The Reasoned Review

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Insofar as the Telengana separatists have an ecological grievance (loss of water rights), a strong sense of emotionalism carries through the movement. Students battle policemen, the city strikes, and a wrenching cry of “Jai Telangana!” erupts before protesters light themselves ablaze. This is no ordinary issue, but one which has festered for almost forty years, and for which no obvious solution exists.

India’s leading party, the Congress Party, does not wish for a separate Telengana state. For the past week they have sat silent, hoping this agitation will blow over, but this seems less likely every day. The separatist leader, K.C. Rao, is now on the tenth day of his fast, and another strike will be held tomorrow in his honor. The biggest fear among the public is that he should die tomorrow, the day of the strike, a development which, in the words of one citizen, “would make the whole city burn”.

It is clear that a group does not engage in strikes and riots when they feel they have a reasonable chance of being heard by their government. Such acts are generally those of desperation, of a last resort. Also noteworthy here are the students of Osmania University, who have endured countless beatings over the past week. By leading the demonstrations, they have introduced a new element, as everyone knows protests become more serious once students are involved.

It will be very interesting to see the effects of tomorrow’s strike. Congress leadership is apparently in high-level talks, but they are obviously very reluctant to let Telengana go. There is also the small matter of Telengana not having any significant cities, except for Hyderabad, the capital of the state from which it wants to secede. There seems no good way this will end.


Written by pavanvan

December 9, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Posted in culture

Tagged with , , , ,

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