It was a big week. Three events were to follow one after the other. The report of the 14th Finance commission, the railway budget and then the general budget. AP desperately needed a helping hand from all three. As we realise today, it did not get any support from the centre. It is really ironic. It was the centre under the previous regime that bifurcated AP much against the wishes of the people of present AP and literally pushed the state to bankruptcy. This proposal was then supported by BJP which assured their support to the new state, if they came to power. Alas, none of that materialized.
Financially speaking AP is now in a very difficult situation. But be that as it may, I see a great future for the state once these tough times go. Let me elaborate.
- While the whole country and the parliament are consumed over the nitty gritties of the land acquisition bill, AP has silently pooled in over 30,00 acres for the capital. This land pooling has been extremely successful and we have to pat the state government for this. That this was done in a such short span of time is indeed commendable. The construction of the new capital can now start in all earnest and as we know, the project will be devised in such a way that the state hardly spends anything on the construction. AP will now have a really world class capital which will be the envy of other states. The Centre despite all its nonchalance, will still contribute something.
- The last 20 years has amply demonstrated that people of AP are extremely enterprising and are second to no other linguistic group of the country. In the 1990s, Andhrites just had a good farming background with no exposure to industry. In a short span of 20 years, Telugus from this part of the land, now occupy premium positions in IT, Construction, Pharma, Infrastructure, real estate, education etc both as employers and employees. This is no mean feat. I am sure that Andhrites are just waiting in the wings to contribute to their state as and when opportunities arise.
- Andhrites also form a major chunk of NRIs and the Andhra diaspora is gaining in strength.
- Andhra students have been continuously topping major competitive exams for IITs. IIMs, CA etc. This means going forward, the state will have an unending pool of highly educated youth whose contribution to the spread of industry can be phenomenal.
- AP state too under Naidu is working really hard for new investments and the last 9 months too gave us big ticket investment confirmations. Industry is enthused to invest not just due to the dynamic state leadership but due to other factors too like 24/7 power, access to ports and markets, availability of quality manpower etc.
- Andhra’s cultural backbone (which is the intangible, invisible force in a community’s growth and progress) is extremely strong. Carnatic music heavily draws from the Telugu land, our cinema is strong and vibrant, we are making inroads into sports and have international presence in Badminton, chess among other sports and our language is spoken freely in many parts of South India. Telugus have a great presence too in non- Telugu cities like Chennai and Bangalore.
I can go on and on, but the short point I want to make is that the people of Andhra have everything in them to make the future count on their terms. Yes, the centre has been less than co-operative ( forget all that emphasis on co-operative federalism by the Modi government) but we are good enough to take care of ourselves. Don’t brood over spilt milk, the future will have a strong Andhra imprint.