Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Chasing the Telangana dream since 1952

In 1952, a young intermediate student from Osmania University walked in with a bunch of friends to tell the 1st States Reorganisation Commission that Telangana should not be merged with Andhra into a grand state. And why. He was all of 18 then.

Tuesday will mark a poignant moment for Jayashankar when he walks into North Block to plead why Telangana region should be separated from Andhra Pradesh, an argument which has endured over six decades.

If there is a thread joining Telangana's continuing appeal over 62 years and four generations, Jayashankar may be it. The man, however, underplays his role in the struggle for statehood. "I have just sensitized the people of Telangana through research and academic studies, and by educating them on injustice," the statehood ideologue said.

It will be yesterday once more when the former vice-chancellor of Kakatiya University, along with TRS boss K Chandrasekhara Rao, makes a forceful plea for division of AP at the all-party meeting called by Centre on Tuesday. "Telangana is bound to come. I am optimistic," the academic-turned-activist told TOI.

His pursuit of one dream in a lifetime may be a record of sorts. Telangana has erupted at regular intervals and Jayashankar has been in the forefront always. He was a teenaged activist when he met the first SRC.
Then, in 1962, he was part of a campaign which rocked the region. As a lecturer, in 1968, he participated in the revived agitation.

The big hope came when he worked with Channa Reddy in 1971 in what is remembered as the most successful Telangana upsurge since 1947. It again resulted in disappointment till the retired professor of economics came across a rebellious TDP leader to forge a new statehood platform — TRS.

"I never joined a party," he said, adding, "My range is from RSS to TRS. Anyone who stands for Telangana can be done business with." This time, however, the 76-year-old says Telangana is round the corner. He has not given up hope.

Sources: Times of India

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