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Friday, February 12, 2010

Telangana students may cross over to Maoists

Hyderabad: Increasing number of police officers are veering around to the view that if the Telangana issue is not resolved amicably on an urgent basis, the frustrated and disillusioned students may move over to the Maoists, some of whom are till active in parts of the state. "I have a feeling that the youth are getting frustrated. The signs are there. They believe that the politicians and the government are not serious in arriving at a solution," a police officer who has dealt with Left-wing extremism (LWE) until recently said.No police officer is willing to discuss the implications of prolonging the T movement, its effects on students and the Maoist activities in Andhra Pradesh on record fearing reprisal from their seniors and the government.

Like any other tricky subject, the nature , scope and future of T movement has also divided the police officers. Some of them claim that the student part of the T movement is being directed by the Maoists sitting away from AP; others say that the Maoists have slowly infiltrated the agitators and are waiting for an opportunity to play key roles in chartering its direction . There are also officers who firmly believe that so far, the agitation has been free from Maoists and their conventional strategies. The student community, which is in the forefront of the agitation, too vehemently denies any link, direct or indirect, with the Maoists.

However, the fact remains that the Maoists avowedly believe in carving out the state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh. They say that the factors of the past that have contributed to the region remaining backward such as exploitation, oppression and denial of the legitimate rights over land, water, employment etc. can be rectified only through creation of Telangana and handing over power to the traditionally disadvantaged sections of the society. Recounting the history of the T movement, a police officer said when all means of democratic agitations including falling victim to police bullets, formation of a new party and winning of elections in 1971, failed in achieving a new state, the students felt that there was no point in remaining loyal to law.

"They took up arms. That was the birth of Naxalism in Telangana. The situation looks to me similar to the 1969-1971 period . If the students see no hope in continuing with their democratic struggle, there is clear danger that they might walk into the open arms of the Maoists. But unfortunately , the government wants us to treat the T agitation as purely a law-and-order problem which it is not," the officer explained .

Another officer said that after 30 long years, 2009 was the best year for the police since it recorded the lowest number of Maoist related incidents. But 2010 may not be as peaceful. According to him, at least 70 per cent of the students who are involved in the T agitation come from weaker sections and from rural background . Their aspirations, approach to life and means to achieve their dreams are totally different from the urban youth.

One strange factor in this movement is that the students have shunned political leadership. They are taking out their anger against the politicians by publicly abusing and heckling them. Another factor is that their leadership is loose and without much control over the students. Therefore, without leadership, this agitating force could just become dangerous if no solution is found for the T issue on an urgent basis, he noted.
Terms of reference for T panel likely today:

The much-awaited terms of reference for the panel constituted on Telangana is likely to be announced on Friday. Sources said that after the approval of the Congress core group, home ministry officials gave final touches to it and is all set to announce the terms of reference on Friday. The sources said the committee headed by Justice (Retd) B N Srikrishna may have a tenure of one year. PTI
MRPS LEADERS TO BLAME - T-agitation divided on caste lines

Warangal: With the initial enthusiasm slowly waning, the Telangana movement in Warangal district, especially in Kakatiya University, is on a sticky wicket what with students, professors and other agitators divided on caste lines. Sources attributed it to attempted oneupmanship by the leaders of Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS), academic community and student groups. With each leader throwing their weight around and trying to gain complete hold of the affairs of JAC, there is much heartburn among the various players involved in the movement , a professor not wanting to be named said. The battle for supremacy on caste lines has been brewing among the students for some time. This is why some members of a student organisation had even boycotted the meeting. With the entry of MRPS, the posturing of the students on the T-issue has taken a completely different route, a senior professor said.

While the MRPS activists among the student unions are opposed to dorala Telangana (Telangana led by feudal lords), some professors and students are openly advocating it which has led to a widening gap among them. The slogan is enough to create a rift among the Tprotagonists on the caste lines, a tribal professor reasoned . An analyst explained that nobody wants a feudal Telangana, what some of the T-protagonists are saying is that even a dorala Telangana is preferable to dominance by coastal Andhras.
In fact, the discontent among the student groups of the KU Joint Action Committee (JAC) came out in the open during Kakatiya Vidyarthi Polikeka (war cry) when the students and MRPS activists almost came to blows leading to the abrupt calling off of the much-publicised meeting for the separate Telangana state. With the academic community that has been in the forefront of the movement also divided on caste lines, analysts said it could be a m a j o r causative factor for the weakening of the agitation.

Sources said differences among the student leaders of JAC - on the face of things has- reached a point of no return, which could have a direct bearing on the T-stir . Some academicians of KU took pains to pacify the students to forget the differences and get on with the movement, a source said. JAC leader G Siva agreed that the movement has taken a backseat with divisions among the students. We are working towards sorting out our differences. Hopefully, we will find a common platform , he explained. A pharmacy student belonging to a BC community blamed the forward class leaders for the mess. They are trying to hijack the movement and show us in poor light. We cannot accept their domination, he shot back.
(Source: toi)

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