Thursday, December 10, 2009


Yesterday I arrived in Kalleda, Andhra Pradesh; today I woke up in Kalleda, Telangana. Alright, back up…Unknowingly, Liza and I arrived in Hyderabad in the midst of a state crisis historical happenings. Shops, businesses, and schools were closed as people took to the streets in a city-wide strike, or “bandt.” The issue at hand was a bill to divide Andhra Pradesh in two, thereby creating a new state called Telangana. Having no background on the politics of Andhra Pradesh, Liza and I read the morning papers for clarification. In my mind, I had been comparing the Telangana bill to a hypothetical bill to split Washington State in half along the Cascades. When I pictured the protests and rallies, I pictured WTO in Seattle or the March For Women’s Rights in Washington D.C. A cursory glance at the paper, however, was enough to remind me that I’m not in America anymore, and my previous experiences won’t provide much of a foundation for understanding Telangana or likely many other events that are bound to take place while I am in India. This is a country where the 50 year old issue of Telangana recently came to a head because a noted politician was arrested for going on a hunger strike; where another group of political leaders organized a relay hunger strike, which seems a bit pansy if you ask me!; and where villagers parade through the streets with white cattle painted hot pink, the Telangana state color. Well, it all worked! Although there are many details to be worked out over the next several years, from new political leaders to new license plates, I now officially live in Telangana.

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