Accepted paper:

The Separate Telangana Movement and The Role of Subaltern Classes


Jagannatham Begari (Central University of Gujarat)

Paper short abstract:

This paper tries to focus on the participation of subalterns in separate Telangana state movement, focusing on the critical role played by them and the various forms of their participation.

Paper long abstract:

The separate Telangana movement, after a decade of relentless struggle, has picked up momentum once again under the leadership of TRS (Telangana Rastra Samithi). Prior to that, several groups, individuals and opinion makers tried to mobilize and create the consciousness among the masses towards the formation of separate Telangana state. After the formation of TRS, the movement has become more strengthened as it got political support and active participation of activists, writers, singers, students, intellectuals, etc. It is, in fact, the enormous participation of subaltern classes in the movement through writings, songs and invoking the powerful folk tradition made the movement more democratic and inclusive. The students and youth from various universities in Telangana particularly are from the subaltern classes, in fact, a vast majority of them are from Dalit, tribal and OBC communities; having a certain ideological background; and are active participants of the Dalit movement. This overwhelming participation of the subalterns made the leaders of the movement to incorporate their preference of achieving a democratic Telangana state not merely the territorial state and further it made the political parties to come up with a pro-Dalit, minority and OBC manifesto in their political campaign. In fact it is the participation of subalterns further ensured the democratic culture within the movement and created a consciousness among the Dalits about their democratic rights, decency, dignity, equality and fraternity, which are enshrined in the UDHR and Indian constitution. Thus, it is argued that the movement is able to influence the state primarily because there is a space to get people's consent from the region by participating in the elections and take part in the people's agitations. The paper argues that the political parties representing the separate Telangana demand made use of this space and thereby coordinated with other organizations and activists. Thus, the paper tries to assess the development agenda of political parties to develop the Dalits and other subaltern classes in a separate state.

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