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Creation of Telangana- the struggle and the road ahead

Dear Brothers and Sisters from all regions of Andhra Pradesh,

Namaskaram! I am looking forward to interacting with all of you on 11th August at the Nava Bharath Yuva Bheri Public Rally in Hyderabad.

During the public meeting at Hyderabad, I was hoping to share my thoughts on the issue of statehood for Telangana as well as on all of your concerns on a roadmap for all the regions of Andhra Pradesh.

However, in the wake of the sequence of events, the Congress Party has done in the last few days what it shied away from doing in the last 9 years- to work overtime on a decision over Telangana. It is an undisputable fact that Congress Party has neither been consistent nor transparent in its conduct over the creation of a Telangana state. Thus, a Party and a Government that has betrayed the people on the issue of Telangana time and again can hardly be trusted on this issue this time around.

You can read the Telugu translation of Shri Modi's letter to the people of Andhra Pradesh

It is equally true that the BJP has been forthcoming and transparent in its support for statehood to Telangana.

The BJP is the only party with the strongest record on the creation of small states. It maybe recalled that it was the NDA Government under the leadership of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee that created three new states of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand (then known as Uttaranchal) and Jharkhand in 2000 thus giving a new ray of hope to the aspirations of the people in these areas.

Friends, the same Congress party that won in 2004 on the promise of Telangana has played cynical games with the aspirations and sentiments of the people for nine long years. Now, at a time when there are only a few months left before the people of this country vote again, the Congress Party is rushing to announce Telangana. This raises serious concerns on the seriousness and intentions of the Congress.

After winning handsomely in Andhra Pradesh under the leadership of Dr. YS Rajashekhara Reddy in 2004 and 2009, the Congress has turned its back on this state since the former Chief Minister died. In December 2009, the then Home Minister Shri P Chidambaram announced the commencement of the process for statehood to Telangana only to be withdrawn hastily. The Congress party then sought to buy time by creating another committee on the question of Telangana. But, it remained indifferent to the collapse in administration, political violence and the unfortunate specter of suicides by youngsters of Telangana. Meanwhile, governance came to a standstill in Andhra Pradesh.

While we welcome any forward movement on the issue of Telangana, we yet again ask how real is the intent of the Congress and the UPA Government this time around.

I would like to pose the following questions to the Congress party leadership and the UPA Government. 

Question 1 - Where is your homework in terms of creating consensus in your own party, within the Government and within all political parties on the issue of Telangana when you have been speaking in so many divergent voices ? 

Question 2 - Unlike capital cities that became shared capitals by virtue of being on the border between two states, Hyderabad becomes a shared capital despite being located well within Telangana. Thus, this does not justify the logic of sharing a capital albeit for a short duration. This leaves scope for operational difficulties. 

Thus, how practical is it for a state to have a capital that does not lie either within its boundaries or along its borders?  

Question 3 - What constructive measures have you taken to prepare the minds of the people of Andhra Pradesh and Rayalseema to welcome this decision on Telangana? What assurances have you provided to them so as to assuage their anxieties and to take them on board? Where is your “political roadmap” to creating this consensus among the people? All we have been hearing is that the issue is a “technical process.” 

Question 4 - What commitments are you prepared to make to the people of Telangana, who have already suffered severe trauma over your many betrayals, that you will not take them for a ride one more time? 

Question 5 - Many youngsters of Telangana have committed suicide. Hyderabad as an investment destination has suffered, the state of Andhra Pradesh has slipped. The state once considered the rice bowl of India has seen agricultural slides making it a state with high farmer suicides. It is indeed ironical that the Congress Party has sought to hide itself behind committees, reports and futile deliberations instead of courageously facing the people of Andhra Pradesh. Neither the Congress President nor the Congress Vice President have set foot into Andhra Pradesh in recent years, despite the fact that Andhra Pradesh sent the highest MPs for the Congress both in 2004 and 2009. Will the Congress leadership not apologize to the people of Andhra Pradesh for treating them like doormats to suit the Congress’ political opportunism?

 

BJP's Principles for a Meaningful Roadmap to all Regions of Andhra Pradesh 

  • We stand by our commitment to statehood for Telangana. We however believe that the Roadmap should be such that it is a win-win solution to all the people of all regions. Statehood for one region should not be viewed as coming at the expense of another region.
  • We believe that this is an Opportunity for us to develop all the other major Cities of Andhra Pradesh across all regions so Vishakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Guntur, Warangal, Karimnagar and Ongole, Anantpur Kurnool and Kadapa etc. all stand to gain.
  • We respect the Constitution that Protects the Rights of all Citizens. The BJP will take every step to protect persons, families, businesses and assets of all the people of Andhra Pradesh living across regions irrespective where their roots may lie.
  • We are committed to reviving the economy of all the regions of Andhra Pradesh. Law and Order, Political Stability and a Dynamic Policy Regime will be our priorities. BJP will ensure that the benefits of River Water will reach all regions and water resources sharing will be fair, just and equitable.
  • We are committed to restoring Trust and Confidence once again of all regions There shall be no more cynical political games and no more betrayals.
  • We are committed to preserving the shared Telugu cultural heritage of all regions that shall in no way be affected by what is merely an administrative boundary. Telugu Culture and Pride shall remain boundary-less.
 

This may be the first time a state formed on Linguistic basis is being proposed to be divided. It is an emotional moment.

Even at this time as the state is being divided, to respect the popular sentiment we bow our heads in respect to martyrs like the late Shri Potti Sreeramulu who sacrificed their lives for the creation of Andhra Pradesh. Inspired by their memory we commit ourselves to work for the progress of all Telugu people in each of these regions.

 

Yours,

 

 

Narendra Modi

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Why India and the World Need Gandhi
October 02, 2019
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The great leader envisioned a world where every citizen has dignity and prosperity.

Upon reaching India in 1959, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remarked, “To other countries I may go as a tourist, but to India I come as a pilgrim”. He added, “Perhaps, above all, India is the land where the techniques of nonviolent social change were developed that my people have used in Montgomery, Alabama, and elsewhere throughout the American South. We have found them to be effective and sustaining — they work!”

The guiding light whose inspiration got Dr. King to India was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the Mahatma, the Great Soul. On Wednesday, we observe his 150th birth anniversary. Gandhi Ji, or Bapu, continues to give courage to millions globally.

Gandhian methods of resistance ignited a spirit of hope among several African nations. Dr. King remarked: “When I was visiting in Ghana, West Africa, Prime Minister Nkrumah told me that he had read the works of Gandhi and felt that nonviolent resistance could be extended there. We recall that South Africa has had bus boycotts also.”

Nelson Mandela referred to Gandhi as “the Sacred Warrior” and wrote, “His strategy of noncooperation, his assertion that we can be dominated only if we cooperate with our dominators, and his nonviolent resistance inspired anticolonial and antiracist movements internationally in our century.”

For Mr. Mandela, Gandhi was Indian and South African. Gandhi would have approved. He had the unique ability to become a bridge between some of the greatest contradictions in human society.

In 1925, Gandhi wrote in “Young India”: “It is impossible for one to be internationalist without being a nationalist. Internationalism is possible only when nationalism becomes a fact, i.e., when peoples belonging to different countries have organized themselves and are able to act as one man.” He envisioned Indian nationalism as one that was never narrow or exclusive but one that worked for the service of humanity.

Mahatma Gandhi also epitomized trust among all sections of society. In 1917, Ahmedabad in Gujarat witnessed a huge textile strike. When the conflict between the mill workers and owners escalated to a point of no return, it was Gandhi who mediated an equitable settlement.

Gandhi formed the Majoor Mahajan Sangh, an association for workers’ rights. At first sight, it may seem just another name of an organization but it reveals how small steps created a large impact. During those days, “Mahajan” was used as a title of respect for elites. Gandhi inverted the social structure by attaching the name “Mahajan” to “Majoor,” or laborers. With that linguistic choice, Gandhi enhanced the pride of workers.

And Gandhi combined ordinary objects with mass politics. Who else could have used a charkha, a spinning wheel, and khadi, Indian homespun cloth, as symbols of economic self-reliance and empowerment for a nation?

Who else could have created a mass agitation through a pinch of salt! During colonial rule, Salt Laws, which placed a new tax on Indian salt, had become a burden. Through the Dandi March in 1930, Gandhi challenged the Salt Laws. His picking up a small lump of natural salt from the Arabian Sea shore led to the historic civil disobedience movement.

There have been many mass movements in the world, many strands of the freedom struggle even in India, but what sets apart the Gandhian struggle and those inspired by him is the wide-scale public participation. He never held administrative or elected office. He was never tempted by power.

For him, independence was not absence of external rule. He saw a deep link between political independence and personal empowerment. He envisioned a world where every citizen has dignity and prosperity. When the world spoke about rights, Gandhi emphasized duties. He wrote in “Young India”: “The true source of rights is duty. If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek.” He wrote in the journal Harijan, “Rights accrue automatically to him who duly performs his duties.”

Gandhi gave us the doctrine of trusteeship, which emphasized the socio-economic welfare of the poor. Inspired by that, we should think about a spirit of ownership. We, as inheritors of the earth, are responsible for its well-being, including that of the flora and fauna with whom we share our planet.

In Gandhi, we have the best teacher to guide us. From uniting those who believe in humanity to furthering sustainable development and ensuring economic self-reliance, Gandhi offers solutions to every problem.

We in India are doing our bit. India is among the fastest when it comes to eliminating poverty. Our sanitation efforts have drawn global attention. India is also taking the lead in harnessing renewable resources through efforts like the International Solar Alliance, which has brought together several nations to leverage solar energy for a sustainable future. We want to do even more, with the world and for the world.

As a tribute to Gandhi, I propose what I call the Einstein Challenge. We know Albert Einstein’s famous words on Gandhi: “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”

How do we ensure the ideals of Gandhi are remembered by future generations? I invite thinkers, entrepreneurs and tech leaders to be at the forefront of spreading Gandhi’s ideas through innovation.

Let us work shoulder to shoulder to make our world prosperous and free from hate, violence and suffering. That is when we will fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s dream, summed up in his favorite hymn, “Vaishnava Jana To,” which says that a true human is one who feels the pain of others, removes misery and is never arrogant.

The world bows to you, beloved Bapu!