K. Venkateshwarlu

Going by the strong feelings his remarks have triggered, KCR seems to have tied himself in knots

HYDERABAD: If the normally politically savvy Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K. Chandrasekhara Rao thought he had endeared himself to a particular constituency and got a substantial share in the electoral pie by glorifying the regime of the Nizams, his calculations appeared to have gone awry.

But for a murmur of support from a minuscule section, the all-round condemnation across Telangana should leave Mr. Rao wondering why he made those comments.

His remarks, criticised for being made with an eye on impending elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and beyond, not only shocked the freedom fighters and old timers who suffered from a sort of linguistic, social and cultural apartheid practiced by the Nizam, but surprised political analysts too.

For however hard Mr. Rao may try to lure them, the highly polarised electoral history of Hyderabad of the recent past shows that a large section of minority community still plumps for Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.

So how could the TRS hope to gain?

Negative fallout

Far from the expected gain from this section in the city, he could now run the risk of losing the assiduously cultivated Telangana sentiment in the hinterland.

“His comments will boomerang on him for a majority of people in Telangana who suffered under the Nizam and his handpicked jagirdars and zamindars could not be expected to remain quiet.

After all they have taken on the mighty Nizam and 4,500 people laid down their lives ", said the Telangana Armed Struggle veteran, 85- year- old Ch. Rajeswara Rao.

Bartering the honour

Many echoed his feelings saying for a few thousand votes Mr. Chandrasekhara Rao is bartering the honour and sacrifices made by the people of erstwhile Hyderabad State comprising Telangana and parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra in their valiant struggle to free themselves from the Nizamian yoke of oppression and slavery.

“For me it is unimaginable that a political leader in a democracy should justify a despot, who suppressed basic rights, let loose armed Razakars on his own people and even approached the United Nations to declare Hyderabad as a separate Islamic nation,” Mr. Rajeswara Rao said.

Gaddar’s warning

Mr. Chandrasekhara Rao found himself isolated politically with reaction being equally strong from Congress, TDP, BJP and the Left parties. Some of them wondered if Mr. Rao wanted to play Nizam now and take people of the region back to those dark feudal “baanchanu dora” days.

A thoroughly disappointed Gaddar, the revolutionary balladeer, who immortalised folklore lampooning Nizam’s rule, sent out a stern warning.

Political parties dismiss as distortion of history the TRS leader’s contention that but for the brief period when Razakars held sway, the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan’s rule was largely known for secularism, good administration and development.

They point to the fact that there were no communal riots anywhere in the country till the 1940s when the two nation theory gathered momentum.

“It is freedom that matters the most for people and not a few magnificent palaces the Nizam built, a hospital here or an irrigation project there or even a university where medium of instruction anyway was in an alien language not spoken by the natives. Moreover what does Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao want to convey -- that we should not have fought the Nizam and that Gandhiji’s struggle for freedom from the British was wrong?” quips Mr. Rajeswara Rao.

Going by the strong feelings his remarks have triggered, TRS leader seems to have tied himself in knots all of his own making.