North Korea

North Korea
The always bombastic and unpredictable North Koreans go hysterical again. This time the country is prepared to "go to war" with South Korea because that country is playing loudspeakers directed at North Korean territory. A headline from a UK paper reads, "More than 50 North Korea submarines 'leave their bases' as war talks with South continue "

Sunday, August 11, 2013

India's new state of Telegana

Recently, India's Parliament established a new entity, the state of Telegana. For American's it would be like California turning the northern 1/3 of the state into the "state of Jefferson." Teatree suspects there are many examples of stable countries who have a legacy of jurisdictions that don't really make sense, but change is hard.

But back to India, Telegana is birthed with a full 40 million residents, and a dominant language of Telegu. It was created with a lot of mixed motives by the Parliament, according to a July 30 BBC article - some sincere, others more of short term electoral calculations. But the region has had a long history (50 years) of struggle to be recognized as distinct, and how decisions are often made, enough factors came together at the same fleeting time to reach a tipping point. Some scholars note that this newest distinction also follows India's long trajectory of attempting to decentralize governance, and that the government has moved consistently towards more homogenous language groupings in its 28 states (now 29).

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A big picture map, Teatree didn't run across an internet map that shows the new state yet ... India has a population of nearly 1.3 billion. Graphic from

There are 22 "official" languages recognized in India, and hundreds of dialects. The term "official" does not denote privilege or status, as much as convenience and practicality for governance, documents, etc. In fact India does not have a recognized or preferred national language though Hindi and English are used for formal documents. Teatree thinks of Canada with its bilingual approach with French and English that causes tensions, and the US history of language that still riles people in terms of goals of assimilating and creating a unity of identity. The US does not have an official language either, though as with India, its documentation is in English (though not the proper British version ...). Kenya is another example where English and Swahili are the recognized national languages, but most citizens there know those two plus their tribal language at a minimum.

Starting with major language groups, here's what India looks like ...Apparently India's national language of Hindi is represented by the lime green color. (graphic from wikipedia)

Here's India with its modern states, and the predominant language group within each state. graphic from

So here's the newest boundary.

The state of Telegana was hived off the previously large state of Andhra Pradesh (graphic from a BBC article)

What is also interesting is that Hyderabad, the capital of the previous large state is to be the combined capital of both states, at least for a period of time. From another BBC article, "Congress party spokesman Ajay Maken said that Hyderabad would remain the common capital for the two states for a period of at least 10 years until Andhra Pradesh develops its own capital." Hyderabad is one of India's major cities, modern in many ways (tied to internet development and servicing for other countries)and the home of Facebook in India. Telegana itself is a rural, agrarian-oriented landscape, so a more familiar urban/rural disconnect is apparent here.

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Hyderabad, India with a population of nearly 7 million. Photo from wikipedia

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Looks like an old photo of the city, judging from the cars ... but maybe not. photo from

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Nice shot of a newly dubbed Teleganese family on the move. photo from

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Facebook in India, located in Hyderabad, reminds us of the younger generation of this second most populous country in the world living a life far from their grandparents' lives.

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