Oppressed sections are key players in separate Telangana డిసెంబర్ 18, 2009Posted by Telangana Utsav in agitation, BCs, Chenchu, Congress, Culture, G.O 610, Gond, Hyderabad, Identity, KCR, Koya, Lambada, MIM, Mulki, Muslim, politics, Rayalaseema, SC, Sonia, ST, Telangana, Telugu, TRS, universities, Y S Jagan, youth.
Lower castes to play key role in separate state
Mir Ayoob Ali Khan, TNN 18 December 2009, 03:57am IST
HYDERABAD: Even as Telangana – the scene of protests, vandalism and fasts for a separate state about eight days ago – has gone silent, some say that it is only a lull before the storm. “We will restart the agitation the moment we get an impression that the central government is trying to go back on its promise,” a student leader said.
He admitted that the central government going on the backfoot was a possibility considering the din intensifying for Samaikhya Andhra in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions. “The T-movement is about to erupt again. People here are shocked at the way the upper castes in coastal Andhra are trying to stop the creation of Telangana. The coming days will be volatile and decisive,” Madan Mohan, joint action committee (JAC) leader in Warangal told TOI.
“The movement for separate Telangana was led mainly by students, but the movement in Andhra is leader centric with upper castes and those with business interests supporting it,” the student leader said. “The JAC is dominated by students from the backward classes. Leaving out the KCR family, the movement in Telangana is indicative of the people’s aspirations,” says S Simhadri, professor of Osmania University.
Leaders spearheading the Samaikhya Andhra movement are Lagadapati Rajgopal, Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, J C Diwakar Reddy, N Chandrababu Naidu, and their followers. Simhadri claims: “Look at the leadership there. None of them is from the lower castes. There are Kammas, Reddys and Kapus.” He further adds: “All of them have now united. At a latter stage the Reddys of Rayalaseema will be fighting the Kammas of coastal Andhra for domination. And the Kapus will look for the right kind of allies to grab power.”
Others believe that Telangana as a separate state would be unique in the sense that it will be ruled by a combination of SC, ST, BCs and minorities. It may not be possible in the beginning but within a short period the caste and class equations would drastically change, they feel.
“The Reddys and Velmas who ruled the state for ages would have to accept a more realistic role as their numbers would be much less once the state is formed,” Simhadri asserts.
Bhangya Bhukya Naik, another expert on the socio-political history of Andhra Pradesh, agrees with Simhadri. “A section of Andhra politicians feels that the people of Telangana lack in leadership qualities. This is bunkum and reflects the colonial mentality. The changing scenario would throw up better leaders,” he says.
Naik and Simhadri also believe that minorities in Telangana with over 13 per cent population would be playing a creative and important role in the new state. If MIM or any other political group from among the Muslims join hands with other backward classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes the number of community representatives in the legislature would increase to a level where their support becomes crucial for any ruling combination.
“KCR or his ilk will not be able to control the upsurge coming from below, that is the depressed sections of society. Telangana is a land of service castes, artisans and tribes like Gonds, Koyas, Chenchus, Lambada, etc. Most of the student leaders are from these sections. The movement will go on until these sections gain power,” predicts I Tirumali, an expert on AP based in New Delhi.