As the BJP celebrated ‘Telangana Liberation Day’ on Saturday, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) accused it of “selective amnesia” and said this political strategy to expand its presence would not work in the state.
“BJP has the habit of raising communal issue whenever they feel that there is an opportune time. Even during the time of agitation (for separate statehood for Telangana), we had always said this is a merger day, not a liberation day,” TRS Lok Sabha member, Kalvakuntla Kavitha said.
BJP has been demanding that the Telangana government officially celebrate the occasion as ‘Liberation Day’ as Hyderabad State was “liberated” through “police action” on September 17, 1948, more than a year after India got independence.
BJP considers the Nizam’s rule in the erstwhile Hyderabad State as “tyrannical”, “oppressive” and “autocratic” and claims that Telugu language was discouraged as the medium of instruction in educational institutions during their period.
“BJP-TDP government was in power. No body wanted to talk about liberation day, why speak about it now? You can’t have selective amnesia. When you speak about historical incidents, certainly BJP has a habit of selective amnesia, very comfortably, conveniently they pick and choose the facts. We only say it’s a merger day. We always observed it as a merger day, we will continue to do so,” the MP said.
Kavitha noted that when Goa merged into India, the Central government called it liberation, while the Telangana (erstwhile Hyderabad State) operation in 1948 was termed as “police action, and they never said liberation of Telangana”.
“You only want to recall the 1948 incident, what about 1969 incidents of Telangana agitation, what about 1952, what about 2001 ?...Many, many kids were killed. In 1969, 369 students were killed in police firing, BJP does not want to talk about it.”
“Politically it won’t work, because BJP has negligible presence in Telangana. Just to increase their political visibility in Telangana, they have started to rake up this issue. People do not have any sentiment towards this particular issue BJP is talking about, Congress does not talk about it, TDP does not talk about it (liberation)”, the MP said.