Protest led by Journalists’ Joint Action Committee
The ongoing agitation to keep the State united received a shot in the arm with a few thousand activists from various walks of life participating in a procession cum demonstration in the city on Monday.
Led by the Journalists’ Joint Action Committee (JAC), the rally was attended by politicians, doctors, advocates, teachers, students, labourers, employees, NGOs, traders, artistes and pensioners.
The beating of drums, merry dancing and ‘Chekka Bhajana’ by folk artistes at the forefront lent a festive aura to the procession.
The rally started at S.V. High School grounds and culminated at the Telugu Thalli statue near APSRTC Crossroads.
The agitators fumed that the movement was the handiwork of politically unemployed leaders, who were out to sow hatred and spread bad blood among brothers and asked innocent people of Telangana not to fall prey to their ‘malafide’ intentions. Shouting slogans such as ‘Telangana Vaddhura, Samaikhyandhra Muddura’ and ‘KCR down down’, Journalists’ JAC leaders made it clear that it was time for them to voice their concern, after their counterparts in Telangana were found overtly supporting the movement.
Students performed a skit wherein ‘Telugu Thalli’ refused to accept garlands presented separately by girls representing Telangana, Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra, but accepted a larger one formed by joining all three garlands.
The leaders later performed ‘Palabhishekam’ (milk bath) to the Telugu Thalli deity. “When it comes to rising up to the occasion, we are even more organised and committed,” the scribes said, hinting at the ‘Delhi leaders’ to see reason in their demand.
Former legislators M. Venkatramana (Congress) and Chadalawada Krishnamurthy (TDP) joined the rally and spoke in favour of a unified Andhra Pradesh, while incumbent MLA B. Karunakar Reddy (YSRC) was conspicuous by his absence.
Mr. Venkatramana appealed to UPA leaders to look beyond Telangana and lend an ear to the demand to stay united. Doctors’ JAC leaders P. Hariprasad, C. Subramanyam, D. Srihari Rao, and P.K. Prasanthi referred to the fall of USSR after disintegration and the progress made by Germany after the East-West merger.
Advocate K.S. Vasu dubbed ‘Telangana backwardness’ a bogey. Student leaders P. Vivek, Seshadri Naidu and Balakrishna Yadav announced their preparedness if sacrificing lives was required.