Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Hyderabad Diaries April 2012

Kancha Ilaiah wrote about something that has been on my mind in the Deccan Chronicle on April 11, 2012. The suicides that now number over 750 in support of a separate Telangana state, most of them from the lower strata, and of the first educated in the family, are the point of discussion here. He says that it is unparalleled and unnatural that nationalism or regionalism is the cause of so many deaths. He says that it cannot be, and that these suicides should be investigated and the cause found out as to why this is happening. Which ghost is driving these innocent youth to suicide. Clearly the ones who are dying are the ones who are from the lower strata- there is no one from the political class or from among the leaders. (Their attempts were well known farces.) Ilaiah says that 'in this unnatural movement the leaders at the helm are making huge amounts of money and the youth at the other end are dying'. These deaths are being used to gain political leverage. It is unfortunate to say the least.

Another unnatural event that is going on in Andhra is the series of 'Odarpu yatras' by Y.S. Jagan. Once again there are many who have died, most apparently in shock at the untimely death of the late YSR, and these deaths, never ending in number are the cause of this yatra. Its been more than two years since the death. It seems unnatural once again that so many have died and are dying - once again from the lower strata - a class that is used to roll with the vagaries of life. None from the middle or upper classes. No leadrs died, no beneficiaries died. These deaths are also not spoken about much, nor the 'consoling' visits by the young scion who is already embattled in CBI cases and is facing corruption charges. In fact the news reports that the yatras are used to counter any moves by the CBI to arrest him. On one hand we have charges of a serious nature, running into hundreds of crores of public money, the same money that we all pay as taxes and duties and tolls, against Jagan and his father, and on the other hand we hear of the enormous support he has from the people. To quote Ilaiah in the first article 'reason, it is accepted has taken flight from the nation.'

More importantly the crux in both cases (or in any case involving suicides and deaths of large numbers) belong to the people from the lower strata. It does not need much intelligence to see what is happening out there. It is a wonder that it is being allowed so brazenly.

The recent communal riots in the old city is another clear case of mischief. For a while now both communities have indulged in shows of strength. Someone is planning it well and funding it well. Hundreds of two wheelers, flags, banners, bandannas, posters, flyers - sometimes in green and sometimes in saffron - are displayed as rallies go by shouting and making enough noise to bring the house down. New festivals are being celebrated so these shows can go on. Who is funding these rallies? Why are they doing it? Who is provoking the few elements who are doing what Om Puri did in Tamas - throw meat and desecrate places of worship so a riot can ensue. Innocents are stabbed, killed. Once again the lowest strata gets affected. Political equations are made and built based on these activities. But it bothers one to see the eyes of the young men, burning with religious fervour, feeling righteous and wronged, out to prove a point. History has not taught any lessons. Sometimes you wonder how many of them know of their history. Or even simpler - of their religions.

And if we did not have enough on our hands there is a move to have a 'beef' festival in Osmania University where the messes are being urged to serve beef because this is the staple diet of the backward communities. Like someone said, one can eat their staple foods in their homes and leave public places out. Nothing against beef - eat it by all means. I just don't see too many people eating beef any where though.

More from Hyderabad later, hopefully news that is lighter. Like my recent visit to Barbecue Nation with my nephew Shrinjay, Shobha, Anjali and Amar. In ANR Centre on Road No 1, I am surprised why I never went there. Lovely food and ambience. Great service and a lovely time. Thanks Barbecue Nation. Even a vegetarian like me had a wonderful time! But apparently you need to book your places early - with good reason of course. 

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