Students’ March to Parliament
Students’ Convention demanding immediate statehood for Telangana
and to form students’ solidarity committee for separate Telangana
11am – 5pm, 10 March 2011, JNU, New Delhi
Students’ March to Parliament
11 am, 9 March 2011, Mandi House to Parliament Street
The world has been very much familiar with the history of the heroic sacrifices of the Telangana people. The struggle for a separate Telangana state is one of the most longstanding democratic movements of the Indian subcontinent. From the very inception of Andhra Pradesh in 1956 the people of Telangana have demanded a separate statehood. The more than five decades of continuous struggle have resulted today in the recognition and acceptance of a separate Telangana as a necessity among the people of the country. There is a wide acceptance among the rest of Andhra Pradesh that its people have a right to a separate statehood because they have been economically, socially, politically and culturally exploited and discriminated against by the rulers of Seemandhra. Clearly, it is only with the formation of a separate Telangana that a concrete step towards resolving the problems of the region can be taken, and a true people-oriented process of development can be initiated.
The present Telangana movement is in a continuation to the movement that had begun seven decades ago, with a great vision to liberate Telangana people from the clutches of Nizam’s brutal autocracy and the system of Vetti. The people of Telangana were made to join the Indian Union on 17 September 1948, while the people of India is said to have got independence from British colonialism on 15 August 1947. This political change created the necessary conditions to exploit the region with the establishment of Seemandhra colonial rule in the form of government employees from Seemandhra, who replaced the Nizam rule. Seeing that the independent Hyderabad state has been a potential source of natural resources like coal, iron-ore, limestone, forest wealth, water resources and the cheap labour of hard-working Telangana people, Seemandhra capitalists and feudal landlords who constitute the ruling classes usurped the Telangana region. Against the recommendations of Fazl Ali State Reorganisation Committee Report which recommended Hyderabad state to be independent, and against the aspirations of the Telangana people, Andhra Pradesh state was formed, merging Seemandhra region with Telangana region. All the GOs, committees and agreements that have been made, right from the Gentlemen’s Agreement in 1956 to GO 36, 6 Point Formula, 8 Point Formula, Regional Council, Presidential Order, 610 GO, Girglani Commission, Pranab Mukherjee Committee, Rosaiah Committee and even the most recent Sri Krishna Committee, are the attempts of the Government of India to betray the democratic demands of the Telangana people, who have consistently fought against the secret plot behind the ‘Telugu nationality’.
Above all, in the United Andhra Pradesh, Telangana people are to lead the existence of mere ‘second grade citizens’. The people of Telangana region, which is rich in natural resources, are to migrate and live as bonded labourers. The exploitative policies followed by the central government in collusion with the regional ruling classes of Seemandhra has led to the scarcity of water for both drinking and cultivation purposes, even when Telangana has several perennial rivers like Krishna and Godavri running through the region. The negligence of the Seemandhra government to develop better irrigation and safe drinking water facilities can be identified as the cause for the increased number of farmers’ suicides and Fluorosis cases in the Telangana region. It is due to nearly 3 lakh Seemandhra employees, who illegally occupied several governmental positions reserved for Telangana people by producing fake local certificates, graduates and post graduates from Telangana are compelled to become auto drivers, day-labourers and some even have to leave the motherland for abroad(Dubai, Muscat and Saudi Arabia etc.) to be bonded labourers. It is heart-rending to know that the parents, wives and the children of the dead in abroad are not in a position to pay the last sight to their beloved. Telangana region has now become dried and decimated due to internal colonial exploitation by the Seemandhra ruling classes that began in 1956 with its merger with Seemandhra. Threat of loosing language, dialect and the culture, Telangana people have been fighting against economic, political and cultural exploitation to have independence from Seemandhra domination. In 1953, Jawaharlal Nehru, then Prime Minister of India, rightly identified the expansionist designs behind the idea of Visalandhra and at a public meeting in Nizamabad compared the conditional merger of Telangana and Seemandhra with the matrimonial alliance which always have a provision of divorce in case the alliance becomes unwanted for any party. Even after seeing through the reasons behind the merger, Nehru gave in to the Seemandhra ruling classes’ interests, and did a historic injustice to Telangana by approving the merger. Subsequent Indian rulers, be it Indira Gandhi or presently Sonia Gandhi, followed the path of Nehru to act against Telangana.
Telangana movement is a democratic movement for self- respect, liberty, equality and fraternity, for which the people of Telangana have been fighting for decades. Going against the people’s justified and democratic demand, the Central Government under the leadership of Indira Gandhi and the State Government under the Seemandhra leader Kasu Brahmananda Reddy had brutally suppressed the people’s movement in 1969 firing bullets, killing around 400 students and putting thousands behind the bars. In this way, the government has acted to serve the interests of only the ruling classes, employing different repressive methods to put an end to the people’s heroic battle. They have drenched Telangana region with bloodshed, violating even the fundamental right of its people to live. While Telangana movement has followed a non-violent path and remained under the constitutional limits, the government has been most violent, undemocratic and unconstitutional in addressing it.
In 1971 the Telangana people overwhelmingly cast their votes to TPS, a party that went to people with the single demand for separate Telangana state. The people made TPS victorious with a thumping majority, electing 11 parliamentary members out of its 14 candidates. This continued in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 elections when TRS party went with the same demand and the people of Telangana expressed their aspirations repeatedly. But, all the political parties, particularly the Congress party, have been successfully using the people’s emotions and their heroic sacrifices to play their political games in order to come to power. The Congress party, in the 2004 elections, included the demand for separate Telangana in its election manifesto. However, it changed its stand once it came to power, cleverly constituting the Pranab Mukherjee Committee to delay the process of state formation. It again repeated the same in the 2009 elections. But bowing down to the latest phase of the movement with participation of people from all walks of life, including students and advocates, the Home Minister of India Mr. P. Chidambaram officially announced on 9 December 2009 the initiation of the process of introducing the Telangana Bill in the parliament. But the Congress, influenced by the Seemandhra ruling classes, once again repeated its history of betrayal and changed its own statement in less than 15 days of announcement.
For the past 14 months, the ruling Congress has imposed a military rule in Telangana by deploying large numbers of paramilitary forces all over the region. It has appointed a cruel and anti-people ex-police officer, Mr. Narasimhan, as the governor of Andhra Pradesh in order to turn Telangana region into a sea of blood. These paramilitary forces have been lathi-charging the protesting students, firing rubber bullets and tear gas shells on them and filing false cases against the students to put them behind bars. These armed forces have occupied colleges, universities and the student hostels (including those of the girls), torturing the students with their inhuman behaviour and derogatory language. These forces are not even hesitant in assaulting the media persons who try to report the police atrocities on the students and the common people. The Journalists’ Forum has marked its protest against these actions. The police have also tried to break the movement from inside by acting as agent-provocateurs, joining the student protestors in civil dress and pelting stones at their own fellow policemen, and later charging the students for violence. In these ways, the government has been converting the universities into war zones, and are playing with the lives and aspirations of the Telangana people. In this critical situation, many of the dejected youth, who had dreams of a bright future in a separate and independent Telangana state, have been committing suicides leaving behind their suicide notes addressed to the rulers. Not less than 600 students have committed suicide so far. While the Congress government has been indifferent to the self-immolation of these students, the leaders of Telangana political parties too are mortgaging the self-respect of Telangana people for their personal political careers. The progressive and democratic sections of the country, all major parliamentary parties of India such as BJP, BSP, CPI, JDU, FB, RPI, excluding CPI(M), and various democratic and people’s organisations have extended their solidarity to the demand of separate Telangana state.
There is an urgent need to stand in solidarity with the people of Telangana in the coming phase of their struggle, and to build up a movement across the country in its support. The students and youth of Telangana have spearheaded the movement with their militant and uncompromising struggle in the past, which have captured the imagination of not only the people of Telangana but also outside. Now is the need to build a broad-based solidarity of students and student organisations across various states and regions with the fighting masses of Telangana, particularly with its students and youth. With the movement now about to enter a critical phase, solidarity of students for a separate Telangana is the need of the hour. It is with this understanding that the students of universities and colleges of Telangana wish to invite you/your organisation to participate in a students’ convention in New Delhi towards forming a solidarity platform where students and students’ organisations across various states and regions can come together with the agenda of fighting for a separate Telangana state. The convention will be preceded by a march to parliament demanding that the central government introduce a bill for separate Telangana within the upcoming budget session.
● Implement the Central Government’s official statement on separate Telangana state made on 9 December 2009 by introducing a bill in the parliament in the coming budget session!
● Withdraw the paramilitary forces deployed in Telangana region, including university and college campuses!
● Withdraw all the cases that have been filed on the protesting Telangana students, activists and the people
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