The second pillar of the demand for a separate Telangana is the fact of cultural hegemon. The Telugu film industry is the worst offender – the criminalizing of Telangana language and the people of Telangana in popular culture reaching levels that undermine the dignity of the people of the region.the only cultural hegemon i'm worried about right now is the growing majoritarian culture that says: there's one telangani culture, and if you don't agree with that, you should consult some eminent social scientist or shut the f%&k up. there is a simple truth that many hindu upper caste liberals should understand: there isn't one telangana. just as there isn't one mumbai, or one coastal andhra or one bengal.
i learnt that truth or lesson, several lessons actually, at a very young age, and one particular teacher was a young man who looked very middle aged when i met him. he was from the golla, or yadav, community and he, let's call him ramaiah, along with his family had come to work as domestic help for my family. in caste terms, he came from a community that ranked much higher than ours, but the city had changed ranks a little and my father's fortunes a lot.
i have to cut this story very short, because i don't like it: he had run away from his village, around 40-50 kms from hyderabad, because he couldn't work for the dora (or lord, master--term used for big, upper caste landowner, to put it simply) of that village any more. the dora's brother had killed ramaiah's younger brother because he had dared to pluck a fruit from a tamarind tree in the dora's family's vast farm. he had beat him up very badly, worked on him with a tractor tyre, and the young man died some time later from whatever was broken inside him. that happened around 35-40 years ago and this dora happened to be someone my father knew in the city, and i still remember how ramaiah used to shake in fear whenever he came visiting.
other stories, other lessons from other people have also been useful, but because i was very young, that tamarind fruit stayed in my mind. it's a huge library for me. i've learnt from the tamarind fruit that i don't share any culture with kcr, nor does kcr share any culture with gaddar, nor does gaddar share any culture with ramaiah. and that tamarind fruit shall always divide me from prof.haragopal or any other brahmin gopal.
so what do these shared 'culture' and 'socialist vision' of the leaders of the separatist movement ms.kannabiran speaks about have to offer? it's not like they're going to give every dalit rural worker and obc farmer or artisan jobs in the hyderabad central university or osmania university with equal pay and perks as prof.haragopal used to enjoy and prof.kodandaram now refuses to give up, are they?
my appeal to the tamarind fruit owners: please stop talking about 'diverse constituencies' and a 'composite culture' in the same breath.