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Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Hyderabad Situation by Mohan Guruswamy

The ongoing battle between Andhra and Telangana politicians of all hues and colors is for control of Hyderabad. It is the milch cow that hads been milked dry by these corrupt politicians. The city has not had a democratically elected local government for decades and is run by a junior IAS officer, who is at the beck and call of the CM's and the Municipalities minister's. All zoning rules have been abandoned and all building regulations have been given the go by to enable the real estate lobby and aligned politicians to make good. The people of the twin cities have been the real victims for the last six decades.

Hyderabad and Secunderabad were beautiful and well laid out cities till the district politicians got hold of it in 1956. Since then it has been turned into a giant slum. Every major leader who is now fighting on either side of the Andhra-Telangana divide has got huge real estate and commercial interests in the twin cities. You name him and he is on the list. Chandrababu Naidu, Jaganmohan Reddy, KS Rao, Lagdapati Rajagopal, G Venkatswamy and now KCR. I can run off a comprehensive list of big and even lesser netas like Devender Goud. But that list will need more than this page.

The twin cities are still largely cosmopolitan in character with people from all parts of the country as its residents and that character needs to be protected. They are neither Andhra or Telangana cities. They have given India singers like Pandit Jasraj, poets like Maqdoom Mohiuddin, film directors like Shyam Benegal, actors like Suresh Oberoi, Army, Airforce and Navy chiefs like Gen. Srinagesh, ACM Idris Latif and Admiral Ramdas Katari. And groomed leaders like PV Narasimha Rao, Veerendra Patil and Shankar Rao Chavan. Even now the majority of its residents are Hyderabad and Secunderabad born. All of us locals have a pretty good idea who we are, But it is these johnny-come-lately's who are giving the twin its cities extravagant geneologies, such as a 2000 year old history and thus laying claim to it The facts are otherwise.

Hyderabad was established in 1591 by Quli Qutab Shah of Golconda, and was first named Bhagyanagar after his beloved and paramour, the courtesan Bhagmati. He penned the immortal verse expressing his love for her : "piya bin piyaa jaaye na, piya bin jiyaa jaye na!".

Secunderabad was established in 1806 and was named after Sikandar Jah, the third Nizam. It housed the British garrison and was British controlled town till 1948. The 19 Hyderabad Regiment became the main element of the Kumaon Rifles, and the 13 Kumaon battalion that won immortality in Rezang la in 1962 was originally the Ahir composed 13 Hyderabad battalion.

The Twin Cities are centrally situated and have a generally salubrious climate. They have a distinct culture that is well known all over the country and even world. Jawaharlal Nehru often thought of it as a second capital of India. He wanted at least session of Parliament to be held here each year. Thats why the Presidents of India retire to Bolarum for a few weeks every year. It could have been a great city, but these wretched politicians have turned it into a giant milch cow tethered to one idea and made to wallow in its own squalor.

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