Students are made fodder for politicking politicians and their minions, the police, says Krishank Manne who
suffered police brutalities and political chicanery. He opens his mind to Postnoon
“I am an Osmania University student and not a terrorist or a Maoist,” spat Krishank Manne, OU Students Joint Action Council (JAC) spokesperson. “Whatever demonstration we stage is within the campus, why then target us like criminals?”
But, he does not know that the stretch from the NCC gates to the back gate of OU is often considered a battle ground. This battle began in November 2009 in OU and has seen some bloody wars between the students and law enforcers. But, of late it has lost its steam.
Q. OU is a prestigious university. How then did it earn such a bloody name for itself?
On November 29, 2009 KCR began his fast and we took out a rally. It was all peaceful until Stephen Ravindra, IPS officer, lathi-charged us hitting, each student more than 25 times. That is when we retaliated. They had lathis, teargas and rubber bullets. What did students have? Nothing, except good old stones. We have clear evidence and visuals from media clips that show the police were the first to start. And, to defend ourselves, we resorted to stone pelting.
There were days when women constables were not there and yet they would drag girls to the waiting van. Policemen themselves torched our vehicles parked in the campus. On February 14, 2011, when I was examining my bike that had been damaged by the police, a couple of them suddenly came up from behind and beat me up.
The police force had also damaged media vehicles and media personnel as well. The home minister accepted their mistake and issued compensation but not once have they enquired or heard out our side of the story.
Q. Recently, when a few OU students were watching the movie Aarakshan the police arrested them. Is it true?
Yes. We went for the Independence Day celebration even out there we were not allowed. Anywhere we go we were being chased and arrested. Why? Even at the recent Hyderabad 10 K run, 400 OU students went for the march and were arrested. We did not cause any violence. Seeing us the public started shouting ‘Jai Telangana’, apart from that we did not create any ruckus or resort to any violence. But yet we were arrested. Why?
Q. Who was responsible for the damage during the one million march?
Around 500 students came marching from the OU campus to the Tank Bund. If we wanted we could have vandalised the whole City but we did not resort to violence. Later, when KCR walked in, the violence started. Students, advocates and general public were there for four hours and nothing happened. However, only once the political force arrived all problems started. This is something that one needs to think about.
Q. Why do we see so many joint action committees today?
When KCR started his fast, simultaneously many student communities came together and created a JAC for the sake of unity. Students emerging as a political power is what politicians did not want. They wanted students to remain only as pressure groups. Hence to split the power they came up with different joint action committees.
On Dec 23, 2010 they created political joint action committees. This joint action committee has only TRS and very few BJP leaders. No other party is a part of political JAC. Secondly, there are several differences between KCR and Kodandaram who is heading the political JAC.
In a democracy power should be vested in all parts of a movement. Ideally, there shouldn’t be one leader. However, here by making small units, we are giving power to one person who, in the name of democracy is creating anarchy. KCR and his sons are creating numerous JACs and are drifting away from the main movement. Today, everybody is working towards their own motives and interests. I strongly believe that any revolution can be achieved only when there is unity.
Q. Why do OU students have a negative image in the society?
On media channels there are panel discussions every day, politicians from all party are called but students are always ignored. Be it a negotiation or a discussion, it is only politicians at the forefront. Student leaders are never a part of any of these activities. That’s how we have been projected by the media.
The name university itself is very universal in nature. Anyone can enter a university but politicians are misusing this freedom. They are the ones who have turned OU into a battle field. Headlines in the media read, ‘agitation at OU campus.’ They do not investigate who is responsible for this. Today the OU campus and students have a bad name. Because of this we the students are restricted only to the campus gates. We are being treated like terrorists. We are scholars, we do not want to hold stones, we want a mic but the media has not portrayed this image.
Q. Why do you think there is a delay in achieving a separate state?
I blamed the Congress party for this delay. They are dragging the issue. And also because of KCR’s double standards. He is contradicting his own statements. He oscillates between strikes and elections.
Q. Professor Kodandaram, whom is he supporting?
Being an OU professor he supports politicians and not his own students. What morals is he teaching his students by supporting the politicians and not us.
One of the primary reasons for the failure of rail roko is him. He stands only at one place and dictates terms. He is using our shoulders to rest his guns and fire. He is not our head but yet, he is dictating terms to us.
Q. What’s the January 17 agitation plan?
In the past, we have been at the fore front in declaring bandhs, but now we will wait and not blindly agree to whatever the politicians order us to do. We are students we can do anything for a separate state but before all that we need to finish our exams. Both a separate state and our academics are important to us. Nearly 90 per cent of students in OU are from a poor background. We cannot risk our academics. We have international students and the bandh affects them as well.
As a student community we realised that bandhs are not needed and we will not support them.This time we want politicians to fall in one line and take up the agitation, something that they have not been doing. Our support is there with them but first our academics will be given priority. We will support all the parties but not any one party. Post exams we will be part of the agitation. Secondly, we will take this movement out of the OU campus. We will spread it all over.Plan for OU student JAC
Krishank says, “There is a civic war happening via various forms. We will make it a mob agitation, we have done this earlier too but this time we have decided to act in a mature manner. Very soon citizens will lash back at politicians, everyone will be on the streets. We are just waiting for the frustration to reach its peak. We may be down but not completely out.”He adds, “We have been on the fore front of the agitation and once a separate Telangana is achieved we will float a separate party.”
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