At the stroke of midnight on June 1, 2014 Telangana, the 29th state of India was born. Andhra Pradesh morphed into Seemandhra and Telangana and we may hope the rancour and ill-will of many years would reach a closure. A unified Andhra Pradesh which nurtured the hopes and dreams of an entire state till now stands finally and fully truncated, lost to the map of India. But the event heralds hopes and a sense of freedom for a large group of people who felt marginalised by administration and industry. The future beckons and they are ready to take the reins of their own destiny.
While Time would decide the trajectory of the two states divided politically, how does one divide the culture and heritage of the Telugu state of which everyone was proud of and a legacy everyone is heir to? The late legendary actor and chief minister NTR talked about the Telugu bidda and instilled into every individual the sense of Telugu pride. Today, speaking the same tongue and sharing the same tradition, the state stands divided on opposite sides, each taking fledgling steps towards the future. Every new government comes with baggage as well as opportunities to undo the past and start again on the learning curve, push for change and dare to deliver. The interdependence of the two states would of course remain for sometime in terms of resources and personnel and the powers that be would hopefully sort out matters amicably.
A new capital is envisaged for the people of Seemandhra who have long boasted an ancient capital redolent with Hindu-Muslim culture. History would start afresh with a new capital and new dreams and the chief minister, a poster boy for IT and development, would begin again. Chandrababu Naidu said “though AP has been divided geographically Telugu-speaking people should continue to live as one race”.
The Telangana logo is the Kakatiya arch or the Warangal Gate representing the Kakatiya dynasty and the 400 year-old Charminar denoting the cultural history of the region. But these glorious symbols do not belong to one side of Andhra as they are the cultural icons and inheritance of an entire state. It is a matter for speculation whether the state anthem “Maa Telugu Talliki” (To my mother of Telugu) so finely penned by Shankarambadi Sundarachari that takes us to lyrical heights embodying the love and pride of an entire people would continue to be the anthem of both states. Are we all not the inheritors of the great heritage of Andhra, of Tyagayya the poet saint, the triumvirate of Nannaya, Tikkana and Eranna who translated the Mahabharata into Telugu, the Adikavi Potana who gave us Bhagavatam in Telugu and Mahamantri Timmarusu of Krishna Devaraya fame? Do not the poets, artists, and all other men and women on the roll of honour belong and reach out to all Telugu-speaking individuals across the world? Certain things are beyond borders and divisions.