World Telugu Conference: AP CM not invited


World Telugu Conference AP CM Chandrababu not invited

If language is a unifying force, the World Telugu Conference opening in Hyderabad on December 15 seems to be driving a wedge between the two Telugu states. People in Andhra Pradesh and those from that region who have settled down in Hyderabad feel outcasts as the preparations for the five-day meet are in full swing.

Reasons are many. First and foremost is AP Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and his whole team is said to have not been invited to the conference. This is seen as a deliberate snub to the former CM of undivided Andhra Pradesh who was also not invited for the recent Metro opening.

Since the conference is being organised by the TRS Government and its other organs to promote the Telugu language and literature and its culture at various forums, how could they ignore another Telugu state which was a part of the Telugu region until recently? That’s the question bothering ordinary people. It’s both amusing and confusing.

Amusing because, Hyderabad, for all practical purposes, is still the cultural capital of both states. Almost all major Telugu cultural events are held in the city. Above all, the Telugu film industry and print and digital media are all based in Hyderabad. Despite these ground realities, keeping AP out of picture is beyond one’s ken.

A look at the 52-page booklet listing various events at seven venues shows that the organizers have made sure to include one Telangana cabinet minister in every session, literary or otherwise. While Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate the conference, President Ramnath Kovind will be the chief guest at the concluding ceremony on December 19, both at LB Stadium.

Dissenting voices could be heard about the way the conference is being organised, including the way delegates and speakers have been chosen. But the only leader who has lashed out at the government is BJP MP Bandaru Dattatreya. He said the KCR government is using the World Telugu Conference for its publicity and to derive political mileage. He alleged that the institutions that had played stellar role when there were curbs on Telugu use (Nizam rule) and Telugu legends have been ignored.

However, Nizamabad MP and the Chief Minister’s daughter K Kavitha has a different take. In an interview with TOI, she said the aim of the global Telugu conclave is “to bring to fore the pivotal role of Telangana in shaping the language.” She claimed that all the 20 forms of Telugu language had come into being on Telangana soil.

It is obvious that the TRS government’s aim in convening the conference is to let the world know Telangana’s contribution to the language by hundreds of writers, poets and intellectuals whose works had not been promoted or recognised by the earlier (Andhra) governments.

No doubt, the region’s contribution to enriching the language is enormous. In fact, before the geographical boundaries were delineated, there was no divide among Telugu scholars except during erudite discourses. It is also an acknowledged fact that Telangana was instrumental in getting the classical language tag to Telugu when Tamil Nadu claimed it for Tamil.

But credit should be given where it is due. Denying it carries the risk of degenerating into language chauvinism.

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