12th March 2011
The incident of vandalism of the statues and assault on Media persons on Tankbund on 10th March was an unfortunate incident that should not have happened. However, the situation needs to be seen in context of the past ten years. While it is true that politicians of different hues have been using the Cause of Telengana for the furthering of their careers, the deep seated feelings of the Telengana people for self-rule for the past 40-50 years cannot be brushed aside as mere, politics.
The incident itself demonstrates how situations can go out of hand, when people’s legitimate demands fall on deaf ears. Media houses controlled by a certain lobby have been avoiding giving due importance to the peaceful people’s struggles not only of Telengana but also struggles like that of Sompeta, Kakrapalli, Polavaram , but an incident of breaking of statues is focused with utmost prominence. It is also a sign of times to come, that if the state continues to use unwarranted brute force, it could only result in incidents like that which happened on 10th March.
However, it is in the interest of the Telengana Struggle itself that such acts should be avoided at all costs, and are uncalled for, lest they loose the support of many people in the Andhra region, who support the cause of Telengana.
Another dangerous trend that is emerging is the common ordinary person, targeting the common ordinary person. Just two days ago – an auto rickshaw driver was saying, once Telengana comes in “we can throw all the Andhra people out”. I had to point out to him that an ordinary citizen comes for survival and not merely to exploit. And also had to reason that, if Maharashtrians decide to throw people of other states out of Mumbai, then a majority of Palamuru citizens have to return home losing their work as construction workers.
These attitudes need to be countered and incidents like those which happened on 10th March need to be avoided at all costs and the onus lies on the Leaders of Telengana Movement on People like Mr. Kodandaram and Gaddar.
Here is an incident from History that could perhaps show us the way to deal with these situations. During the non-co-operation movement of India’s Freedom Struggle, mobs went violent at Chowri-Chowra police station and burnt it down, killing police constables. Gandhiji, called off the movement immediately and sat for a Penance Fast protesting the incident until people realized their mistake, and only then called for the continuation of the freedom movement.
We, appeal to the Leaders of the Telengana Struggle, to undertake similar gestures, which will go a long way to reassure the world of the peaceful nature of the struggle. NAPM will be happy to participate in such an activity.
Saraswati Kavula, B. Rama Krishnam Raju, P.S. Ajay Kumar, Gabrielle Dietrich (Conveners)