Disgraceful Alterations to K.V. Ranga Reddy’s Autobiography
Mallik Garu sent me Chapters 22 and 23 of Late Sri K. V. Ranga Reddy’s recently published autobiography in English. As soon as I read the excerpts, I could not resist but write this quick note. Here is another classic case of hate-mongering being indulged by the separatists.
K.V. Ranga Reddy was the first Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and the current Rangareddi district was named after him. He was also a signatory of the Gentlemen’s agreement.
Sri Ranga Reddy titled his book “An Autobiography” when he published it in 1967. His book has been renamed by the separatists, in their infinite wisdom, to “From the Struggle and the Betrayal: The Telangana Story”.
I doubt if there is any precedence to changing an author’s book title after his death. This is even more profound considering that this is an autobiography- which is a book of very personal nature written by an author about himself.
If this is not enough, the separatists have inserted a brand new Chapter-23 to the autobiography, a full 40 years after Sri Ranga Reddy’s death. I am sure you can guess the nature of the title by now: “Origins of Telangana discontent – Telangana agitation”. The translator claims that Chapter-23 was constructed based on the notes left by Ranga Reddy before his death in 1970. Interestingly, K.V. Ranga Reddy said he could not write his autobiography due to his poor eye sight and hence he dictated his autobiography to Sri Subba Rao, a relative of Andhra Pitamaha.
K.V. Ranga Reddy in 1967 wrote: “Had I given this to any other writer, I was afraid he would make it more ornamental and flowery, which was not my intention. Because of my poor eye sight, I dictated the information in a fact by fact manner, without any exaggeration, to my friend Sri Kommavarapu Subba Rao. My word and his pen flowed smoothly from the beginning to the end. Sri Subba Rao ensured there were no errors of language”
So how would K.V. Ranga Reddy, who was so keen about accurate representation of his views, if he were alive, feel about changing the title of his autobiography and blatant insertion of a new chapter to the book?
I found a couple more fascinating aspects in the two chapters.
Separatists have been extensively citing Lucien D. Benichou’s book Appendex 12 where it is written: “The ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement was violated in 1956 itself when Sanjiva Reddy, the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh refused to name any Telangana minister as Deputy Chief Minister saying that the Deputy Chief Ministership is like the unwanted sixth finger of the hand.”
Reading the excerpts of autobiography I was surprised to learn that it is in fact Sri Ranga Reddy, when asked by press correspondents why he was not given the Deputy CM said: “What is there in Deputy Chief Ministership, more than what I have now? It is like ‘angushth-e-sheshum’ (sixth finger).”
When Ranga Reddy said “more than what I have now”, he was referring to the powerful cabinet portfolios he was holding including Home, Revenue, and Prohibition.
Let me say this in unambiguous terms- not creating the Deputy Chief Minister position was a blatant violation of Gentlemen’s agreement. However, there seems to be behind the screens consensus, as there was no major outcry by the Nizam leaders against the violation of the agreement. The issue of Deputy CM was rectified starting 1960 when Sri K.V. Ranga Reddy became the Deputy CM under Sri Damodaram Sanjeevaiah, J.V. Narasing Rao under Kasu Brahmananda Reddy, and B.V. Subba Reddy under P.V. Narasimha Rao. The Deputy Chief Minister requirement became void with Indira Gandhi’s six-point formula of 1973.
In conclusion, I found Chapter 22 more interesting as it clearly explains the healthy working relationship between the #2 man in the cabinet K.V. Ranga Reddy and the #1 man N. Sanjiva Reddy. It provides insights into the decision making process between Ranga Reddy and Sanjiva Reddy, wherein over 75% of the recommendations made by the former were approved by the latter.
K.V. Ranga Reddy was keen on not making his autobiography ornamental and flowery and wanted to avoid all exaggerations. Sadly, the separatists have blatantly flouted the wishes of Sri Ranga Reddy in order to further their agenda of hate.
Save Andhra Pradesh!
Hats off to you. I consider myself to be better educated about history than the most Telugu people I am familiar with. Even I was under the impression that it was Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy who gave that “sixth finger” analogy. This piece is an eye-opener for me. Thanks for putting this historic piece in context.
Having said that – earlier I have said that the problem is not the reality, but it is the perception of reality. The perception among the people of Nizam Telangana has been that they were robbed by the people from the coastal and Rayalaseema districts of the State.
Anecdotes and urban legends from these recurring movements for separation have created a parallel universe for many. I seriously doubt if some of the hate-mongers and the brain washers themselves know the facts. They are acting with their agenda and/or feelings. Unfortunately, regular people are falling prey for these elements.
For example, some have come to the conclusion that “pro-united Andhra’ stance is either agenda driven or “anti-Telangana” stance. I never could understand this oxymoronic belief that someone can be pro-unity and at the same time agenda driven against the very groups they want to be united with. I guess hate is a powerful emotion. So powerful that it cuts through any logic.