
What was congress party’s confidence in dividing the state. They know they will not get support from Seemandhra, they may gain some seats in Telangana. what is their confidence in losing 25 Lok sabha seats compared to 17? Are they foolish in raking the wrath of Seemandhra voters? Will they be content with just Telangana? No one thinks so. Then why did they not care about Seemandhra and went about the division so blatantly?

DEEP DIVIDE
Their confidence is the deep divide among the people in Seemandhra. While emotion filled may come together to vote for TRS or Congress in Telangana, they are pretty sure that Seemandhra people will not come together and vote for a single party. They have systematically cultivated divisions among people on caste and religious lines and for that they supported new parties on the same lines. The last lok sabha elections were a proof for them that the votes can be split despite anti-incumbency factor. They nurtured new party of Chiranjeevi and made sure opposition votes are split. This is their confidence.
With their callous attitude towards Seemandhra, they are pretty confident that TDP would not be the majority party. Jagan’s party and expected new party to be formed by Kiran Kumar Reddy and Lagadapati Rajagopal would play spoil sport.

TDP DOWNFALL
Now it is very clear that TRS, Chiranjeevi party and YSRCP are formed solely to weaken the strong TDP. Whatever new parties will be formed, it will be for the same purpose. They want to weaken the regional parties. These parties blame TDP for everything. They know BJP is not strong here so once TDP is weakened they dream of dominating AP with their sister parties.

PEOPLE’S VERDICT
People’s emotions are high on both sides of Telangana and Seemandhra. We have to wait and see how this will be reflected on the ballot. Will Telangana people vote for Congress-TRS as gratitude or vote for BJP-TDP for their dynamic leaders? Will Seemandhra people vote for TDP or pseudo Congress parties?
I wish people stop for a moment, keep aside their emotions. Only then they can make a good choice or else we will fail again as responsible citizens.

Let there be prosperity in all Telugu households as well as the nation.

Hyderabad, Hyderabad where are you going?

A song was going on in the TV, it was about who is the real mother of Krishna, Devaki- who gave him birth or Yashodha- who fostered him?  Hyderabad is in similar situation now.  Will it go with Telangana in which it geographically located or does it have to go with Seemaandhra who claim to have major role in its development?

What makes a city like Hyderabad, a vibrant, multicultural, modern developed city?
Are the city’s Hi-tech IT centers, or its concrete high rises, or its Metro-rail in construction or its Rajiv Gandhi International Airport or its famous Biryani?  Economically yes but the heart and soul of Hyderabad is  its culture. The life of  people from all the three regions of the AP state as well as the numerous migrants and IT guys from all over the country assimilated into one whole – that is Hyderabad.  At least, as I am told, since  independence Hyderabad has been ever welcoming , stretching its hands to everyone who wanted to make it a home, who came in search of livelihood, who wanted to make money in it, on it, out of it. With ever-growing population Hyderabad has tried to keep everyone happy, though we have polluted its main vein Musi, and heart Hussain Sagar. It has been generous, though we have over-loaded its drainage network. It has been hearty, though its road system is jammed with traffic.

In return what we gave is bandhs, hartals, and petty fights vandalizing its shops, paralyzing its life many a times. And now we are fighting over its rights.  One says its in our region, and another says it is we who have developed this city.  It’s easy to fly by emotions which happens to me in a moment or rage or  anguish. But will it be any good to anyone?  All these concrete buildings do not have more than 30-40 year lifespan and they make way for the new ones, we people stay there for 50-60 years and we make way for newer generation.  What stays behind is Hyderabad and its heritage. It can survive independently without  a Telangana or Seemaandhra tag on it.

Hyderabad (Bhagyanagar – the bountiful) has given life to many, so lets not break it. Let it be the way it is and no petty politics on it, no more battles on it. Unfortunately so many lives are entwined and perilously balanced with it that moving one block will be a death knell to many a lives surviving marginally.  We have done enough to destroy  it by over-development and over-exploitation, lets not break the people’s trust with such fights. Everyday we have to work with each to get it going, this kind of mistrust may lead to favoritism and finally the death of the city

Krishna has no problem being son to both his mothers, Bhagyanagar has no problem being home to all people – reasonable and responsible ones though.

Telangana: Did we miss the bus this time too?

The much awaited decision on Telangana has finally been taken. For some reason, I don’t feel much jubilation ( I hail from Telangana). This decision long pending was taken not in parliament or state assembly but by a group CWC (Congress working committee) and later  endorsed by UPA. Did we miss the bus?

Source: zeenews.india.com

Source: zeenews.india.com

No one has a consensus on what the people really want or how they want the bifurcation of the state to take place. The decision is taken so close to Elections that it leaves no time for anyone to adjust. We have seen enough agitation in Telangana and now its turn of other side! Staying unified or separating, we will just remain spectators to this partition rather than participants. we missed the bus again..

Going into the brief history……

When ” The gentleman’s agreement” was not respected, we missed the bus.
When Nagarjunasagar dam was constructed submerging one region and watering another, we missed the bus.When Jurala project conceptualized at the same time as  Nagarjunasagar but  was only completed recently, we missed the bus.
when Nalgonda, in spite of having Nagarjunasagar in it, is suffering from Fluoride contamination, we missed the bus.
When drought gripped the state, many villages migrated to Bombay, Pune for work, we missed the bus.
When many students were going to Karnataka, TN for Engineering education due to less collages here, we missed the bus.
When we allowed Naxalites to boom owing to bad governance, we missed the bus.
When we did not fight for GO 610, we missed the bus.
When we allowed many graduates emigrate to other countries, we missed the bus.
when IT boom was not equally distributed among all regions, we missed the bus big time.
When agriculture was becoming too harsh on farmers over decades, we missed the bus.
When we allowed the government to sell lands around Hyderabad to fund government programs, we missed the bus.
When Manjeera river water meant for irrigation were diverted to Hyderabad for drinking water, we missed the bus.
When we over-jammed the limited roads of Hyderabad with traffic, we missed the bus.
When we allowed to give people alternatives to Hyderabad, we missed the bus.
When we did nothing to the drought affected districts of the state, we missed the bus.

When we allowed some secessionist ideas of some party for its own gains, we missed the bus.
When allowed that to seep into students, people, we missed the bus.
When we did not do anything to win the confidence of people we missed the bus.
When we let that be decided by a single person, we missed the bus.

Watching all the drama of UPA deciding the bifurcation, I have many doubts.
Is it another ploy of covering up their bad governance over these 9 years ?
Is it a ploy to win voters in the next election?
Is it to split the vote one more time and weaken the only strong opposition in the state – TDP?
May be, but We again missed the bus.

Source: ndtv.com

Source: ndtv.com

What ever has happened is difficult to digest but it has happened and we the total state more as spectators are  part of it. Though having same language we missed to assimilate into one or we have been drugged to feel different.
Hyderabad like any other metros is overcrowded, polluted and noisy.  And this is not the ideal way to create an alternative to it.  Though administratively we may get divided but we have to work together for our collective development and well-being.

A step to victory!

TDP chief Mr. Chandra Babu Naidu is on a 2000km Padayatra  in  Andhra Pradesh.
The 2009 elections were a shocker for TDP. Congress again won not with huge margin but with enough to keep the power away from TDP. This was a mandate from confused  voters who had too many choices. There was Chiranjeevi with his Prajarajyam party. There was JayaPrakash Narayan with his Loksatta promising a corruption free state.  Though  these parties did not get enough seats they were successful in dividing the votes. And TDP was the main loser.

IMPORTANT MANDATE
2009 election was a mandate from people who were looking for alternatives to Congress and TDP.  Drought and neglect of  agriculture during CBN’s tenure did not do any good to TDP.  Prajarajyam party won some seats in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.  TRS party won few in Telangana. Loksatta took  votes from the educated white-collar citi-zens.  Congress had its rural vote due to its popular Aarogyasri and 100 day employment schemes.  Finally Congress came victorious.

DIVIDE AND RULE
2009 elections was  the testing ground for reuse of Divide and Rule policy. It worked  and what followed is systematic division of state on regional, caste and religious lines.  Jagan’s new party,  always hot Telangana issue or trouble in Old Hyderabad  is keeping the limelight away from basic needs and development.  The death of  YS Rajashekar Reddy aggravated the problem.  Chiranjeevi’s party merging with Congress highlights the purpose of its formation.

ANTI TDP
Rhetoric  of the new parties or TRS is only anti TDP. TDP was not in power during 2009 elections. But still all the parties were contesting elections as if they were against only TDP.  This highlights the strategy of eliminating the only strong opposition in Andhra Pradesh.  Jagan’s Party has grown in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions further eating into the support base of TDP.  TRS only asks TDP about its opinion on Telangana.  The ruling party cleverly showed itself divided while they collectively support the goverment in State and at the Center.

CBN PADAYATHRA

Source: TheHIndu.com

Source: TheHIndu.com

I do not know how useful CBN’s padayathra would be for TDP. It was interesting to see Jagan’s sister taking up another padayathra at the same time in support of her brother.  May be it was to weaken CBN’s walkathon.  Even the rural population is pampered by the freebies given by the government.  In present condition when  people are preferring to be identified by regional, caste, religious divisions despite no development, TDP has to approach the 2014 elections differently. It has to diversify its cadre by encouraging young leaders who are willing to bring about a change  similar to what Late NTR did.

Andhra Pradesh is down in all parameters. it is now a play ground of all the foolish people among us.  Its time for a change. We the people of AP state have to channel the anguish of certain sections of the people into a political movement.   Whether we stay united or part ways,  whether we  develop or go bankrupt it should be on our terms, not on some outside dictations…

To do or not to do

Its the meeting room of  a Revenue Department office in a small town Mahabubnagar in  the  big state of  Andhra Pradesh, India.   No one knows the reason for calling this untimely meeting.  Everyone was thinking ‘What did Sakku Bai make for lunch today’. Sakku  runs the canteen where all the employees have their lunch.
Bhai Aur Bahno“,  started the Head officer which sounded political than brotherly or sisterly,  “the reason for this meeting is as we already know that there is widespread drought in our District and many farmers are migrating as construction labor”
‘What about the drought in our stomachs now?’ thought many.
“So I on behalf  of the Collector  office I propose that we skip lunch every alternate day and donate that money to the ‘BACK TO FARMING’ Fund. This is already being implemented in Municipality and a great success”
With lot of resistance the employees gave it a ‘thumbs up’.
“Can we eat lunch today?” asked one employee  and everyone is laughing

The ‘Skip a lunch’ program spreads  to all other offices and businesses through the word of  hungry mouths. This in in vogue.  ” We skip lunch alternate day” other says “we skip lunch every day”
‘SKIP A MEAL ALTERNATE DAY’ became ‘SKIP A MEAL EVERY DAY’ and the sense of responsibility and accomplishment replaced everyone’s lunch boxes.
On the other side  Canteen and restaurant owners like Sakku Bai are going out of business as very few are having lunch.  Owing to very little business, they stopped buying vegetables from the farmers, grains from the stores. Very few farmers who are still farming sell their produce to these canteens as they offered little more than the middle men.
Farmers are forced to sell to the middle men and all the money goes to the money lenders. They too had to skip their lunch!
And the money donated by “BACK TO FARMING” Fund goes to money lenders – BACK TO THE RICH!
Their children had to skip school of course lunch, the teachers had to skip lunch too!
One fine summer day they get into the bus to Mumbai (all the drought hit towns of Andhra Pradesh have direct buses to Mumbai)  to take up construction work leaving behind everything while the people are skipping their lunches.

We are moving away from self-reliant communities into a Globalized World where many things are interdependent.

  • If Greece needs all of Europe to pitch in to resolve its economic crisis,
  • If a boy in India can only marry if  Americans keep buying Indian software,
  • If a child in China can only eat if  a child elsewhere buys toys,
  • If a child can have calm night if  somewhere someone explodes the Sivakasi crackers

then this is not an ideal world for the symbolic 7 billionth children!

boom time - gloom time http://www.deccanherald.com

P.S. – Its not a mockery of Skipping a meal. Its noble and shows how much we care for others. I am only using it to illustrate how everything is intertwined and how delicately we are balanced, how a small thing can trigger a disaster and how our insanity and stupidity are  self-destructive. Regrets if this offended anyone.

Your comments please, in the comments Section
Also read: http://mahabubnagar.tripod.com/paper_on_contract_labour_AP.htm

Political Potpourri

Indian Political Potpourri

  • Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reiterated he is clean and the corruption and inaction against it is due to coalition compulsions. The coalition partners have nothing to give but lot to take from the Potpourri called government and the country.
  • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh always says “I am clean” by showing his front but never showed his back.
  • Prime Minister is clean. That credit should be given to his Dhobi and the soap he uses.
  • The Chiranjeevi has joined his 2 year old party into the giant Congress. He said it is like a river joining the ocean. – Read it like this ” It is like Drainage from Jubilee Hills joining the already polluted(corrupted) Hussain Sagar Tank”. They never get dried until this land turns desert.
  • DMK party chief Kalaignar Karunanidhi  is an atheist. If he was God fearing at least he would have thought twice before backing Spectrum Raja and care a little for the people of the country.
  • The -Nidhis of Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi, Dayanidhi, Kalanidhi… Don’t know whether they are the wealth (Nidhi) of grace, care, art but they are the Nidhi’s of money.
  • Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee seems to be on the Right Track in ousting the Left in West Bengal