Solve emblem debate democratically

In Telangana, which celebrated its 10th formation day, a somewhat different issue is grabbing the headlines amid the feverish speculation over the Lok Sabha election results.
Panoramic view of Hyderabad
Panoramic view of Hyderabad

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh crossed a milestone on Sunday with Hyderabad ceasing to be the common capital of both as per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. But it is just a technicality since Andhra shifted its government apparatus from Hyderabad soon after division of the state in 2014. It is a different matter whether Andhra will eventually develop Amaravati as its capital city or go with the three-capital formula. It will all depend on the outcome of the assembly elections.

In Telangana, which celebrated its 10th formation day, a somewhat different issue is grabbing the headlines amid the feverish speculation over the Lok Sabha election results. The Revanth Reddy government has proposed to redesign the State Emblem and came up with a State Song, which was set to tune by Oscar winning music director M M Keeravani. Though there were murmurs of dissent over having an “Andhra” music director as its composer, it was adopted and played on Sunday on the occasion of the formation day celebrations.

In our view, it is unfair to tag Keervani, the music maestro as belonging to a region. He’s a source of pride for the nation. Telangana, which is a modern, thriving, inclusive state, is proud of its rich heritage and Keervani’s music to the inspirational song is an ode in itself to the people who fought selflessly for the cause of Telangana. The debate over the proposed emblem, however, is generating serious debate. The present one, which was designed after division of the state, has the historic Kakatiya Thoranam and Charminar representing the culture and history of Telangana.

PCC president and Chief Minister Revanth Reddy has for long been opposed to it. His reasoning is that it doesn’t reflect the movement that gave birth to the state. There is definitely logic in his argument. On the other hand, as BRS leaders point out, the present emblem encapsulates the rich heritage of the state. The question is whether it should be changed as per the wishes of the chief minister.

First, in a functioning democracy, it can be changed with the approval of the people—represented by the elected legislators. By the same yardstick, five years later, the successor may also want to amend it. What then? In such matters, it is pertinent to discuss and debate before arriving at a decision. The state government has rightly decided to do the same in the next assembly session. It should try to achieve a consensus which is key to a vibrant democracy.

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