OU’s four-year-old Telangana movement has failed to produce a single prominent woman leader

Politics has been the male prerogative through and through, and the Osmania University is no exception. The Telangana movement of four years has failed to produce even a single promising leader from the ‘other’ gender, a major drawback, admit the flag-bearers themselves.

All eyes were set on the university’s women’s hostel when paramilitary forces resorted to indiscriminate caning back in 2009, seriously injuring quite a few women students. Expectations of the emergence of women leaders, have come to nought.

“During 2009-10, quite a few women students, apart from those representing left parties, were active in the movement. But later, many backed out citing various reasons such as marriage and childbirth. It is not as if the movement did not want them, but perhaps it did not encourage them,” notes a member of OUJAC on the condition of anonymity. Added to these are family issues, with parents vehemently opposing their daughters’ involvement in protests and arrests.

Activist and scholar Jilukara Srinivas, however, blames the “patriarchal and male-dominated” nature of the movement for failing to generate women leaders. “It has been a struggle based on claims of injustice, but not of equality. By its very philosophy, it is male-centric to the core,” he observes.

With the honesty of the initial days compromised subsequently, and students tagging on to one political party or the other to avoid arrests and harassment, it is only good that women shun the movement, he says.

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