The Telugus are only the first to fall

South Indians, i.e., Dravidians, should be more worried about the split of the Telugu nation followed by its immediate consumption by the Aryans than the secession of Kashmir from India and its takeover by Pakistan, should this latter event actually occur.

But the problem is, we have been taught that it is wrong to think of ourselves as Dravidians. We are asked to think of ourselves as having no identity other than the illusive Indian one, and the fact that we have accepted this only makes it easy to divide, rule, depopulate, dissect, and ultimately remove us from the face of this planet.

These attacks are now visible in the political sphere w.r.t. the Telugus, but they have been happening in less-visible spheres from at least a thousand years all over South India. Dravidian literature, barring Tamil literature to some extent, for e.g., bears such a strong imprint of Aryan culture and customs, and on top of it all, language (i.e., Sanskrit), that it has ended up creating a fatal schism between the lettered and the unlettered among the Dravidians. As in all cases of colonialism, even in the case of the Dravidians, the literati identify more with the colonizers than with the colonized.

The literati are the elite of a people, and if they and their literature do little more than mimic the language of the colonizers in all possible ways - in the script, the choice of words, and the choice of writing topics - then that elite is easily subordinated to the elite of the colonizers. From among the latter have emerged the Aryan politicians in whose interest it is to divide and rule the Telugu people, and from among the former have emerged their local Telugu lieutenants.

It is a contradiction in terms to talk of increased autonomy for the states - linguistic states, mind you - and in the same breath to celebrate the history of the Sanskritization of Dravidian writing. There is a clear case to be made that the present predicament of the Telugus is due in no small measure to the fact that Telugu literature is heavily Sanskritized - perhaps more so than the literature of any other Dravidian language. There is hardly a word that Telugu writers are capable of coining today which is not Sanskrit, despite the fact that Telugu is a Dravidian language, not an Indo-Aryan language.

Plus, of course, since the land of the Telugu people lies on the border between the Dravidian and the Aryan regions of today, it is not surprising that theirs is the first Southern state in independent India to be so conspicuously divided and ruled by the Aryans who have been inching southwards from the beginning of India's history, dividing and destroying society on the way. I don't think it is possible to stop the Aryan takeover of South India unless the Dravidians stand up for their fundamental right to freedom and liberty in all walks of life, language being the most fundamental one.

So, the Telugus have fallen, and we Kannadigas are next in line. The question is: Do we even realize what is happening to us?

All parties must be treated equally

There are loud cries from India's anticorruption activists that political parties must come under RTI (right to information). This is, of course, a reasonable thing to ask, but there is an important detail that people seem to be forgetting.

There is a fundamental problem with bringing all political parties under RTI at one shot. And that is: existing parties such as Congress and BJP have grown to their current size and prominence without it! Not a little illegal money has brought them to where they stand today, as any voter will acknowledge, and as any party person will also acknowledge in private.

Now that these parties have grown fat, if it becomes mandatory for all political parties to come under RTI simultaneously, it will become nearly impossible for new and budding parties to have a fair chance in the overall game. Of course, even the big parties will get into trouble because they have to be transparent, but the new and budding parties will have greater trouble to even try and exist.

I am not trying to justify corruption but the right of all political parties—old and new, born and unborn—to be equally corrupt. What I'm trying to justify is the right of Indians to form new political parties with new ideologies and still have the opportunity to play a fair game, i.e., to be treated equally. The validity of an ideology has nothing to do with how much corruption is necessary to get it to win an election: such is the unfortunate state of affairs of the Indian polity.

If RTI is slapped on every political party at one shot, the small fish are going to be the real victims, not the big fish, and there is no proof that the ideologies of the small fish are any less valid than those of the big ones. Nor is it true that the existing political parties have exhausted all the possible ideologies that Indians can author.

What is the way out? Should we do away with the idea of bringing political parties under RTI? No, because that would not be the way of minimizing corruption. The correct way, I think, is to give all parties immunity from RTI for the same number of years as the oldest party, i.e., the Congress. This party has existed for about 128 years, and it has not come under the ambit of RTI till now. So, if a law to bring political parties under RTI comes into effect from today, the Congress must first come under it, followed by the next oldest party, and so on and so forth. All parties, including the new and unborn parties, must enjoy a full 128-year immunity from RTI. That is, if the electoral system in India has to be fair.

Slapping RTI on political parties is a wonderful idea, no doubt, but it has to be done in a phased manner without undermining democracy. To try and remove corruption from all the political parties at one shot, unfortunately, is undemocratic. Sorry.