We have allowed the Separatists for too long to spread blatant lies on every possible aspect of the present debate on Telangana-Andhra. So much so that a large section of gullible people of Telangana, and a few in Andhra and Rayalaseema, take these tissues of lies for granted. Even the educated and the aware in the Telangana region have been browbeaten into believing these canards to be the gospel truth.
One such example is the concocted comments supposedly uttered by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during his visit to Nizamabad in 1956. Every separatist and his brother quote what Nehru was supposed to have prophetically said about Andhra-Telangana merger. BJP’s Sushma Swaraj also thought it wise to jump at the opportunity in Lok Sabha recently when she quoted these infamous words.
Jawaharlal Nehru, she said, had compared the merger of Andhra and Telangana to a matrimonial alliance having â€˜provisions for divorceâ€™ if the partners in the alliance cannot get on well in future.â€ According to a Times of India report, she quoted Jawaharlal Nehru’s 1956 statement,where he had described the merger of Telangana in Andhra as the marriage of an innocent girl with a mischievous man a description that not just drew fierce opposition from the Congress, but also found resonance throughout the calling attention motion, almost turning into an emotional debate
Sarvey Satyanarayana immediately latched on to the quote as is wont with the Separatists. “As rightly mentioned by Sushmaji, Panditji said that Telangana is like an innocent baby being married to a mischievous boy, an Andhrite. They should live together for long. If this baby demands divorce, it should be granted. â€¦ (Interruptions) ” he is reported to have said.
But are these comments attributed to Nehru true? Where and how did the Separatists get this quote?
We are reproducing the entire speech of Nehru in Nizamabad in 1956, which is his first and last visit to the place. Nowhere does the then Prime Minister say the words that he was repeatedly and misleadingly quoted as saying. In fact, throughout the speech, Nehru mentions the need for Andhra and Telagnana to live together, to forget petty issues and focus on building the country.
Here a few extracts:
Hyderabad does not belong only to Telangana
“India does not belong only to you or me but to all of us. Bharat Mata does not belong only to the people of Hyderabad or Uttar Pradesh alone. All of us are parts of India and the whole country belongs to all of you from the Himalayas down to Kanniyakumari. You cannot tell me that Hyderabad and Nizamabad belong to you and Allahabad and Delhi to me.. I too have a right in Hyderabad just as you have claim to the Himalayas, Delhi and other places.”
Don’t Quarrel over Petty Issues
We often quarrel over petty issues, about our provinces, language, etc. If you think like that, you will be giving up this great handful of earth. So you must always bear in mind that the whole of India is like one huge family to which all of us belong. Whether we live in the north or south, irrespective of the religion and caste that we belong to, all of us are part of big family. We stand or fall together.”
Intimidation No Solution
“I mentioned the riots and loot and arson in Bombay, Orissa and other States in which many people were killed. As a result the atmosphere was vitiated by hatred but it had no impact on the decision regarding Bombay or Orissa because you must understand quite clearly that the problems of a great nation are not solved in such manner. Otherwise, the country will be ruined.
Greater Andhra for Greater Good
“In these circumstances, it seemed improper to have two separate states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The new outlook pointed to a greater Andhra.”
“The people of Andhra and Telangana have to lead their lives and progress as parts of the larger entity, India. Therefore petty arguments and tensions will lead nowhere. Â I hope all of you will accept this new proposal wholeheartedly and put it into practice. I want that you should become a part of greater Andhra and benefit by it.”
National Interest is Paramount
“However, why should the question of Madras, Bombay, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra or Punjab loom so large before us? The important thing is India.”
While this is the truth, while Nehru actually advocated merger of Andhra and Telangana, while he passionately advocated against parochial tendencies, the Separatists have been indulging in travesty of truth. They have been spreading disinformation and resorting to perjury. This falsehood is now found everywhere, in every piece written by various journals on Telangana issue, as if it were the received word.
The other statement that is frequently quoted is about the “tint of expansionist imperialism” in merging Telangana with Andhra. Which Sushma faithfully repeated in her Lok Sabha speech. She said a statement by the then Prime Minister Late Pt Nehru appeared in the Indian Express issue of the year 1956, in which he allegedly said that he was skeptical of merging Telangana with Andhra State, fearing a “tint of expansionist imperialism” in it.
The truth is different. While Nehru used the words “taint of expansionist imperialism”, he did not specifically use them in the context of Andhra-Telangana. He was most likely talking about the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, about which he spoke even in the speech quoted above.
Here is the entire speech of Jawaharlal Nehru in Nizamabad in 1956. Title of the Book “Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Second Series Volume 32: 1 February-30 April 1956