Solidarity Meeting on Telangana (Dec 26 2009)

National Forum for Telangana
JNU forum for Telangana

Venue: Press club, Raisina Road no 1,
Date: 26th December
Time: 3PM

It is none other than the class interests of ruling political parties which pressurized the central government to backtrack their decision over separate statehood for Telangana. Contrary to its statement on 9th December (to initiate the process to create the Telangana state), the central government made a very confusing statement, satisfying the ruling class of Andhra and Rayalaseema on 23rd December. The Home Minister announced that the opinions of all the concerned forces will be taken into consideration from now on. Not a single word was mentioned about the formation of Telangana. The statement not even states whether opinion will be considered to form Telangana or to continue with the united Andhra Pradesh. This particular statement led to the celebrations in Andhra and Rayalaseema, and once again the people of Telangana felt the betrayal.

Now the class dimensions in opposing the separate statehood to Telangana are clearly visible. In one word, this is a war between upper class power coalitions of Andhra Rayalaseema and the poor, marginalized and deprived people of Telangana. The ruling class across the spectrum of political parties came together launching war against the democratic aspirations of the people of Telangana. The huge land interest in the name of SEZ’s and real estate business, of Lagadapati Rajagopal (MP from Vijayawada constituency) and several other similar forces, led to the fabrication of a ‘movement’ in these two regions against the democratic aspirations of Telangana people. All the mainstream political parties and their opportunistic stands were never so exposed in the political history of Andhra Pradesh. Political parties such as Congress, TDP, CPM, PRP, Loksatta extended their support for the formation of Telangana prior to the centre’s decision on the 9th. Some parties even stated that they will support the resolution on bifurcation of the state if it is introduced in the state assembly. However, immediately after the 9th December announcement, these opportunistic political parties took a u-turn and refused to support the people of Telangana. The so-called struggles in these two regions were sponsored by ruling parties in Andhra and Rayalaseema. The keen observation of the ground situation explains the nature of their sponsoring class interests.

The feudal and capitalist forces are unable to visualize a situation of not having control over the rich natural resources of Telangana such as water, coal mines, forest, granite quarries, and vast cultivable lands. Decades of exploitation pushed this region to underdevelopment whereas the Andhra region flourished at the cost of blood and sweat of the Telangana people and their resources. It is a pure class war between the mainstream political lobby of Andhra and Rayalaseema on one side and people of Telangana on the other. At this historical juncture the common people of Andhra need to recognize the same forces as their enemies too and launch a struggle against them in the spirit of the Telangana movement.

Now once again Telangana is burning. The people voluntarily came to the streets expressing their dissent against the centre’s betrayal. The state government deployed forces in universities turning them into battlegrounds. As we all are aware, generations after generations the people of Telangana have spilled their blood for the cause of Telangana. And the people are aware that it is the ruling class interest which is operating underneath the so-called united Andhra Pradesh sentiment. We request one and all to come and express solidarity with the struggling people of Telangana. Your presence encourages us to take our struggle further. The support from like minded individuals will also send an encouraging message to people on ground.

Comments

  1. Sam Anderson says:

    The most irresponsible comments made by the publisher.Mere statements will not suffice, I would appreciate if you can have some hard number on the broad statements made by you.

    “The class interests of ruling political parties which pressurized the central government to backtrack their decision”

    Which class you are talking about? Yes Rajgopal is an industrialist and he resigned to the board of directors 7 years ago.Still 90% of his industrial assets lie in regions out side of Andhra pradesh. (www.lanco,com).

    So who is leading the Telangana movement? KCR , Damodar reddy, Jana reddy, or Nama nageswara rao ( richest MP in India).You call these people from working class? and the people on the streets of Andhra University rich class? Shame on you.

    “This particular statement led to the celebrations in Andhra and Rayalaseema”
    Again a false propaganda, when this statement was received people just got relief and believed that their side of the views will be heard.No where they are celebrations barring a few spare incidents.

    The are still many contentious points in your article which can be glaringly seen.On a forum like “radical notes”, I am surprised at the bias and illogical views from the people.I request the authors to remove the article and spell some remorsing words if he realizes the mistakes.

  2. themodernprince says:

    Sam, within any nationality struggle there is bound to be conflicting class interests whose contradictions will shape the tenor of that struggle (so we find rich “raos” and “reddys” within this movement). It is quite possible that the hegemonic classes might be in the leadership of that struggle, too. However that doesn’t delegitimise the struggle itself. If the Indian Freedom Struggle found the Indian bourgeoisie in its leadership, did that make the whole struggle illegitimate?

    Further, you must understand that the identitarian rift within the ruling class can pose the same class in leadership on both sides of the nationality struggle (for and against). However, when the above JNU Forum statement talks (though much of it seems to be highly rhetoricised) about the “class interests” curbing the aspirations for Telangana self-determination, it refers to the general interests of the Indian-Andhra ruling class as they emerge during the day-to-day conflicts on the issue of Telangana. Importantly it is in the process of the unfolding of these interests in the daily conflicts that the Telangana movement will be subsumed within the larger game plan of the Indian ruling class. I don’t think that this class is fundamentally against any regionalist movement. It resists it in order to shape it up according to its plan.

    Now, what will be the role of the counter-hegemonic forces? They cannot go against a movement just because it is not under their command. In such environment, they will support it only when it can help in unleashing an open class struggle which due to uneven development has been bounded in various nationalist-regionalist prisms. In the Telangana case, it is perfectly clear that the radical forces cannot align with the United Andhra emotion because it is pure and simple non-Telangana nostalgic Andhra chauvinism which helps only in maintaining the status quo. They will have to go for Telangana, because that will shake the ground not just in Telangana or Andhra, but in other places too, giving them some space to manoeuvre (but there is no guarantee, of course!). It is really a Pandora box, and “can” be highly “destabilising” for the status quo. Such instability can be an opportunity for counter-hegemonic forces, but that depends on how much they are vigilant of the fundamental class conflicts that shape up the various nationality aspirations in India, and they must continuously act as a critical force questioning the congealment of the hegemonic class interests within the nationality movements.

  3. Chan has discovered a “nationality struggle” in Telangana. Astonishing that none of us who lived and worked there for decades could find a “national” struggle in the demand for a separate state.

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