Whether it happens or not, Telangana is ultimately a microcosm of the greater problem facing India: Who are we?
In India’s case it is more specifically, “What is Dharmic Civilization and Indic Culture?” Dharmic civilization is rooted in the Dharmic tradition emanating from the Vedas and Upanishads, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. This common concept of Dharma stitches together these four native religions not only through common terminology and ideals, but also through common heritage. And yet today we have the buffoons that pass for an Indian elite mislabeling Indic civilization, imposing persian or european cultures (despite the vaster and refined Indic high culture), and attempting to efface all memory of Hindu cultural accomplishment, whether ancient, medieval, or modern. Ironically, the American international relations expert, Samuel Huntington, had no problem even identifying India as Hindu Civilization in his famous geopolitical map of the world. It is only Hindus themselves that shy away from this.
This precise problem is seen in Andhra Pradesh. History has been perverted based on the imposed ideas of recent arrivals. These arrivistes are attempting to impose their own idea of India without respecting the ancient civilization. There was no ancient Telangana or ancient Rayalaseema, there was however an ancient Andhra desa (which is now an irremovable part of the Republic of India). The very names telangi and telangana come from the names the migrant bahmanis, qutb shahis, and nizams gave to the people of Andhra. The Andhras themselves were an ancient Vedic tribe from North of the Vindyas who came south, mixed with the Nagas and forged the Andhra identity and crafted the Telugu language. The word Telugu itself has a rich etymology. The first comes from Ten, “those who travel South”. The second is Tenugu (sweet as honey, i.e. “tene”), and the third is from Trilinga (as in Trilinga desa, with the key points being Draksaram, Srisailam, and Kaleswaram ).
Who are the Telugus? Why have they always been called Andhras?
The word Andhra applied to the entire region. It was only in the medieval period, where foreign influences had some minor changes on the people of the region centered around Warangal and Golkonda.
KCR and his TRS ilk are nothing more than the modern day Rachakonda rajas working to recreate the owaisis’ current day vision of an oppressive and medieval Hyderabad state. Like their Rachakonda forbears, the TRS team will continue their agitation taking advantage of fellow Telugus until finding out too late they were on the wrong side.
So how to be on the right side?
First, dispose of the Andhra-Telangana divisions and recognize ALL Telugu speakers as Andhras/Andhraites. Respect people from all three of the modern regions and keep CMs accountable for mutual, sustainable, and cultural development. And let me repeat again, R-E-S-P-E-C-T all people and all cultures from all three regions.
Second, recognize India not as a faux notion of a british creation or the idiotic neo-sobriquette “land of immigrants”, but as the modern expression of Dharmic Civilization that it truly is. This common civic and societal Dharma is what must unite all Indians irrespective of background. It is also broad enough to ensure protection, dignity, and full societal partnership of SCs and STs as civic equals and throw away the bath water while keeping the baby. It must be an India that knows its history while be accepting of all patriotic citizens of whatever religious background. Citizenship is a two way street, and citizens have a responsibility to not only take but to give.
States that are separated can always be re-merged, it is the culture and civilization that matters. Even if lines on a map separate Telugu speakers, they will remain Andhras, and are destined to be reunited under the auspices of the Tiranga again when the circumstances allow it. The first step is understanding one’s culture and intellectually challenging those who seek to misdefine and mislead it.
(more background insight on the misguided Telangana movement can be found in Chakravarthy Nalamotu’s singularly excellent work “My Telugu Roots” which gives a fitting and well researched response to the modern day Rachakonda Rajas who seek to twist history and divide to rule) (you can buy his book here and visit his site here)