This Article is From Aug 03, 2013

Telangana decision forces Andhra students to ask: Is my job safe?

Hyderabad: With the announcement of a new Telangana state, a sense of fear and insecurity has crept in among the thousands of students from all over Andhra Pradesh waiting to make a career in Hyderabad, which is supposed to remain the common capital for the next ten years. The restive students are now seeking clarity on whether or not their jobs will remain safe as anti-Andhra sentiments flare up in the city.

Their fears are not unfounded. Yesterday, K Chandrasekhar Rao, chief of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti or TRS, suggested that all government employees from southern districts of Andhra Pradesh who have 'illegally' taken jobs that belong to Telangana people, must go back.

Hyderabad, which eventually will go to Telangana, sees thousands of students travelling here each year in pursuit of higher education. Some of the best management and engineering colleges in the country are here.

Among the few students who agreed to open up about their concerns since the Telangana announcement are Reshma and Deepthi, both aspiring civil servants.

Reshma from Rajahmundry in coastal Andhra fears facing intolerance in Hyderabad because of where she belongs to and the accent of her Telugu. "We used to have jokes around each regions' accent. We never really take that seriously. If we do, it might flare up and get serious," she says.

The perception that at least 1.5 lakh jobs that should have come to locals have been taken away by 'outsiders' has been one of the main grouses of people behind the Telangana movement.

Deepthi, from Rayalaseema, remains anxious, "There is no clarity on how the reservations are going to be like. How many seats for Telangana people and how many for Andhra? Jobs must be based on talent, not region."

Meanwhile, students who led the movement for a separate Telangana say they would form a committee to register complaints, if any, of intolerance that may be meted out to a person from outside the Telangana region.