It was a throwback to the days of the Telangana agitation when cooking on the road and eating squatting in a group became a popular form of protest. Vanta Varpu (cooking on roads) returned to Telangana with RTC employees who have been sacked en masse, ate a community lunch on the roads to protest against the government’s refusal to concede their demands.
Expressing solidarity with the striking employees, students of Osmania University in Hyderabad which was the epicentre of the Telangana protests also held a Vanta Varpu outside the Arts College.
Will this amount to anything? On the face of it, not much beyond the optics. But what it does is to create the groundwork for unrest and dissatisfaction against the manner in which the government has handled the issue so far. While it is no one’s case that all the demands by the striking employees can be met, dealing a strike with an iron hand is not always the best way to handle the situation.
What the TRS should be worried about is that the RTC strike has given a handle to the opposition to rally together against the government. That this has come about in less than a year since K Chandrasekhar Rao stormed back to power with a bigger mandate should be of concern.