17 May, 2021

The Song Of Telangana

Fifty-seven years on, a people’s dream takes shape

K. Ramesh Babu/The Hindu
The Song Of Telangana

Joy erupted at Osmania University’s Arts Block in contrasting ways. It shone out of the triumphant, gulal-smeared faces of hundreds of students, and flowed freely through tears of joy. As the poker-faced Ajay Maken and Digvijay Singh announced the Congress Working Committee’s nod for India’s 29th state—Telangana—it was greeted by shouts of ‘Jai Telangana’ and enthusiastic hugs, and celebrated with motichoor laddoos, crackers and zooming bikes. This was the same battleground which has seen angry sloganeering, lathicharges, teargas shells, dharnas, stone-peltings and suicides. Today, it’s rife with hope, even if tempered with a large dose of caution. “The economics of a new state will of course have to be worked out,” says Manne Krishnak, an Osmania University Joint Action Committee leader. “But at last we have self-respect and self-rule.”

Respect restored. That’s the predominant feeling among the people of the region. “The people of Telangana have spent years at the feet of Rayalaseema and...

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