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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hundis places at Andhra Pradesh Secretariat ... and Lake View Guest house !!!!!!

The neighbouring state of Andhra has a long and chequered history dating back to Vedic ages. Andhra was mentioned in the Sanskrit epics such as Aitareya Brahmana – the language ‘Telegu’ is also centuries old.  One of its earliest rulers were Satvahanas …. At some point of time, parts of Andhra especially the Krishna valley were ruled by Pallava kingdom too.  Under the Vijayanagara Empire founded by Harihara and Bukka, many places flourished.  Qutb Shahi dynasty held sway for over hundred years. In Colonial India, Northern Circars became part of the British Madras Presidency.  After independence, Nizam  wanted to retain the independence of the Princely Hyderabad State from India, but the people of the region launched a movement to join the Indian Union.  After Potti Sreeramulu's death, the Telugu speaking areas i.e., Andhra state was carved out of Madras Statein Oct 1953 with Kurnool as its capital city; in Nov 1956 States were reorganised and Andhra Pradesh was formed – Feb 2014 saw another division – this time carving out of Telengana State comprising of 10 districts.  – this post is not about the history of Andhra Pradesh though !

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The present day Andhra Pradesh is still the  eighth largest state ….. and today’s The Hindu reports that a  gleaming steel hundi installed on the premises of the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat with ‘Andhra Pradesh Government Capital Development Fund’ inscribed on it was the cynosure of all eyes on Saturday.

Initially, no one had a clue as to whose decision it was to install the hundi – set up at the entrance of the ‘L’ block – when employees had already donated money equivalent to two days’ basic pay towards a fund for the construction of the new capital. Some had even parted with their gold ornaments.

 Finally, it turned out that it was the Finance Department’s decision to place two sealed hundis – one at the Lake View Guest House and the other at the Secretariat – as visitors calling on the Chief Minister were leaving cash and valuables towards the capital fund at his office. Keeping track of such donations was becoming cumbersome and the issue was brought to the notice of Finance Department officials by the Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary.

That is when the department directed the Endowments Department to install two hundis so that those visiting the Chief Minister could drop their donations in the container to ensure safe custody of valuables and cash, and to prevent any one from tampering with the contributions, sources said. The Secretariat Employees’ Association welcomed the arrangement as it would be convenient for visitors to deposit their contributions. Some suggested that taking a cue from the employees, who were among the first to announce their contribution for the capital fund, people’s representatives too should think of donating their monthly emoluments for the cash-strapped State.

And here is a report from the NewIndianExpress – the government of cash-strapped Andhra Pradesh on Friday began holding a two-day orientation programme for the legislators of the state Assembly at a five-star hotel here to impart best parliamentary practices to them by spending around Rs 10 lakh. Interestingly, the first day session of the programme, which was aimed at making the lawmakers know about the proceedings of the House, took place in an ostentatious manner exactly a few days after the state government’s directive for austerity measures to contain public expenditure. After participating in the training classes, the MLAs were taken to a guided tour to Falaknuma Palace, located in the old city of Hyderabad, in the evening. Later, the legislators were entertained in the form of cultural programmes. Though some of the members of the YSRC and MLCs of the Congress also took part in the first day session, many of the lawmakers did not show much interest in the speeches of the speakers, who include Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

There are hundis in every temple ~ when the collections go up (in Tamil Nadu), temples are taken over by HR&CE – the offerings go to the Govt – has many layers of administration and not all is spent for the purpose for which the offerings made …  ~ and now Govt installs hundi in their official premises… !!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

20th July 2014

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