‘Telangana March’ – We need a democratic level playing field

By: J R Janumpalli

The decision by TJAC to undertake a Telangana March on 30th September is a welcome move to revive the intensity of Telangana Movement, in the face of indefinite intransigence of Central government.

The programs contemplated by Telangana Joint Action Committee for Telangana March are quite comprehensive and they can be carried out by us, if we are allowed to do. All along in our agitation we were very open and were projecting our plans beforehand. The government knew all our plans and was keeping their forces in place to thwart them. Many a times, government was successful to scuttle our efforts. Palakurthy, Sirisilla were such examples.

Our people struggled heroically in the face of the onslaught by police and political goondas and made these political raids meaningless. But, the raiders claimed that they were successful since they reached their destinations. Even the media also sided with them. Those incidents have happened in the hinterland of Telangana, not in the city. In the city, government has an advantage. The government has assembled a very large force of special police and para military forces in the city, for the very express purpose. They can deploy them anywhere they want, with in a very short time. The all Andhra administration and the ‘Andhra’ government are determined to spend any amount of money and engage any number of forces to show our agitation in poor light. They are motivated and ruthless. Added to this our Telangana legislators and ministers will not lift even a little finger to help our people. They are simply sold out to Andhras for political pelf.

The Governor, and the Central government is in cahoots with the state government to defeat our programs. Our people were fighting to foil their efforts with great spirit and have suffered a lot. There is some disquiet in the people that we are not able to carry on our legitimate struggle in a democratic environment and were subjected to autocratic suppression, like bind overs, preventive custodies, foisting hundreds of false criminal cases, siege of university campuses etc.

The govt. is also helping anti-telangana forces both political & political goondas against our agitation. From the beginning, we were never allowed to express our grievance in a democratic level playing field. The government has a blinkered outlook against us like the British in our independent struggle.

I do not think it will be different this time also. It would be very distressing, if these thoughts and the elaborate efforts on Telangana March are going to be thwarted by the insensitive govt with their brutal force. We are living in a democratic state. We have every freedom to express our protest with dignity, without the bind-overs, preventive arrests, and sieges in our own city of Hyderabad.

When government can provide TDP and YSRCP thousands of police and much more to undertake undemocratic, politico-criminal raids on Telangana, can’t the same government allow Telangana people to come out in Hyderabad city peacefully to present their legitimate protest? Do we have any anticipatory legal recourse for it? If it is there, are we lax in using it? We cannot remember such prolonged ‘Police Raj’ in other states of India, for such a long time of 3 years, while Assembly is functioning. Somehow it gives us a feeling as if Telangana is part of a country ruled by dictators.

There is a need for TJAC and the other concerned to think on this very important issue, to engage Central, State governments, Judiciary or other Civil society organizations in whatever manner it is possible to create conditions to present our peaceful democratic protest without fear of suppression and brutality by government. Then only we can show to the entire nation what ‘Telangana movement is all about and all these strenuous efforts of ours would be meaningful. It may sound little far-fetched in the administrative environs we are in. But that is the essence of the problem, the Telangana people are facing. It becomes our duty to find a solution to it, if we can, to circumvent the callousness of the government.

Let us hope that ‘Telangana March’ will start an unremitting campaign till we achieve our statehood. For, our past programs, however strong they were, did not get the desired results.

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