The most dreaded 'T' word is back in Andhra Pradesh politics. After a long lull, the movement for Telangana state is once again picking up steam.
Unfortunately, there are not many well written books on Telangana in English. Kingshuk Nag, a senior journalist of repute and resident editor of Times of India, Hyderabad edition has filled the vacuum by writing a highly readable book on the movement and the region: Battleground Telangana.
Nag gives a detailed picture of Telangana region. He discusses its troubled past during the Draconian rule of the Nizams of Hyderabad, its unfortunate people's fight for basic needs etc. His book also throws light on the situation in Telangana before the reorganisation of linguistic states in 1956.
The first mass movement for a separate state of Telangana was started in the late 1960s. It was violent and claimed several hundred lives. Sadly, not many people even talk about it, these days. But, Nag believes that the events from the past are not just a footnote. He does justice to the 1960s movement by giving a detailed picture of the failed mass movement and its profound impact on the present crisis.
He also exposes the hypocrisy of the politicians who led the movement or those who got a huge mileage out of it. But, his writing on the present situation reads like a newspaper report. It lacks depth and analyses. He just states the facts. As a colleague of mine puts it ' Battleground Telangana is a graphic package in TV news parlance '!!
But, one must read this book to understand what the Telangana movement is all about. I recommend this book to all journalists!!