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Telangana agitation heading for disaster?

Last updated on: October 5, 2011 16:48 IST

Telangana agitation heading for disaster?

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Vicky Nanjappa

It's yet another day of turmoil in Andhra Pradesh. The violence over the demand for a separate Telangana state is growing uglier by the day. 

Buses are being burnt and people attacked; the protest has become unorganised.

The Andhra Pradesh Intelligence Bureau states that there are specific inputs that a section of the students are planning large-scale violence and there is a level of frustration that has crept in.

Some activists who spoke on condition of anonymity say that the mindset today is to attempt suicides and we have been witnessing several such incidents. However, during a couple of students' meetings it was also discussed that there is no point in just ending ones' life. The better option would be to create violence and then end a life.

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Telangana agitation heading for disaster?

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Dr Sangam Prithviraj, the student's union leader from Telangana, says that there is no clear cut signal from the government and this is only adding to the frustration.

"The government is trying everything under the sun to break the movement and we have information that some anti-social elements have been intentionally introduced into the Telangana region who are doing everything to make this movement a violent one," Dr Prithviraj said.

"The protest has gone out of gear for the moment. While we are trying to keep the movement as peaceful as possible there are a good number of people who are resorting to such violence, which shows the people of the region in very poor light," he added.

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Telangana agitation heading for disaster?

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Today, the decision-making power lies with the likes of Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrashekar Rao and Telanagana Joint Action Committee chairman Kodanda Ram.

They have intentionally not given the government any deadline and this is dragging the issue. They are still in a mood to compromise with the Union government, but are unable to do so because there is pressure back home today.

The likes of revolutionary balladeer Gadar, who have been part of this movement, are keeping a close watch and in case the decision makers fail to take a hard stance they are ready to take the movement away from them and make it completely people oriented.

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During a recent meeting chaired by Gadar, it was decided that they would let the politicians do their part and if they found them to be compromising then they would step in and snatch the movement away from them.

The IB says that although the Naxal angle to the movement has not come in as yet, there is a good chance of this happening.

However, nothing can be guranteed today, some activists claim. All these days there was no sympathy for the Naxal movement and hence they were not able to get into the main movement.

But today some students could go and seek their help in order to introduce violence into the movement.

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Pro-Telangana activists say that the primary reason for the naxal movement emerging in Andhra Pradesh is due to the merger of Telangana and Andhra. Had the merger not taken place then such an issue would not have cropped up at all.

Post 1969, many people from Telangana had been influenced by the Naxal movement and this ensured the birth of this menace. They felt that taking up arms was the only way to carry forward the movement. The same pattern seems to be visible even today.

Groups such as the Jan Shakthi, which came up post 1969, also had a great student presence in it. At that point in time it was the students who took part in the meeting and also resorted to violence. Today, the students who are part of this movement, seem to be speaking the same language.

Meanwhile, people's livelihoods have been hit, schools and colleges are shut, businesses are down and losses have totalled up to over Rs 3,500 crore.

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Dr Prithviraj says that they are aware of the sense of frustration creeping in.

He says, "There is a lot of effort being taken on our part to ensure that none of the activists go astray and take up arms. There is talk among few to adopt an eye for an eye policy, but it would be fatal for the movement and hence has to be stopped at any cost."

The politicians are not helping the cause either.

There is no fixed plan for carrying the Telangana agitation further. On the one hand, KCR speaks of throttling people and on the other Congress leader Keshava Rao speaks of killing himself. Many people take such statements seriously.

Santhosh, a student who has been visiting many universities to urge students to refrain from taking up arms, told rediff.com, "The leaders ought to instil confidence and ensure that everyone maintains calm."

"It was easy to fight for independence, as we knew who the enemy was. Today, the people of Telangana are confused as to who the enemy is. On one hand, we are fighting against the Andhra Pradesh government and also Union government. But what we have realised that our very own leaders are more interested in furthering their poltical interests and we have no idea who they have an arrangement with. All this is sure adding to the frustration and this is only proving to be dangerous."

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Image: TRS chief K Chadrasekhara Rao

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