Notwithstanding what comes out of the key meeting on Telangana in New Delhi, the Telangana Joint Action Committee will have a crucial role to play from now onwards. It will have to ensure several things: one is to keep the entire tribe united and also ensure come what may, their supporters don't resort to violence.
Prof. Kodanda Ram, chairman of the Joint Action Committee, is clear about its stand and says that there is no compromise formula that is available now.
In this interview with Vicky Nanjappa, he also puts to rest the fears of the people of Andhra and Rayalseema who think they will lose their homes, once Telangana is formed.
Why did you set up the Telangana Joint Action Committee?
The people of Telangana have been demanding united activity all along. The formation of the Joint Action Committee has only ensured that their dreams have come true and leaders of various political parties have come under one umbrella. People wanted a show of unity and the JAC was set up in order to show that to the people.
Still a solution remains elusive.
The Joint Action Committee does not mean a merger. Each political party has its own identity and will continue to have that. What we want to ensure is that all political parties come under one roof or umbrella and resolve the entire issue without getting into any kind of conflict. It is a long process, but we are hopeful.
What does the JAC plan to do in future?
The Joint Action Committee wants to create awareness and have a common minimum understanding on basic issues.
What do you say about political parties which oppose Telangana formation?
Only the Telangana Rastriya Samithi and the Bharatiya Janata Party have a clear stand on this issue and that is they are in favour. The Praja Rajyam Party is divided into two on this issue. The main problem that we face is from the Telegu Desam Party and the Congress. These parties are heavily divided, causing the delay.
Is there a possibility of a compromise?
I am afraid there is no question of a compromise. This movement has come way too far and there is no question of going back. However what could be done is that all leaders sit across the table and have a peaceful discussion on this issue and form the state.
Hyderabad is the bone of contention.
Hyderabad will always be with Telangana and the rest of the citizens will enjoy equal status.
There is an issue pertaining to investors who appear to be scared of investing in Hyderabad if Telangana is formed.
Telangana will require a lot of investors and industries. There is absolutely no need for investors to be scared. In no way is the fight of the people of Telangana with investors. The reason why investors have his apprehensions is because there are some vested interests who floating wrong propaganda. The people of Telangana will always support investors as long as they don't come in the way of political demands. We will ensure that investors will remain in Hyderabad and will take all steps necessary to safeguard their interests.
Will the Mulki rule of the Nizam return once Telangana is formed? (The Mulki rule mandates that any outsider will have to live 14 years in the state to be eligible for equal rights)
Not possible at all. The Constitution has incorporated all these people and things cannot be contrary to the Indian constitution. At this point of time, there is no tension among the people of Andhra and Rayalseema. The tension is being created by some leaders. We are in no way opposed to the outsiders. However in a federal set-up, we need to ensure that the development of locals.
I would like to point out that Hyderabad is a cosmopolitan city and under no circumstances can it lose this status. Whatever change may occur, Hyderabad can never lose its cosmopolitan nature since it needs that to sustain itself. If at any point there is an attempt to change that nature, then it will prove disastrous for Hyderabad. All people living in Telangana will have to be protected at any cost. This is what we will strive for and ensure it happens.
Image: Kodanda Ram.