Don't discriminate

The bad blood and hostilities that marked the division of Andhra Pradesh seem to be continuing in the decisions of successor governments and in the conduct of leaders after the formation of the two states.

 The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) government which came to power after the elections, its chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and the party’s leaders have to take the major blame for keeping the estrangement alive and finding new issues to worsen it.

 The intensive household survey undertaken all over the state on Tuesday is the latest action by the Telangana government to send signals to the people who have their roots in the Seemandhra region that they are not welcome in the state. The claimed reason for the survey was elimination of those who are ineligible for welfare benefits but this claim has not been convincing.

The exercise created a lot of inconvenience, scare and panic among the residents of the state, especially those from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. It has been seen as an attempt at identity profiling with ulterior motives. The information sought in the survey related to details like property, income, bank accounts and the like. Questions about nativity were dropped after the survey raised a controversy but this has not removed the apprehensions of people.

 Some words attributed to the chief minister which became public only strengthened the suspicions. The Telangana government had some weeks ago  taken a decision to deny financial assistance to students from other parts of the parent state. A discriminatory and vindictive attitude to those who are unfairly called settlers and a chauvinistic mindset have been seen in many actions of the state government and the statements of Telangana leaders, especially the chief minister. 

This goes against fair politics and governance and the spirit of friendly relations between neighbouring states. It is also violative of the constitutional rights of citizens to live and work in any part of the country. All those who live and work in Telangana and have a stake there should be considered rightful and legitimate residents of the state, whichever state they are originally from.

It will only hurt the interests of the state if the government pursues chauvinistic policies of the Shiv Sena kind. The state government has also raised contentious issues like the special powers of the state governor with respect to law and order in Hyderabad. Unfortunately  it has taken unreasonable positions on them too. 

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