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G.O. 610 & TELANGANA: History is Repeating Itself
Dr. K. Jayashankar (Former Vice-Chancellor)

The ongoing debate about the much publicised G.O. 610 has made one thing clear, i.e. the history is repeating itself. This order issued by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in December 1985 and required to be implemented by March 1986 is yet to be implemented. It has created a situation similar to the one created 34 years ago by G.O.36 of January 1969. If one recalls as to what had happened then, it should not be difficult to visualise as to what would happen now. The G.O. 610 will not be implemented - it is as simple as that.

The 1969 Fiasco:

In an attempt to sort out the issues that had contributed to the Separate Telangana Movement of 1968-69, the State Government of the time issued an order that has come to be known as G.O. 36 of January 1969. It was aimed at repatriating about twenty five thousand non-Mulki (non local) employees illegally appointed in the Telangana region, to their respective places and appointing local candidates in the resultant vacancies. But, the non-Mulkies appointed in the Telangana region challenged not only G.O.36 but also the very validity of what were known as Mulki Rules. After a prolonged litigation, the Supreme Court of India upheld the constitutional validity of Mulki Rules and facilitated implementation of G.O. 36. The political elite of Andhra and the non-Mulki employees appointed in Telangana, however, did not digest it. The result was a violent movement for a separate Andhra state. The leaders of that movement demanded either scrapping of the judgement of Supreme Court of India validating Mulki Rules, and also other safeguards, or bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Andhra and Telangana states. It should be recalled that, among others, Chandrababu Naidu and Venkaiah Naidu were in the forefront of that movement. The Government of India of the time yielded to the pressure of political might and money power of the majority region and nullified, by an act of parliament, the judgement of Supreme Court of India, besides scrapping several safeguards given to the people of Telangana as a precondition for the formation of Andhra Pradesh. Consequently, all irregular appointments were regularised, depriving local candidates of their rightful claims over those jobs.

The Present Scenario:

After nullifying the Mulki Rules, the so called Six-point formula - a diluted form of safeguards - was foisted on the people. Even this formula has been, and continues to be, violated with impunity, robbing the people of Telangana of whatever little was left in the name of safeguards. It was estimated that between 1973 and 1985 around fifty nine thousand non locals were recruited in the Telangana region. As a result, the people of the region became once again restive and the government was compelled to issue G.O. 610 to rectify the situation. The sum and substance of G.O.610 was to repatriate all non local candidates illegally appointed in the Telangana region to their native zones and appoint local candidates in the resultant vacancies. The entire process was to be completed by the end of March 1986.

But, no one remembered even the existence of this order, until the revival of demand for a separate state of Telangana gathered momentum in 1996. The State Government which was in slumber for so long a time then woke up and started making promises of implementing this G.O. About three years ago, a one-man commission was appointed to work out the modalities. Even before the commission completed its work, this task was entrusted to a house committee of the state legislature. It is nearly two years since this house committee was appointed, but it is yet to complete its work. It has so far given only an interim report.

It should to be noted that the number of employees recruited between 1973 and 1985, violating the statutory requirements, was estimated to be around fifty nine thousand. There could be difference of opinion about the figure. Whatever the number, it was as in December 1985. Since then, neither the G.O. has been implemented nor making illegal appointments stopped. Therefore, the first thing to be done in this regard is to work out the number of these appointments made from 1973 till now, spanning a period of nearly two decades. According to several unofficial, but reliable, surveys the figure has already crossed two Lakhs. The house committee of the state legislature has not yet done anything tangible to arrive at the number of illegal appointments made in several departments at various levels i.e. district, zone, and region. It has not, so far, looked in to the appointments made in the state level offices and organisations to ascertain whether equitable employment opportunities were provided to the people of this region. It is yet to look in to the complaints regarding the appointments made on the strength of bogus certificates of nativity. It has, as of now, identified only a few hundred positions, mostly in the capital city and a couple of small departments. The bulk of the work is yet to be done. The interim report of the house committee is, therefore, like the tip of an iceberg. Even this interim report has not been implemented so far. On the contrary, unnecessary legal cobwebs and procedural wrangles are being created. Meanwhile, the tenure of present legislative assembly itself is coming to an end. With this scenario, can any one expect that this order is going to be implemented? It is evident that what had happened to G.O.36 of 1969 is bound to happen to G.O. 610 of 1985 as well - history will repeat itself.

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