Khilashapur (Warangal): The 500-odd villagers are saying cheers,setting aside the bottle of liquor. Angry with the wishy-washy promises on Telangana,the people of the small village of Khilashapur in Raghunathapally mandal have taken an oath not to consume alcohol till the dream of a separate state is realised. Around 100 tipplers assembled at the village centre on the night of Feb 28 and took the oath in the name of their wives and children.They even gave an undertaking in writing.We have resolved not to consume liquor and pay taxes to the (united) Andhra Pradesh government till Telangana is carved out, said a 35-year-old farmer,Mohd Akram.The self-imposed ban on alcohol would mean revenue loss for the government and for arrack contractors.The village,inhabited by Gouds and Munnuru Kapus,chalked out this non-cooperation movement to achieve the larger goal of T-state. It all started when a Hyderabad based software engineer K Narasimha Raju,who hails from the village,convinced the people that it was ethically wrong on their part to consume liquor and contribute to the state exchequer when young students were fighting and even committing suicide for the T-cause.The idea of total ban on liquor came about mainly because of the strong local sentiments on the T-issue,he said. Freeing the village from alcohol alone wasnt my goal.You cannot organise people for short-term objectives.I had told them to set their own goals and naturally,alcohol was the first thing they banished, Raju told TOI.A plumber Mehmood Pasha said the people of T-region contribute a lions share to the excise department due to their guzzling habit.
The villagers say the anti-liquor movement spearheaded by women had shaken the establishment during the prohibition period.Andhra and Rayalaseema leaders always dub us as drunkards.By desisting from liquor,we want to prove them wrong, said a farmer Muttadi Ramulu,50.With arrack vends shutting down in the village,the movement has made an impact already. Motivated by the Khilashapur example,more villages are likely to join the movement,claim T-protagonists. We hope people of other villages will be inspired and emulate us by not consuming liquor,thereby not contributing to the exchequer, village elder Jitte Venkataiah said.Those violating the oath would be paraded on a donkey with their faces blackened.
The embarrassment would keep the menfolk away from liquor, he reasoned.Asserting that there wont be any complacency,locals inform that their village is famous for its pourusham (valour).It was here the legendary Sarvai Papa Rayudu (Papanna ) took on the mighty Mughal dynasty in the 16th century. Papanna fought for swayam paripalana (self-rule ) and swarajyam (total freedom) in those days, said Venkataiah.Its the achievement of the whole village,not that of any single individual.We have suffered enough and we will certainly take the T-movement forward, he added.
Adilabad: The 69,000 employees of Singareni Collieries will go on a days strike on Thursday in protest against the visit of Srikrishna Committee to the state.The stir would result in a loss of Rs 15 crore in all the underground and opencast mines spread in four Telangana districts of Karimnagar, Khammam, Adilabad and Warangal. Sources said the Singareni employees Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) took the decision on Wednesday to observe the strike in the entire coal belt area.Speaking to TOI,former Chennur MLA Nallala Odelu of TRS warned that the coal miners would not hesitate to go on an indefinite strike if the Centre continued to drag its feet on the separate Telangana issue.The miners are expressing their anger by staying away from duties on the day when the Srikrishna committee is scheduled to visit Hyderabad to begin consultations on the statehood issue, he said. A Singareni emplo-yee,L Madhunaiah,said they would intensify the agitation to achieve the long-standing dream of T-state.