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Telangana tailspin – Inder Malhotra జూలై 14, 2011

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in 1969, agitation, Andhra, Congress, Economy, elections, heritage, Hyderabad, Identity, Mulki, politics, regionalism, Sonia, SRC, TDP, Telugu, TRS.
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Telangana tailspin
Inder Malhotra, The Asian Age, Jul 13, 2011

Of all the wounds that the Congress-dominated United Progressive Alliance has inflicted on itself in its second tenure (UPA-II), arguably the worst is the dithering over the burning Telangana issue. The thundering silence of the top leadership of the government and the Congress Party amidst tempestuous turmoil on the ground speaks for itself.

The duration for which the festering sore has been left unattended is appalling.

To put the UPA-II’s nay the Congress’ acts of omission and commission in perspective, the problem’s history needs to be encapsulated. At the time of Independence, indeed until September 1948, Telegu-speaking Telangana was part of the multi-lingual princely state of Hyderabad, ruled by the Nizam who was hell-bent on making Hyderabad an independent entity, a design in which Pakistan was complicit. But his people, fed up with his autocratic rule and depredations of the notorious Razakars, would have nothing of this. A sideshow was the Communist Party of India’s revolt against both the Nizam and Independent India. It was also crushed. (మరింత…)

Balagopal – A Chapter in the History of Human Rights Movements నవంబర్ 19, 2009

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Articles, Culture, Economy, Identity, Media, politics, Telangana, Telugu.
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Remembering Balagopal

A One in a Century Rights Activist

K G Kannabiran

K Balagopal metamorphosed from a committed believer in the Naxalbari movement to a human rights activist, defining the terms of his transition. In doing so, he rejected the choice of social transformation by violence, opting instead for such change through a struggle for rights. But the problem is that rights campaigns by themselves will not lead to social transformation. As a lawyer, Balagopal showed himself as the only lawyer of the poor of his generation with a reputation for competence. The poor knew that he was about the one lawyer who believed in their right to life. In his competence that equalled the lawyers of the affluent he was visible. Balagopal made the Court conscious that he was appearing for a citizen or a collective of citizens for whose benefit the Constitution was created.

Writing about Balagopal is like scripting the history of the human rights movement. For him the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the announcement of the rights that inhered in the people and the societies in which they lived. The third preamble to the Declaration “if man is not to be compelled to have recourse as a last resort to rebellion against tyranny and oppres¬sion, that human rights be protected by the rule of law” became the focus of all his human rights activities. Writing about him involves penning his metamorphosis from a committed believer in the Naxalbari movement to a human rights activist and he defined the terms of his transition. The movement came at a period of crisis in the late 1960s and the only method governments knew to tackle unrest was to unleash repression. Pre-constitutional laws intended to suppress anti-colonial struggles were all adapted by the president of India by way of abundant caution. By the time the Naxalite movement arrived at Srikakulam, the Constitution was around 18 years of existence; Nehru, “the fixed asset” we inherited, was dead in 1964 and, after some delays, the dynastic succession was found to be the proper thing for the country. Post-independence, the Marxist-Leninist (ML) movement threw a comprehensive challenge to the Constitution and its value system. (మరింత…)

Human Rights activist Balagopal passes away అక్టోబర్ 9, 2009

Posted by Telangana Utsav in Essays, Identity, Koya, livelihoods, Polavaram, SEZ.
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Balagopal

Rights activist Balagopal passes away

Express News Service, 09 Oct 2009

HYDERABAD: K Balagopal, who was at the forefront of the human rights movement in Andhra Pradesh for over a quarter of a century, is no more.
He died here tonight following a heart attack.

Around 9:45 p.m., the 57-year-old experienced discomfort at his home in Priya Colony, Mehdipatnam, on account of incessant hiccups, and this was shortly accompanied by chest pain. He was rushed to a hospital in the vicinity but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Friends and acquaintances rushed over on receiving the news.

Balagopal is survived by his wife, Vasanta Lakshmi, a journalist, and son, Prabhata, an Intermediate student.

A social scientist, Balagopal was the most visible civil rights activist in the State, taking up varied issues, from the killing of Naxalites in fake ‘‘encounters’’ and the arrest of villagers on the pretext that they gave shelter or food to Maoists, to the plight of those displaced by Special Economic Zones.

A brilliant mathematician, Balagopal began his career as a teacher in Warangal but soon turned full-time human rights activist. Along with another well-known civil libertarian, KG Kannabiran, he led the AP State Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC) for many years. Later, he floated the Human Rights Forum (HRF).

Balagopal was arrested several times (and was once even kidnapped by Green Tigers, a self-styled outfit — allegedly supported by the police) during the course of his long innings as a civil liberties activist when he toured almost every part of the State championing the cause of the poor and those oppressed by the state machinery.

A decade ago, Balagopal took a legal turn, so to speak. He became a lawyer and fought hundreds of cases in both the High Court and lower courts on behalf of the poor, without charging a paisa. He was among those who argued before the High Court that cases be booked against policemen in every instance of ‘‘encounter’’ death and a bench concurred with the view.

The sudden demise of Balagopal came as a shock to a large number of his admirers and civil libertarians.

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k balagopal

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K. BALAGOPAL
Activist Lawyer

Thousands of encounter murders could become legitimate in Andhra Pradesh, but for him and his human rights comrades. The State tried to kill him many times, but he refused to succumb. He helped hundreds who could have been killed in fake encounters. A Marxist who broke away from pw dogmatism, if he writes an article in EPW or on post-modernism in the Telugu papers, it can still creates huge ripples unseen in mainstream India.

“Those Who Make the Grade”, Tehelka, 5 Nov 2005