In a stunning act of vandalism, the "Million March" in Hyderabad resulted in Telangana activists demolishing the statues of Telugu icons on Tank Bund.
In a shocking act of vandalism, Pro-Telangana activists, after attacking the Telangana Congress MPs Madhu Yaskhi Goud and K Kesava Rao, turned their anger upon the statues of renowned Telugu icons that were installed on the Tank Bund at the time of the rule of former Chief Minister N T Rama Rao.
In what appeared a clearly pre-meditated act (the activists had all the tools necessary to carry out the demolition), the activists brought down 12 statues of Telugu legends and then threw 11 of them into the Hussain Sagar. The 12th, a statue of drama artiste Bellary Raghava, was left lying on the road since they vandals found it too difficult to drag it across all the way to the closest spot from where they could drown it.
The 12 statues damaged were those of of Krishnadevaraya, Sir Arthur Cotton, Tallapaka Annamacharya, Kandukuri Veeresalingam Panthulu, Gurajada Appa Rao, Yerrapragada, Raghupati Venkatratnam Naidu, Siddhendrayogi, Brahma Naidu, Mutnuri Krishna Rao, Tripuraneni Ramaswamy Chaudhari and Bellary Raghava. Other statues desecrated were those of Shalivahana, Nannaya Bhattaraka, Vemana, Kshetrayya, Sri Sri, Jashua and C R Reddy.
The angry protestors uprooted Palnati Brahma Naidu statue and hoisted the Telangana flag during the Million March.
The demolished and desecrated statues were of personalities who played significant roles in shaping the culture of the Telugu-speaking people. They were installed by then Chief Minister N T Rama Rao in 1985, and added significantly to the lure of Tank Bund as a tourist attraction.
The paramilitary and police forces deployed on Tank Bund were standing right next to the scene when the destruction was taking place, but apparently did nothing to prevent the mob. There are also reports that the police knew beforehand of the plot to disfigure or destruct the statues, but choose not to prepare for it. The Chief Minister pulled up the police for letting the activists onto Tank Bund despite the area being cordoned off, and promised to install new statues.
What is surprising is how statues of purely religious figures like Annamacharya, Vemana and Kshetrayya were desecrated.