Was ready to sacrifice my life to force Telangana formation; KCR recalls at Martyrs Memorial inauguration

Recognising the importance of honouring the martyrs, KCR said that the Telangana Amarajyoti will stand as a testament to their sacrifices

Was ready to sacrifice my life to force Telangana formation; KCR recalls at Martyrs Memorial inauguration

HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) has asserted that the Telangana Government was committed to fulfilling the aspirations of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the birth of the State.

KCR spoke at length about the struggles of attaining Statehood during the inaugural ceremony of the Telangana Martyrs Memorial (Telangana Amarajyothi) on Thursday evening near Tank Bund in Hyderabad. The memorial was built with the objective of remembering everyday the sacrifices of the Telangana martyrs and keeping their memories afresh in the minds of people.

The memorial, Amarajyoti, is a 150-foot-high seamless stainless steel structure built in the shape of a flaming lamp, symbolically offering tributes perennially to the martyrs. It is spread over an area of 3.5 acres and was developed at a cost of Rs 178 crore.

Speaking on the momentous occasion, KCR said that he was deeply pained and disturbed by the sacrifices of the students and youths. He shared a significant personal experience from the days of the separate statehood agitation, revealing that he embarked on a fast-unto-death with the conviction that his sacrifice could lead to the realisation of a self-ruling Telangana.

“Doctors in Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) warned me that I would slip into a coma if I persisted with my fast and it would be difficult to save me. However, I continued the fast without fear. Throughout the Telangana movement, I faced numerous resignations and criticism. However, I chose to view these challenges as blessings and sources of motivation to move forward,” KCR said.

He also felt that he endured maximum wrath and assaults from the Government and the sections opposed to the idea of Telangana, something that no other leader would have been subjected to, at the height of the agitation. The Chief Minister recalled the support of the people and appreciated their unflinching dedication during the agitation, which, he said, emphasised the collective effort required to achieve a separate Telangana State.

KCR also delved into history, stating that the Telangana struggle began way back in 1966 in Khammam district post which students continued the agitation in universities.

"The then undivided Andhra Pradesh Government exerted heavy pressure on activists and threatened me several times. However, the students did not relent and ensured their active participation in the movement. We spent about five to six thousand hours brainstorming with a handful of people to chalk out a strategy," KCR said.

The Chief Minister also acknowledged the invaluable contributions of Prof. Jayashankar to the Telangana movement. "The professor claimed to be a Telangana activist by birth. He never took a step back with any issue concerning the Telangana region," he said.

KCR also highlighted the sacrifices made by numerous individuals who laid down their lives in the pursuit of Telangana. He expressed regret that their sacrifices were not adequately rewarded. Recognising the importance of honouring their memory, KCR said that the Telangana Martyrs' Memorial would stand as a testament to their sacrifices.

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