Jayashankar Breathed Telangana Till His last

During the Nizam rule in Telangana, it was mandatory for all schools to sing a song praising the Nizam. And when the headmaster of the Markaji High School in Hanamkonda asked his students to sing the song, a Class VI student defied the rule and sang Vandemataram. Even after the headmaster warned him of suspension, the student refused to sing in praise of the Nizam. The boy was none other than Jayashankar who died at his residence in Warangal on Tuesday.

“Such was the love of Prof K Jayashankar for his country and its people. He always fought for what he believed in and it was his life’s ambition to see Telangana become a separate state and be a haven for the downtrodden,” recalls his friend and writer R Rama Sastry.

Jayashankar led a life of simplicity. He breathed his last in a flat in VSM Apartment on Road No 5 in Advocates Colony in Warangal. Except books and the bare essentials that are needed for a simple living, nothing else important catches one’s attention in the modest two-bedroom flat.

For people who were associated with him, Jayashankar is a name synonymous with separate Telangana movement. Probably, the only name that strikes a chord in the memory of three generations of Telangana activists, Jayashankar’s only aim was to achieve a separate Telangana state. But his death has left many people, including those who are fighting for separate statehood, in a shock.

Jayashankar was the ideologue behind the formation of Telangana Rashtra Samithi and helped its president K Chandrasekhar Rao formulate the party’s ideologies and strategies. Yet, Jayashankar was never a member of the party. “He played a vital role in convincing the national leaders and garner support for the Telangana movement at the national level. We made all efforts to provide him the best treatment available but when the doctors confirmed that no treatment can save him, it was a shock of my lifetime. I lost a great friend and guide with whom I was associated for over 10 years,” said Chandrasekhar Rao.

TRS activists recall that Jaya Shankar was always in the forefront of the agitation. He was the driving force behind KCR when the latter got vexed up with the slow progress and decided to quit the movement in 2008. He guided the party leadership to overcome the crises at various stages and strengthen it from the grassroot level.

A few friends recall him as a jovial person who cracked jokes on himself. In 1952, students of the City College proposed to stage a rally demanding enforcement of the Mulki rules. Though Jayashankar was supposed to participate in the rally, he could not reach the place on time.

But it saved his life as seven students died in the police firing on that day. “It would have been better to die that day than to witness the injustice meted out to the people of the region now,” he recalled on one occasion.

Telangana Joint Action Committee chairman M Kodandaram said that Jayashankar was a visionary who had not only played a vital role in the Telangana movement but also chalked out a plan for development of Telangana as a new state. The eminent academician was also a mentor to many scholars and academicians, his friends say.

TRS senior leaders Nayani Narasimha Reddy and Capt K Lakshmikantha Rao described Jayashankar as the only person with whom three generations of Telangana activists could relate. “He could communicate with intellectuals and laymen with equal ease and explain to on the need for a separate state. He was the only person who knew how to bring them all together on a single platform. That is why, he is loved by all people of Telangana,” they said.

[Courtesy: The New Indian Express]

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