The ongoing agitation against proposed mining of Uranium in Nallamala forests and the overwhelming response from Telugu film industry is believed to be a well-planned strategy by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi to corner the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre.
Particularly, the way the film stars of Tollywood took up the cudgels against Uranium mining in the Nallamala forests and launched “Save Nallamala” campaign has raised many eyebrows.
First of all, there were no instances in the past in which the film stars have taken up such a massive campaign on any major environmental issue in such a big way – launching an online campaign and signing petitions etc.
Of course, we have seen celebrities reacting to campaigns like “plant a tree,” “ice bucket challenge,” “rice bucket challenge” and “bucket water challenge,” etc.
Secondly, there is no possibility of the film personalities launching a campaign to embarrass the Telangana government headed by K Chandrasekhar Rao and dominated by his son K T Rama Rao, since going by the entire episode, it appeared that the campaign was against the permission being given by the Telangana forest department for the Uranium mining.
In fact, it was the decision of the Centre – Uranium Corporation of India Ltd and Atomic Minerals Division of Department of Atomic Energy to be precise – to take up Uranium exploration in Nallamala forests. So, the state government has little role in it, except giving an approval through forest department.
The film industry started reacting wildly only after director Shekhar Kammula tweeted the issue three weeks ago and it has gone viral.
Generally, film personalities do not react to such issues so strongly, but it appeared there was a big plan behind them to take it up as a campaign.
Finally, the issue culminated in the statement made by KCR that there was no question of giving any forest permission to Uranium mining and said if the Centre forcibly entered the forests, he would launch a big fight.
Apparently, the entire agitation by film stars was stage-managed by the TRS to target the Centre and corner the BJP which was emerging as an alternative to the TRS in the state. Since it directly opposes the Uranium mining, it might create troubles with the Centre.
So, it sought to build up a public opinion, especially from the film industry, against the Uranium mining, so that the TRS can get the required political mileage.