Monday, March 8, 2010
PLANNING COMMISION MEMBER SUPPORT TELANGANA
Demand for Telangana justified: Mungekar
By Express News Service
07 Mar 2010 06:06:00 AM IST
HYDERABAD: The demand for separate Telangana was legitimate and justifiable, former member of Planning Commission Prof Balachander Mungekar has said. Disapproving of one-language and one-State theory, he said that Dr BR Ambedkar too did not agree with it.
Delievering the 14th Prof G Ram Reddy Memorial Lecture at the Centre for Economics and Social Studies (CESS) on `Regional dimensions of new economic paradigm: The case for Telangana' here today, Mungekar, quoting statistics extensively indicating the underdevelopment of Telangana, said that when justice was denied in the combined State development, the people would articulate their demand for a separate identity on the basis of region, caste, ethnicity or language.
Mungekar said that if the present system of development was pursued further there would be demands for smaller states. In the next ten years there would demands for 50 to 55 states in the country, he added.
He also dismissed the argument that whether the separate State was viable or not. When the country fought for independence, it was mostly under monarchy rule or anarchic or in the kingship and there was no democracy, he pointed out.
Drawing comparison between Vidharbha and Telangana, Mungekar said that the development in both the regions was uneven and unequal with the rest of the Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
Quoting the SRC report, Mungekar termed Vidharbha and Telangana as the internal colonies of their respective states.
The one-language, one-state theory was neither justifiable nor practicable, he said citing the example of several states with Hindi- speaking people.
As per the 2003-04 statistics, Telangana had contributed 75 per cent of the total State's sales tax, 2/3rd of the excise duty and 30 per cent of the Forex. Though 68 per cent of Krishna and 69 per cent of Godavari rivers were in Telangana region, the share in water to Telangana was very small.
Of the 38 lakh acres irrigated area under Krishna, only five lakh acres were in Telangana, he said.
He said that 74 per cent of Krishna water was made available to Coastal Andhra people. Though the contribution of agriculture to GSDP was only 23 per cent, the river water share was important as large number of people dependent on agriculture, he pointed out.
Saying that similar injustice was done to Vidharbha, Mungekar said that though the cotton was grown more in the region, 95 per cent textile industries were situated outside Vidharbha. The orange-processing units were also minimal in Vidharbha when compared to other parts of the State, he said.
On the education front, he said that of the 21 universities in AP only one was in the Telangana region. He said that though Hyderabad had 10 universities, no one should consider Telangana people were benefited because Hyderabad was part of Telangana.
The development of Hyderabad took place because of the metropolis development pursued in the last 20 years by the Centre. The educational institutions were not accessible to Telangana people practically, he noted.
Out of 15 lakh jobs in the State, the Telangana got only three lakh jobs.
As per the population, the Telangana people deserved at least 30 to 40 per cent jobs, Mungekar felt. Of the 23 district collectors in the State, none belongs to Telangana and out of 433 departmental heads' posts only seven to eight comes from Telangana.
Observing that the Telangana dialect was not found in the textbooks as it was considered inferior, Mungekar said that this type of cultural sub-ordination and feeling of discrimination leads to the demand for separate states.
He, however, advised the T-protagonists, to continue their fight till the State was carved out in a democratic and non-violent manner. Otherwise, the ruling class would inject violence and impose instruments of agitation, he cautioned.
He suggested that once Telangana was realised, the Telanana people, hitherto treated as secondclass citizens, should not pursue the same to the oppressed classes in the separate State.
Prof Hara Gopal said that Mungekar's views were considered as impartial as he was an outsider.
Prof G Ram Reddy Memorial Trust chairperson Prof Ch Hanumantha Rao was in the chair.