By Dr Sravan Dasoju*, Chief spokesperson, Telangana Congress Committee.
The Politicians in India are known for their deceptive tactics of camouflaging and maneuvering people to gain political advantages. In the name of welfare agenda, the ruling class has enslaved downtrodden sections, made them to become beggars and compelled them to survive on the support extended by the government. Despite any struggles, quality of lives of downtrodden is not changed and still living like underdogs in this country. Though, the ideologies of Dr BR Ambedkar and Jyothi Rao Phule have become enablers of social empowerment, there is still a long way to achieve the total social justice and continues to exist socio-economic and political discrimination in this country . Due to evolution in education and technological revolution, the quest for social justice is increased and as a countering strategy, the ruling class, like chameleons, also changed their tactics maneuvering the downtrodden sections in this country.
One such deceptive tactic is the installation of 125 ft statue of Dr Ambedkar and a fifteen floor Dr BR Ambedkar Tower in Hyderabad. Are these enough for the development of Dalits and downtrodden? Dr Ambedkar never believed in self idolisation. He wanted his ideology to be percolated not just to the grassroots, but he dreamt that his ideology should become a cultural practice or DNA of this nation, where there is no deliberate neglect and discrimination in the name of caste and where there is all pervasive humanity.
But the ruling government in the state has committed such a social sin that Dr Ambedkar would have never wanted his statue to be unveiled by them. The life time struggle of Dr Ambedkar was to have political empowerment to the Dalits and that was deliberately denied by KCR though there was a clear opportunity.
Whenever, a statue of a Deity is installed in a temple, one would look for a person who has abundance of purity, spirituality and divinity both in thought and action. And it is beyond doubt that Ambedkar is a God to all if us in this nation and the one who installs his statue should be a person of such social purity and divinity.
Between installation of Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue and implementation of Dr Ambedkar’s ideology, a true Ambedkarite would want his ideology to be implemented as first priority. The irony is that we are contended with installation of statues and the ruling class is very happy that they could comfortably manipulate and deprive us of achieving the dreams of Ambedkar i.e., Political Power.
Dr. BR Ambedkar never believed in any religious rituals and practices. As a token of his dissent towards discriminatory religious ideologies in the name of religion, Baba Saheb even burnt the Manusmrithi scripts in front of Indian Parliament. However, the religious rituals organised by TRS government along with Vedic chants while laying the foundation for Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue surely have not glorified but disregarded the Ambedkarism. Irony is many stalwarts who claim to be champions of Ambedkarism are spectators of such ritual that Ambedkar would have least wanted while installing his statue.
Dr Ambedkar believed in Democracy and KCR believes in Autocracy. In the last years, KCR is systematically destroying the pillars of democracy with his dictatorial and unilateral decision making that is in contrast to Dr Ambedkar’s ideology of participatory democracy. The destroyer of democracy has no moral right to install the statue of Dr Ambedkar.
In the context of Women, Dr BR Ambedkar said that “I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved. The women played a pivotal role in Telangana movement and post telangana formation, TRS has audacity to ignore them. What is pathetic is, against the values of Baba Saheb, there is no single women in the state cabinet of ministers.
During elections, KCR had promised to make a Dalit the first Chief Minister of Telangana. He did not fulfill the promise and he acquired the top post without giving any explanation on why he was not honouring his words. He appointed Dr. T. Rajaiah as his Deputy. But within a few months, he was shunted out of cabinet unceremoniously. KCR remained silent and never explained the charges against Rajaiah, while many of his cabinet colleagues are facing much serious charges of Land Mafia, Sand Mafia, Land Grabbing and including murders.
KCR made a promise of Rs 50,000 crores to be spent in five years of their term and so far not even 5000 crores they spent for Dalits. Further, though SC and ST Plan is an act and it is mandatory to strictly implement it. However, KCR, deliberately indulged in funds diversion and careless, when opposition asked for clarification. He almost shaved the 3 acres of cultivable land and failed to provide double bed room houses to Dalits and he even started avoiding Dalit leaders, workers and their issues. His ministers and entire administration followed the suit and indirectly treated the entire Dalit community in Telangana as politically and bureaucratically untouchable community. Not many Dalit officials were assigned important responsibilities. A silent war was unleashed upon Dalits.
KCR is attempting to shelve the Pranahitha Chevella project that is being built in the name of Dr Ambedkar and claims in his recent presentation in Assembly that he would rather prefer to name the projects in the name of Gods rather than on the names of people.
TRS Government did not act on time to prevent the gang rape of a Dalit girl in Karimnagar district. The state government went soft with the accused and did not take exemplary action against the police officials who were accused of dereliction of duties. A few days ago, suicide by Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula in University of Hyderabad rocked the nation. Several top national leaders including Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi visited the UoH to express their solidarity with the students who were protesting against the caste discrimination in universities and demanded Rohith Act to end the same. But KCR remained silent. He did not speak a single word on the incidents. Instead, he reportedly directed the local police to act tough against the protesters and false cases were filed against them.
Finally, KCR bowed to the pressure exerted by Congress party and agreed for a debate on UoH issue in the Assembly. While trying to justify his silence on Rohith Vemula’s suicide, KCR had assured that he would speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking dismissal of Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao within two-three days. The UoH students and all justice-loving people are still waiting for KCR to make that call to the Prime Minister.
Different incidents, which occurred one after the other, only strengthened KCR’s branding as anti-Dalit. In order to negate this image, KCR has decided to take shelter under the name of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. To mark his 125th birth anniversary celebrations, KCR has announced construction of an 125-feet statue of Dr. Ambedkar and fifteen floor tower. This will be the tallest statue of Dr. Ambedkar in the entire country, if constructed. While any memorial of Dr. Ambedkar in the country is a welcome move, KCR is apparently doing this not out of his love for Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar, but purely out of guilt for cheating the Dalits repeatedly. By constructing country’s tallest statue, he is trying to make his fake promises look dwarf. Besides a Dalit CM, he promised three acres of land for each Dalit family, Rs. 50,000 crore for community’s development and a bunch of other assurances. However, by spending a few crores on the construction of statue, he probably thinks that the community would forget other promises.
Further, there are serious doubts on fulfillment of this promises. On December 14, 2014, KCR had laid the foundation stone for Babu Jagjeevanram Bhavan at Banjara Hills. However, the proposed site turned out to be a dispute land and proposal remained a non-starter. Similarly, he had selected NTR Ghat to construct Dr. Ambedkar Square. This is only aimed at triggering another controversy because of their covert intent of removing NTR name, if not legal, political. However, KCR has mastered the art of avoiding controversies till the end of foundation stone laying ceremonies. Everything goes smooth at the beginning and once the foundation stone ceremony gets media coverage, his actions are challenged in a court of law.
Once KCR had claimed that he was an ardent reader. A majority of us did not believe his claim. Not because he was notorious for lying. But for the fact that active politicians get very little time in their busy schedules for an activity like reading which demands peace of mind and total concentration. It is believed that immature, less used or innocent minds grasp more content than the average people. For instance, when children read comic books or watch cartoon shows, they take all the characters to be true. Similar is the case of our Hon’ble Chief Minister.
KCR must have read Kevin Mitnick’s masterpiece “The Art of Deception” and Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” several times at one go. During elections, he deceived voters to make them believe that it was him who brought statehood for Telangana. As a good salesman, he sold the idea of “Bangaru Telangana” and liberally used a bundle of promises to lure each and every section of the society to get their votes. Everyone was joyous before elections. Families of Telangana martyrs, students, jobless youth, employees, Dalits, Girijans, BCs, Minorities, women, the entrepreneurs and all other sections fell victim to the marketing strategies of KCR.
The deception is still one. Without allocating any funds, KCR is constructing 2 lakh double bed room houses. While there is no water to drink in villages and towns, TRS Government is laying pipelines as part of Water Grid project. Almost all lakes have dried up due to drought, but the government is making claims of implementing second phase of Mission Kakatiya. People still remember KCR’s promises of constructing world’s tallest tower, skyways, etc.,
We can only hope that the promise of 125-feet tall statue of Dr. Ambedkar becomes a reality and do not meet the same fate as other promises.
Williams Shakespeare has rightly said, “No need to invent fiction when the facts are both familiar and dramatic.” With his fake promises, KCR has drawn only criticism. But soon his tales would replace the stories of Arabian Nights. While Telangana will become a Mecca for fiction writers, the fairy tales will begin with the sentence, “Once upon a time, there lived a KCR……”
*The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.