I wouldn’t trade this for anything else. I am witnessing history unfold right before my eyes. I am happy that I am not living in another country like I was few years ago, then I would be so far away from the action. Of course I wish I was living in Telangana, instead of living in Bangalore. Every day I get up and feel bad that I am not living in Telangana. I wish I could be here all the time, right here, right now. But then I use every opportunity I get to visit Telangana to take part in the events unfolding in Telangana.
How could I miss this historic movement? It is like participating in our India’s freedom struggle against British. Imagine you were a young man during British India and you see people marching in protests. But imagine you were too lazy, or confused, or too ignorant, or gave some stupid reason not to participate in the freedom struggle. Would you not regret it now? I would.
I am thrilled to be part of the current agitation of Telangana. According to me, it’s once in a lifetime opportunity. Missing out is not an option for me. As an American would you not be thrilled to be part of your freedom struggle against British? Would you not give everything to be part of the struggle, participate in the raids of George Washington? As an African-American would you not be thrilled to be part of the crowd listening to Martin Luther King Jr’s I have a dream’ speech? [I am not African-American, but I would give everything to be part of that crowd on that historic day when he delivered that speech in Washington DC and I am quite sure I would be in tears]
As a Telangana person, this is your time. We didn’t have to fight British; we were emancipated by Indian police. Now is our chance to make our history, our freedom struggle, our independence movement, our chance to make the difference. It is our chance to be part of the George Washington’s raids and Martin Luther King’s speech.
This is history in making. We will look back at these days with great pride and great joy. The camaraderie we develop now will be for life long. Wouldn’t it be a wasted life if I have not stood up for something that concerned my people? What is the greatest struggle of mankind for? It’s not for money, not for power, not for luxury or comfort. The greatest of struggles of mankind has been for freedom, fighting for your people, for their rights and for their freedom?
So, what are you thinking? Why are so diffident? Why are you so timid? Will you forgive yourself apathy? Why are you confused? What will you tell your kids when they grow up? ‘I didn’t feel like participating in the greatest struggle that has happened in our history’? Wouldn’t you want to see in the mirror and tell yourself, ‘yes I stood for something that was grand, something more than myself and my immediate family, I stood for my people’?
Who cares how our current leaders are? Isn’t freedom more important than the kind of leaders we have? Right now, the time is not for hesitation. Not for doubt. Not for skepticism. Not for excuses. It is time for you to act. Otherwise you will never forgive yourself; you will have a hole in your heart that tells you that you didn’t do the right thing when you had a chance.
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of greatest moral crises maintain their neutrality – Dante
This is the greatest crisis that has befallen our people. This is the time to take a stand. Neutrality cannot be an excuse. So what are you going to do about it?
Many people say that students and the youth should concentrate on their academics and career and not participate in political fights. Those who say that have not read history. It is clear from our histories that greatest of the political movements that changed history of mankind involved heavy participation from the students. Those who were protesting for freedom in Tiananmen Square were students. Those who were protesting against Vietnam War in USA were students. Students and the youth have always been the section of society which has led the front in changing course of history. So, how could stop the students and youth of Telangana from participating in this historic and defining moment in our history?
Today, we are fighting for our identity, our share of water, our self-respect. Today, we fight against our suppressed history to compensate for all the times we were neglected, marginalized, and oppressed. Today, we fight against evils the beset our society, so that we can come out new from this struggle, cleaner and better. Today, we fight all the detractors and naysayers who said Telanganas don’t have it in them to create an identity for themselves. Today, we are united, in spite of all the differences amongst us. Today, we fight for a just cause, a cause which is much greater than each of us, and our selfish interest and our narrow perspectives. Today, we define a course of history for ourselves.
So, I urge you all Telangana people. It’s not the time for dillydallying or for hesitations. It is not the time to have self-doubt. It is not the time to give ignorance as an excuse. It is time for us to act. We owe this fight to our children and our grandchildren, so that they lead a life which is better than ours, where they hold their heads high because they are Telanganas, not to be ashamed of his identity, his accent or his language, but proud and confident. We owe it our progeny. We owe it to their future, their better life, and their self-respect.
So, I say to all of Telangana people, get off your ass and fight. Fight like there is no tomorrow. Only if you fight today in this historic fight, can you actually define your tomorrow. You have been given a chance to actually define your tomorrow. Don’t miss out on it.