By Kaneez Fathima,
“I think in Urdu, speak in Telugu and write in English”
– Prof. Jayashankar
After 1969 Telangana Movement, second phase of Telangana movement started in the last days of the year 2009. This movement was basically dominated by the students with real aspirations and willingness; there was no political aim. The only aim was to achieve separate Telangana state. Though Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) was formed for the sole purpose of achieving separate Telangana state and the chief architect of which is Prof. Jayashankar. Seeing students spreading the movement solely without any support from any political party, K Chandrasekhar Rao became active in this movement by sitting on a fast-unto-death. With this common people also started participating in the movement from all kinds of background irrespective of caste, class and religion. In the initial stages itself Prof. Jayashankar had said that, “unless and until I am alive, I will not allow any injustice to the Muslim community in Telangana state. Telangana movement is incomplete without Muslims; separate Telangana cannot be formed without the contribution of Muslim community.”
Though almost all the parties had orally declared that they will support the Telangana bill if presented in the assembly, but at this point of time all the parties took back their position including TDP and Congress. Moreover, congress government at the centre initially issued a statement in favour of separate Telangana, but immediately withdrew its statement. The regional opposition party TDP also took anti-Telangana stand. Due to these reasons, BJP & RSS took the advantage of the prevailing conditions and entered into this movement. Then onwards this movement slowly moved towards Hindutva.
People pressurized the political parties and their candidates who were in favour of Telangana to resign from their positions and build pressure on the central government to form separate Telangana state. Thus, all the MLAs of TRS, candidates of other parties resigned from their positions. In the year 2010, by-elections were held for all those vacant positions. That time BJP candidate contested from Nizamabad constituency. But the fact is that without the Muslim votes, BJP would not have won the seat. Even though Muslim community underwent the pain of Gujarat genocide because of BJP, still they not only campaigned but whole heartedly voted for BJP candidate only for a single aim of achieving separate Telangana state. That itself proved that Muslims are the real secularists by nature.
But by the time by-elections came up in 2012, the conditions of whole Telangana movement changed drastically. From the time of BJP entry into the movement, RSS started propagating Hindutva ideology and spread hatred among the non-Muslim community in the Telangana region especially in Hyderabad. The major example is the Hyderabad riots in the year 2010 on the eve of and on the name of Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti leave alone several small incidents of hatred. The spread of Hindutva ideology and hatred against Muslim community reached its peak level during the by-elections in A.P. especially in the Telangana region.
When the name for Mahboobnagar constituency was decided, Kodandram Reddy suggested withdrawing Ibrahim’s name because he wanted to field Srinivas Goud as he is closely associated with Reddy. This was to gain benefits politically. However, KCR thought of larger political gain. He wanted to target two aims with a single arrow. So, on one side he wanted to show sympathy towards Muslims to gain their votes for all the seats and on the other side he wanted to show congress that TRS is not with BJP. For this reason he neglected Mahboobnagar campaign. Thus, he fielded a Muslim candidate for namesake to appease Muslims and challenged BJP that it cannot win the particular seat. In clear terms we can say that KCR offered Mahboobnagar seat to BJP.
As chairman of Telangana political JAC, the role of Kodandram Reddy was to give a call of support to TRS candidate. But as said earlier, he wanted to field his own candidate and on the other side as BJP candidate was a REDDY, he declared that he is taking a unilateral position by saying that this is the fight for Telangana so vote for whoever you want. So, a person who claims to be secular and rights activist has gone to such a biased and communal position. Telangana NGOs JAC openly declared support and campaigned for BJP candidate, because Srinivas Goud belongss to TNGOs JAC and he was denied Mahboobnagar seat by TRS. BJP during its campaign had declared that Mahboobnagar election is Indo-Pak cricket match and we should defeat Razakars, such statements were not condemned by anyone. This alone proves that TRS party, T-JAC, its members, various other JACs, Forums and all the so-called secularists and democrats have soft corner towards Hindutva. Not only this, during the MLC elections, another Muslim candidate from Hyderabad, Mahmood Ali, Minority wing President who is a sincere and senior member of TRS lost MLC seat just by three votes and these three people who did not give their vote to him were from the TRS itself. Even that time, KCR did not take any action against those three persons.
The sad affair of Indian society is that Muslims have to prove their secularism again and again at different times. Is this the responsibility of only Muslims? If Muslims have to prove their secularism, they also expect non-Muslims to be secular towards them. Instead larger section of non-Muslims can remain communal and spread the same; there is no one to question them! Blame is always on Muslims. When Muslims can vote a BJP candidate, then why can’t non-Muslims vote a Muslim candidate? Is this their secularism? Where are the so-called democrats and secularists? Would these so called secularists and democrats have spared Muslims, if they had not voted BJP in Nizamabad? Would they have not labeled Muslims as anti-telanganites? Why is such double standard maintained by the politicians, secularists, democrats, civil society etc towards Muslim community?
Now, it is high time for Muslims to think over Telangana movement. Because it is no more a democratic and sincere movement. Everyone is in the race of personal benefits in the name of Telangana. The so-called democrats and secularists’ double standard faces have been exposed and the real faces are in front of us. Now, it is time to recognize these faces and choose our own way. Even after such black mailing and back stabbing Muslims, neither KCR nor Kodandram Reddy feel ashamed. Instead, they are celebrating this defeat and Hindutva victory as people’s victory. In one sentence we can say that Telangana movement failed in the LITMUS test of secularism and democracy and turned completely into Hindutva fascism. Muslims confidence has been shaken. Now it is time for KCR to take the responsibility of Mahboobnagar election defeat. Not only this, KCR should resign from the Presidentship of TRS and Kodandram Reddy should resign from Chairmanship of Telangana Political JAC. Then only the movement will move ahead otherwise, people especially Muslim community will give them the right answer.
Kaneez Fathima is with Hyderabad-based Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee.