Telangana could have been another Kashmir
It is our leaders’ obsession with the impartiality of the United Nations that has led to the Kashmir problem. It might appear strange but true that even the less contentious Telangana issue has become complicated owing to our misplaced faith in the world body, of which India is a founder member. Remember that we were a member nation of the League of Nations (predecessor of the UN) even before we became free. Who then was our ambassador to the League? It was Sir Firoz Khan Noon, who later became prime minister of Pakistan (1957-58) and one of those who had argued Pakistan’s case against Jammu & Kashmir becoming a part of India in the UN.
In 1969, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was about to announce the formation of a Telangana State by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh. She had told her Principal Secretary PN Haksar to work out the details. But then she received a reminder from the then Foreign Secretary TN Kaul and it was “Madam the Hyderabad or Nizam State issue is still pending in the UN Security Council. It is better not to go ahead with a separate Telangana”. Kaul was after all right and the UN Security Council dropped the issue of Hyderabad’s accession to India only in 1979. Pakistan had taken the Hyderabad merger issue to the UN. In contrast it was we who took the Kashmir issue to the UN and are regretting it every day.
Telangana did not become a reality in 1956 and again in 1969. Will it be defeated for the third time in 2013 in the face of the escalating violence in coastal Andhra Pradesh ? In 1956, the States Reorganisation Commission headed by Justice Fazl Ali (Senior) had recommended that there should be two Telugu States- Hyderabad or Telangana and Andhra. The Commission which also consisted of Pandit Hriday Nath Kunzru and Sardar KM Panikkar as members had said that the question of Hyderabad joining Andhra State could be considered after five years -1961; but the decision of merger should be decided only if two-thirds of the me