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'Telangana march nothing but a game of T20 cricket'

By Vicky Nanjappa
September 30, 2012 14:54 IST
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Sunday's march for Telangana in Hyderabad is aimed at waking up the central government which, according to many, has been sitting quiet over the separate statehood movement.

However, many who are part of the movement feel that this march is nothing but a game of 'T20 cricket' which will have only some temporary excitement.

Although the people of Telangana and all the organisations associated with the movement have put up a united front, there is still trouble as many feel that this sort of a march is going to yield no result at the end of it. The march which will commence at 3 pm on Sunday and end at 7 pm, and the Joint Action Committee for Telangana has given an assurance to the government to this effect.

When a Sakala Jamma Samme was unable to yield any result at the end of it what good will such a march do, questions Dr Prithviraj, the leader of the Telangana Students Joint Action Committee.

"There was a protest that went on for 42 days where life had come to a stand still. Coal production was stopped and this had affected electricity supply in many other states in the country. That protest was intense, but some leaders decided to compromise and let go off the movement. In such an event will a march, which is more symbolic, have any effect on the movement? It is just a way of telling the government that the movement is still on," he says.

"Moreover it also a way for the leaders from Telangana to tell their voters that they have not forgotten the demand for a seperate state."

Many other protestors feel that the Telangana movement should have adopted the Egypt style of protest.

"That movement was sustained. In fact the JAC had even proposed this style of a protest a couple of months back and had sent a team to Egypt to speak with some of the leaders over there," he says.

Dr Prithviraj adds that if the JAC had even proposed an Egypt style of protest then it should have done that.

"The kind of march today, which will last just one day, will have no impact and it will all be forgotten by tomorrow."

"So far over 850 people have died fighting for Telangana and their efforts should not go to waste," say some students who have been a crucial part of this movement.

"The students are the ones who suffer the most and even today it is we who are suffering. Many of our friends who wanted to come down to Hyderabad to write their examinations have been sent back despite having a valid hall ticket. Why should we students make the compromise always while the so called leaders sit in New Delhi and work out a compromise? Look at the manner in which this march has been planned. Why did the leaders agree to the conditions of the government which in the first place is opposing the movement?", a student says.

However, members of the Students JAC say that the movement should continue and such protests and marches conducted everyday "until the government agrees to our demand".

"For the past ten days people from various parts of Telangana have not been allowed to enter into Hyderabad. This itself is an indication that the government is trying to curb the movement. The police is trying its best to keep the youth out of the movement. On one hand the government gives permission for the movement while on the other they set terms and conditions and cause a great deal of hindrance."

Dr Prithviraj adds that the first thing that ought to be done is ensure that the ministers and MLAs from Telangana resign.

"Why are they sitting on the fence and not taking a decision?
I feel that all those people who have come to Hyderabad from the rest of Telangana should stay back in the capital and not return. We need to crowd up Hyderabad to such an extent that it causes a great deal of pressure on the government," he says.

The students also question the attitude of the JAC which has said that a statement from the government is sufficient for them. "How many statements are they expecting? The Union home ministry had said that the process for the formation of Telangana has begun. The same was echoed in Parliament too. Despite none of this being acted upon, why does the JAC continue to ask for statements?" students ask.

"According to us the only assurance that can be given and believed is when the Parliament passes a bill. Statements are not enough at this juncture since the Parliament has ditched the people of Telangana many times before."

Despite all these differences all organisations related to the Telangana stir are putting up a united front and will take part in the march.

"We will take part but there will be no result and that is a given", the students say. "We feel that lobbying in New Delhi will not help. What needs to be done is stall the administration in Hyderabad and each one of us will have to take the bullet for the movement".

Dr Prithviraj says that even if the JAC calls off the movement, the protests will continue in the villages.

"They have managed to block 1.5 lakh people from entering into Hyderabad, but all these people will still protest in their villages. Not a single inch in the whole of Telangana will be empty and each space will be filled up by a protestor," he adds.

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