Telangana has a stunning historical record of youth participation in social revolutions. Around 600 students gave their lives in the Telangana agitation and we still lose them in the name of naxalism and counter insurgency creating friction in the civil society. The famous Telugu revolutionary singer Gaddar whose voice has a great influence amongst the youth of Telangana, shared his views with Aggregate.
Are the universities in Hyderabad becoming targets for Maoist cadre recruitments?
Honestly, I don’t know. Maoist party is a secret party. It’s not possible for a common man to know about their operations.
In between Maoists and police forces, are the youth in Telangana targeted?
The future belongs to the youth and they are fighting for their opportunities. Encounter of youngsters creates white terror amongst them.
Is naxalism the only alternative for youth?
Armed struggle is not the only alternative. Gun for gun is not the solution. At this moment, I urge the civil society to prepare for a traditional revolution but not armed revolution.
What do you mean by traditional revolution?
From rural to urban, our life is tied with the market. The helplessness created due to exploitation by the capitalist market has made them habituated to a consumer life which tends to turn them into hopeless individuals. They need to emancipate collectively to fight and set themselves free from this market.
How will you build such a revolution?
Pens. We fight with our pens and songs. Students should build mass movements and participate in traditional revolution.
What does the civil society need to understand from Vivek Kodamagundla, a law student dropout and Sruthi, an engineering graduate, who were killed in encounter in Telangana?
We need peace. In the formation of Telangana, students were not properly channelized. This is a mistake. They failed to line up their demands of leadership, access to resources and opportunities. This created friction between the society and their paths. Torturing them to death is a serious violation of human rights and the Indian Constitution. Civil society should fight against these undemocratic practices.
What is your opinion about the role of human rights and civil organizations in such contexts?
They should become the seeds, plant themselves among people and should build mass movements. Sitting and condemning attacks or crying on situations doesn’t make any sense and cannot bring any change. Activism should be in their life, but not as a profession.
What is your take on the farmer suicides in Telangana?
A farmer is a producer. They produce food. But now, the producer is being forced to becomejust a consumer. With this transformation, the farmer is left with no option but to end his life. The sons and daughters of soil must stand up and raise their voice to build a peaceful social revolution.
What are the strategies ad opted by the government in combating Maoist violence?
Both state and central governments are implementing the same policies. They are not initiating anything to address naxal issues. Counter insurgency operations are political decisions. Governments are linked up with capitalist economies. They don’t like any conflict in their development model. They will simply kill even if they sense an air of radicalism.
Are you saying that State is making these decisions?
This is the confrontation of the state. The state’s decision making is the violation of Constitution. Here, state is arresting people, and itself carrying investigation at its convenience, and implementing punishments within the frame works of constitution. I strongly oppose this.
Would you like to give a call to the naxals to join social life and prepare the civil society in building traditional revolution?
Yes. No one wants to live in forest. They were forcibly thrown into forests. In the mainstream society, there are not only physical encounters. They are not allowing any meetings, cultural programmes at public spaces. The attacks were made by curbing ideological voices.
What is in your opinion, is media’s role in bringing peace to this conflict?
The journalists who are in between the age of 18 to 35 are becoming dry these days. It is hard to make them understand the issues in depth. They should communicate the ideologies and principles to the society in a responsible way with a proper research.
What do you think can bring peace and save the young lives of Telangana?
We are still alive. The battle is not over yet. It is still there but not war. We may lose. But, we need to communicate why we lost and need to think about how to rebuild the revolution with new design.