Wednesday, September 13, 2006

T e l u g u N a t i o n a l i s m

Why TDP should befriend CPI/M

Dear Chandrababu Naidu gaaru

Congratulations for standing firm on the Samaikyandhra issue. Unlike the Congress party, TDP has always had a clear idea on the Telangana problem. Standing together with TDP on this issue are the communist parties. I would like to say that, in fact, these two parties have much more in common.

The common ground for both TDP and the Communists will be obtaining more power to the states and thus establishing a federal structure for governing India. This decentralization of power is essential for further progress in India, and TDP and CPI/M should fight together for making the necessary constitutional amendments. I will explain why this is necessary.

From the classical viewpoint of Marx, human society progresses through the stages of hunting, pastoral, feudal, capitalist and finally communist societies. Even though some people do not believe in the final stage of communism, there is concensus in the world about the other stages. The question arises about the nature of society in India. We tend to believe that we are in the capitalist stage, but it is not true. We are in the feudal period.

When the age of the zamindars has ended, many people believed that feudalism has ended as well. But that is not true. Feudalism will continue to exist as long as we do not move into an industrialized economy. As we all know, India never had an industrial revolution. So, we have not yet moved into the capitalist society. Feudalism exists in our society in several forms - in the caste system where inter-caste marriages are not possible, in the quota system where political power is awarded based on caste equations, in the religious prejudices of people, in the widespread illiteracy and ill-health of people, in the lack of manufacturing industry, in the lack of a working class etc.

According to communist theory, feudalism can be ended only by capitalism. That is, only through an industrial revolution and the rise of the beaurgoisie class (capitalists). Among the several good things that such beaurgoisie revolution brings in are economic prosperity for the country, widespread literacy, employment to everyone, and most importantly - an educated working class. The communists believe that the working class will later become the nemesis of the capitalists and through another revolution, brings in economic equality for everyone. But, without the industrial revolution - without the rise of capitalism, there shall never be a working class. So, Marx encourages the communists to fight hand-in-hand with the bourgeoisie for the end of feudalism.

The communists in India have imagined the Congress party to be the bourgeoisie class mentioned by Marx. But this had been a mistake. Congress party has only served as a front for the feudalists. Until the Soviet Union came down in the 1980s, there had also been dreams about ushering in an industrial revolution the Soviet style. Both the Congress and the Communists have floundered on this course. Now it has been established beyond doubt that industrialization of the country can happen only through economic reforms.

Any right wing party should have a concrete idealogy of nation-state. The spirit of nationalism is very important for the industrialization. Unfortunately, the only party with such an idea is the BJP. It equates the spirit of Indianness with Hindutva. Since the capitalists currently have no other option, they are backing the BJP. Hindutva, however, is a very stupid idealogy. It alienates Muslims and other minorities of India. It also ignores the enormous differences within the Hindu community. In principle, it is a religious idealogy, so it belongs to the age of feudalism. It has no place in capitalist society (secularism is a by-product of the industrial revolution). Since it is not a true bourgeoisie party, BJP is not getting any support from the communists.

In effect, the bourgeoisie revolution (industrialization) is being suppressed for the lack of alternative political outfits. In fact, it is not possible to have a true right-wing party at the nation level. Because India is not a simple nation, one cannot frame the idea of a nation-state.

However, these ideas can be defined properly at the state level. Indeed, TDP owes its birth to the rise of Telugu nationalism. This Telugu nationalism is not regionalism, and is not antagonistic to the unity of India. Infact, Telugus have always been the most open to outside influences. Telugu language is a living testimony to the happy marriage of Dravidian and Sanskrit influences. What Telugu nationalism brings in - is a spirit of development and a spirit of transforming Andhra Pradesh into an economical and cultural superpower.

As a Telugu nationalist, I would like to see Andhra Pradesh developing as rapidly as Malaysia. I would like to see it as a tourist destination as reputed as France. I would like to see an industrialized Andhra Pradesh with excellent education and health facilities. I would even like to see an Andhra Airlines where gongura chutney is served.

Carving a separate Telangana state will be suicidal for its people because the valuable coastline will be lost. The prosperity of the Telugu people will hold good only when they stand together. This is a vital element in the rise of Telugu nationalism. Telangana issue is only a force of the feudalists (TRS, BJP) which prevents industrialization. It is time it is exposed in that manner.

Telugu people have always been enterprising as well as liberal. They do not have religious fanaticism. They are humble and inviting for other cultures. Andhra Pradesh has an excellent coast line and fertile lands. Nothing can prevent it from the path of development. Except - nonsensical policies from Delhi, wasted time in the Delhi parliament, religious riots provoked from outside.

What TDP and CPI/M should fight for - is a higher share in the economic revenue for the states, and a higher freedom for making laws. We need a federal structure for the government like the one which exists in the USA. Delhi can still take care of the nation's defence and foreign affairs. But Telugu people would like to handle their economic affairs by their own hands. They still consider themselves as Indians and pride themselves in being part of a great and diverse cultural landscape.

If that happens, there will be a voice for the right-wing bourgeoisie in Andhra Pradesh. The expatriate Telugu people who made it big in the USA and Europe will come back to invest in the growing Andhra economy. With the rise of working class, the communists will find a voice in the political scene as well. Finally, democracy will start functioning properly without any stupid coalition governments. It will either be a leftist government or a rightist government depending on the wishes of the people. The forces of feudalism (illiteracy, caste-system, quota-system & religious fanaticism) will be deeply buried.

Thus, I request you to take the initiative and make friends with the Communists. In this fight against feudalism, you make the rightful friends. Finally, in an industrialized and economically developed Andhra Pradesh, TDP and CPI/M will get to fight each other. In this process, there will be nobody else left on the political scene. Andhra Pradesh, in effect, will inspire other states in India towards economic development and cultural pride. Like Europe, which is getting together now, India is as big and as diverse as a continent. It will also become as rich and as developed.


cbrao said...

You have given an altogether new perspective to Telugu Nationalism theory. Unless industrialization sets in, these caste inequalities may not go. I am going to introduce this post (Telugu Nationalism) to the readers of biosymphony.

Kiran said...

Thanks for your words of encouragement :)

Let's work towards industrializing our Telugu land.

Anonymous said...

Just like Marxism, industrialization too is worn out concept evolved in less populated countries of Europe in the 19th century. With the harsh reality of global warming staring us in our face, the further industrialization across the globe will be more scaled down hereafter than getting escalated. Besides, I fail to see the prospect of reorienting the bulk of our agriculture-dependent Telugu population (more than 70 per cent of the total population)towards an industrialized manufacturing economy. For such a thing to happen, Andhra should gain access to market-monopolies across world which seems a far-cry in this age of WTO. In addition to this, there is heavy competition from other republics which were long industrialized well before Andhra. At least, Andhra manufacturers should primarily have a collective monopoly over the Andhra market, should they grow to the stature of taking on the global giants and tough competitors. It is impossible in the framework of the Indian Union which you love so dearly.
Sorry, Mr. Kiran, you are young and therefore a day-dreamer. Your Telugu Nationalism is a damp squib, a non-starter. Give up this half-hearted persuit. Better join the ranks of Indian Nationalists. For you can not serve two masters at a time.

Kiran said...

Hi Ambanath
Let me answer to your objections.

(1) Industrialization is not the reason for global warming. The reason is irresponsible human behavior. Even without industrialization, India would be emitting enough greenhouse gases through motor vehicles.

(2) Market Access to Indian Products : The ready answer is market always loves cheap prices. Why do you think Indian software companies are able to grab outsourced projects ? Why do you think Chinese manufactured goods sell in European markets ? India has a great advantage of cheap labour which translates into cheap prices for all types of manufactured goods and services.

(3) Going forward through Agriculture : Even with green revolutions, agriculture has limited prospects of increasing the growth rate. Simply, an agricultural economy cannot support a modern life style. Wealth earned through agricultural savings, will ofcourse trigger investments in industries, and thus, is very valuable.

(4) Andhra market access : Giving a monopolistic access of Andhra market to the local manufacturing industry will hardly increase the revenues. We experimented with this at the Indian-union level and it didn't work. Why ? Because, Indian market is very impoverished. We simply do not have enough bucks to spare. The industrialized countries in the world have more than enough to indulge in free-spending. This is the reason why Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan (and even China) managed to earn big revenues. This growth would not have been possible without exports.

(5) Telugu Nationalism : I strongly align myself with Telugu nationalists. I believe that we have a lot to gain by managing our economic affairs ourselves. But, I don't believe there is much to be gained by protectionist policies, the added burden of defence expenditure etc.

(6) Me being young : That's true. But it hardly matters. Our country needs to be taken forward by young people and their dreams (quoting from our president Kalaam)

Mischord said...

That was a good one.

Interesting that Marx's theory says that transition from Feudalism to Socialism inevitably involves the stage of Capitalism. Does he have a theory on when the stage is set for Socialism to take over? Coz that is the most difficult transition!

Kiran said...

Hi Chaitu

I am not a Marxist scholar :) But I have some knowledge about his theories. Marx talks about the limitations of capitalism for further economic progress. As he claims, his theory starts to apply when the society already settles in the industrial (capitalist) age.

This means that less than 10% of the population get employed in the agricultural sector and the rest split into the industrial sector (roughly 50%) and the service sector (roughly 40%).

In such a situation, Marx says that capitalism will become counter-productive for economic progress. However, in today's globalized world, we should take the entire world, and not a single nation, as the unit of measurement.

If one has to judge the theories of Marx, one has to wait till the entire world satisfies the assumption of industrialization.

Going by Marx's words "workers of the world unite, you do not have anything to lose except the chains of slavery".

The "workers of the world" have to first emerge, before they can unite. By workers, Marx means workers in an industrialized economy - who are educated and naturally organized into unions.

ALI said...

The History of Majlis ittehadul Muslimeen and its grip of the on the community remains strong, despite minor dents.
WITH A Member representing Hyderabad in the Lok Sabha, five members in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, 40 corporators in Hyderabad and 100-plus members elected to various municipal bodies in Andhra Pradesh, the All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen is one of the foremost representatives of the city’s Muslims and the most powerful Muslim party in India and one can see the partys strenghth if it goes to Hyderabad old city everywhere u look u can see MIM written on walls ,lightpoles and buildings leaving aside Green flags and posters of its Leadership and there small Offices . The Majlis has brought lot of development to the Old part of the city even after it is said it hasnt done anything by its opponents who are mostly Ex Majlis workers. The party has roots back to the days of the princely State of Hyderabad. It was founded by Bahadur Yar Jung in 1927 as a pro-Nizam party. The Majlis advocated the set up of a Muslim dominion rather than integration with India. The Razakars (volunteers), a Muslim paramilitary organization, was linked to the Majlis. In total up to 150 000 Razakar soldiers were mobilized to fight against the communists and for the independence of the Hyderabad State against Indian integration. After the integration of the Hyderabad state with India, the Majlis was banned in 1948. The Majlis president and Razakar leader Qasim Rizwi was jailed 1948-1957, and then deported to Pakistan
The Majlis was formed in 1927 “for educational and social uplift of Muslims”. But it articulated the position that “the ruler and throne (Nizam) are symbols of the political and cultural rights of the Muslim community… (and) this status must continue forever”.
The Majlis pitted itself against the Andhra Mahasabha and the communists who questioned the feudal order that sustained the Nizam’s rule. It also bitterly opposed the Arya Samaj, which gave social and cultural expression to the aspirations of the urban Hindu population in the Hyderabad State of those days.
By the mid-1940s, the Majlis had come to represent a remarkably aggressive and violent face of Muslim communal politics as it organised the razakars (volunteers) to defend the “independence” of this “Muslim” State from merger with the Indian Union.
According to historians, over 1,50,000 such `volunteers’ were organised by the Majlis for the Nizam State’s defence but they are remembered for unleashing unparalleled violence against the communists and all those who opposed the Nizam’s “go it alone” policy. It is estimated that during the height of the razakar `agitation’, over 30,000 people had taken shelter in the Secunderabad cantonment alone to protect themselves from these `volunteers’.
But the razakars could do little against the Indian Army and did not even put up a fight. Kasim Rizvi, the Majlis leader, was imprisoned and the organisation banned in 1948. Rizvi was released in 1957 on the undertaking that he would leave for Pakistan in 48 hours. Before he left though, Rizvi met some of the erstwhile activists of the Majlis and passed on the presidentship to Abdul Wahed Owaisi, a famous lawyer and an Islamic scholar from Jamia Nizamia who also was jailed for nearly 10 months after he took over the Majlis leadership as the then govt wanted to abolish the Majlis party but Owaisi refused to do so and was seen as a person who had financially supported the party when it was a bankrupt and weak one after the Police Action in Hyderabad State . In 1957 the Majlis was reorganized under the leadership of Maulana Abdul Wahid Owaisi (Fakhr-E-Millat)
Owaisi is credited with having “re-written” the Majlis constitution according to the provisions of the Indian Constitution and “the realities of Muslim minority in independent India”, and a Person who had fought a legal battle for years to winback its Headquarters Darrussalam according to a former journalist, Chander Srivastava. For the first decade-and-a-half after this “reinvention”, the Majlis remained, at best, a marginal player in Hyderabad politics and even though every election saw a rise in its vote share, it could not win more than one Assembly seat.
The 1970s saw an upswing in Majlis’ political fortunes. In 1969, it won back its party headquarters, Dar-us-Salaam — a sprawling 4.5-acre compound in the heart of the New City. It also won compensation which was used to set up an ITI on the premises and a women’s degree college in Nizamabad town. In 1976, Salahuddin Owaisi took over the presidentship of the Majlis after his father’s demise.
This started an important phase in the history of the Majlis as it continued expanding its educational institutions,Hospitals,Banks, including the first Muslim minority Engineering College and Medical College. Courses in MBA, MCA ,Nursing, Pharmacy and other professional degrees followed and now a daily newspaper known as Etemaad Daily. The 1970s were also a watershed in Majlis’ history as after a long period of 31 years, Hyderabad witnessed large-scale communal rioting in 1979. The Majlis came to the forefront in “defending” Muslim life and property Majlis workers could be seen at these moments defending the properties of Muslims in the wake of riots and these workers were very hard even for the police to control them even now it is a known fact that there are nearly about 2500 units of strong members who only act if there is a seirous threat to the Owaisi family and these members are under the direct orders of the Owaisi family which leads the Majlis party leaving aside thousands of workers and informers throughout the State and even outside the country far away till America and the Gulf countries.
Salahuddin Owaisi, also known as “Salar-e-Millat” (commander of the community), has repeatedly alleged in his speeches that the Indian state has “abandoned” the Muslims to their fate. Therefore, “Muslims should stand on their own feet, rather than look to the State for help'’, he argues.
This policy has been an unambiguous success in leveraging the Majlis today to its position of being practically the “sole spokesman” of the Muslims in Hyderabad and its environs.
Voting figures show this clearly. From 58,000 votes in the 1962 Lok Sabha elections for the Hyderabad seat, Majlis votes rose to 1,12,000 in 1980. The clear articulation of this “stand on one’s feet” policy in education and `protection’ during riots doubled its vote-share by 1984. Salahuddin Owaisi won the seat for the first time, polling 2.22 lakh votes. This vote-share doubled in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections to over four lakhs.
The Majlis has since continued its hold on the Hyderabad seat winning about five-and-a-half lakh votes each time.
Despite remarkable economic prosperity and negligible communal violence in the past decade, the hold of the Majlis on the Muslims of Hyderabad remains, despite minor dents. And despite widespread allegations of Majlis leaders having “made money”, most ordinary Muslims continue to support them because, as one bank executive put it “they represent our issues clearly and unambiguously'’. An old Historian Bakhtiyar khan says the Owaisi family was a rich family even before entering Politics and he says he had seen the late Majlis leader Abdul Wahed Owaisi in an American Buick car at a time when rarely cars were seen on Hyderabad Roads and the family had strong relations with the ersthwhile Nizams of Hyderabad and the Paighs even now the family is considered to be one of the richest familes in Hyderabad.
A university teacher says that the Majlis helped Muslims live with dignity and security at a time when they were under attack and even took the fear out of them after the Police action and adds that he has seen Majlis leaders in the front at times confronting with the Police and the Govt.
Asaduddin Owaisi, the articulate UK educated barrister son of Salahuddin Owaisi and Former leader of the Majlis’ Legislature party and now an MP himself who has travelled across the globe meeting world leaders and organizatons and even in war zones compares the Majlis to the Black Power movement of America.
The Majlis that emerged after 1957 is a completely different entity from its pre-independence edition, he says adding that comparisons with that bloody past are “misleading and mischievous”. “That Majlis was fighting for state power, while we have no such ambitions or illusions”.
He stoutly defends the need for “an independent political voice” for the minorities, which is willing to defend them and project their issues “firmly”.
“How can an independent articulation of minority interests and aspirations be termed communal,” he asks and contests any definition of democracy which questions the loyalty of minorities if they assert their independent political identity. “We are a threat not only to the BJP and Hindu communalism, but also to Muslim extremism,” Asaduddin claims. “By providing a legitimate political vent for Muslims to voice their aspirations and fears, we are preventing the rise of political extremism and religious obscurantism when the community is under unprecedented attack from Hindu communalists and the state'’. He can be seen in his speeches speaking against terrorism in the Country and says if the time arises Majlis will stand side by side in defending the Nation and Asaduddin Owaisi has recently visited Lebanon were a War took Place between Hezbollah and Israel and has even visited Muslims throughout India and represented there issues to the Government of India.

Kiran said...

hi ali
Thanks for this refresher on the history of MIM :) I am not a big fan of this party. Religion is best left to the personal space of the individual. If it is dragged into politics, it adds a lot of confusion and takes the attention away from the real issues.

Religion has served as a political agent during the period of feudalism (Brahmanism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism etc) but it has no political place in a capitalist society.

Unfortunately, Muslims are not able to get away from this hangover. Leaders like Owaisi are able to prey on the uneducated polity and getting rich in this process. The new Owaisi kid is a sugar-coated scoundrel who has learnt his tricks well during his barristor education.

I would like to see a true secular party representing the Muslim population
* A party which is proud of the Urdu language and culture, instead of religion
* A party which works towards the educational upliftment of poor Muslim people
* A party which quits brandishing the Hindu-fundamentalist monster to secure votes. (Telugu people are in fact proud of the Muslim diaspora)
* A party which looks towards the future rather than towards the past. (In fact, a rather dirty past of feudal exploitation)

Kiran said...

I strictly oppose that Telugu people respect other culture.

I have been living in Hyderabad since my birth. I know the language. Hence its easy for me to know the real truth.

Telugu people only and only appreciate their culture along with Tamil culture.

They hate anyone apart from South Indian like anything. Only thing is they dont show it on their faces.

Its disheartening to see 'so called educated' people behaving like these.

Still being propsperous and educated, lot of evil things like dowry system, etc still exists in Telugu community

Srinivas said...


Perhaps you were speaking about me!!

Let me affirm again. I love telugu and I love Tamil.

And yes! I execrate people who come to the Telugu land, and try to impose their culture and language on the locals!! You look to be one of them..
Now that you have claimed you know the language, I would like to ask you, how sincerely do you use Telugu in your interactions with your friends/acquaintances..

I have seen so many people in Hyderabad, who came to TeluguNadu for their livelihood, and still hate the local language/culture...
If you people dont like us/our language/our culture, why dont you simply leave... People who do not respect the host, have no right to be a guest!!

So, kindly pack up, and leave our dear motherland for ourselves.