'Andhra migrants never became part of Hyderabad culture'

Hyderabad, July 16 (IANS) Migrants from different parts of India and even other countries became part of Hyderabad's composite culture but the people who came from Andhra region never accepted the local culture, a senior educationist said Tuesday.

Stating that the Telangana issue has cultural dimension, G. Haragopal, a National Fellow at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), said migrants from Andhra came to Hyderabad with a sense of arrogance and cultural superiority.

Andhra migrants never accepted Telugu spoken in Telangana which has an Urdu mix, contended Haragopal, a former professor of political science at the University of Hyderabad, at a workshop here.

He told IANS on the sidelines of the workshop that the migrants insulted the local culture by making villains and comedians in their movies speak Telugu with Telangana accent.

Haragopal said this was in total contrast to the migrants from other parts of the country becoming part of the composite culture.

"They never felt like outsiders in Hyderabad. University of Hyderabad is the best example of this composite culture. We have people from 44 different cultures," he added.

The two-day workshop on "Hyderabad to Cyberabad" which began Tuesday is jointly organised by the British Deputy High Commission and TISS.

Haragopal, who is also a prominent civil liberties leader, described Hyderabad as a politically controversial city.

"Today, Delhi rulers are not discussing anything except Hyderabad city and its future. The status of Hyderabad became contesting point because of controversies, largely cultural but mainly political and economic," he said.

He pointed out that 16 families from Andhra own one lakh acres of land in Hyderabad and they feel their capital is very safe.

Haragopal said after the 1969 movement for separate Telangana state, the investors from Andhra had left Hyderabad.

"They went back to Madras (now Chennai) but since they already had a fight for Madras, they were not allowed to invest in industry. The only channel open for their capital was films," he said.

Telugu film industry started making more films than even Hindi films and from the same industry N. T. Rama Rao became the state's chief minister, he said. "This was something unthinkable during Telangana movement. This explains how the society and the political economy works," he added.

Arjun Appadurai, Goddard Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, Tata Chair Professor at TISS delivered inaugural address. Andrew Mc Allister, British Deputy High Commissioner, Hyderabad and Lakshmi Lingam, Deputy Director, TISS, also spoke.

Some participants raised the issue of Telangana and voiced their views. One of the participants C. Venkatesh underlined the need to keep Andhra Pradesh united in the larger interest of the country.

Another participant expressed his concerned about the future recent migrants to the city in the event of state's division.

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