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Mainstream, Vol XLVII, No 48, November 14, 2009

The Kingdom of Money is here

Tuesday 17 November 2009, by T J S George

IMPRESSIONS

There is a strong case for Bellary to be made a separate State, if not an independent, sovereign republic. That such a consummation will save both Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh from political paralysis is only an incidental benefit. The real gain will be the restoration of Bellary’s ancient royal glory under new kings.

Bellary is today mistaken for a backwater area. Some think it is Sonia Gandhi’s birthplace. Some others believe that Sushma Swaraj went to school under a Bodhi tree there and emerged a Kannada bhasha visharad. Such rumours merely spread the impression that any Tom, Dick, Gandhi and Swaraj can descend upon Bellary in an election helicopter and claim proprietory rights over the district.

Actually, Bellary is a treasurehouse shaped over the centuries by the best of empire builders, the greatest of conquerors, the bravest of warriors. The Mauryas put their stamp on it followed by the Satavahanas and the Pallavas, the Kadambas, the Badami Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas. Then came the Kalyani Chalukyas, the Southern Kalachuryas, the Sevuna Yadavas and the Hoysalas, the Deccan Sultanates, the Marathas and the Mughals. Southern supremacy was re-established thereafter by Hyder Ali of Mysore.

What a splendid procession of cultures, customs, traditions and fashions! What a heritage! But have you noticed a glaring lacuna? From the Mauryas and Yadavas to the Chalukyas and the Hoysalas, everyone was there. But not the Reddys. The absence of such a heroic and ancient dynasty was a blot on the fair face of Bellary.

So God decided to step in for the second time. The first time was when the Rakshasa named Bella was working havoc in the region. Indra appeared and slayed the demon, thus giving Bella-ari its name. This time God did a double whammy. He put both the Kingdom of Bellary and the Kingdom of Kapada under Reddy dynasties. After all, Kadapa and Anantapur were part of Bellary until the British separated them.

As the two Kingdoms restored Bellary-Kadapa unity, the earth yielded great wealth. The new Kingdoms together threw away inter-State boundary markers, cut roads through forests, and generally tore to pieces what modern Rakshasas called the laws of the land. To ensure efficiency Bellary annexed Karnataka as its hinterland and Kadapa annexed Andhra Pradesh as its satellite.

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The two Kingdoms ignored political boundaries as well. The Kadapa dynasty wore Congress colours while the Bellary dynasty sported the BJP’s colours. The colours were only for decorative effect. On the ground, they were one and the same, united in their determination to show the meaninglessness of party labels. They were so successful that they could tell their High Commands to go jump into the Yamuna.

Collaborative money-making cemented their unity. The Kadapa Congress dynasty gave 17,000 acres of land to the Bellary BJP dynasty to set up a steel plant costing Rs 26,000 crores. Look at those figures again and recall how that small-time company, Tatas, struggled to get 997 acres in Singur and finally opened in Ahmedabad with a paltry investment of Rs 2000 crores. Not a mouse stirred in Kadapa’s 17,000 acres. In well-run Kingdoms mice are profoundly development conscious.

Now we can see how Bellary as a separate State can do wonders for India. It can fund all the steel mills in India and all the political parties in India and all elections in India. One source funding all parties will be great for unity. The Sovereign Republic of Bellary can do the same for the world. Imagine Pakistan and the Taliban and Israel and Hamas coming to Bellary for bail-out packages. Money will hold the world together. Money, the Ultimate Truth. Money, the Supreme High Command. Money, that answereth all things. Duddu-avasyamidham Sarvam.

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