North Andhra (culturally Kalingandhra) is craving attention. The region consisting of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam is well known for its economic underdevelopment. Except for Vizag city, the region has been subjected to negligence and little attention paid to the development of these districts for decades, before and after independence, forcing the people to migrate to far off regions like Andamans, Gujarat, Sri Lanka and far eastern countries for livelihood.
The voice against injustice had been feeble in the region for long. But in recent past, the people are rising to the occasion and forcing their voice heard as was evident in the regions’ active participation in the movement for the preservation of united Andhra Pradesh. Some even gave ultimatum for ‘either united Andhra Pradesh or North Andhra state’. The slogan,however, got buried in the dominant pell-mell of united Andhra Pradesh. Now having suffered bifurcation and gained nothing in lieu of it, the intellectuals from Kalingandhra are raising their voice for justice. Gradually, one can see the idea of Kalingandhra or North Andhra identity getting crystallized. Everywhere, both on the ground and in social media, fora for North Andhra are springing up. One can see handles like #North Andhra Now expressing their opinions on the developmental mode being pursued by successive governments, especially the present one.
Uttarandhra Rakshana Vedika, Uttarandhra Hakkula Porata Vedika, Uttarandhra Adhyayana Vedika, Uttarandhra Samkshema Abhivrudhi Vedika, Uttarandhra Vidayarthi Sena, Prajaspandana, ‘Dhabhale-Dhubhele’ of balladeer Vangapandu, ‘Kalinga Vedika’, Uttarandhra Jala Sadhana Samiti,’Uttarandhra Rachaitalu and Kalakarula Vedika are some of the important organizations raising the voice of separate identity. While main stream political parties lay stress on the development of the region by pumping more funds, these organizations, skeptical of the policies of present political parties, do not believe in the conventional model of development, and want the region to have identity in the form separate state as a solution for its ills. All these organizations submitted memoranda to the Srikishna Commisison demanding preservation of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh or Kalingandhra state if the divisi
Similarly, intellectuals are coming together for concrete action against the injustice. Already scholars such us Prof K S Chalam have done a great deal of work on how the region has been underdeveloped. The idea of North Andhra or Kalingadhra , though still in infancy, is pushing the intellectual from all walks of life into action. Pror Chalam’s book “Kanumarugouthunna Kalingandhra Abhivruddhi” has prepared the battle ground for Kalingandhra.
The activity, though began as reaction to the Telangana movement, is now transforming into a social and economic justice movement. Sometime back a seminar was organized in Vizag on the development of North Andhra. A now a forum ‘ Uttarandhra Abhivruddi Vedika’ (Forum for Development of North Andhra) has been launched by region’s well known intellectuals.
Meeting on November 8
Consisting of academics retired bureaucrats, advocates, doctors, media persons and intellectuals the Uttrandhra Abhivriddhi Vedika announced that it would launch a campaign for justice across the region by organizing meetings to create awareness among the people. As part of this the Vedika is holding a meeting on November 8 in Vizag . The objective of the meeting is build a mass movement to exert pressure on the government for the redress of the region’s chronic issues pertaining to Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and rural areas of Visakhapatnam district.Former Vice Chancellor of Andhra University KV Ramana, Retired Chief Engineers ISN Raju, S.Satyanarayana, Uttrandhra Adhyana Vedika Convenor VGK Murthy, Secretary Ajay Sarma and other who are committed to the development of the region are participating in the meeting.
They are disillusioned with both the Union and State governments for not implementing the North Andhra package assured in AP Reorganization Act-2015. The Vedika is of the opinion that the State government has completely ignored irrigation by not allocating sufficient funds for the Vamsadhara Phase-2 in Srikakulam and Jhanjhavati in Vizianagaram. Vamsadhara phase-II needs around Rs.1000 crore but it was allocated only Rs.75 crore in 2015-16 Budget. Around Rs.500 crore should be allocated for Thotapalli project for the creation of distributory network to irrigate 1.24 lakh acres in Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts. Don’t these charges sound similar to the complaints from Rayalaseeama.