I am not against or for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. I won’t say some people are looking for political mileage or some areas in the state are horrifyingly under-developed. I won’t say that all the people ‘sacrificing’ for the Telangana cause are true martyrs neither will I support the state government’s cautious approach to the issue.

I will however say that the students participating in bandhs and assisting the local leaders in vandalizing public property are nothing less than mislead youth. The students destroy anything with Andhra Pradesh on it – University boards, Government boards, I ask would they tear their own mark sheets which have Andhra Pradesh on them? They don’t know what they are doing-it’s not the government’s property they are damaging, it is their own future. Either that or they were never really students in the first place. Its time the student community realized this and started taking care of their student lives.

Just a couple of days back, a certain Yadi Reddy had committed suicide in a building close to Parliament leaving behind distraught parents and a 20-page letter demanding the formation of Telangana. Following this, MLA Harish Rao had the audacity to go and rough up a government official because the body of the ‘martyr’ was not allowed inside AP Bhavan but was taken directly to the airport. The whole process was captured live by the media but K T Rama Rao, son of KCR actually gave the reasons for Harish Rao’s heinous act on national television, and there was not even a trace of regret or apology whatsoever. This is happening, when the man handling of JP by T activists, ex-IAS officer and Lok Satta Party Chief is still fresh in our memory.

Politicians don’t have to lose their day’s salary when they make these bandhs successful. Nor will they be asked to do over-time to compensate the loss. It is the common man’s livelihood that is at stake. Auto-driver Ali is an angry man when he says, “I barely had any income today, had to go empty from Kukatpally to Kothaguda, I want separate Telangana, but I have to earn my livelihood too.” Issue is no different with the software folks. With schools/crèches closing down on Bandh-days fearing the wrath of T-activists, one of the working couple is forced to take leave to look after the child. Students are no longer happy over extra-holidays, incomplete syllabus and postponed exams, looming large in their minds.

Livelihood of the lower-class and middle-class is severely hit by these frequent bandhs. Without APSRTC buses, the commuters are forced to cater to the whims of auto-drivers, who, when available, charge exorbitant rates. Students and employees who have their exams, jobs in other cities are losing out on them with the rail and rasta roko. Areas with water-shortage are suffering too with water-tankers not working on the Bandh-days. The affected supporters are no longer spirited enough to take the cause forward, the reality of losing their livelihood is making them crave a normal life. This should shake the T-leaders from their slumber to do something constructive to achieve bifurcation rather than resorting to lame Bandhs.

Nandana S Nallapu