Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Violence as a movement??

The road from Sarathi Studios (in Hyderabad) till NIMS in Panjagutta (where KCR is getting treated) is about 4 kms long. This strech of road is one of the most busiest roads in all times. Multiple shopping complexes, commercial buildings, small time shops ensure that the road is always busy(thus making it frustrating to travel too ;-) ).

I was stuck in one of those shops on Saturday, the 5th of December when some 100/200 students took out a rally in support of KCR and Telangana. This was also the rally in which some hooligans amongst the crowd decided to pelt stones at shops onwed by Andhra/non-telangana people. Literally 10-15 minutes after they did this, I, along with my parents, walked back home on the exact same route these miscreants took to NIMS. We saw that the glasses of two buses were damaged, but there was no commotion around. People were just beginning to get back to normalcy.

We come back home and switch on the TV only to be shocked at the kind of hype the media channels started giving to this incident. Much after the rally passed through the places, we had reporters screaming "there is war like atmosphere here"! Barely 5 minutes passed since we walked through that exact same spot, we had this reporter shouting about a "war like atmosphere". Within two hours, the entire city was shut down. I am not kidding at all. A bunch of 10 hooligans could hold the entire capital city of Andhra Pradesh to ransom for not just that one evening but for the next two days.

The reason I have dedicated three paragraphs to this issue is to underline the immense impact the hyper reporting of the media has on public psyche. Instead of trying to cool tempers, the media has day in and day out sought to glorify these ugly acts of violence. The Hyderabad incident has created such fear amongst the resident/shop owners that for the next two days(a bandh was called on sunday and monday) they chose to remain indoors. And this fear permeated through the government circles and now the impression being created that there is a huge movement infavour of telangana. Wah! Justifying this violence by asking people to emphatize with the Telangana cause is simply the most attoricious reason one can think of.

People's court is the ultimate decision making court in a democracy. Like it or not, they hand their verdict and for 5 years we are stuck with the verdict. In the latest election results handed out by the people just 6 months ago, all the political parties that supported a separate telangana had to bite the dust badly. TDP, PRP, TRS and the BJP all had to face embarassing defeats in multiple constituencies across the region. Isn't it clear enough that the majority people of the region have rejected the notion of a separate state by rejecting ALL parties that supported the cause?

Within six months of that decision, what really changed in the state so as to warrant a serious rethink about this issue? A bunch of hooligans? Ok, so some 3000\4000\5000 (ok fine, let's make it 10,000) people in a region of about 2-3 crores decide to boost up their sagging egos, and charter a course of violent reactions, we seriously rethink about the issue?

They decide to take law into their hands, impose a looslely existent separate state sentiment on the crores of people who don't give a damn, cultivate a fear in the minds of lakhs of innocent people watching on TV that they will spare no one, and we end up calling this a movement towrads telangana? From when did violent agitations start getting named as "movements"?

Every day, for the past 7-8 days, we have had leaders from the TRS trying to agitate the people with provocative statements and the state is just a mute spectator? KCR's son says thanks, on live TV, to those gaurding creamtion grounds in Nalgonda district for refusing to cremate/bury the bodies of those who opposed Telangana. Can it get any more sicker than this? MLA's provocate cadre by pouring kerosene on themselves, can it get any more cheaper than this? Students risk their careers for a person like KCR, can it get any more worse than this?

All along, the media was just more than happy to toe along the line of those agitating. Instead of denouncing the violent turn this whole plan has taken, the media is trying to project this as a genuine and impulsive outpour of emotions. The media is more than willing to lap it up! The media in AP does not just have a TRP agenda, but it has a huge political agenda too, so it is more sickening to watch channel after channel turn a 10 min stone throwing incident into a "war like situation."

The fact of the matter is that KCR alone is solely responsible for the mess the state is in right now. Just to revive his sagging political career, KCR raised the curtains for another drama, endangering the lives of scores of innocents, not knowing when to bring the them down. While he rests calmly in the ICU of NIMS, the common man/woman of telangana just hopes that saner sense will prevail upon these hooligans.

I wish to reiterate again. The people of Telangana region have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a united state just 6 months ago. We cannot allow a few thousand to hold the entire state to ransom. If that much cannot be understood by media/politcos/thinkers, it is a sad reflection of their mentality. The only thing that changed from then to now is the death of YSR. Buoyed by his absence, the clown KCR has taken up this farcial fast. It is time we denounce those who wish to classify violent agitations as "movements."

PS: Just imagine, if Telangana is okayed because of this kind of blackmail/violence, what kind of precedent is it going to set?


Anish said...

Just watched "Paa". Abhishek Bachachan who is a politician teaches media a lesson and tells that that with great power comes great responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Congress was in favour of telangana in 2004 and 2009. After 10 years of TDP rule, congress came back to power in 2004 by supporting telangana. Did it forget the popular opinion at that time?

Sudhir said...


Congress said it will appoint a SRC in 2004, a promise it did not keep. In 2009, it never promised a separate telangana. the parties that promised were defeated, hence my point.


Ketan said...


I had very little idea of politics surroundin Telangana. But thanks to your post, I have some idea, now.

I think one of the reasons for demand for newer states is - newer posts like CM, cabinet ministers, etc., so more people get to 'eat' the public's money! ;)

Media's role is becoming increasingl destructive in India. Forget exaggerating, I think news are literally 'created', including 'inventing' humans!!

I believe hardly anything I read/see on news.

Last year during attacks on Mumbai, one of the news channels was SHOWING a video shot through mobile camera, claiming that it had in it a gunman outside CST station, and I was like "where's the gunman? I can't see him!!" In the background they were running a commentary, wondering how many people 'the terrorist' would be able to kill, and when would the police come? Then they also reported of a bomb blast at the station. A few minutes later, they apologized saying no such incidents had occurred!! Not to forget, some reporters asking questions akin to - "how are you feeling now that so-and-so relative has died?"

So, what you say is nothing as compared to these kind of blunders!

But a really well-analyzed post, especially, your conclusion, how such sensationalist reporting only promotes further violence.


Anonymous said...

Assuming that voting to congress means voting for non-telangana and vice versa is incorrect. Shall we assume that everyone who voted for TDP were in favor of Telangana since TDP promised telangana, incuding all the votes to TDP in the Andhra regions? Why not? It is not that straight forward. So, if a minor percent of hooligans are asking for telangana, and if we dont know about the other 4 crore people, how many voted for congress in these 4 crores? I wish things were that easy!

shilpadesh said...

I also blogged about this today. You are right...all parties that promised Telangana were out after the elections.....the people are against a separate state.

Arun said...

I am losing faith in BJP and ABVP. Strangely, they aligned with Maoists to precipitate this situation.


Sudhir said...

Apologise for the late response, was just too immersed in following the latest political drama :).

Ketan - thanks for you comment and compliment :). I strongly feel the role of the media is huge in precipitating this crisis. And as always, discussion about that role has been sidelined... AP has seen some tragedies in this recent past, and I was actually impressed with the coverage by local media. But this time, the agenda they had was unbelievable. Plain stupid.

Anonymous - Decoding voting patterns is subject to many interpretations, no denying that. But when so many interpretations are coming out, shoudn't we atleast try to reach a consensus before resorting to such cheap tactics? Election is the ultimate arbitrator - if the result is vague, there is no way we should go forward.

Shilpadesh - glad you agree. Political parties whipping up passions just to score a political point is a huge drawback of our democracy...wonder how we can curb it...

Arun - BJP is desperately looking for some political points, plus it is pro-T anyway.

Anonymous said...

Thats exactly my point. If elections are not clear, we should at least have a referendum. But you said, folks in telangana voted against telangana just because TRS did not win, which is what I am arguing about. And as I said, if seats were a correct arbitrator, actually 130+ seats (TDP,TRS,PRP,etc) in AP were in favor of telangana! Even if I discount the fact that congress was in favor of telangana in 2004.

Gautam said...

I first blame YSR, then KCR. I dont' see a difference in them. They both have played with the sentiments of the people of AP. YSR indulged in rampant corruption, which hit the day to day life of the common man. Then KCR's cheap antics created a law and order problem, which again effects only common man like you and me.

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