Friday, January 14, 2011

Sensitive in the Time of Telangana

Chukka Ramaiah Garu is a well respected man. He belongs to a fast disappearing breed of rare personalities who lived a life of commitment and conscience in good and bad times.

But unfortunately, when it comes to Telangana, people who are otherwise known for their cool heads, let out steam in a manner not entirely keeping with their world outlook. Ramaih Garu is no exception.

Take his latest outpouring of anguish in Andhra Jyothi on the 'atrocities of police' in Osmania Campus. The picture painted by him is not unfamiliar; police mercilessly beating up 'peacefully protesting innocent students' without any sense of remorse.

There are a few questions that arise out of Ramaiah Garu's sense of outrage, shared by many, that need to be addressed.

First, is it only with regard to T agitation that police are ruthless? At any given point of time, cops in the state are charging with their lathis on umpteen groups, organizations and unions aggrieved over a variety of demands ranging from increase in mess fees to hike in DA.

And police are not known to be any more kind to them. We have seen replays of brutal treatment meted out to a host of student bodies and unemployed sections on various issues without as much as a whimper. The police reaction, as a rule, is proportionate to the 'aggression' of the agitators. How come, only Osmania 'brutality' is more hurting than other?

There is also this mischeivous suggestion by many T sympathizers that the police are more brutal in tackling T agitation. This, of course, is another attempt at driving a wedge on regional lines. The less said about it, the better.

Ramaiah Garu wants the cops to think before they charge to cane the students. What does the venerated old man exactly want? When the students, or those parading as scholars, become unmanageable, when they menacingly charge towards perceived enemies, when they burn buses, when they physically threaten public and politicians alike, what should the cops do, according to the IIT Guru?

Should they just wait and watch because the violent behaviour is justifiable in the name of Telangana? Does he really think that if all the cops are withdrawn from all sensitive points, peace will prevail? Can he give an assurance to that effect? Is it in his hands?

If Ramaiah Garu's sentimental piece is to be taken at face value, then police in the state of Andhra Pradesh are bad only in so far as their brutality vis-a-vis Osmania campus.

The world nowadays is viewed only from Telangana perspective!

Ramaiah Garu quotes Pasham Yadagiri's experience in Delhi where the cops apparently were friendly and even offered a cuppa, when he, along with a few others, sat in a dharna outside AP Bhavan in freezing cold, even as CM was attending a meeting inside. He wants AP police to emulate them. Sure, the state cops have lot of things to learn.

But the point is agitating in Delhi in a less charged atmosphere is not comparable to what happens in Osmania. Besides, Yadagiri was not trying to barge into CM's meeting and hence no need for any physical intervention by cops.

Last but not least, I always wondered why Ramaiah Garu, so fixed upon having the IIT at Basara, the abode of his family deity, never bothered to open his famous coaching centre for IIT at the holy centre of learning, instead of at Nallakunta in Hyderabad, where moneyed families from coastal districts always got a seat and put T students at a disadvantage in getting through the prestigious institutions!

Or am I being uncharitable...?

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