ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On the Telangana Trail

What is Telangana? Why does it stir such powerful sentiments? What are the boundaries between the people and the leadership? In an attempt to understand the multilayered articulation of the demand for a separate Telangana, we decided to speak to a cross section of people on their participation and their aspirations - people across political formations and social backgrounds. Our travels took us to small farmers, pastoralists, intellectuals, coal miners, schoolteachers, weavers, traders and dhobis; Muslim, adivasi, dalit and student leaders; we attended meetings in adivasi hamlets, in working class urban neighbourhoods and we visited shibirams (tents) across the region and spoke to people on relay hunger strikes. We see quite clearly the emergence of a new politics that is committed to deliberating over the meanings of democracy and direct action. People's demand for Telangana elaborates a complex set of arguments in relation to investment, employment, education, land, water, and resources. But more importantly it has to do with self-rule, dignity and self-respect, which are the fundamental premises of the Telangana movement. The separate state is seen as only the first step towards democratisation.
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