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then Home Minister Shri P Chidambaram announced the commencement of the process for statehood to Telangana only to be withdrawn hastily.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

Explore More
No ifs and buts in anybody's mind about India’s capabilities: PM Modi on 77th Independence Day at Red Fort

Popular Speeches

No ifs and buts in anybody's mind about India’s capabilities: PM Modi on 77th Independence Day at Red Fort

Media Coverage

"India of 21st century does not think small...": PM Modi
NM on the go

Nm on the go

Always be the first to hear from the PM. Get the App Now!
...
A tribute to Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri 108 Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji
February 21, 2024

Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri 108 Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji attained Samadhi and left us all saddened. His life is a spiritually rich epoch graced with profound wisdom, boundless compassion and an unwavering commitment to uplift humanity. I have had the honour of receiving his blessings on numerous occasions. Thus, I feel a deep sense of loss, akin to losing a guiding light that has illuminated the path for countless souls, including myself. His warmth, affection and blessings were not just gestures of goodwill but profound transmissions of spiritual energy, empowering and inspiring all those fortunate enough to have come in contact with him.

Pujya Acharya Ji will always be remembered as a Triveni of wisdom, compassion and service. He was a true Tapasvi, whose life epitomised the ideals of Bhagwan Mahavir. His life exemplified the core principles of Jainism, embodying its ideals through his own actions and teachings. His care towards all living beings mirrored Jainism's profound respect for life. He lived a life of truthfulness, reflecting Jainism's emphasis on honesty in thought, word, and deed. He also led a very simple lifestyle. It is due to stalwarts like him that the world continues to be inspired by Jainism and the life of Bhagwan Mahavir. He stood tall among the Jain community but his impact and influence were not limited to only one community. People across faiths, regions and cultures came to him and he worked tirelessly towards spiritual awakening, particularly among the youth.

Education was an area very close to his heart. His journey from Vidhyadhar (his childhood name) to Vidhyasagar was one of deep commitment to acquiring and imparting knowledge. It was his firm belief that education is the cornerstone of a just and enlightened society. He championed the cause of knowledge as a means to empower individuals, enabling them to lead lives of purpose and contribution. His teachings emphasised the importance of self-study and self-awareness as the pathways to true wisdom, urging his followers to engage in lifelong learning and spiritual growth.

At the same time, Sant Shiromani Acharya Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji wanted our youngsters to get an education that is also rooted in our cultural ethos. He often said that it was because we drifted away from the learnings of the past that we were not able to find solutions to key challenges like water scarcity. He also believed that a holistic education is one that focusses on skilling and innovating. He took immense pride in India’s linguistic diversity and encouraged youngsters to learn Indian languages.

Pujya Acharya Ji himself wrote extensively in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Hindi. The heights he reached as a saint, and how grounded he was on the earth, is seen clearly in his iconic work Mookmati. Through his works, he gave a voice to the downtrodden.

In the domain of healthcare too, Pujya Acharya Ji’s contributions were transformative. He was associated with several efforts, especially in underserved areas. His approach to healthcare was holistic, integrating physical well-being with spiritual wellness, thereby addressing the needs of the person as a whole.

I would especially urge the coming generations to study extensively about Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji’s commitment to nation building. He would always urge people to rise above any partisan considerations and instead focus on national interest. He was one of the strongest votaries of voting because he saw it as an expression of participation in democratic processes. He advocated healthy as well as clean politics, even saying that policy making has to be about people’s welfare, not self interest (Lokneeti is about Loksangrah not Lobhsangrah).

He believed that a strong nation is built on the foundation of its citizens' commitment to their duties—towards themselves, their families, society, and the country. He encouraged individuals to cultivate virtues such as honesty, integrity and self-reliance, which he saw as essential for the creation of a just, compassionate, and thriving society. This emphasis on duties is of great importance as we work towards building a Viksit Bharat.

In an era where environmental degradation is rampant world over, Pujya Acharya Ji called for a way of life which would minimise the harm being inflicted on nature. Likewise, he saw a paramount role for agriculture in our economy, also stressing on making agriculture modern as well as sustainable. His work towards reforming jail inmates was also noteworthy.

The beauty of our land is that for thousands of years, our soil has produced greats who have shown light to others and made our society better. Pujya Acharya Ji stands as a towering figure in this illustrious lineage of saints and social reformers. Whatever he did, he did not just for the present but also the future. In November last year, I had the opportunity to visit the Chandragiri Jain Mandir in Dongargarh in Chhattisgarh. Little did I know that this visit would be my last meeting with Pujya Acharya Ji. Those moments were very special. He spoke to me for a long time, blessing me for my efforts in serving the nation. He expressed joy on the direction our nation is taking and the respect India is getting on the world stage. He was filled with enthusiasm while talking about the work he was doing. Then and always, his gentle gaze and serene smile were enough to instill a sense of peace and purpose. His blessings felt like a soothing balm on the soul, a reminder of the divine presence within and around us.

Sant Shiromani Acharya Shri 108 Vidhyasagar Ji Maharaj Ji’s void is deeply felt by all who knew him and were touched by his teachings and his life. However, he lives on in the hearts and minds of those he inspired. In honouring his memory, we commit to embodying the values he espoused. In this way, we not only pay tribute to a great soul but also take forward his mission for our country and people.