- The Telangana government doesn't want to celebrate September 17 as the Telangana Liberation day officially
- The stated reason: Confusion over what exactly happened on September 17, 1948.
- The real reason could be that the Pink party is well aware of opposition BJP’s gameplan in raising the issue and doesn't want to kowtow.
Obduracy is the other name of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. He did not even care to react on the demand of all opposition parties, especially BJP and his once-ideologue Prof K Kodandaram, to celebrate September 17 as the Telangana Liberation day officially by the government.
TRS celebrates the day as a landmark in the modern history of Telangana but the TRS government is not ready to recognise the day officially as T-Liberation day.
BJP Union minister Venkaiah Naidu made a fervent appeal to KCR to celebrate the September 17 as the Liberation Day as is being done in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, which got five and three districts back respectively from the erstwhile Nizam.
But, KCR, obdurately, is not in favour of doing it officially. The stated reason: Confusion over what exactly happened on September 17, 1948.
“There is no clarity on what exactly happened on the day. Was it really that liberation happened after the defeat of the Nizam or was it a merger between the Nizam and the Indian Union?
“Or was it a betrayal by the Indian government of liberating Telangana planned by Communist Party of India’s armed struggle? MIM, on the other hand, calls it a Betrayal Day.
“There is no clarity. Unless this is clarified, a government can’t just celebrate that day just because some political parties are demanding that we do so.
“The TRS government is working on bringing about a consensus on the meaning of September 17 before celebrating it officially,” said TRS senior leader and Karimnagar MP B Vinod Kumar.
According to Vinod Kumar, because of the divergent interpretations of the day, the TRS government is not able to take a decision to celebrate it officially. “As a party we never underestimate the importance of September 17. We have been celebrating the day as a party since its inception,” Vinod said.
It’s a serious political issue for TRS and the Pink party is well aware of the BJP’s gameplan in raising the issue. This time, the Telangana BJP has invited its national president Amit Shah to Warangal to participate in the Liberation Day programme.
In Karnataka, Maharashtra and Telangana, the saffron party’s Tiranga Yatra is planned in such a way that it comes to a close on September 17. The BJP, which is planning to gain some brownie points with people wants to interpret the day as historic as the freedom for Telangana people was ‘ won’ with a police action under the guidance of the then Home Minister Sardar Patel.
According to a survey in 2014, after the formation of Telangana, Hindu-Muslim polarization has become sharper than what it used to be in united Andhra Pradesh. So, any provocation would lead to the consolidation of majority community votes as was witnessed during the Mahabubnagar Assembly by-election in 2009, where BJP candidate Yennam Srinivasa Reddy won over TRS’ Ibrahim.
The by-election was necessitated by the death of independent MLA Rajeshwar Reddy. Since all contesting parties were supporting the Telangana cause, BJP took out a new missile from its armoury to achieve the consolidation of majority community votes.
A survey conducted by a noted political scientist from JNU said BJP released a stray cow with “Maa ko bachao” written on its body on the streets converting the election campaign into a war against the beef eaters. Finally, BJP’s Srinivas Reddy won the election.
TRS is aware that, given the present aggressive Save Gaumata campaign by the BJP, any decision that would amplify the BJP voice in Telangana, might recreate a Mahabubnagar-like situation across the state, which it can’t afford to allow.
Chief Minister KCR, who has mastered art of silence on controversial demands, simply let loose a version that there was no clarity on what exactly happened on September 17 and what Vinod echoed was the mind of the KCR.
The CM, who carefully won over the Muslim during Telangana movement, by highlighting the positive aspects of the Nizam such as his donation to Banaras Hindu University, etc., doesn’t want the goodwill TRS generated among Muslims to be spoiled by an old date in history.
The support of Muslims has even forced the MIM to silently forge a friendship with TRS. KCR, according to sources in TRS, would never allow this to be undone by BJP political slogans.
So conceding to the demand of BJP to celebrate September 17 as Liberation Day is unlikely to happen as long as TRS is in power in the state.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:54 PM