Hunger Feeds Telangana

Politics was something that we read for keeping ourselves aware of the country’s functioning, but never did we imagine it could come on to supplement our appetite for infotainment. Here’s what I call politainment, or politics of entertainment, where India is no trailer but for a change, the leader. Whats been happening in Indian politics is more than funny, here’s what it is.

Even though the method of fasting to get the demands of colossal nature accepted was introduced by our political ancestors, its something that this generation of leaders have taken far more seriously. Few days back, Telangana Rashtriya Samiti, party chief KCR (K.Chandrashekhara Rao) went on a hunger spree, not because of price rise, but owing to his long cherished bubble dream of separate state for Telugus of Andhra Pradesh, named Telangana, the land of Telugus and mind it only Telugus. He probably thought indefinite fasting and deliberately sitting on the deathbed could make a sound loud enough to ring the earlier deaf years of Congress, and bingo it heard the message right.

Congress on knowing that ignorance and monitoring situation from the edge of the eye would not be much of a help for the party and its reputation, so there they went declaring that Telangana, if it were categorical enough, would see the daylight which in turn resulted in massive gratitude rallies from the pro telanganites and in no time making the chief, the champion of Telangana even before its creation. On hearing this, earlier sleeping demands of carving out Gorkhaland form West Bengal, Vidharbha from Maharashtra, Maithili speaking region from Bihar and trifurcation of Uttar Pradesh woke up as never before with a sudden thrust of jealousy, wanting their share of the cake. Its almost like customers turning up at the shop thinking of a small discount as big bonanza sale.

Adding spices to the ongoing mayhem came the Congress leaders, anti Telangana, one of them going undeterred, declaring “Indefinite hunger” strike against the decision of Telangana formation. What a copy cat one would say, but that’s the language government is seen understanding. However what’s lesser known is the fact that after 9 days of hunger strike, the Congress leader apparently went missing from the hospital. And who can sit on hunger strike, when he knows he is about to die soon and that too as a championed loser.

Now what is Congress supposed to do in a situation like this, if it weren’t for the Congress leader escaping from the hospital, he would also have been on the deathbed. So who would have Congress listened to KCR or the other one, both of them mortally ill.

Well, is it even a matter of saving life? Or is it about supporting Telangana to secure Congress’s comfort zone in Telangana region irrespective of who is on hunger strike or not? So what is it that Congress capitulated to the Telangana demand just on the basis of a leader refusing to eat? It’s more than clear that the issue of Telangana is not treated favourably by all expected to become geographically a part of it, then why did the Congress give in, without conducting a plebiscite?

The reason could be the Congress’s earlier manifested assurances during the 2004 and 2009 elections of formation of Telangana. So, it was an obligation that had to be fulfilled before it calls the expiry date for Congress stronghold in Andhra Pradesh. By rubber stamping Telangana Congress did what its agenda said, but why only a hunger strike could stimulate Telangana creation.

Its not about country’s division at all, because different states for different communities by no logic means breaking up of the country, but it’s definitely about vulnerable central authority. Most of the times when situation of such kinds have been encounteredD the government has lost the handle to take a hard stand about what is to be done and what not. Ofcourse, India is a democracy and every demand from the people whether reasonable or unreasonable has to be taken into consideration, but does it mean after the acceptance of Telangana, gradually we’ll have other unrealistic demands of formation of new states accepted as well?

There are extraordinary reasons for Telangana to be given birth to as it satisfies both identity and governability factors of state creation, but without conducting a plebiscite this contentious issue even though clear enough would not appear legitimate. As far as demands for other new states are concerned, they seem to be more forced and deliberate and less relevant. In order to maintain peace amongst the protesters, Congress should better have a strategy at hand to silence the music from other spheres, less melodious.

Congress may have declared initiation of Telangana formation, but Congress’s retractions and then reaffirmations should not be left unconsidered. It’s ultimately what politics is all about, you keep the banana infront of the monkey, tantalize but never feed it, till the time you need it for your own gains.

Tanya Jain

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