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Sorry. I Got It Wrong About Telangana March

03-10-2012
About the Telangana March, I got it wrong. I went wrong with the numbers.

I said that their best effort was unimpressive. Sorry. I was wrong.

I uncritically accepted the estimates of the news papers and the television channels and also gave credence, more than I ought to have, to the estimates the organizers of the March have put out.

In my last post about the 30 September Telangana March I said: “The organizers claimed that about three lakh people attended. Observers of the event estimated the crowd was somewhere around a lakh. Those numbers were the high points.”

It turns out that everybody was trying to play safe, actually. Every media house in the state and every media person representing the so called national media wanted to be politically correct. Being politically correct in reporting the Telangana agitation means not to displease the separatists. To swallow hook line and sinker the tall claims of the organizers and publish them. While reporting the Kavaatu or Telangana March, they were all unanimous in saying that there was a massive crowd on the necklace road. Telugu papers were lyrical in describing the size of the gathering.

Sri Adusumillii Jayaprakash, an associate in our effort to refute the separatist argument, has done a clinical analysis of the visuals of the Kavaatu.

This is the picture of the March at its peak.

Picture of Telangana March

Telangana March Aerial View

 As you can see, squares of equal size are superimposed on it to make calculation easy.

It is clear that some portions are very densely crowded while others are quite sparsely occupied. But to be generous, let us assume that the entire area is uniformly dense and take the densest portion as the basis to do our calculation.

This part of the picture is from the densest portion.

 Telangana March At Its Densest

 Now let’s do the numbers.

You will find 25 people across and 20 from top to bottom in the square. This means, per square, there are 500 people. There are people in 36 squares. The rest of the area has water or greenery in which there is no crowd. 500 people per square. In 36 squares. That brings the number to 18,000.

Yes. 18,000.

If you think I am too miserly and nit picking, then double it up if you like.

And you will have 36,000.

That is if you take all the squares to be as dense as the densest one, although they are not. And then if you double the number, although you don’t have to.

That is the best number that you can give to the Telangana March.

My friend Jayaprakash looked at it from another angle too. He is very meticulous.

He looked at the lift that we very routinely use.

I guess even those bloggers who don’t sit in air conditioned rooms also use lifts. Some people call them elevators.

A 4 feet by 4 feet lift car can pack four people. That means it takes 16 square feet to hold 4 people. That means, in 100 square feet 25 people can fit in. Let us assume that these people are unusually inspired, and are packed as tightly as sardines. Then we can add another 5 people and make it 30 people per 100 square feet.

An acre is 45,560 square feet. According to our calculation an acre thus can take 13,080 inspired people. If they are not sufficiently inspired, then even less. But at this point of time, we are talking about only highly inspired people. So it is 13,080.

Let us now see the physical dimensions of the Necklace Road area occupied by the marchers on 30 September, 2012. It is 1300 feet long and 100 feet wide. It’s width is actually not uniformly 100 feet throughout the entire length of 1300 feet. But still, let us take it that it is uniformly wide by 100 feet.

The marchers on the necklace road thus occupied a space of 1,30,000 square feet. But that area includes road dividers and all that. However, let us for a moment assume that the people gathered there used every inch of the area available.

At the rate of 25 persons per one hundred square feet, the gathering could not have been more than 32,500. And if 30 persons squeezed into the same space, then we arrive at a figure of not more than 39,000.

In my last post I said that their best effort was unimpressive. Sorry, I was wrong.

It is, in fact, pathetic.

Now it is even clearer why the lions that roared about braving bombs and Tahrir-Square-like sit-in had to quietly leave the place.

With tails between their hind legs.

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