Friday, January 22, 2010
Kodandaram: Rise of a T-roubleshooter
Kodandaram, who was the first reaction of many not closely associated with the Telangana movement, when he was named the convenor of the joint action committee of political parties to champion the separate state cause that was constituted on December 24 last year. The Telangana political JAC was formed a day after the Centre diluted its earlier stance of December 9 and said wide ranging talks were needed on the issue. Those associated with the Telangana movement and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) know M Kodandaram as one of the key advisors of the TRS chief when the latter launched the party in 2001. "He had a reputation as being a troubleshooter, and K Chandrasekhar Rao would consult him during times of crisis and even when he wanted ideas as to how to intensify the movement ," said a TRS leader.
The son of a farmer from Manchiryal in Adilabad district, Kodandaram was born in 1955, did the major part of his education in Warangal, then considered the epicentre of the Telangana movement . After completing his degree from Warangal government college , he joined Osmania University in 1976 to pursue his postgraduation in political science. As was the path of many who were Left-oriented in the late seventies , Kodandaram migrated to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, then a red bastion whose student body elections and the fierce debates that preceded it used to be followed by the national media. He completed his M.Phil in political science in 1980 and returned to the state and joined Hyderabad Central University as a research scholar. However, within a few months, he returned to join Osmania University where he was appointed as a lecturer in political science. He finally obtained his doctorate from OU in 2003. It was in the early eighties that Kodandaram plunged into the civil liberties movement fulltime . From 1996, he started organising seminars on the Telangana issue and after joining Telangana Vidya Vanthula Vedika, was elected its president in 2004. The Kodandaram couple have a son and daughter both of whom are pursuing engineering.
Described as a soft-spoken academic , the next few days will test the organisational skills as well as the depth of his commitment to the Telangana cause as the JAC he is heading is splitting on party lines leading to the possibility of it being representative only of the TRS and minor players like the BJP, CPI and Telangana PRP. "As JAC convenor, Kodandaram would have to play a crucial role in ensuring that the JAC stays intact, which in the present circumstances, is a very challenging task," said one leader. Like for many leaders who were children of the first Telangana movement of the late sixties, this may perhaps be the last battle to realise the dream that they have literally grown up with.
T storm hits cricket, too - Telangana Activists Disrupt Twenty20 Match In Hyd
After giving a scare to the IT and other businesses in Hyderabad, the Telangana agitation is now threatening to knock off the city from hosting international-level cricket matches and other sporting events. On a day when the entire region remained peaceful, Telangana activists from Osmania University invaded the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal on Thursday afternoon and derailed the Deccan Twenty20 Cup cricket tournament tie between Hyderabad and Andhra Ranji teams.
The six-team tournament comprised Indian Premier League-II defending champions Deccan Chargers, the Orissa, Hyderabad and Andhra Ranji teams, as well as the Hyderabad under-22 and under-19 cricketers. Though the tournament started on the second day of the bandh called by the Telangana JAC of political parties in protest against the police action on the OU campus on Wednesday, there was little to indicate the trouble brewing in the afternoon.
In the first match slated for the day, Deccan Chargers easily beat the Orissa Ranji team. But it was the second match between Hyderabad and Andhra that witnessed trouble to the extent that the match had to be called off. Barely four overs into the match, around 100 Telangana supporters invaded the field from Gate IV shouting slogans in favour of a separate state, uprooted the stumps and halted the play. They requested us to cancel the match and since it was the early stages of the tournament, we decided not to take any chances and called off the tie. an official of HCA said. It was total confusion at the ground as all hell broke loose and the officials were caught completely off guard. It took the Rapid Action Force about 10 minutes to arrive on the scene and by then, the players had sauntered off the field. There was no effort made to approach players, who though amused, stayed calm. The activists staged a sit-in halfway between the pitch and the pavilion and shouted pro-Telangana slogans Jai Telangana and Go Back Andhra before they were cleared off the field.
Decision on TRS MLAs resignations in 2-3 days
Speaker N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Thursday a s s u re d TRS and BJP MLAs that he would consider acc e p t i n g their resignations and inform them about his decision in the next 2-3 days. The MLAs who met the Speaker in his office included E Rajender and K Eshwar (TRS), G Kishan Reddy and A Lakshminarayana (BJP). Similarly, TRS MLC N Laxmana Rao met the chairman of the legislative council A Chakrapani and urged him to accept his resignation. It may be mentioned here that though the JAC had originally fixed Jan 28 as the deadline for announcing a time frame to complete the process of carving separate T state, T Harish Rao and other TRS MLAs rushed to the Speaker on Tuesday soon after K Venugopal Reddy committed suicide in support of separate Telangana and insisted that the Speaker accept their resignations.
Continuing the exercise, two more TRS MLAs met Kiran Kumar Reddy on Thursday . Later talking to media, Rajender said they had told the Speaker that for them a separate state was more important than any post. The Speaker had promised to meet themin two or three days and then announce his decision. So far six MLAs had met the Speaker and the remaining four TRS MLAs will meet him on Friday, he said.
4 more end life for T
The suicide spree for separate T-state continued on Thursday with four more persons ending their lives, while two others arebattling for their lives. A worker in a mobile shop, Kadem Naresh Kumar, 22, committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in his house in Kamareddy town in the early hours when his mother went to Nizamabad . In a suicide note recovered from his pocket, Naresh said the Union government should immediately carve out separate Telangana to fulfil the aspirations of over 3.5 crore people.
In another incident, an auto driver Allagadda Dasarath, 36, ended his life by hanging himself in his Rajiv Grihakalpa house in Suryapet in Nalgonda district. He left a suicide note stating he was depressed over the delay in formation of Telangana state. A B Ed student and daughter of Quilladichapalli village sarpanch in Nizamabad district , B Sumalatha (22), also committed suicide by hanging herself in her house while V Gangadhar (40) ended his life by immolating himself by pouring kerosene in Peddavalgot village in Sirikonda mandal in Nizamabad district
Earlier, panic prevailed in Armoor town in Nizamabad district when an activist Toparam Uttej tried to immolate himself with kerosene at a relay hunger strike camp. He was rushed to a local hospital . A 28-year-old TRS worker Musuku Kamalakar tried to commit suicide at Vangapahad village of Hasanparthy mandal in Warangal district.