Thursday, August 5, 2021

Million March for Telangana statehood Completes 10 years

• March 10th, 2011 witnessed Egyptian like mass protests in Hyderabad
• Historic protest which will be remembered forever
• Thousands marched towards Tank Bund, showcasing the strength of the sentiment


Hyderabad: The Million March that influenced the Parliament and United Andhra Pradesh leading to a separate statehood for Telangana completed 10 years. The then state capital for united Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, was guarded by thousands of police and Para military personnel, but the protagonists made the March a huge success. They raised slogans of ‘Jai Telangana,’ sang pro-Telangana songs and played games on Tank bund on March 10th, 2011. The then Chief Minister of United Andhra Pradesh, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy tried his best to foil the Million March with preventive arrests of Government employees, lawyers, doctors, journalists, teachers a day before, who were travelling to Hyderabad from districts to participate in Million March. But none could stop the March which remained a high voltage even in the run up to a separate Telangana state.

Million March was a grand success

Harish Rao, Kodandaram Heroes

The heroes of the day were now Finance Minister T. Harish Rao and Prof.Kodandaram who was chairman of TJAC at that time. The mass leader Harish Rao gave a slip to the police and got into boat in Lumbini Park. He then took a speed boat to reach Tank bund but in the midway was arrested. Kodandaram led the way with the employees onto Tank Bund which turned violent at the end. Idols of Telugu icons on the Tank Bund were vandalized, 48 people were arrested in connection with that, but the demand that Central Government should table the Bill for Separate State in Parliament marked the day on March 11th.

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All political parties joined the March and physical attack was witnessed on the day against Congress leaders Madhu Yashki and K. Kesavarao (now a TRS MP).
After this , many parties tried to carry out the same type of March in Telangana even after Statehood was achieved, but this 11 March 2011 March will remain in Telangana history forever.

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Students from Osmania University were detained by police, yet a few of them were able to reach the spot. Many cases under different sections were filed on KCR, Kodandaram and Harish Rao. In spite of the heavy restrictions by Government, large number of activists participated in the March as a prestige issue for agitation.

One thing has to be noted here. The then Congress government was far more liberal with the protagonists of Telangana movement. Agitations, marches and meetings were allowed at that point in time unlike today. The separate State of Telangana has a very powerful police regime which does not allow protest marches or meetings. Preventive detention has become the order of the day. This kind of situation all over the country today. The States ruled by the BJP enforce stricter rules and regulations. The UAPA has been amended in 2019 making it more intimidating than its older forms like TADA.

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