School Bandh – What Can Parents Do?

On Monday September 19th afternoon, I got an SMS from my kid’s school that they are closing on Tuesday in light of the bandh. I was a little troubled with the SMS and I called up the school and spoke with the head teacher to understand how the decision to shut the school down was arrived at. The teacher said it was a management decision and she had no role in it. I urged her to have a makeup day for the school. She said they were going to do that anyway.

Tuesday evening I got another SMS saying that the school is closed for the rest of the week. This SMS worried me and I wanted to get to the bottom of the issue. My concern was about Glendale management taking such an important decision as shutting down the school for a week without consulting the parents. So, I decided to meet the head mistress.

I went to the school with another parent who is a good friend of ours. We requested the head mistress to help us understand how the decision to close the school down for a week was arrived at. Here are the reasons she gave-

Originally the management planned to keep the school open throughout the week. However, on Monday the 19th, separatist hooligans descended on a nearby Kendriya Vidyalay and asked the principal to close the school. When he refused, they physically assaulted him. Later in the day, Chirec school bus was stopped by separatists. It was stranded for sometime after which it was let go. On top of this, schools have been getting more phone calls than usual from separatist outfits urging them to close the school.

Taking all these factors into consideration, managements of different schools in the neighbourhood consulted each other and decided to close the schools down en-masse for at least a week.

I wished the schools showed a bit more courage, but their plight is understandable. The risk of their buses and their staff becoming targets of separatist attacks is their biggest concern.

My main complaint with the school management was that they haven’t consulted the parents when they took as serious a decision as closing the school down for a week. The head mistress argued that they didn’t have time to take parents into confidence as it was an emergency decision. I urged her to consider having a parents meeting at least now so that we can brainstorm together as a team about how to handle any future bandh calls. The head mistress agreed to a parents meeting and I am hoping it will happen soon.

Now to the question of what can parents do in this situation?

First and foremost, we as parents need to come to a realization that police forces are rarely effective when it comes to people’s movements. With thousands of schools and lakhs of children, there just isn’t enough police force to protect all. This problem is universal and applies to more developed societies too. Take for example, 1992 riots in Los Angeles, or last year’s riots in France, or this year’s riots in UK.

Here is my view on how this problem should be tackled:

  • Clearly school buses are an easy target for separatists. On the days when a bandh call is given, instead of sending kids in the school bus, parents should drop off their kids at school.
  • Parent groups should identify children that do not have conveyance and have them carpool with families that live close by.
  •  Lastly and most importantly, parents should volunteer to defend the school staff and children on bandh days. It is not needed for all the parents to be at the school. A small group of 20-30 volunteers is all it takes. This, in my view, is the best way of stopping the separatists from forcibly closing down our kids’ schools.

If you are a parent and your child’s school has been closed down, please consider meeting the school management. Urge them to make parents part of the decision making process. Mobilize other parents to the best of your ability and brainstorm ways in which you can ensure that the schools stay open. Our children have lost too many school days this year. Parents need to take a more active part in ensuring that schools run smoothly. This responsibility cannot be outsourced to the government. After all, this is about your child’s future.

Save Andhra Pradesh! 


Nalamotu Chakravarthy



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26 Responses to “School Bandh – What Can Parents Do?”

  1. A.Mahendra says:

    Dear Chakravathi garu,
    It is very painful, schools and colleges of Telengana regions are being forcefully closed by Separated hooligans. My daughter is doing her Intermediate in one of the colleges at Hyderabad. She is unable to concentrate on her studies. Since last one year, on and off, the goons of T moment are attacking the colleges and forcing them to close by hook and crook. They even collecting monies from colleges. They already poisoned the tender minds of students. It should be good; if the managements of all schools and colleges come to single platform and fight against this nuisance.  Most of the parents hesitant, because they do not want their children should suffer at the hands of these mindless goons. If this is continues, am sure all the big companies of Indian and abroad will not provide jobs to Osmainia and Kaktiya university pass outs.   These T moment goons are providing big doom to future of our kith and kin.  Arise parents and fight against his neo fascism before it is too late.
    May good sense prevail to Acharya Kodandam

    • Chakravarthy says:

      "It should be good; if the managements of all schools and colleges come to single platform and fight against this nuisance"-

      The main problem, in my view, is parents apathy. If parents are not willing to fight for their children's future, then why would the schools fight?

  2. Kiran says:

    Chakravarthy garu,
    Asking parents to fight or show some collective action is idealistic but not practical. Parents are disparate groups and not as cohesive as employment unions and political parties are – collective action is difficult. These are hard times just wait it out. Parents can however do some individual actions like educating kids at home to the extent possible and making them play near homes.

    • Chakravarthy says:

      Respectfully disagree. I am not suggesting that all parents of Hyderabad to unite against this menace. I am saying parents of each school need to stand up and fight for their right to educate their children as per their wish. If they are incapable of doing that little, then their kids deserve to loose school days and have their futures jepoardized.
      Peace, freedom and fundamental rights are not a divine gift given by god to humanbeings. Men need to fight for them. If we don't have the courage to do so, we deserve to go down like all the millions that have perished in Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, Bosnia and the list goes on.

  3. venu says:

    – May good sense prevail to Acharya Kodandam
    Ha Ha , vadi pichi ke avadulu levu
    Telangana Stir To Take A 'Militant' Turn?

  4. kk says:

    remember one thing ….separatists claim that all Education Institutions are owned by Andhrites

  5. kk says:

    "Militant" Turn aaaaaaaaaaaa
    Is this guy a Political Science professor or a Maoist

  6. venu says:

    Gandhi movement is militant movement. (abha cha, vemi covering bosu)

  7. venu says:

    Can anyone clarify me what currently happening, whether its a samme or bandh or both?

  8. Neutral says:

    Just for information, while Narayana and Chaitanya were forcibly closed, Ramaiah tuitions are running unhindered

  9. sameer says:

    Very clear, for private schools the agitator will collect HAFTA or else they will close them.
    Ramaih is a money leecher,it was clear that his business was fading when chaitanya and narayana entered IIT coaching, so he took advantage of his PRANTAM and is gaining good dividends. Bludy A*****ES.These BAS****S should be shot like mad dogs

  10. AMRAO says:

    Emperors clothes
    We all know the story of the Emperor clothes where he was wearning nothing but every one was forced to say the clothes were great! Luckily, a child had the innocence to point out the trick.
    Unfortunately, no such child can be seen in this Sakala Janula Samme trick. Every one is excited to participate and make sure all supplies to THEMSELVES are cut! 
    No one has the guts to ask a simple question. Is this strike not going to affect the farmers, students, daily labourers in Telangana much more than people in other regions?
    1) Of course, it is not going to hurt the Government employees as the Govt will be forced to pay their salaries.
    2) The Auto rickshaw guys any way are rich as they over charge all the time.  Even if they stop plying for a month, they are not at loss.
    3) The petrol bunk guys do not lose as their measurements are skewed in their favour.
    4) The student leaders are paid salaries by KCR & Co. It would take couple more years for the gullible students to realize that they are not going to be hired even if they manage to get a degree without studying. OU has the dubious track record of awarding degrees without studying anyway! As for the promise of crores of jobs once Telangana is formed, it is nothing but the EMPEROR CLOTHES. 
    LET US HURT OURSELVES and some how Telangana will follow!!! – The new EMPEROR CLOTHES trick.

  11. P. Rao says:

    Has anyone else seen the parallels to the partition of India and the movement for partitioning AP? Thankfully the communal element is absent here.  The Hyderabad muslim community has conducted itslef responsibly and nationalistically in this time of turmoil.  I also see historical parallels with the way Moghal emperor Aurangzeb laid sieze of Golconda and annexed it, and shades of division of Bengal (1905) by Lord Curzon. 

  12. Jai says:

    Mr. Chakravarthy: a thought provoking post.
    As you rightly pointed parental apathy is the main problem. Many parents (especially in the higher end English medium schools) are pre-occupied with their own matters. PTA's are non-existant or exist only on paper. I know several men who do not attend PTM's even once a year (because it is the "mother's job").
    Most of my friends & acquaintances are surprised with my stance on reducing homework and the weight of the school  bag. Many of these react with statements like "how will my child face competition if she does not do tons of homework"?
    There are larger issues here, not just Telangana or AP. How can we prevent dragging children into the politics of elders?

  13. sera says:

    How can we prevent dragging children into the politics of elders?
    How so convenient Jai when it is the TG guys who have dragged them with TG mother and what not. It is they who dragged students to their deaths. And now lip service.
    Chakravarthy garu, though I get from where you come, but then it is not feasible in real world terms. The only thing now I am waiting for is President's rule.

    • Chakravarthy says:

      Yes, it is not easy. Not feasible? I am not too sure.
      Anyway, here is the evidence of not easy. I have been pestering the school management to discuss the bandh situation with parents. The head mistress today informed me that she is getting more calls from parents to close the school down than those that want to keep it open, because parents are concerned about children's safety. She without any hesitation said that they will be closed on 30th bandh.
      I asked her about parents meeting, she said it is not possible to discuss with parents when the school will be closed, as decisions are made at a short notice after assessing pros and cons. She said there is a parents body and bandhs will be an agenda item during that meeting or during an open house. She clearly didn't want to be bothered by my constant questioning.
      People like status-quo. Yes, it is not easy to get the people, particularly parents, off their butts and do something about it. But, that is where the real solution lies and yes it is hard.
      President's rule is an undemocratic easy way out. That is like asking for a dictatorship to solve our problems.

  14. A.Mahendra says:

    “There is no such thing as Public Opinion. There is only published opinion – Winston Churchill
    Our peace loving brothers of Telengana region are trying to publish by hook and crook that all most all the creatures, living in this region are for Separate Telengana state. They are least bothered about the genuine public opinion
    Each passing day, the desperate leaders of T region are speaking in a most crude and uncivilized tone. Other day in a national channel KTR is giving warning that this impasse will continue till infinity. During this process he is misjudging the authority of Union Government and undermining its power. The self destructive behavior of Telengana region people is due to lack of self confidence. During pre independence days leaders of Indian Muslim League behaved in the similar  way.  Requirement of the hour is strong will power of centre. It is the right time to take stern action so that the education of our  children will not suffer further.
    When democratically elected leaders fails in all fronts, only option left to save this country is President Rule.

  15. Jai says:

    @Sera: TG today, it will be something else in the future.

    @Chakravarthy: I bet the PTA has not been active so far. Institutions established and nurtured during "peaeful times" will help in handling crisis moments. Setting up a process after a problem arises is unlikely to work (similar to adding manpower to a delayed project makes it even more later).
    I agree with you on president's rule (and dictatorship). Sera's prediction of president's rule looks more realistic though. I foresee a botched attempt at a strongarm approach if recent form is anything to go by.

  16. sameer says:

    god will this thing end anytime. I am feeling terribly insecured in this FOOLS PARADISE called Telangana.
    There is a negative atmosphere everywhere in Hyderabad, such a pity. Once i thought Hyderabad will surpass Bangalore in terms of GDP. But now i prey to god that Hyderbad doesnt become another Mahbubnagar or Karimnagar.

  17. Prabhakara Rao says:

    this the feeling the separatists want. I cannot help but says everything is loathsome.
    A minister, two MPs(Yaskhi and Rajayya) from Telangana openly threaten the people with CONSEQUENCES.
    T vaadis made huge propaganda against SA media based on leaked 8th chapter.
    But the reality is different. Most of them are bent on promoting T cause.
    Yesterday Mr. Chakravarty and Devi Prasad attended a discussion on iNews. The anchor Mr. Ramesh showed a clipping where Balka suman was hitting Asst. commissioner in RTA. Devi Prasad gave a meaningless explanation and anchor did not have guts to ask why Blaka Suman was with NGOs?
    People are being attacked openly but channels show only the offenders and not the victims.
    TV5 showed many clippings of RTA office incident yesterday. But all of sudden they withdrew everything. Now iNews and Maha TV are after Chandrababu on why he is silent on samme.
    Today in Lagadapati incident, all channels continuously showing cries of T vaadis against Lagadapati. Channels themselves even suggesting Lagadapati did it intentionally.
    What they want? Nobody should enter TG until KCR and T-vaadis decide?
    How different is the todays situation from Babri Majid demolition 20 years ago? 
    Why congress does not see the mob culture and abetting divisions on some lines?
    TWO MPs using lowly offensive against a fellow MP and party colleague? 
    This is not the common behavior of Telanganas I know for last 17 years.
    Am I wrong or they changed?
    Either case better divide the state and let these hooligans live in their own state, if possible their own country.
    God, of any religion, save this country.

  18. Kiran says:

    Chakravarthy garu,
    I was in class 8 or 9 during mandal agitation when schools were shut for a month. I dont think I missed much. Ofcourse its my personal opinion. But kids will pay a price when elders mess up the society like it is now. Its a bit inevitable especially in countries like India. Glenndale management was correct – safety is paramount. Everything else come next.
    My opinion is just wait it out and lets not exaggerate the effects of this joke called samme. I have not missed a single day at my work neither have my colleagues to my knowledge. All private enterprises are more or less fully attendef. Kids are having a break. Persident rule is a nice stick to beat the telangana legislators and call their bluff on "sacrifice" but it is unnecessary. THe samme will lose steam after some point as this is a movement with profits as the objective. Just ignore it and wait it out.

    • Chakravarthy says:

      Couldn't diagree more. This samme has proved the strength of separatists. The movement has not slowed down in the last few years, but has only strengthened. This is the same absurd logic I hear from integrationist leaders- "let's not do anything and it will die down" OR "let's not do anything as that will provoke them evenmore".

      Kid's losing a few days school being not a big deal is untrue. They have already lost way too many days. You probably don't remember, 1969 agitation has led to students losing a full academic year. No, this is not a matter that should be left to the whim of hooligans. Not sure what you mean by "countries like India". India is not different from any other country. When good people are not willing to stand up for their fundamental rights, the country goes into the hands of hooligans, thugs, and dictators. That my friend is a universal principle.

  19. Chandra says:

    It was quite peaceful for few months and again  trouble started.  Separatists are checking whether they have a complete control when to start and when to stop and whether they can steer the civil unrest in their "intended directions". This can not be done by some ordinary professor or a politician or an angry employee. Its the Maoist strategists that are checking this as a test. If they want they can stop this. That itself shows whether its a  peoples movement or not.

    Maoists have dual advantage here. Seems Separatists bigwigs knows that Telangana is not possible. Eventhough Telangana would be their first best option, even if they dont get Telangana also is  very good. They want a fertile ground to be created for fresh recruitments. Now they have a reason to influence the vulnerables to join their line of thought.  More trouble-more fertile.

    I believe India  and AP have seen more tricky sitauations than this. So this shouldnt be a  difficult one to overcome. Give protection to employees and Keep up the pressure on employees who are  taking wilfull break. Police should assure them to escort them to offices especially in districts. Target the employees who are not directly associated with associations and have families who do not want police jeeps coming to their homes etc. Employees needs both confidence and pressure. I hope things will comeback to normalcy.  GOI need to make sure not to  do more blunders to justify intitial blunder and continue the saga of blunders.
    No separation not even special status for Telangana region is acceptable. AP is absolutely a normal state like any-other state and will be a normal and progressive state in future contributing to nation building.

  20. Kiran says:

    CHakaravarthy garu,
    The "strength" of separatists have come from centre's meddling on december 09 – not because of any support or opposition within   state. We need to fight but i am not sure about the benefits of fighting with rabble like the bandh enforcers. A heavy price is being paid by mostly telanganites and do you know what I think gives these bandh enforcers a real kick ? the idea that they are putting "seemandhra" in greater discomfort/pain …which is not true…and lets not give them the comfort by exaggerating what is happenning.
    In fact it is this thought they  a re causing unbearable pain to "seemandhras" and they will soon buckle is what gives strenght  and motivation to this sort of rabble.  Ignoring is the best option and is actually a mode of action as they really do not dare to do anything more for fear of backlash from telangana people themselves. It wont be long before the old city is up in arms. THey take far more pain than others.

  21. SuDivas says:

    I donno how this false propaganda has brainwashed the educated people…. I daily hear at my work places these days who sit beside me telling me that SA people should move away…i asked why..They were answering that SA people have looted them and enough is enough…. i got irritated and asked did SA people have come to Karimnagar, Adilabad, Nizamabad, or other 10districts and looted the people…? they were telling you people came to Hyderabad.. i was surprised..i retorted saying that Hyderabad is the state capital of this state since 50years and everybody has a right to come to capital city and explore the opportunities….they don’t have answer…dey started saying that majority of the people working in secrateriat are SA people.. i wondered how they claim the govt servants’ positions who were appointed some 40-50yrs back..i told that all the statistics were taken and proved already and what more u require…dey told that those are the statistics given by the govt SA people and hence dey r wrong…each time u try to give an answer dey jump in to some point…After all this, those colleagues were telling…we never bothered about telangana…but now…dey gave it on dec 9th and u people immediately halted it..thats why we need it urgently..we want the agitation to go ahead 4-5 times more than 1969… these were the words coming from well educated and professional service people..can u imagine how much they induced the separatism feelings… Thanks to UPA chairperson and Home minister for sowing the seed of turmoil in a well balanced state and running it to devils since 2years….the so called educated people are also not worried abt the future of the children despite they loose the valuable year of study…after the state formation they will urge their govt to promote all the children it seems…they all are really in a midst of whims and fancies of their future state and government…I dont understand y people in hyderabad who oppose separatism are victimised… yesterday there is a show carried in Zee telugu showing that the Udyamam should move to hyderabad city and the city should be closed from all ways… now the supporting channels are even giving directions how to bring life of people to stand still..they also telecasted that they need to plan how to stop people coming from their homes after the dasara vacation…i was shocked to see such programs being tele-casted…i never saw any SA channel diluting the movement till date fearing their TRP will reduce in this region…But media on the other side is so aggressive that it is not sparing any thing… I really cant understand what is gained by all dese “medhavulu” by stopping children going to school…none of their children are being affected… i remember the song from GAAYAM movie by sitarama sastry stating that

    ” gaalivaatu gamanaaniki kaali baata deniki …gorre daatu mandaki nee gnanabodha deniki …echarithra nerchukundi pacchani paatham… ekshanaana maarchukundi chicchula maargam”

    (now i guess they even impart regionalism to the lyricist)….

    Anyways they devastated the state to the fullest…..


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