Telangana Formula

Justice (Retd) B N Srikrishna, who heads the panel examining the contentious issue of statehood for Telangana, has submitted its report to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. There is huge expectation over the content of the report which will be made public today i.e. January 6, 2010. As per Srikrishna’s comments made to the media, the report has gone into all aspects and that it was “comprehensive”. Srikrishna also gave a hint of the scope of the recommendations pointing out that it had “aimed at the highest satisfaction of the largest number of people”. The Srikrishna report is expected to be widely read and studied by the Government of India not only with regard to solving the Telangana question of Statehood but also similar demand which exists in other regions of the country. The political ramification of the report will be known in the next few days. It is expected that the report will become an important reference point as a policy guide for both the present and future governments. However the Government of India should ensure that the full report is made public and not only selective portions. An honest and open discourse on the question of reorganization of States, autonomy and other mechanisms needs to be conducted so that the question of ethnic aspirations, control over resources etc can be addressed in a proper manner through dialogue. With several dialogue-processes underway with people’s groups over the question of identity, land, natural resources and development, especially in the Northeast region, the Srikrishna report it must be said is timely and welcome.  
As mentioned, while the Srikrishna Committee would have gone into the situation in Andhra Pradesh both with reference to the demand for a separate state of Telangana as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh, of more importance and relevance for a State like Nagaland will be the review of the development process in Andhra Pradesh since its formation and their impact on the progress and development of the different regions of the state. As per media reports the Srikrishna Committee has also identified “optimal solutions” and recommended a plan of action and a road map to address the grievances and aspiration of people. Hopefully the Chief Minister of Nagaland and his political advisors will also study the report on Telangana in order to undertake a course correction of its own. This is more so in the backdrop of the recent demand of the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO) for a separate State citing economic and political grievances. Besides, the Nagas in Manipur seeking an “alternative arrangement”, having severed all ties with the Manipur government, will also be keenly looking forward to the report on Telangana. As per sources in the national media, some of the options suggested in the report range from constitutional guarantees for different regions without dividing the state to fixing quotas of ministerial berths in the cabinet. It is also expected that the report will also recommend sharing of resources in an equitable manner, guaranteeing fixed plan allocations to each region. Without doubt therefore we can foresee the importance of the Srikrishna Committee not only for Andhra Pradesh and the Telangana question but also for similar unresolved issues facing other regions and peoples.