Raasta Rokho, Rail Rokho

I was driving to work today and was about 100 meters from the intersection when my wife shouted BJP flags. She is generally not interested in politics, but her instincts have told her that flags of the nation’s second largest political party on the roads, meant trouble!

That is the sad state of affairs in our state and country. Just like when you see a policeman on the road, you don’t get a sense of assurance; instead, you experience a sense of fear. Similarly, people have gotten to a point, when they see political party flags, it means trouble.

In any event, a bunch of BJP activists randomly walked to a busy intersection at 10:00 AM to do a raasta rokho. They obviously chose the location and time carefully. What must be their criteria? Cause maximum inconvenience to people.

The first thing that crossed my mind is- who are these people that have time at 10:00 AM in the morning to be on the roads to stop traffic? They really have to be jobless. I am willing to bet that 90% of the people who were travelling on the road at that time of the day have to be working. Now, that is the sad state of affairs. About 20 jobless people have made the lives of nearly 2000 miserable. This is the price a civil society pays when good people don’t rise up against evil.

Samme or strike is a democratic right. RTC bus driver, a school teacher, secretariat employee, or a Singareni worker has a right to go on a strike- as long as they don’t demand pay for the time they didn’t work. There may be some contractual/legal obligations that prevent certain members of workforce to go on a strike, but we don’t need to go into those details. Painting with a broad brush, it is a worker's fundamental right to go on a strike.

However, our society seems to have lost the sense of distinction between fundamental rights and enforcing one’s views on rest of the society. A raasta rokho or rail rokho is not a fundamental right. These activities violate passengers’ right to travel to the destination of choice after paying the fare. People who stop trains and traffic should be arrested and prosecuted.

Similarly a bandh is a fundamental right, if and only if the business closes voluntarily. I was watching a petrol bunk on the day a bandh was called. The business opened early in the morning. Around 10 AM, when they expected hooligans and hafta collectors to show up, the business closed down. From that point on, for the rest of the day, petrol bunk owner played a cat and mouse with those that want him to shutdown his business. This kind of bandh is not a fundamental right, but is outright illegal.

People of our state quietly accept violation of our fundamental rights that happen on a daily basis. They constantly harp about government’s failure to bring things under control. However, they never point the finger at themselves. The responsibility to stand up for our fundamental rights start at the level of individual, then at the colony, then at a ward, then at a constituency, then at a district, then at a state, and then at a nation. Instead, we tend to think it should happen in the exact opposite order. Sure, bring on President’s rule- which is nothing but a dictatorship. When that fails, let’s hand the rule over to the United Nations. Problem solved!

“All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing”- Edmund Burke

Save Andhra Pradesh! 


Nalamotu Chakravarthy








12 Responses to “Raasta Rokho, Rail Rokho”

  1. Jai says:

    Mr. Chakravarthy, you have a better understanding of the situation than most observers.
    Unfortunately your solution requires grassroots level participation to succeed. This takes patience and time, the two commodities in short supply today. By the time you persuade a few people, the problem will intensify further.

    • Chakravarthy says:

      I couldn't agree more Jai. Degradation of civic values has been happening for a long time. It is a very difficult challenge to bring sanity back in a short time. As you rightfully said, it requires "patience and time".

  2. Reddy says:

    Charavarthy and Jai,
    BTW, Bandhs, hartals, Rasta rokos are not exclusive to the Telangana movement.
    Since our Independence (and before too), these kind of Tactics were employed by our political parties as a show of strength and to put the ruling parties in a tight spot. Alas we could never produce a leader who is averse to such tactics and who could show statesmanship to prevent such methods  (recent exception being JP and his Loksatta party).
    Change can be brought only if there is a fundamental change in our political system and awareness among our citizens. 
    Thats a tall order in a country like India.

  3. Krishna says:

    Dear Friends,
    I love my state to be united, but if it is untenable, I got the best possible solution in my view.  First declare Hyderabad, and Vizag (since it is 2nd highest per capita in andhra) as union territories, and give their share as are giving now from their respective revenues and the remaining total revenue may be shared equally to seemandhra and telangana in a timeframe, such as 60 years or so.  This solves the revenue problem from both ends and per say, for all regions, in a rational manner.  The remaining matters of sentiments and culture may also protected with less loss for both sides.

    • Chandra says:

      Dear Krishna,
      Why should Andhra pradesh be split?On what basis?what happened?….Tomorrow if somebody asks govt of India, about why did they took decision what will be their answer? what will be the answer of PM, defense minister, HM and Chief of amy staf? Just because some section of people threatened with dire consequences they split it?
       One poor and another poorest regions merged together to become a 4th largest GDP force for India. What mistake we did?

      Is there any problem that can not be solved in AP? Or is splitting going to increase the economic or social/ cultural development of people which can not be done in AP? Is there any study on such an idea by GOI?

      How will they answer such questions? Dec 9th was a blunder…they just have to accept it. problem solved. I dont think they will do another blunder and trench a bigger grave.
      Even if all T people want Telangana also it should not be possible. Even if all people in AP want state to be split into few pieces…also it should not be split. This is not a joke.

      AP is absolutely a normal state like anyother state and will be a very progressing state in future.  When such trouble comes up, yes more political spapce and development packages and separate fianncial ditricts like Hyd could be made in Telangana region/Uttarandhra region or rayalaseema region.

      This is not peoples movement or blah blah. If JAC calls off the agitation…..from next day everything will be normal. Employees will be busy in their business and students will go to colleges.
      No splitting ….not even any special status for Telangana region should be acceptable.
      This is not an unsolvable problem. If some loose screws are tightened everything will calm down.

  4. satya says:

    Today I was just browsing thru the archives of 'Golconda patrika (of yr 1955)' and I got surprised to see there is no mentioning of 'telangana vileena dinotsavam'. It has no special news or coverage for this particular day. Secondly it seems there are no official celebrations from the then govt of hyderabad on this day. None of the leaders had given any public speech or message to the people of telangana on a day which the now separatists claiming as their independence day. 

    Though I do not deny the importance of this day in the history of telangana, I am surprised at the allegations of the separatists that this day was neglected by 'seemandhra govt', when their own govt had forgotten the day just after couple of years. This proves, separatists will not leave any small opportunity to create hatred and differences between people and try to give the tag of 'seemandhra govt'.

    Btw.. I am also interested to know, did any of the telangana chief ministers during their regime celebrated or at least talked about the special occasion?

  5. satya says:

    More Lies in Telangana movement…?

    Does mulki rules really exist and are they different from other domiciliary rules?

    Another news item from Golconda patrika dated 19-6-54 (page 2)

    "Mulki rules are abolished in telangana. "

    A part of the statement given by then home minister Digambarrao Bindu reads that 'The revised rule of '15 years' for being recognized as mulki' was revoked as 'such' rules can only be formed by Parliament of India. 

    He also indicated that in other states like Bombay and madras, the domiciliary certificate requires only 6 yrs of stay in that particular state. 

    However, there are certain grey areas in the news which I could not comprehend completely.

    He said, the 15 yr mulki clause came to replace the older rules where a person would be identified as mulki by birth. But this is not the actual 'mulki' rule that Nizam was issued.

    Anyways, there are couple of things which appears clear.

    1) Before merger andhra with telangana, there is no such clause as '15 yr residence'  for becoming a mulki. So the separatist allegations of telangana lost mulki rules (of 15 yr stay) because of merger seems to untrue. Rather it appears the other way round. Telangana got benefited of mulki rules because of merger because parliament has provided the safeguards as per gentlemen agreement. (btw.. here too, in the agreement they stated mulki rules are for 1st 5 yrs.. but telangana got benefited for another 5 yrs. see golcanda patrika on 1956 jul 21)

    2) There seems to be no hue and cry in telangana region when the mulki rules are repealed which indicates the domiciliary rules are not really a matter of concern or a big issue  for the youth looking for employment.

    3) There is a difference between the Nizam provided mulki rules and the ones that are came into existence after hyderabad joined into Indian union and functioning as a state.

    4) As per the home minister's indications of giving bombay and madras state examples, the hyderabad govt might also considering the similar rules or such rules are implicit after the union govt repealed the 15 yr clause.

          If such is the case, then the mulki rules in hyderabad are no way different to those domiciliary rules of other states, but they were just bearing that historic name given by Nizam.

    What so ever,  It appears we got one more subject for probing into. May be, we will end up exposing one of those grand lies of separatists around mulki rules.


  6. Air says:

    Hi satya
    "Btw.. I am also interested to know, did any of the telangana chief ministers during their regime celebrated or at least talked about the special occasion?"
     In this blog some one already mentioned that when it is taken from the nizam there is some aggrement/understanding that there is no such celebrations of merging hyderabad… if i am not wrong it might be because of some massive attacks on muslims in hyd state. need to search this blog

  7. P. Rao says:

    True. It is one of the conditions of merger with the Indian Union by Nizam that the day should not be celebrated.

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