Hyderabad has no RTC buses running. With the rail roko (stop the trains) movement on today and tomorrow there will be much inconvenience for travellers. The highways are being stopped periodically. The airport has been spared though a move was made to lay siege to it unsuccessfully. People travelling six to eight in a shared auto pay almost six times what they would have paid on normal days. The few private buses that ply and packed to the hilt. It is a tough time if you are in an emergency and have no vehicle
The lack of coal production apparently has hit the power situation and there is a two hour power cut announced in the city and more in the rural areas. Educational institutions have closed down for a couple of weeks or more. Students have not had schools and classes starting last week. The general prices are bound to go up as rumours such as the strike by petrol bunks the other day sparked jams all over the city as vehicle owners filled in fuel to the full. For the past two months I have been filling up my fuel tank at every opportunity because we don't know what will happen when. The moment it comes to half, its time to start filling up! Everyone must be hoarding not just on fuel but even on food and other items as well.
The municipal workers have refused to clear the garbage in greater Hyderabad area. The piles of garbage grew alarmingly large and only last nigh they have relented to clear it. Teachers have stopped working. Lawyers as well if the news is true. Todays news says that the doctors are also not available.
Hyderabad is in a war like situation with scarcity, power cuts, high prices and lack of transport. Hyderabad is under siege.
There is no doubt that the movement is now riding high on public sentiment with the common man completely involved. There are many conspiracy theories of how people from the coastal Andhra population have conspired to make the Telangana region backward. The overriding belief appears that once Telangana is formed, once the conspiring Andhras are evicted from all the key positions they have occupied, thngs will be set right. But sometimes the rumours go too far. Some are that the Andhra Professors are conspiring to fail Telangana students, and even that the prices of gold and silver will also reduce once Telangana is formed! On the plus side tehre is much talk of a greener Telangana with water being made available once Telangana is formed, better farm produce, jobs and promotions and entrepreneurial opportunities. But whatever it is, public sentiment is strong. Almost irreversible I feel, unless the pinch of this paralysing strike hurts them in the next few days. The movement has now reached a critical mass where I believe it cannot be denied with many common people joining the strike by employees that has been a complete success, unless as I said, the people feel the pinch of rising prices, students losing time and other day to day things. After all the common man hurts the most in such situations.
Certain things bother me about the Telangana movement still. I still do not see student leaders except Professor Kodandaram. Maybe there is a reason for that. I still do not see a clear agenda on what is promised to the people once Telangana is formed. I also would like to see less of the conspiracy theories and more of what can be done for Telangana in terms of progress, in clearer terms. The strikes and war like situation has already set the city, the region back by much, both in terms of actual work, production, commerce, trade and brand image. It will be hard work to rebuild all that has been lost because there are many states close by that reap the benefits of such situations - Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra share borders with us.
That apart the leaders should also be careful not to divide the people for political ends. It would do no good for the fabric of society to sow seeds of doubt and conspiracy among people who have lived as one for all these years. The making of any separate state within the country, if and when they are done, should not affect the fabric of society. The division among regional and communal lines for political benefit can not augur well neither for the leaders nor for the people. Meanwhile Telangana hangs in balance but now it appears to be a question of 'when' and not a question of 'if'!