The Courts, it is said, are immune from the vagaries of the public opinion. However, emerging trends in society and the evolving mood of the public sometimes force the Judges to be extra cautious while dealing with serious cases like the RTC strike. Yesterday’s Hyderabad High Court’s ruling clearly vindicates the fact that the courts can’t always be immune from what is happening outside the court hall.
The High Court bench, presided by the chief justice himself, while dealing with the petitions related to the RTC strike, stood by the striking employees and passed an order in the form of a request to the stubborn government to open the doors for negotiations. The HC had also dismissed a petition that sought the bench to instruct the employees to call off the state-bandh on October 19 in view of the inconvenience it is likely to cause to the public. These two rulings of the court have proven that the court is not impervious to the mood of the public.
On Saturday, the strike entered day 15 and culminated in a state bandh, which is the first open defiance of the chief minister’s authority in the state of Telangana since its formation in 2014. The strike and the bandh call has enlisted support from all public organizations, trade unions, student bodies, and political parties.
This type of solidarity was the norm when KCR was leading the movement for the statehood for Telangana. Even after two weeks into the strike, there has been no revolts against the striking employees from the people. There have been no dharnas in front of the RTC depots demanding to resume bus services.
Having achieved the statehood, KCR rightfully deluded that there won’t be any agitation or bandh in Telangana. He promised, as the father of Telangana state, that he would build Bangaru Telangana which in turn would take care of the wants of everybody.
He extended this logic to politics as well. As Chief Minister, he campaigned for a one-party Telangana where there is no room for political opposition and dissent. He employed every trick of the trade to liquidate opposition parties in the state. His unmatchable stature in the newest state of Telangana spawned an obnoxious and undemocratic ideology that anything or anyone that opposes TRS and KCR is anti-Telangana.
This indeed worked well and started paying dividends. Finally, his party returned to power the second time in 2018 with renewed vigour. And the media, which reported on growing anti-incumbency, struggled to explain why? But, what went unnoticed by KCR is the growing discomfort over his authoritarian attitude among the public, under the veneer of the Bangaru Telangana.
The RTC strike and the support it commands is a painful reminder of what is bad in KCR’s Bangaru Telangana. The two-week-long strike is indicative of the tremendous anger and frustration among the public. Finally, the employees may call off strike, and the government may have the last laugh. But the strike will certainly etch an indelible mark on the wall that unaccommodating politics won’t last long and always has the trait of self-destruction.