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Saturday, 10 September 2016

The "Special" Question - Anatomy of Andhra's Anguish

(Political Satire - Prose - Soliloquy)

'Special Category status will be extended to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh, for a period of Five years.' 
-Dr Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister.
“Oral”(?) Assurance given in the Rajya Sabha,
20eth of February, 2014

'We promise to ‘hand hold’ (how very romantic!) the revenue deficit state of Andhra Pradesh.'
 -Shri Arun Jaitley,
Minister of Finance,
Completely dodging the Special Category Status issue in the Rajyasabha,
29th of July, 2016.

                        (A collective soliloquy by the people of Andhra Pradesh)

To seek Special status or be satisfied with the special assistance,
That is the question now.
Whether it is any good to fight renewed, against hope and take what is rightfully ours,
Or be satisfied with the center’s less than magnanimous gesture! Ah, therein lays the problem!
When in the temple of democracy, this division was made, most foul, most opaque!
But we welcome the new state, our brothers and sisters of the Telangana.
The Politician’s selfish folly, the biased media’s frenzy, the inaction of the lot of us,
The binding event of elections imminent, whipped up passions of caste and region…
All these made the pain even more unbearable!
To seek special or be satisfied with special…so laughable our predicament is! What’s in “Special”?
Blinded by Hallow promises made in the corridors of power,
Betrayed by everyone expertly and willingly,
Alas, we are too loyal to pelt stones against our own establishments!
We lay here in a crisis. Forget special, but do we exist?
Or only our Past does exist, in the form of the mighty Satavahanas and the Proud Chalukyas?
And in the lion roar of Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu Garu who fought the British.
Are not our votes, votes to count?
Are not our feelings, feelings?
Or our lives are just an appendage to the glorious balancing act of the Union and the State budgets,
Or invisible footnotes crushed beneath the provisions of the AP Reorganization Act?
To seek special or be satisfied with special…a seamlessly unending question.
And what of our own state, a grandiose new capital and frighteningly high expenditure
But, dear leaders of the state - should not our feet be more grounded?
Should not we have a disciplined caution towards the money spent?
Is blind copying of Singapore and Japan the answer to our self made goals?
To seek special or be satisfied with special…a quagmire of desolation
And the center that played hide and seek so effortlessly, a circus made out of a critical issue,
Everyone’s a Master Gireesam, Everyone’s a Brutus, and we were all made collectively a Ceaser.
To seek special or be satisfied with special…the question alone remains, The Question -  
That haunts the dusty dry lands of Rayalaseema,
That echoes through the twin deltas of the Krishna and the Godavari
That rages throughtout Palnadu, Sikkolu, Ongole, Nellore and Vizianagaram, 
That sweeps through the houses of Bezawada, and the beaches of Vizag.
The Iron will of the Telugu People is tested time and again; it’s a long way out of this predicament.
In the misfortune of us all and in the selfishness of the select few, till then,
Let all our troubles be remembered!


References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - Home Sweet Home, # 16-7-16, Sree Bhramara, Saladi Jamindar Street, Palakollu, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh - 534 260
On -10th of September, 2016

2. Subject - "The "Special" Question - Anatomy of Andhra's Anguish" (Political Satire - Prose - Soliloquy)
Should Andhra Pradesh deserve a special category status (SCS)? As things stand presently, and purely from a theoretical point of view, the answer would be “NO”. Because, Andhra Pradesh does not has either geographical or historical disadvantage, unlike the North Eastern States, an essential criteria to satisfy the definition of a State requiring SCS. Moreover, there is no legal provision regarding that in the AP Reorganization act, 2014. But, the ground realities starkly contrast this fact. With a revenue deficit of around Rs.15,000 Crores in the Fiscal year 2014-15, without the major revenue-churning former capital city (Hyderabad), with reduced assistance from Center not helped by the State Government’s rather opulent plans for a new capital, - Andhra Pradesh suffers, financially and psychologically. At least, the former or the present central government could have modified SCS criteria and could have included Andhra Pradesh, what with the terrific majority of numbers they had and continue to have in the parliament.
But if SCS is not possible, the Central assistance at least should have been more prompt and enhanced than the present package. Meanwhile, unnecessarily political issues are made out of this logical economic matter, whipping up passions. Bandhs are called by the opposition regularly, the media is hopelessly biased, supporting this party or that party, the state government is in a dilemma as to what to do, and the Centre seems to be enjoying the indecision and disunity.

And a small but silent truth - "People are always intelligent, than they are assumed to be by their leaders!"

Provisions of the AP Reorganization Act, 2014 -
New Central Assistance issued to Andhra Pradesh on 7th of September, 2016 -

3. Inspirations and Acknowledgements -
- Inspired by Prince Hamlet's Soliloquy "To be or not to be" from the nunnery scene of Sir William Shakespeare's drama "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark".
- Image of Andhra Pradesh, subject to the copyright of the Andhra Pradesh Government (

4. Further Notes -
Master Gireesam (28th line of the soliloquy) – Lead character of Sri Gurajada Apparao Pantulu Gari Telugu Drama “Kanya Sulkam”, an entertainingly resourceful yet unscrupulous man. Name is used to describe anyone behaving as such.

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