Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dying to Win

Considering that the current round of agitations over Telangana was sparked off by a hunger-strike, you gotta love the simile used in a ToI article on the problem of just what is to be done with Hyderabad if Telangana becomes a reality:

“Yet you cannot deny Hyderabad to Telangana because Telangana will be nothing without Hyderabad. It will be like offering mutton biryani to a hungry man and telling him that you can eat the rice but not the mutton," an analyst pointed out.”

I can just see this “analyst” describing calls to make Mumbai a Union Territory by saying that it would like vada pav without the vada.


Of course, what’s really a shit show in all of this is K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s fast-unto-death--the man stops eating and poor Andhra Pradesh loses weight.

Hunger strikes are, of course, a historical legacy of ours and Gandhi has even been criticised for what has been called “political blackmail”. But the point remains that Gandhi did what he did in a system he wanted to overthrow. In effect, he worked outside the system (Non-cooperation, fasts etc) because he didn’t believe in it.

Rao, on the other hand, believes in our political system. Hell, he runs a registered political party which fought in the last parliamentary elections. But, when his agenda was not accepted by the electorate (in Telengana itself, by the way, where the TRS fared badly) he suddenly lost faith in Indian democracy and its institutions and decided to actually blackmail the Central Government by threatening to kill himself. I mean, WTF?

For the Government to give in to this blackmail is unfortunate (even though I feel the idea of Telangana is not too bad, per se). If Rao wants to achieve his political objectives, let him do it through constitutional means. This sort of extra-constitutional political extortion (which invariably lead to violence) makes him little better than a terrorist or an extremist, in my view.

P.S: Oh, and by the way kids, after Telanagana, here's one more state name for you to memorise for that Geography test: Gorkhaland


Noni said...

Isn't it wonderful that we are going to have new states?
Educational heads at Delhi can keep updating their social science books (Let's hope Delhi will still be capital by then)
There will be a state for every politician so everyone will be happy.
People's stomachs and hearts however, will still be empty

indianhomemaker said...

I agree with your logic that Gandhi's protests and Satyagraha can't be compared to what's going on today.