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Atlanta area Telangana people call for quick action on statehood

Atlanta: Over 500 people from Telangana gathered in Alpharetta to demand statehood for Telangana. Satya Karnati began the meeting at a packed hall despite withering cold, with homage to Telangana Martyrs by observing a minute of silence. 

GS Reddy, president of Telangana Community shared his family’s struggles prior to liberation of Hyderabad from the Nizam, and lamented that Telangana’s such hard fought existence was extinguished less than a decade thereafter. His remarks were followed by the “Story of Telangana” – a documentary prepared by the Telangana Intellectual Forum containing accurate historical information on apprehensions by various national leaders on the integration of Telangana into a breakaway region from Madras state, careful misappropriation of Telangana’s water wealth, and calculated denial of safeguards including 8 / 6/ 5 point formulas for redressal, Mulki rule, 610 GO etc. “The documentary was an awakening to a generation that did not know the background and role or lack of it of figures like Sri Potti Siramulu, NG Ranga etc who are given exalted status in Telangana area with virtually no contribution for Telangana state,” said a press release issued to this newspaper.

Narender Reddy, a prominent Republican party functionary of Telangana origin, explained that “we as Telanganites are not against anyone else's interests - be they Andhras, Gujaratis, Marathis or Bengalis but of preserving and protecting our right to self-rule and respect our own Telangana culture.” He felt that people respect those who respect themselves, and brought out numerous social, political and cultural facts to indicate the sustained onslaught by successive leaders- both political and business from Andhra - on Telangana. Reddy mentioned that when Potti Sreemulu died Oct. 16, 1952 seeking separate Andhra State with Madras as Capital claiming without Madras, the Andhra State would be like a ‘body without head’, Nehru announced a separate state of Andhra on Oct. 19th – merely three days after his death. While destruction of any statues is uncalled for, installing the statue of Sri Sriramulu in Telangana does not make any sense as Sri Sriramulu had nothing to do with Telangana soil. Andhra leaders are repeating the same with Hyderabad today. 

Narender Reddy explained that Telangana today has more population than the combined Andhra region when formed and there are over 70 % or 17 states smaller than Telangana some in size and some in population. Debunking the claims of Hyderabad development, Narender Reddy exhorted the Telanganites to understand that Hyderabad was then and now the fifth largest state and that while Hyderabad had all the infrastructure with Airports, well developed Railways, Roads, Irrigation, Cantonment, Assembly, Living quarters for Police and officers, Water supply and Underground drainage comparable to the best of cities in India and world as existed then. While Indians from all regions -like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Bengal including Andhras have every right to enjoy Hyderabad, it would absurd for Andhra’s to stake a monopoly claim on its development. Narender also refuted claims on Telangana economy saying that it generated more surplus than other regions, and asked Telangana leaders to learn from their Andhra counterparts who in a matter of hours joined hands for a common cause forgetting regional, communal or party differences. 

Vivek Reddy of Telangana Development Forum shared his experiences as witness of the Struggle of ‘69, and the impact of irrigation on an agricultural economy of Telangana. He said that since Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam are built ,maintained and paid for all tax payers, Andhra farmers get irrigation water at negligible or highly subsidized cost, while a Telangana farmer right across Godavari or Krishna has to dig his own well, desilt it, pay for electrification, pump set and pipes, and the electricity charges. The cost of irrigation to Telangana farmer including interest on investment and maintenance would run anywhere up to and over 10,000 per acre, an Andhra farmer pays less than a fraction of that cost. If Andhra and Telangana farmer have irrigation water provided at the same cost, thousands could be saved from financial ruin in Telangana. Vivek Reddy said that as we lost over 350 students to bullets during the regime of Brahmananda Reddy – who in Telangana is remembered as ‘Butcher of Bhagyanagar’ ; we should do everything we can to support the students of Telangana who are at the forefront of today’s struggle. 

Chandra Mohan, Ganapathi Reddy and Sridhar Konkala of Telangana Development Forum also spoke on the subject exhaustively. 
Between the question and answer sessions, three little girls rendered melodiously “ Jaya Jaya Jaya Telangana” as any Telangana girl would do in Hyderabad. Satya added his “bandenuka bandi gatti” to bring back memories of home to all Telanganites.

Anand Garlapati, who has been campaigning relentlessly to support the Telangana students requested and achieved generous contributions from all Telanganites

Karunkar Reddy, a member of ATA and a prominent spokesman and supporter of various Telugu organizations offered the Vote of Thanks. 


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