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KCR's Ultimate Ransom Demand

How much was the total cost of engineering the disturbance in the city today, and what is the ultimate ransom demand of KCR, asks R Ramanan.
R Ramanan /
Hyderabad | 9th December 2009
One day late last week, I started getting calls from the HR about what to do since the AP Govt has closed schools etc. - I told her, we are not a school or a college. Next, after a hour or so, I got calls saying they are at bus stops and are not able to get buses, as buses seemed to be off the roads.

I decided to go to a bank near Diamond Point before coming to office. When I reached there, they told me the bank was closed by some TRS "volunteers".

Just who are these "volunteers" and what is their "cause"? And what is the ransom amount this time? I know, I have more than earned my right to ask this question - even if it to the famous KCR himself.

We came to Hyderabad in 1961 - a sleepy town where you could travel 10km in a cycle rickshaw for less than a rupee. The people were real polite.

The 1969 Telangana agitation was very violent. People in Telangana sincerely believed that they were denied an opportunity by people who migrated from Andhra into Hyderabad. A lot of Andhra people who had settled beyond Malakpet sold their properties and went back. A classmate of mine, in high school, lost his life in police firing. The police did not have to worry about the State Human Rights Commission. And there were no TV cameras chasing them, and sensationalism.

I was among those unfortunate to be in their final year of school in 1969-1970. The 1969 Telangana agitation by TPS, the "Telangana Praja Samiti" (Does TPS sound similar to TRS?) led by Marri Chenna Reddy, Mallikarjun (I do not know if ever got his MBBS), ensured our School final exams were held in Sep 1970, and we had to sit at home the whole year. I joined IITM in 1971. Marri Chenna Reddy became Chief Minister of AP, Mallikarjun became a Union minister, and TPS was merged into the Congress (I).

A 7-point formula was written down and was supposed to be implemented by Dr. Marri Chenna Reddy as the CM of AP. That was supposed to solve all of Telangana's problems. However Chenna Reddy built the first lift within a residence in AP. The rest of Telangana remained too backward to figure what was in the 7-point formula.

How did it all happen? The Nizam's kingdom had Telugu, Kannada and some Marathi people. The Nizam was allowed to rule by himself, since he paid the right royalty to the British. The Nizam's kingdom had two kinds of people - the nawabs with their support staff that could be called middle class, and the utterly poor. The word education and development was not in their dictionary. No doubt, the Nizam was the richest man in the world at one point in time much before Bill Gates and the Ambanis. But in 1956, they broke it all down and merged them with the respective linguistic states.

How are the other parts of the Nizam's kingdom merged with Karnataka and Maharastra now? Just as backward. So why the fuss about Telangana? It is all about Hyderabad.

I have no idea why Hyderabad was chosen as capital over Bezwada (that is what Vijayawada was called in those days). The smart Andhra fed by bountiful Krishna, Godavari and other rivers came into Hyderabad and decided to make it look like Madras. The Telugu pride was always bugged by having to go to Madras even to produce a movie (many of NTR and ANR movies were produced in Madras). They cajoled the centre to invest in industry in Hyderabad. Hyderabad must be one of the places in the country that has attracted the most central funds in terms of industry, defence establishment etc.

And many like my father were moved to Hyderabad from Bombay, Madras, Bangalore and other places to support its growth. I have been here since then, like many of my friends who also lost a year. Contributing sincerely to make Telangana and Hyderabad a happening city.

Now we see that the TPS has morphed into the TRS and risen from the grave. Thrice the TRS went to polls. Thrice I voted against TRS, much against my very close Telangana friends. Maybe, the third time they too voted against the TRS, but silently, unlike me who was so vocal about it.

The TRS which won 26 seats in 2004 was bashed up when KCR made a show by making 18 legistrators resign, nearly towards the end of the term in 2008. Of the 18 who resigned, 11 did not get back to the Assembly. In 2009 the TRS won exactly 10 seats.

Now, who does the TRS represent? Who were these "volunteers"? How much was each "volunteer" paid to go around banks and close them? How much was the total cost of engineering the disturbance in the city today? What is the ultimate ransom demand of TRS/KCR? How long will we give in like this to ransom? Is this any different from 26/11?

The scars of having to sit out for a year at such a young age for no fault of mine have not healed, and are all showing in these words.

What are possible solutions?

1. KCR could become the CM of AP, like Chenna Reddy. And we could probably dust the 7-point formula out and present it again as a new settlement like the TPS has been dusted of oblivion.

TRS now has less than 4% of the seats in the AP assembly, and less than 5% of the AP seats in the Parliament. HOWEVER, KCR and family own 50% of the TRS representation to the Parliament. And 20% of the representation to the Assembly. And there is no doubt that this percentage will increase over time.


2. Let us hear a public undertaking from KCR, Harish Rao and Rama Rao that they will never be ministers in the Telangana state. Let KCR lay down office as TRS president, as he led the "Telangana only" Party to disastrous defeat in two elections in 2008 and 2009. There are many like me who came here to grow with the Hyderabad City. We grew. We will drop our current jobs and help run the government as payback to the place that helped us grow.

R Ramanan came to Hyderabad in 1961, completed his B. Tech. from IIT Madras in 1976, and continues to live in this city

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer, and do not reflect the views of
filed in:  KCR Fast, KCR, TRS, Telangana Praja Samithi, Telangana
Pucca_Hyderabadi on 11th Dec 2009, 5:57am | Permalink
What I cannot understand, is why are students getting involved in goonda-gardi? I have no sympathy for anybody who disrupts civic life by destroying property and creating chaos. The Police should be given a free hand to bash up any troublemakers.

The problem is, professional goondas are holding the state to ransom while the inept CM is powerless to do anything because he is more worried about the elections and not about the people who suffer due to these illegal bandhs etc..
2power10 on 9th Dec 2009, 11:29am | Permalink
Correction: I fully agree with No. 1 BELOW and not above.
2power10 on 9th Dec 2009, 11:28am | Permalink
i just rememberd that just a few months ago, Rayalaseema was reeling under one of the worst catastrophes ever. and the government was doing nothing much.

I fully agree with No. 1 above. Rosaiah now looks weak, inept, and insensitive to the blackmail of a dying man.

The media seems to be slowly shifting its focus towards the agitation itself, and not the issues that are supposed to have caused it - "underdevelopment". not one sound byte has been allotted to the thousands of educated, urban people who do not want a separate state.

Every political leader, save for JP (who appeared to be most sensible in the entire circus - he actually managed to say this issue is being used by politicians to play around with people) now makes it seems like Telangana has always been the No. 1 priority and that "no one listens to us".

I think one mistake the Congress made was to have tied up with TRS for power the last time around, and then adopt the "we'll see" approach later on.

as for the students taking part in this, none seems to have any genuine stake in the whole issue. what's even more suprising is the suddenness of the whole revolt.
Portuguese Man-of-War on 9th Dec 2009, 10:27am | Permalink
There are multiple versions of this whole thing:

1. Jagan using KCR as a pawn to show Rosaiah's capability to run the state in poor light (YSR never had issues with KCR or his attempted Telangana movement, dealing with it brilliantly).

2. KCR sensing that his political career is ending, and playing a desperate gamble that seems to have misfired (he did not expect his fast to go on so long, and even if he doesn't actually die but calls it off in another day or two now, might suffer long-term health problems).

3. KCR's followers egging him on to the fast, and hoping that if he dies and Telangana becomes a reality, they get to rule it instead of him.

There are also a building opinion that most of the "students" are not really students, but hired goons, especially since many of them look to be in their 30s and 40s.

The only version that does not seem to have anywhere near as many takers for it as any of the above - whether on TV channels or in public speeces or in general opinion - is that KCR's heart genuinely beats for Telangana. Everybody I speak to and hear seems to have the same opinion of him. Maybe this is the only way out for him.
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