A Tale of Two Golti Cities

A pulsating report from Ground Zero

The Telangana issue is a very complex and emotional one, which anyone who regularly reads newspapers knows will know as the journalese for: ‘We don’t know what exactly is happening and we are just filling the news page here’.

With the Telangana issue seemingly settled, what is of interest is the situation on ‘Ground Zero’, which, then again, is the journalese for, ‘any place including toilets’.

Hyderabad is the Ground Zero here, as it is the scene of action. For it, in the face of new developments, it is the best of times. It is the worst of times. It is the age of wisdom. It is the age of foolishness. Exactly like in that Charles Dickens book, A Tale of Two Capitals.

We at Crank’s News did not exactly travel to the twin cities but have come up with this report by adhering to the highest journalistic standard of completely fabricating it out of our imagination.

Hyderabad:  Telagana, as a separate State, is now almost a reality. A several-decades-old struggle has finally borne fruit. On the streets of Hyderabad, which is to be the capital of the emerging State, the mood is one of contentment and fulfillment. But that may have been mostly due to the fact that we checked out a few streets in the afternoon with people emerging out of hotels and restaurants after what seemed to be a sumptuous lunch. In general it is hard to zero in on the precise pulse of any city. But journalists, and travel writers, always speak as if they have managed to pull that off. Talking through the hat, needless to say, is an important quality to have in both the callings.

But there is some amount confusion over the whole set up of Hyderabad being the capital to Telangana and Seemandhra for the next ten years. And there is also a talk that, as a tactical decision, in the course of time, Hyderabad itself may be classified as a Union Territory. Also, one of the unasked questions doing the rounds of the bylanes of this city is: ‘What if in the future all Union Territories are made into States, will Hyderabad then, apart from being a capital for two different States, also be a State in itself?’ All told, with it being set to play multiple roles, there is a touch of Kamal Haasan to Hyderabad these days.

There are many administrative questions in the dual-capital-but-one-city arrangement that need to be urgently answered. The first one is: Which of the two States will have the day-to-day administrative control of the city? No, that would be too commonsensical for our bureaucracy and politicaldom. So the first issue they will be most likely wrestling with is: Whose photos will adorn the District Collector’s office, the Seemandhra leaders’ or the Telangana’s? And the first scandal that may emerge in two years time will be the realization that many government officers in the city had all along been getting salary from both the State governments for the work that they were anyway not doing.

On the cultural front, luckily, there is better news, as both the States will be continued to be served by the heritage of Balakrishna and Jr NTRR movies whose absolutely mindless content would seem to be the height of intellectualism in comparison to the whole arrangement that the two States are moving towards.

But it is the political developments that are proving to be interesting. All eyes are naturally on the Telangana Rashtriaya Samithi waiting for it to disappear.  Seriously, the TRS, which was created for the creation of Telangana, now loses it raison d’etre. But like every other party in the country, TRS can choose to exist without any redeeming reason. (Ajith Singh’s party — please google and find its name — is an exception to this. It exists because he exists).

But this is undoubtedly the hour of glory for TRS chief K Chandrasekara Rao. No one should begrudge his moment under the sun. After all, he was the one who spearheaded the struggle, tirelessly going from studio to studio, speaking spiritedly for his cause, despite the fact that that no matter what he spoke people will be focused only on his nose.  His nose alone, I think, deserves a separate State.

The Congress, for its part, had done well to appoint Digvijaya Singh to handle the situation. He has good experience in matters of split. For instance, his mouth and brain, though part of the same being, had long seceded from each other. That is why whatever Digvijaya speaks, it generally comes across as something that only person with no functional  brain could have thought of.

Digvijaya, over the last two days, has been at pains to drive home the point that though the decision to bifurcate Andhra was a difficult one, but the Congress still went ahead and did it while Narendra Modi merely sat and watched. Okay, he didn’t exactly say that, but we can all be prepared for the same in the coming weeks.

In the end, as we round up this report, Hyderabad today seems to be at a crossroads. Not knowing whether it is going or coming. In other words, the entire city feels like it is being at the Trimulgherry junction.

(Disclaimer: <Insert your *who keeps Andhra delicacy/actress/cricket team/etc* type joke here>)