'K Chandrasekhar Rao is fooling people of Telangana'
A day after the Srikrishna Committee report on Telangana was made public, there appears to be a clear divide between students and politicians fighting for separate statehood.
The Students Joint Action Committee has now decided to boycott the Telangana Rashtra Samiti as well as the political JAC on Telangana, as it feels that these two wings have become a mouthpiece for the ruling Congress in both the Centre as well as Andhra Pradesh.
Dr Sangam Prithviraj, who leads the students at the Osmania University in Hyderabad, says that they were foolish to trust TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao and that now all students in all the 10 districts of Telangana will take the movement forward themselves.
In this interview with rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa, Dr Prithviraj says that the key thing is to spread awareness against the TRS, as it is important that the people of the region know what exactly their whole gameplan is. The movement can progress only if the likes of the TRS are kept away from the movement.
How has the overall reaction to the report on Telangana been so far?
It has been bad. From day one, we have boycotted the committee and we will continue to do so. The report has no meaning for us.
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Image: File photo shows Osmania University students protesting
'KCR has been speaking the language of the government'
There appears to be a clear divide between the political and students' wing fighting for Telangana. Could you elaborate?
The students JAC has been following the statements issued by the political JAC and TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao. In no way does it indicate that they are in support of the movement.
KCR cannot deny the fact that it is the students who have taken this movement forward. So why does he not support the students and why is he making statements opposite to what we have been making? If you listen or read his statements carefully it is very meek by nature and that all is being done for the sake of public consumption.
Is a statement good enough for you to come to such a conclusion?
It all started when the committee was instituted in the first place. We had appealed to them not to go before it, as we had questioned its very formation. What was the need for them to go before it? They had done so at the insistence of the Congress.
Moreover, KCR now says that the report has nothing against Telangana in it. In fact, he goes on to say that the report is in favour of Telangana. Until Thursday afternoon, he was singing a different tune and now the tone has changed. We have no doubt that he has been speaking the language of the government.
Image: TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao
'The time for talks is over now'
The committee was formed for the specific purpose of understanding the problems of Telangana. Why should you oppose it outright?
If you recall, there was a statement made by (Union Home Minister P) Chidambaram last year in which he said that the process for Telangana had begun. This was said in Parliament and we thought that the issue had been sorted out. When such is the case why go and form a committee? What was worse was that the TRS was in agreement of the same at that time and despite this they went ahead and appeared before the committee. This was the last straw for all of us and we stopped trusting the party after that.
If you look at it with an open mind there are certain positives in the report...
No we don't want to look at a report of a committee, which itself was formed to divert the issue. It was a conspiracy to form the committee. Moreover, the committee has not done a thorough job. Out of the 10 districts in Telangana, it visited only seven. Trust me we are not criticising for the sake of it and we have a good case on hand to throw the report out.
What about the TRS? Don't you want to have talks with them?
No, the time for talks is over now. Tomorrow onwards we will start to chalk out a plan to take the movement forward. However, the first thing we have on mind is to expose the TRS and how it is fooling the people.
Image: Pro-Telangana students being detained by policemen
'Next three months will see an alternate to the TRS'
A general awareness campaign against the TRS will be launched in every nook and corner of Telangana and only once the people get to know the real face of the TRS will the movement go forward.
What about the political JAC?
That is controlled by the TRS and we have no trust in it. Every action taken by the JAC is against the movement. We are not saying this for the heck of it. We are ready to sit across and debate the matter. I dare the TRS to come before us and debate this issue. We will debate their response to each issue regarding Telangana.
You must be aware that there is a political party needed to carry forward your demands.
Yes, I am aware of that. The next three months will see an alternate to the TRS. We students plan to do something to that effect. Before that we need to expose the TRS in public. In addition to this we also plan on launching a new channel, which will speak about our cause. The channel owned by the TRS also blacked out the lathi (cane) charge against the students at the Osmania University on Thursday. We have no faith in them any longer.
Image: Pro-Telangana activists being detained by the police