Through the Federation several issues related to Telugu schools, teachers, text books, employment etc were brought to the kind notice of the government from time to time, trying to find some acceptable solutions. To demonstrate our strength, mammoth functions were held in the name of Ugadi, in which prominent personalities like former President, Dr N Sanjiva Reddy, State Governors, Chief Ministers of TN, AP & Pondicherry, Central & State (AP & TN) Ministers etc took part and acknowledged the services of Telugus in all spheres, for the all-round growth of the nation and the state. Former Chief Minister, Dr J Jayalalithaa was pleased to attend our Ugadi function in University Centennary Auditorium, along with Hon Sri N Janardhana Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, in 1992.
It was also decided, in every major function, to honor several Telugu senior citizens and freedom fighters, living in this state, to enable the present generation to know the contributions and sacrifices made by Telugus for the welfare of the state, in the past, thereby increasing brotherly relations and reverence of Tamilians and Telugus to each other, who have been living in this state in great harmony for centuries.
Our Federation remained purely non-political, dedicated mainly to improve Telugu culture, education, employment etc. in our state. The constructive activities of the Telugus, forming the largest linguistic minority in our state, numbering over two crores and about 30% of population, had been appreciated by the TN and AP Govts on several occasions. In recognition of his services as its President, Prof C M K Reddy has also been elected as the Chairman of Linguistic Minorities Forum of Tamil Nadu (LIMFOT) in the year 2001, by the leaders of 13 minority languages in the state, to focus the problems of linguistic minorities to the government, for appropriate redressal and his birthday (Oct 6th) is being celebrated by all as Mother Tongue Protection Day, since 2010.
The silver jubilee year of AITF has created a milestone in the history of Telugus in the state. A mammoth function, Tamizhaga Telungar Mupperum Vizha, organized under the banner, All India Telugu Foundation on 16th March, Sunday, to bring the Telugu people of various communities under one umbrella, to demonstrate unity and solidarity, in achieving the legitimate rights as linguistic minority in the state, while maintaining cordial relation with our Tamil brothers and sisters (as the name of the function suggests).
The colorful success of the first ever such function in March 2014, to bring every single Telugu person into one fold, in the name of Tamizhaga Telungar Mupperum Vizha (meaning combining three occasions, namely the anniversaries of veteran freedom fighter, Veerapandiya Kattabomman, celebrated ruler, Tirumalai Naicker and Ugadi), overflowing the largest indoor stadium (about 25,000 attended) had changed the mindset of over 2 crores of Telugus living in Tamil Nadu. A new hope of bright future had germinated in their minds, who were hitherto neglected, dejected and desperate. The proof of success of this meeting was the personal letter written by the Chief Minister to Prof CMKR, 10 days after the function, congratulating the success of historic unity of 23 Telugu speaking communities and soliciting our support in the ensuing Parliament elections (in May 2014).
Next step was to form District units, forging similar unity among all sections of Telugus at grass-root level and create a formidable strength (and vote bank) and political leverage.
Headed by Prof CMKR, the office-bearers of the Federation have been visiting every district in the state, to assemble important Telugu leaders drawn from various communities and form a District unit, who would in turn form the taluk, town, village level office bearers. We have already completed forming 20 district units (19 more to be done) and now in the process of enrolling members in all those districts. The ultimate objective, after forming all the districts, is to call for a mega state conference to bring at least 5 lakhs of Telugus to the venue, to demonstrate our strength and solidarity.
It is a known fact that Taml Nadu is unique in that largest number of linguistic minorities live in the state, forming a staggering 40% of population and in more than 50% of constituencies, their votes decide the winner in any election. It is a pity that such great potential was left unutilized for achieving the legitimate rights of the minorities in the state. We earnestly hope to achieve this, if we can succeed in the proposed State Maanaadu.
To mention a few examples : the state Agricultural University was named after great agricultural scientist, Dr G D Naidu by the then Chief Minister, Dr MGR. The same government, with scant respect on Telugu people, removed the name by an Act of the Assembly. None of the 16 Telugu MLAs in the Assembly at that time, could raise their voice against it nor decided to resign their Assembly membership in protest of such dishonor to a world renowned scientist.
About 30 years ago in Madras High Court, when there were 27 judges, 7 of them were Telugus. Now with the domination of some groups with vested interest, though the number of judges had risen to 60, there are only 2 Telugu judges. Likewise, in all constitutional posts, such as legislators, Ministers, Sevice Commission etc, there has been gradual reduction in the importance given to Telugus of the state, since there is no proper effective forum to demand proportionate representation for us.
In 2006, by bringing in Compulsary Tamil Learning Act, they removed the minority languages, such as Telugu, Urdu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi etc. from the school syllabus and left them to the option of the students to study if they wish, out of school hours. While all other states in the country have 3-language formula in schools, TN has 2-language formala for the past 50 years. So with English being compulsory, when Tamil also was made compulsory, the minorities had to forego their mother-tongue in all the schools, depriving their children the facility to learn or pursue higher studies in their chosen language. In due course, all the minority language departments in various colleges would automatically be closed for want of students. Any State Govt has the right to insist that their major language should be leaned in all schools, but denying the minorities to learn their mother-tongue is against the fundamental rights stipulated in the Constitution.
All these are happening because the Telugus in the state are not united, with divisions and subdivisions, based on communities and their subsects. Several leaders and stalwarts in the past had attempted to forge unity among the Telugu people of the state, but not successful. Going by the 45 years of track record of Prof C M K Reddy, by his consistant war against injustice done to the minorities in general and Telugus in particular, the 2 crores of Telugus living in the state have accepted him as the only consensus leader, who can inspire the unity and solidarity amongst us, in a constructive manner, demonstrate our political power, thereby achieving our legitimate demands, in areas like education, employment, reservation policies etc.
1.To collect statistics, according to language and community, so that actual population figures would come out
2.To include mother tongue of minorities in the school syllabus
3.To provide proportionate representation in Assembly, Parliament, Ministers, Judges Group-1 officers etc to all sections of population
4.To extend reservation for low economic group, under the creamy layer concept
5.To provide employment opportunities to those with Telugu mother tongue
6.To establish a Telugu Academy (as Urdu Academy, created for 4% Muslims), to oversee the activities regarding Telugu education and culture in the state
7.To erect Statues & Manimantapams to important Telugu leaders and freedom-fighters, such as Kattabomman, Tirumalai Naicker, Ondi Veeran, Omandurar, Rani Mangamma, Tanguturi Prakasam, Pitti Thyagaraya Chetty, etc
8.The TN Govt should treat us as sons of the soil and not alliens
Going by the 45 years of track record of Prof C M K Reddy, by his consistant war against injustice done to the minorities in general and Telugus in particular, the 2 crores of Telugus living in the state have accepted him as the only consensus leader, who can inspire the unity and solidarity amongst us, in a constructive manner, demonstrate our political power, thereby achieving our legitimate demands, in areas like education, employment, reservation policies etc.
Other advantage to Prof Reddy is that he was a Honorary Professor (without salary) and very popular teacher at Govt Stanley Medical College for 30 years (1970-99) and has tremendous following in medical profession in the state. He has been elected as the President of TN Medical Practitioners Association (TAMPA) by nearly 50,000 doctors in 1989 and continues to hold the post uncontested till date (inspite of the fact that he is a Telugu person), which speaks of his helpful attitude, good will, profound knowledge of various current issues in profession and cleanliness of organizing skills.
Many leaders belonging to various communities have an apprehension that if everybody is united, their importance may be eroded. To dispel such misconception, in various deliberations by the AITF President, he has been very categorical that all the existing Telugu organizations and leaders should continue to function as before, within their spheres. But they all were requested to attend/support, whenever a mega state-level meeting is arranged, to demonstrate our strength and solidarity. Various organizations are like pillars for the Federation, which is the superstructure. The whole building would be strong only if every pillar is strong.
For various reasons, best known to them, many Telugu industrialists and business magnates in the state have some reservations in supporting this historic movement and we feel we are not making as much progress as we wish, in taking this forwards, due to financial constraints. At this juncture, we earnestly look for benevolent help from outside the state and country from philanthropists and educationists, for the noble cause of protection of glorious mother-tongue in Tamil Nadu.
On 14/03/15, an unique meeting of the state leaders of all the 23 Telugu communities was organized at Chennai, presided by Prof CMKR, President of AITF, to discuss the future plans. Every single speaker in the historic meeting, solidly supported the leadership of Prof CMKR and appreciated the strategic plan of action of AITF for several decades and more so during the last 12 months, to revive the past glories of Telugus in the state.
1.Continue the activities of their organization as before, but once a year or so, when we call for a common meeting, everyone should attend, to demonstrate our strength and solidarity
2.Not to make any public statements that might give a feeling to others that we are not united. Sort out and settle their issues within the 4 walls
3.To conduct all Telugu functions in fitting manner, to propagate our language & culture
4.To attend all functions organized by Telugu Associations in large numbers
5.To ensure our mother-tongue is properly entered in the census enumeration sheet
6.To maintain good relations with Tamil brothers & sisters, local political leaders, especially Telugus and with the press. We love Tamil and have nothing against our Tamil brothers
7.To involve in community service activities and develop leadership qualities
8.Any agitation, if warranted, must be peaceful, follow Gandhian principles of Sathyagraha & nonviolence
9.Teach Telugu to your children & grandchildren at home
10.All these things you are doing to make our next generation live in this state with pride and dignity and with equal opportunities
For our NRI supporters, donating $1,000 for a noble cause is not very difficult, but in India it is big money and can certainly make a difference in advancing our movement faster and make it more productive. To maintain transparency, on-line accounts are maintained and e-remittance can be made, generating instantaneous receipt. We are providing our Bank account details to fecilitate Indian supporters to send their kind contribution by Bank transfer.