Sri Krishna Committee submits report on Telengana: Condemn the deliberate inflaming of passions among the people!
The Sri Krishna Committee on Telengana submitted its report to the Central Government on December 30, 2010. It presents six options to deal with the problem, with one identified as the "most preferred option", and another identified as a second option. The other four options are termed impractical by the Committee itself. The Sri Krishna Committee had been set up by the UPA Government in February 2010 to allegedly assist it to arrive at a solution to the agitation in Andhra Pradesh for and against Telengana. Now, the ball is in the court of the UPA Government to hit which way it chooses.
The proposed "most preferred option" is that Telengana should remain a part of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh, with a Telengana Regional Council to be established, with some devolved powers. The second option is to create Telengana as a separate state within the Union of India, with Hyderabad as its capital, while the rest of present-day Andhra Pradesh would have a new capital. The Report argues that the former is preferable because the second option is not acceptable to the political representatives of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, and that it may lead to violent reactions. Given that the first option is not acceptable to the political forces in Telengana, the stage has been set for further inflammation of passions amongst all the people of the state.
The Sri Krishna Committee Report has come at a time there is public exposure of the dominant role of the Tatas, Ambanis and other monopoly capitalists in the governance of our country. It comes at a time when workers and peasants are angry and protesting against the capitalist class and its parties in power, against the daily squeeze on their living standards through massive increase in food prices.
In such conditions, the stoking of flames over Telengana serves the ruling class to divert and divide the fighting forces and drown in blood the mass resistance.
The Congress led UPA Government and the big bourgeoisie want to embroil the progressive forces, including the fighters for national rights and human rights, in a useless debate. They want to line up workers and peasants of Andhra Pradesh in an internecine war among themselves over the ‘options’ of the Sri Krishna Committee. They are organizing to see that media attention shifts to a fight among people, away from a fight between the toiling people and the monopoly capitalist profiteers. The Congress Party is the old trusted party of the bourgeoisie, a party trained in the colonial method of divide and rule.
The Great Ghadar of 1857 was a concentrated expression of the movement to define a new India where the people will be sovereign. People from across the length and breadth of the country, cutting across divisions of culture and language, caste and gender, united and rose in rebellion against the rule of the British East India Company. They declared that “Hindostan belongs to us, we are her masters!”
The rebellion was crushed by brute force and inhuman ferocity by the colonialists. The unjust and alien rule of the coloniser was legitimized by proclaiming the sovereignty of the British Crown over the conquered territories in the Indian subcontinent. The British Indian state did not recognize the existence of any nation or people with any rights. It trampled on the rights of all the peoples so as to facilitate maximum colonial plunder. However, the aspiration and vision of the Ghadar has continued to inspire our people in their ongoing struggles till today.
The anti-feudal and anti-colonial struggle in Telengana region, part of the Hyderabad state ruled by the Nizam was led by communist revolutionaries. This became known as the Telengana armed peasant struggle. It was among the most revolutionary elements of the struggle against British colonial rule in our country in the first half of the 20th century. During the forties, masses of people had created village councils through which they ruled, to replace the feudal dictatorship of the Nizam.
The anti-feudal and anti-colonial struggle was not consummated, not taken to its logical conclusion in 1947, when colonial rule came to an end. The peoples who constitute this country did not realize their aspiration to become the masters of their destiny. The big capitalists and big landlords, represented by the leaders of the Congress Party, chose to retain the colonial foundations of state power. As a result, the 1950 Constitution defines India purely on a territorial basis, continuing the colonial legacy of negating the rights of every national constituent.
What was established in 1947 and legitimized by the Constitution of 1950 is a betrayal and negation of the struggle to achieve the goal of the Great Ghadar. The Republic of India, which was called a union of states, was a form of continuation of the colonial legacy without the white man on top. The Constitution contains no definition of the nations and peoples who make up Indian society, no recognition of their existence and their rights. It legitimizes the territory acquired through colonial conquest and suppression of nations and peoples, as the territory of the Indian Union. It empowers the central Parliament, dominated by the parties of big capitalists, with exclusive power to create new states. The central Parliament can destroy old states and reorganize them in any way, while preserving the territorial integrity of the Union as a whole. Any movement that does not submit to the supremacy of the central Parliament is deemed to be a threat to the “unity and integrity of India”.
Following independence, one of the very first political acts of the Nehru Government was the suppression of the popular movement in Hyderabad State. The army was sent into this state in 1948 under the guise of "police action" to incorporate it into the Union. Brutal repression of peasant fighters and communist revolutionaries, as well as massacre of Muslims, was the order of the day.
The integration of princely states into the Union carried out between 1947-1950 was followed by political deception and manipulation, in the form of the ‘Linguistic Reorganisation of States’. In the name of following the linguistic principle, the rights of many nations and peoples were trampled in the mud, creating arbitrary divisions in some cases and artificial unions in other cases. Old wounds created by British colonialism were left to fester.
The linguistic reorganization of states within the framework of the colonial legacy did not solve the national question in our multi-national country. It only made matters worse. New wounds were added to the old ones. Numerous examples can be given from all parts of the country. The nation of Punjab, for instance, was not only dismembered by the communal Partition, but again divided on the Indian side, allegedly on the basis of language.
Among the victims of the manipulation of national sentiments by the big capitalists and their Congress Party in the first decade after political independence are the valiant people of Telengana. The village councils that were emerging in Telengana were forcibly eliminated. A new state of Andhra Pradesh was defined by combining the territories of (i) Telengana from the old princely state of Hyderabad, (ii) coastal Andhra from the former Madras Presidency, and (iii) Rayalaseema from the Madras Presidency. The new entity, consisting of all Telugu speaking people, was an imposition from above. It was created by decision of the central Parliament, without recognizing any rights on the part of the people involved.
The creation of Andhra Pradesh on a linguistic basis served to negate the mass movement for working people’s power in Telengana. Power was vested in a state legislative assembly that was dominated by the Congress Party and subsequently also by regional capitalist parties of Andhra.
Ever since the creation of Andhra Pradesh, major agitations have repeatedly broken out for establishing Telengana as a separate state of the Indian Union. This is a reflection of the fact that old wounds were never healed. Successive parties and coalitions that ran the central government did not concede this demand, but worked to co-opt various leaders of the Telengana agitation. All kinds of special packages for the devolution of power to the region have also been part of the deals offered from time to time.
Today, the contradictions among the big capitalists are acute over the city of Hyderabad and its highly priced land, which lies clearly within Telengana. There are capitalist groups that are already well positioned to benefit from the profits being generated and to be generated in Hyderabad. There are others who are seeking to expand their space, by weakening the position of their rivals. The entrenched interests do not want to upset the present political arrangements. They would like to preserve the status quo, at least for some more time, while offering some limited autonomy for Telengana within the existing Andhra Pradesh. The rival capitalist camp wants to manipulate the Telengana movement, to use the demand for statehood as a tool to achieve its narrow agenda of gaining control over Hyderabad. The parties of the big bourgeoisie as well as the regional bourgeoisie of the state are acting in the interest of one or another rival capitalist camp, with some parties having one foot on either side.
In typical colonial style, the ruling class and the parties of capitalist democracy are playing with the fate of the people, manipulating their sentiments, negating their rights and misdirecting their anger against one another, to preserve the dictate of a minority of parasitic exploiters. There is clearly no prospect of any real solution to Telengana.
There can be no lasting solution to any national question as long as the colonial legacy remains intact.
The Indian Union, as it is constituted, is an instrument through which the capitalist class, headed by the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas and other monopoly houses, exercises its dictatorship over our society. It is a prison house of all the nations and peoples constituting our country. All the peoples are deprived of sovereignty — whether they be Nagas or Meiteis, Assamese or Bodos, the people of Telengana or of coastal Andhra or Rayalaseema.
Sovereign power in the existing Indian Union is in the hands of the capitalists and their parties, not with any of the peoples. This will not change no matter which among the ‘options’ recommended by the Sri Krishna Committee is implemented. It cannot be changed within the framework of the existing Constitution.
The solution to the problem of Telengana, and to the problems of every national movement for the right to self-determination, lies in the Navnirman of India. Navnirman means to end the colonial legacy, replacing the existing Indian Union with a new, voluntary union of workers’ and peasants’ republics. It means the coming together of consenting peoples, who will adopt a new Constitution that guarantees every constituent people the right to be masters of their own destiny. The reconstituted union would harmonise the interests of diverse peoples with one another, for the mutual benefit of all. It will build and nurture the solidarity among the peoples of this subcontinent, against imperialism and all forms of violation of national or individual rights.
In every constituent part of our country, workers and peasants together make up the majority of the population. The toiling majority led by the working class, with decision making power in its hands, will replace the economic orientation of maximum capitalist plunder with the orientation of ensuring prosperity and protection for all.
The Communist Ghadar Party of India calls on the people of the state of Andhra Pradesh to be vigilant against the attempts to divert their anger and make them fight one another. We call on all communists and rights activists to unite against the ruling capitalist class and the dangerous recommendations of the Sri Krishna Committee.
Let us unite around the aim of Navnirman of India! Only then can the people of Telengana realise their rights, along with all Telugu speaking people also realising their rights, and so also every other constituent of the union.
This document, What Kind of Party?, was presented by
Comrade Lal Singh on behalf of the Central Committee
of the Communist Ghadar Party of India to the Second
National Consultative Conference held December 29-30, 1993.
The first part of this pamphlet is an analysis of facts and phenomena to identify and expose the real aims behind the Note Ban. The second part is devoted to a critical appraisal of the government’s claims that it will reduce inequality, corruption and terrorism. The third part is what Communist Ghadar Party believes is the real solution to these problems and the immediate program of action towards that solution.