Archive for April, 2013

Friday, April 19th, 2013

17th April 2013


The Beginnings of Fascism?


-Anjaneya Reddy, Member Core Committee, Vishalandhra Mahasabha (presided over the aborted meeting); formerly of the Indian Police Service


When you fail to shoot, you beat with the butt’ so goes an old adage. This is what happened  on 16th April ‘13, in the hall named for Suravaram Pratap Reddy, scholar-writer and pioneer-editor of the old Hyderabad State. On prior intimation to police and with the permission of the authorities, a meeting was called in the Press Club, Basheer bagh by the Visalandhra Mahasabha – an organization committed to the political and cultural integrity of the Telugu speaking people – to launch the Telugu version of their publication ‘Refuting an Agitation’ . The publication seeks to place in public domain facts and figures relating to some 100 assertions often made by the Telangana protagonists to incite emotions. The issues raised over the years were carefully collected, categorized and researched with an open mind to see if there is any room for genuine grievance. It has taken the organization more than two years to do all this and bring out a publication which gives unbiased and authentic information. Its English edition was launched in New Delhi some time ago in the presence of eminent journalists and writers and sent to all columnists, opinion-makers, MPs and MLAs of the State. Of late, many people have come to rely on the publication for authentic information. As a result, there is considerable disenchantment with the claims of the Telangana protagonists! Even, they have come to realize that their claims are not supported by statistics and switched to basing their case on ‘sentiment’ which all well-meaning people know cannot be the basis for dividing a State!  Should  sentiment be the criterion, we have to have more than 500 States in India!


The book was launched by Mehboob Ali, a veteran of the Telangana Struggle of the 1950s which not only fought the Nizam-supported Razakars bravely but rid Telangana of all feudalism and paved the way for  what is now Andhra Pradesh. As the meeting progressed, some journalists came in, asked the police officers in plain clothes to leave the hall which they meekly did in spite of prior information to them that the trouble was brewing. Some hoodlums claiming to be journalists broke into the hall, broke the microphones and burnt copies of the book in the hall itself, all under the confused gaze of the policemen. Ironically, the venue is barely two hundred meters away from the office of the Dy. Commissioner who was briefed by the writer himself a day In advance about the possibility of inspired violence. There were at least a hundred policemen and officers including the ‘task-force’ bouncers whereas the trouble makers were about 25 or 30. When this writer, who presided over the meeting, later protested to the Dy. Commissioner, he pleaded helplessness on the ground that the incident took place inside the Press Club hall! He even seems to think that the journalists in their own premises are above the law!


The incident raises some questions of deep concern. Press Club should be the place where the right to freedom of speech is to be upheld more than anywhere else. Even if a section of the press is opposed to the book being launched – in the normal circumstance there can be no opposition – there is a way to protest. A day later another meeting can be held to counter or question the facts the book presents. Burning a book that too in the premises of the Press Club shows their utter contempt for freedom of speech about which they often yell from the rooftops and almost borders on fascist tendencies among a section of journalists. This menace, only the well-meaning among them can put down! If the self-correcting mechanism breaks down, freedom of the Press itself would be in jeopardy. We would like to tell our journalist friends that books are not for burning!


The police also have a few lessons to learn. Every police officer is administered an oath at the beginning of his or her career to uphold the Constitution which promises freedom of speech and the right to assemble “peaceably and without arms”. Failing to afford protection, in spite of prior intimation to them as in the instant case, would amount to abdication of professional responsibility. The confusion in the minds of senior officers whether they can intervene in the Press Club premises to restrain the misbehaving journalists has resulted in the whole force being reduced to mute spectators. This is precisely what happened on an earlier occasion again in the press club, when the Bangladesh activist, Taslima Nazreen was assaulted and humiliated by an MLA and a few of his  fundamentalist followers right under the nose of the Police, while launching a book questioning religious orthodoxy. Our police officers are either inadequately briefed about the rights of the people or do not know their job well or trying to be more ‘tactful’ than correct in their conduct. If this kind of inaction is tolerated on part of the police officers, consequences can be disastrous and even normally law-abiding people, in their frustration, would be forced to take law into their hands! As long as the duty of the police is to prevent violence and lawlessness, it doesn’t matter where it takes place, in the Press Club or a university or even a temple or a mosque. None of these places are above the law of the land or people connected with them have any immunity from police action. Law-abiding people expect the Police to uphold their right to assemble and make their voices heard. The day the police fail to do this, democratic rights have no meaning! Let them not drive the law-abiding people to desperation! In any case let not our police force be over-awed by hooliganism whatever quarters it comes from!


Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

All members of Visalandhra Mahasabha are safe and sound after today's attack on them by the militant journalists. It is quite unfortunate that the Sahara news journalist who flew in from Delhi to cover the event got injured in the process. He got a deep cut on his hand because of the flying glass. He got treatment. I spoke to him and he is doing well. He is shocked at the level of militancy in the media in our state. Quite unfortunate to say the least.

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013


విశాలాంధ్ర మహాసభ పుస్తకావిష్కరణ


ఆంధ్ర ప్రదేశ్ లో విభజన వాదులు ప్రచారం చేస్తున్న అసత్యాలను, వక్రీకరణలను క్రోడీకరించి వాటిని గణాంకాలతో సహా తప్పులు గా నిరూపిస్తూ విశాలాంధ్ర మహాసభ రూపొందించిన పుస్తకం Refuting An Agitation: 101 Lies and Dubious Arguments యొక్క తెలుగు అనువాదం


రుజువులు లేని ఉద్యమం

తెలంగాణ వేర్పాటు వాదుల 101 అబద్ధాలు, వక్రీకరణలు


రాష్ట్ర రాజధాని హైదరాబాద్ లో ఆవిష్కరింప బడుతోంది.

తేదీ: బుధవారం 17 ఏప్రిల్ 2013

సమయం: ఉదయం 11:30 గంటలు

వేదిక: ప్రెస్ క్లబ్, దేశోద్ధారక భవన్, బషీర్ బాగ్, హైదరాబాద్.


ప్రముఖ స్వాతంత్ర్య సమర యోధులు శ్రీ మెహబూబ్ అలీ

పుస్తకాన్ని ఆవిష్కరిస్తారు.


శ్రీ సి. అంజనేయ రెడ్డి ( మాజీ డి జి పి )

సభకు అధ్యక్షత వహిస్తారు.

101 Telugu Book Release

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Dear Friends,

This week was the last episode of my television show Sweccha on hmtv. In total, we have aired 13 episodes.

When India attained independence, our country had many liberal thinkers like Mahatma Gandhi and Balgangadhar Tilak. Unfortunately, under Nehru’s leadership, our country adopted socialism. After four decades of socialism, we were an economically failed nation. Things changed a little under the leadership of Late P.V. Narasimha Rao. Unfortunately, signs indicate that we are again going back to the failed policies of license raj and welfare raj.

I believe in a very simple principle. Our country should have a government that is as small as possible, and regulations that are as few as possible. This will lead to increasing individual freedom and economic prosperity. Towards that end, I used the show to make my case for a more free society.

Fight for liberty is a long drawn battle. Often, it is a lonely battle. Ours is a country addicted to government welfare and regulations. It therefore is not easy to make our people see the merits of individual freedom.

Here are links to the thirteen episodes of Sweccha with a brief description:

1)    Sweccha Sidhaantam rests on one fundamental tenet of non-violence! Other than for self-defense, one should not physically assault another individual. However, when under threat, state machinery can rarely protect an individual. In fact, there is a long historical record of state itself committing acts of violence on its subjects. Therefore, I advocated right to own guns in the first episode:


2)    Government regulation on free trade impedes our economic progress. Our government constantly regulates imports, controls exports, and actively manipulates the currency. This causes a great deal of harm to our economy. This episode was about allowing foreign direct investment into our country:


3)    In a free society there is minimal public property and maximum private property. In such a society people will not be burdened with limitations imposed by government on their fundamental rights. In this episode I defended Akbaruddin’s right to hate speech and showed how private property rights and freedom of speech are connected to each other:


4)    Despite our ancient philosophies and belief in dharmic lifestyle, our country is one of the most corrupt in the world. It is my view that big government is the root cause of corruption in our country:


5)    Millions in our country consume illegal alcohol every day. Our governments with taxation ranging from 300% to 400% made alcohol unaffordable to masses. This created a market for illicit liquor. Our governments’ twisted morality of looting the alcoholics to provide welfare schemes to the same alcoholics is a curse on our society:


6)    Fluctuation in commodity prices is a natural market phenomenon. High commodity prices indicate scarcity and induce farmers to grow more of that particular commodity. However, our government constantly interferes with natural prices and in fact exacerbates scarcity. Here’s an episode on why government should not regulate high onion prices:


7)    Our society has a bizarre notion that education should not be a for profit business. An industry that is most profitable indicates that people have a dire need of the services being provided. I other words, some say education sector and health sector are most profitable in India. It is an indication that our society badly needs those services. In any event, what is so holy about education that it should be free?


8)    I should have full rights on my body. Whether I want to donate or sell an organ in my body should be my business. Any law restricting what I do with my body is denying me my natural right to my life. Our society’s twisted morality is resulting in hundreds of thousands of patients dying for lack of kidneys. Legalize kidney sales and save lives!


9)    After 60 years of independence, our railways are a wreck. Going to a train station is like walking into a living hell. Our government uses railways as a vote getting enterprise. Our railways are a great example of the consequences of government imposed monopolies. Privatize railways:


10)    Government imposed Maximum Retail Price laws in reality do not protect consumers. They make consumers reckless as they no longer have to shop around for a lower price. Even worse, these laws result in poor paying more and rich paying less for products:


11)    Andhra Pradesh is in dire straits in the electricity sector. Power industry for all practical purposes is another government imposed monopoly which is an utter failure. Competition via privatization is the only lasting solution to this problem:


12)    Indian government and the governments across the world are taking on debt that may never be paid back. Cyprus, Greece, Spain, and Italy are a few examples of this. However, the national debt menace is bound to spread to the rest of the world eventually:


13)    Final episode is about the Housing Ministry’s license raj and TRAI regulations on how many minutes of advertisements can be aired on television. This is a further indication that India has never really understood the damage caused by license raj. Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat the same mistakes again:


Nalamotu Chakravarthy