Dozens of U.S.-based Indians from the Telangana region of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh gathered in Washington, DC, on Saturday, staging a solidarity demonstration with the “Sakala Janula Samme” – a civil disobedience movement that has swept all of Telangana over the last 32 days.
Speaking at the demonstration, Ravi Mayreddy, a spokesperson for the mobilization, said, “We demand that Indian government to respect and abide by its own declaration of Dec. 9th, 2009, and form the new Telangana state.”
Like the 40 million people of Telangana who have undertaken the all-peoples’ civil disobedience, the Telangana NRIs demanded in a strong voice that the Indian government immediately initiate the process of creating the Telangana state. Organizers cited “the right of the citizenry to form a separate State is granted under Articles 2 and 3 of the Indian constitution.”
Based on reports from the region, the organizers highlighted that for over a month the entire government machinery in the 10 districts that constitute Telangana have come to a complete standstill.
“All government offices, secondary schools, colleges, universities, mines and factories, urban and rural bus services, government hospitals and medical clinics have all ground to a halt. Teachers and engineers, lawyers and doctors, workers and managers, and even the police are voluntarily participating in this mass general strike,” the organizers said in a statement.