Tank Bund, a testament to the journey of Telangana

Once an epicentre of protests during the Telangana movement, the iconic Tank Bund in Hyderabad becomes the venue for the state formation day celebrations.
Band members perform during the Telangana Formation Day celebrations on Tank Bund in Hyderabad on Sunday
Band members perform during the Telangana Formation Day celebrations on Tank Bund in Hyderabad on Sunday Photo | Vinay Madapu

HYDERABAD : The decennial celebrations of Telangana Formation Day kicked off at Parade Ground in the morning and shifted to Tank Bund by the evening. As Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy, flanked by ministers, along with Governor CP Radhakrishnan released the new full version of the Telangana anthem Jaya Jaya Hey Telangana, fireworks went off amid cheers from the audience. A delightful fireworks display lit up the night sky while artists performed a spirited dance to the song authored by Ande Sri and tuned by Oscar-winning music director MM Keeravani.

From protests to celebrations, the Tank Bund in Hyderabad has been a testament to the years-long struggle for separate statehood and now the decennial celebrations. The Tank Bund, also known as Hussainsagar by locals, has been a site of many protests during the Telangana movement, particularly the iconic Million March.

Dancers and performers take part in the celebrations of the Telangana Formation Day on Tank Bund, Hyderabad, on Sunday
Dancers and performers take part in the celebrations of the Telangana Formation Day on Tank Bund, Hyderabad, on SundayPhoto | Vinay Madapu

On March 10, 2011, Tank Bund became a symbol of hope and resilience for the people of the state. Thousands of Telanganites, if not lakhs, stormed the Tank Bund in rebellion mode, demanding the formation of Telangana. Incidentally, Hussainsagar was in the political discourse as BRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao promised to transform the highly polluted water into coconut water. Throughout KCR’s 10-year-long rule, the state government faced criticism for not fulfilling this promise.

It was not just the Million March; several protests during the Telangana movement were centred around Tank Bund due to its proximity to power corridors such as the Secretariat and Assembly. A few years down the line, the same Tank Bund geared up to host the decennial celebrations in grandeur. From Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy to the state machinery and common citizens, scores of people from various walks of life took part in the celebrations.

Governor CP Radhakrishnan with Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy and his grandson during the celebrations
Governor CP Radhakrishnan with Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy and his grandson during the celebrationsPhoto | Vinay Madapu

The shift from protest to celebration at Tank Bund underscores Telangana’s journey from a social movement to state formation and from protests to celebrations. The site that once cried for justice now resonates with the joy of the accomplishment of the Telangana state and the determination of the Telangana people.

After taking a stroll on Tank Bund Road, OU JAC founding member Kota Srinivas expressed immense pleasure in walking there during the celebrations. He recalled leading the Million March from the forefront and being booked in various police cases. “Although I didn’t get rid of police cases, it was the ambience on the Tank Bund that gave me peace and made me feel empowered,” he told TNIE.

Dancers and performers take part in the celebrations of the Telangana Formation Day on Tank Bund, Hyderabad, on Sunday
Dancers and performers take part in the celebrations of the Telangana Formation Day on Tank Bund, Hyderabad, on SundayPhoto | Vinay Madapu

Light show illuminates the night sky

A highlight of the festivities was the array of dance parades showcasing the diverse cultural heritage of Telangana. Performances included traditional dances such as Bathukamma and Bonalu, and various forms of tribal art forms.

The celebrations also featured a spectacular light show, illuminating the Tank Bund area and creating a mesmerising visual experience. Stalls offering various native delicacies and artefacts were set up around the venue, giving attendees a chance to explore traditional goods.

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