The Union Government of India has recently appointed Justice B. N. Srikrishna Committee with a mandate to examine the demands of a separate State of Telengana as well as the demands for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh.The Committee is receiving views from the public on the Telengana issue. The views could be sent by e-mail to:
AN OPEN TESTIMONY TO JUSTICE SRI KRISHNA COMMITTEE IN SUPPORT OF UNITED ANDHRA PRADESH :
March 01, 2010
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Ex- MR 03277K Major AMC/PC
C/O Shri. R. Pratap Narayan
A- Ground Floor, Fair View Apartment,
Street No.8, HABSIGUDA,
HYDERABAD – 500 007 Andhra Pradesh
Shri. Vinod Kumar Duggal,
Room No. 248
Vignan Bhavan Annexe,
Maulana Azad Road,
I, Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham solemnly affirm and attest to the following facts which have an important bearing in matters that would be examined by Justice Srikrishna Committee. It is my moral duty, responsibility, and a proud privilege to render my testimony to Justice B.N. Srikrishna.
AN EYE-WITNESS STATEMENT :
I am testifying on behalf of Amarajeevi. Potti. Sri Ramulu. I am able to testify on his behalf because of the fact that his Spirit is alive in my thoughts. On 15th December 1952 I was physically present in Mylapore, Madras City( Chennai ). I am eye-witness to the historical fast and the sacrifice made by Potti. Sri Ramulu. My grandfather, Dr. Kasturi. Narayana Murthy, M.D., was his personal physician, a friend, and a confidant. Potti. Sri Ramulu had disclosed his personal thoughts, desires, and his vision to my grandfather. While he fasted unto death, to carry out his difficult mission, Potti. Sri Ramulu secured the unstinting support of my grandfather. His desires to shape Telugu Identity started to fructify by the creation of the State of Andhra( Andhra Rashtra ) on October 1st, 1953. At the inaugural function held in Kurnool, Dr. Kasturi. Narayana Murthy, M.D., had occupied a seat of honour on the Dais along with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Andhra Kesari Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu garu, and Neelam Sanjiva Reddy. On that memorable occasion, a day of great pride to Telugu speaking people, my grandfather had the unique distinction to represent the Departed Soul of Potti. Sri Ramulu. Today, I take up the same role as my grandfather did on October 01, 1953. I have the honour to speak and communicate on behalf of Potti. Sri Ramulu. He had genuinely desired to unite all Telugu speaking people. His wish is also known to Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu garu, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, and Damodaram Sanjeeviah who were all closely associated with my grandfather while he diligently protected Potti Sri Ramulu during the entire duration of his fast. My grandfather had specifically shared this information with me and the Providence has given me this opportunity to openly express what I learned as a little kid. The formation of Vishal Andhra, the State of Andhra Pradesh on November 01, 1956 is a dream that has come true. I did not learn the history about the formation of Andhra Pradesh from reading books or by visiting a library. I had lived that history and I am eye-witness to that historical process and have known the people through my family connections. The vision of Potti. Sri Ramulu is shared and is supported by a vast number of Telugu speaking people. To submit a truthful testimony on behalf of Potti. Sri Ramulu, I have to state that I want to keep the Unity of all Telugu speaking people. I am not willing to place the Unity Factor on your bargaining table. Unity is the foundational principle. The future of development in any part of Andhra Pradesh depends upon keeping this Foundation Strong and Secure.
DEFINING INDIAN IDENTITY – THE LANGUAGE FACTOR :
I was a Student Delegate who had represented the State of Andhra Pradesh at a National Student Seminar on National Integration held in New Delhi during May/June 1967. At the Seminar, we had extensively deliberated on the issue of preserving National Unity and promoting National Integration. Apart from leaders of various political parties, we held discussions with the representatives of all minority communities. We went and spoke to President Zakir Hussain at Rashtrapati Bhavan. We held discussions with Prime Minister Srimati. Indira Gandhi at her official residence. Srimati. Indira Gandhi gave special emphasis to the Language Factor. She had supported a National Policy that stressed the importance of Language and its role in fostering Unity and National Integration. The burden of centuries of foreign conquests, foreign occupation, and domination has affected our Cultural Unity. Due to the compulsions imposed by the foreign rule, the Telugu speaking people existed with separate local identities. The dark shadows from past are still hampering our efforts to forge emotional integration of our people. We are a mature, and independent Nation now. We understand the problems caused by India’s subjugation by its various foreign masters. We should be firm in our resolve to overcome these obstacles. The sub-regional identities are barriers that impede our progress, growth and economic development. The Unity of Telugu speaking people is very important in the context of preserving our National Unity and in the promotion of National Integration. The problems of economic development could not be resolved by creating political and administrative divisions among Telugu speaking people.
THE PRIDE IN TELUGU HERITAGE :
The Kakatiya Dynasty ruled much of the Telugu speaking areas during 12th century A.D. Rani Rudrama Devi and her grandson King Prataprudra had resisted foreign occupation and their names still evoke a sense of awe and admiration in the hearts of all Telugu people. As a testimony to this historical fact, I was given the personal name of Rudra and my elder brother is named Pratap. As kids we came together and existed as Pratap-Rudra and we grew up taking pride in our Telugu heritage. I am not willing to let that pride be destroyed and I am not willing to let that Heritage be buried by dividing the people of Andhra Pradesh.
THE PROBLEMS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT :
“If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem.” After India’s independence in 1947, the economic development of our entire country moved on a slow track for several decades. We had failed because we had pursued the wrong economic policies. The ideas of Socialism, and Communism as Economic Theories have utterly failed in India and elsewhere in the World. They had only contributed to misery and stunted our progress. Communist China is now thriving because of State sponsored Capitalism. Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao took the bold initiative to alter the course of our economic development. His courage, wisdom, and vision have contributed to the growth that we have achieved and we are on the track to make a steady progress. We have definitely generated more wealth in this country. The number of affluent people has grown rapidly. Unfortunately, the wealth is concentrated in the hands of some people and has not permeated to all the sections our society. We can change that. We can change it by simply understanding the nature of the problem. By creating a new political and administrative entity, the problem will not disappear and the extra financial burden would actually delay the benefits of economic development from reaching people. We need to improve the performance and the governance of both the private and the public enterprise. We need to remove the obstacles that impede the flow of Private Capital. We need to make sure the smooth movement of materials and resources. We need to strengthen our infrastructure. We need to create an environment that attracts new Capital Investment. We need to diversify our Economy. We need to shift our dependence upon agricultural sector. We need to increase our manufacturing capabilities. We need to invest upon education, job-training, and imparting new job-skills to successfully exist in a global economy and compete with other nations. We need to create jobs and job opportunities and increase the upward mobility of all the sections of our society. Individuals need to be empowered to take part in the rejuvenation of the economic life of the country. We need to seriously address the issues of corruption, dishonesty, graft, and criminal misappropriation of public funds. Greed and selfish-interests are playing a great havoc bringing suffering to the weaker sections among all religions and castes. Telugu speaking people by standing united would contribute an environment that is conducive to the sustained growth of our economy and would help it to move in the right direction.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham ,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.
Please read related Blog Post titled ‘Defining Indian Identity – The Language Factor’
My grandfather,Dr.Kasturi. Narayana Murthy,M.D. was the personal physician, friend, and confidant of Amarajeevi Potti Sri Ramulu. My grandfather had published a paper giving a detailed account of the changes in the clinical condition of Potti Sri Ramulu during the entire period of the fast from 19 October 1952 to 15 December 1952, a historical fast unto death. I did not learn about the history of the formation of Andhra Rashtra and later Andhra Pradesh from visiting libraries and from reading books. I am eye-witness to the historical process and I learned about the key personalities involved in shaping these historical events through my family connections.
This entry is dedicated to the memory of Amarajeevi Sri.Potti Sri Ramulu.
Maa Telugu Talli ki Malle pu danda
Mamu ganna Talli ki Mangalaratulu.
After leaving the shores of India in 1984, I had no problems of identity as people of other countries very easily find me as a person of Indian origin. However, while I lived in India, my identity had been a very ticklish issue. My birth place is Mylapore, Madras. Since I belonged to a Telugu speaking family, I met problems with embracing the local identity and describe myself as a native of Madras City. As I grew up in Madras, I have seen the growth of Dravida Munnetra Kazagham(D.M.K) as a political force.I had saw the bullock cart processions led by Shri.C.N.Anna Durai. As a kid, I grew up with an uneasy feeling. I lived with a sense of fear that the D.M.K Party would not let me claim Madras as my native place. (Because of Lord Kapaleeswara, I still keep a very strong sense of my emotional bonding with Mylapore.)Simultaneously, in 1952, I had witnessed Shri.Potti Sri Ramulu who had fasted unto death for the creation of a separate State for the Telugu speaking people. This was a historical event. In this fasting saga, my maternal grand father Doctor.Kasturi Narayana Murthy, M.D played a significant role in his capacity as the personal physician of Potti Sri Ramulu who observed the fast in Mylapore in the house of Sri.Bulusu Sambamurthy. Incidentally, my grand father for the first time in medical history had carefully documented the changes in the medical condition of his fasting patient and later published a paper.The fast began on October 19, 1952 and ended on December 15, 1952.This historical event was also witnessed by my maternal grandmother’s brother who was fondly known as ‘Thambi Mavayya’ and his name is Budhravarapu Ch. Narayana Murthi, a high-ranking State official. I remember watching the massive funeral procession of Potti Sri Ramulu as it marched through Mylapore and it became a turning point in the history of post-independence India.The political map of India was redrawn. Prime Minister Nehru had to reluctantly agree to the formation of Andhra State and later this historical event paved the way for the formation of linguistic States throughout India in 1957.
On October 1, 1953 the new State of Andhra had come into existence with Kurnool as its Capital. Prime Minister Nehru had attended the inaugural function. My grandfather was among the dignitaries seated on the Dais. In that Andhra State formation’s Inaugural Function, my grandfather was included as he had witnessed the greatest act of sacrifice and he symbolized the presence of that Departed Soul of Potti Sri Ramulu. Prime Minister Nehru was very upset and visibly angry and had refused to formally meet my grandfather. My grandfather, Dr. K N Murthy had described that Nehru’s face turned crimson with anger and had resembled a red apple. My grandfather had narrated to me that he made an attempt trying to greet Nehru with due courtesy and had extended his hand to offer a hand shake.Nehru had specifically refused to extend his hand and give a hand shake.’Andhra Kesari’ Sri Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu garu was chosen as the first Chief Minister and Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was selected as the Deputy Chief Minister.Budhravarapu Ch Narayana Murthi was appointed as the first Law Secretary in the newly formed Andhra State Government and had lived in Kurnool. All of these people known to me had immense respect for Prime Minister Nehru and had valued his contributions to our Nation. Telugu people wanted to take part in National Affairs with a sense of Self-Pride and as equals. The Tamils undermined this sense of Self-Respect which Telugu people value in their dealings with others.
Prakasam Pantulu Garu died in 1957 and Dr. Kasturi. Narayana Murthy had received the urn containing the ashes when they had arrived at Madras by train. Dr. Murthy immersed the ashes into Bay of Bengal at Marina beach. This function was attended by a very huge gathering of Telugu people in Madras. Dr. Murthy had addressed this gathering in spite of running a high fever. Dr. Murthy was not a politician. He had worked as Professor of Medicine at Madras Medical College and being a Physician he came to know several political leaders of Telugu people and many of them had developed a very intimate and a close personal relationship with him. Dr. Murthy had also a very good relationship with Neelam Sanjiva Reddy and Damodaram Sanjeevayya( the Second Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh ) from the beginning of their political careers in the Freedom Movement.
There is a sense of sadness and bitterness about the regional politics of this country where language had become a major player in the political arena. Eventually, the State of Andhra Pradesh had come into existence on November 1, 1956 after the addition of nine districts of Telangana which were earlier a part of the State of Hyderabad.Nilam Sanjiva Reddy was the first Chief Minister of the newly formed State of Andhra Pradesh. The City of Hyderabad was chosen as the Capital for the newly formed State of Andhra Pradesh. The government buildings vacated in Kurnool were given to Kurnool Medical College. Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu Garu took the initiative in the formation of Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati. Kurnool Medical College is affiliated to Sri Venkateswara University. The history of the formation of Andhra Rashtra with Kurnool as its Capital still survives at Kurnool Medical College and the residential quarters. My grandfather left Madras city and found his new home in Hyderabad and Hyderabad became my travel destination for all of my vacations.I had my schooling in all the three areas which came together as a State to represent the Telugu speaking people. In the Coastal Andhra city of Rajahmundry, I could develop a strong sense of Telugu Identity and I am proud of that Identity and cherish that Identity that describes me as a Native of Rajahmundry. I was a student at Danavaipeta Municipal High School from 1955 to 1961. While I was a student at Government Giriraj Arts College in Nizamabad ( 1961 to 1965) of Telangana region and later while I was a student at Kurnool Medical College in Kurnool ( 1965 to 1970) of Rayala Seema region, the student community had expressed some negative feelings about my Telugu identity and a true sense of harmony was sadly lacking. This particular statement has offended my friend Shri. Apkari. Suryaprakash( who is a well-known Telugu Poet and was recognized by AIR as the Poet of the Year) of Nizamabad who did his B.A. degree course at Giriraj Arts College while I was a B.Sc student. I need to clarify my observation. It is not my intention to state that my friends; I had only two friends while I studied in Nizamabad, namely Shri. S. Mohan Reddy and A.Suryaprakash had entertained any negative feelings towards me. I am only speaking about the rest of the student community. I had participated in College Elections on two occasions while I was in Giriraj Arts College and got defeated both the times. Suryaprakash being a student of the B.A. class did not take part in my election which was exclusively decided by the B.Sc students. I am saying that I did not enjoy enough support amongst my classmates studying B.Sc to get elected. This election experience has painfully followed me while I was a student at Kurnool Medical College. I had tried and had failed in the College Election where the concerns about my Identity have played a role. We need to admit and recognize that there are regional differences amongst Telugu people and these differences become apparent in the political arena. My friendly connections to these places had survived. Amongst Telugu speaking people, three political identities exist, the identities of Coastal Andhra, Rayala Seema, and Telangana. This did not distract me from serving my Nation. In 1967, I had the opportunity to represent the State of Andhra Pradesh at a National Student Seminar on ” National Integration “. This was a month long major event and the Seminar took place in New Delhi. Many in the student community viewed the language factor as a major hurdle in achieving the goal of National Integration . While I got rejected in the College Elections because of regionalism amongst Telugu people, I still made my personal choice, and got married in Cuddapah making Cuddapah of Rayala Seema as my second Home Town.
While I was posted at Secunderabad, Sri.N.T.Ramarao founded the Telugu Desam Party in 1982. NTR’s message was that of upholding the self-respect of Telugu speaking people and he won the election in January, 1983. I had supported NTR and his Telugu Desam Party and had hoped that the new party would build bridges and bring Telugu people together onto a single platform and would give Telugu people an opportunity to play a meaningful role in National Affairs. I was particularly happy with the 1982 Election results because of N.T.R. led Telugu Desam Party performed very well across the three regions of Andhra Pradesh and Telugu people truly joined hands to project an image of Unity and Solidarity. Telugu Desam Party had started with a noble mission and had slowly slipped in its resolve to uphold its ideals of uniting Telugu people and bringing them together on a common political platform.
SANSKRIT, THE LANGUAGE OF MY CULTURE :
The ‘Three Language Formula’ was conceived as a solution to bring Indian people together and to overcome the linguistic differences. Under this formula, I had studied Telugu as my first language(mother tongue),English was my second language(Link language), and studied Hindi as my third language(national language).All the central ideas and thoughts that define our Indian Culture find their expression in Sanskrit language.I wish that I had studied Sanskrit as my third language under the ‘Three Language Formula’. I am very hopeful that Sanskrit could play a more useful role in promoting National Unity and National Integration. During the years that I had spent in Indian Army, I became fond of both Hindi and Urdu which had firmly linked me to the rest of the Nation. The sweetness of Urdu could foster a better relationship between Hindu and Muslim Communities. While I had lived in Nizamabad, the golden voice of immortal Mohd. Rafi had shaped my love for Urdu language. While Telugu gives me the sense of personal identity, and a sense of personal dignity, Sanskrit gives me the ability to connect to my past, and provides a sense of historical purpose; I still need Hindi and Urdu to reach the rest of the Nation; and English provides the bridges to cross the linguistic divide. The story about Telugu speaking people, their aspirations for regional identities continues today and all of Telugu people should come together to discuss this issue.
Please read Related Blog Post titled ‘An Open Testimony to Justice Srikrishna’