29, మే 2010, శనివారం

TRS violence ‘eclipse’ Mahanadu coverage! - Bhandaru Srinivas Rao


TRS violence ‘eclipse’ Mahanadu coverage!




Has the trouble that rocked the state following Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy’s “Odarpu Yatra” ‘eclipsed’ the deserved coverage to the two-day Mahanadu of Telugu Desam party?
It looks like so!  Telugu Desam party, which is considered as one of the major regional parties in India, and had a ‘major’ role to play in Indian politics, suffered worst due to media deviation on two incidents – Jagan’s arrest following trouble at Mahbubabad railway station and the Maoist blasting a train in West  Bengal  killing 80 persons.  Almost all the news channels of regional and national gave priority to these two incidents' coverage simultaneously, ignoring the importance that the TDP annual conclave indeed deserves.
Does the entire media in the country taken for a ride by a well-knit conspiracy hatched by the Congress and the separatist Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS)?  As far as the state Congress unit is concerned, it is a war like situation within the party as pro and anti-YSR groups clashes come in open.  Those who opposed to YSR had no courage to challenge him while he was alive.  Although, they used to air dissent note quite often, they were not taken seriously by the party high command as YSR enjoyed maximum support.  In fact, even the Opposition which hitherto used to blame a Congress-led government in the past of being ruled (read controlled) by Delhi leadership, had begun to accuse it was YSR who dictating terms to the party high command.  In other words, not only the main Opposition Telugu Desam, but also other parties in the state realized that YSR had become all powerful and worked towards his defeat ganging up in one form or the other during the last assembly elections held in 2009.
But, YSR, who established himself as ‘mass leader’ (may be after NTR) in Andhra politics could accept the Opposition parties united ‘platform’ to ensure his Congress party win second term in the state.  The TRS, which was born to fight for separate statehood, hobnobbed with the Congress in 2004 elections and later with the Opposition Telugu Desam Party under the banner of “Mahakutami” in 2009 elections, in a bid to improve its numerical strength in the state assembly. Ironically, it failed on both occasions.

But, the tragic death of a strong leader like YSR in chopper crash had come handy to the party which is fighting for separate statehood as well to the Opposition Telugu Desam, which is  ambitious to stage a come back.  But, the death of a strong leader like YSR had benefited the TRS more than the TDP as regional passions rocked almost all the major political parties.  Those, who stood like a rock in support of YSR, nip the separate statehood demand in the bud, slowly but steadily, came out in its support.  So has happened even in Telugu Desam and the party leadership had its compulsions in encouraging such a demand by its own members belonging to the region.
What has happened in the recent past to strengthen the cause is for every one of us to see.  The fast-unto death agitation by the TRS chief, the Centre’s initiative to begin the process for bifurcation with the Union Home Minister’s mid-night statement leading to KCR giving up his fast, and Chidambaram’s statement igniting fire in two other parts of the state – coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema – by integrationists, the unabated violence in the campuses of Osmania University (Hyderabad) and Kakatiya University (Warangal), all these developments helped to the advantage of TRS.  And, the Congress central leadership had to take the place for the continuance of political unrest in the state due to its short-sighted political initiatives. 
Since then the TRS spearheaded its violent movement, but restrained as the Congress constituted Justice BN Srikrishna Committee, giving an impression that it  had fulfilled its promises of beginning the process for state bifurcation by asking the panel to elicit view points of all stakeholders and submit its recommendations.  But, it would not like to leave an opportunity to create scare among the Central leadership on state bifurcation.  As part of that exercise, the TRS and its supportive organizations like T-JAC of Prof Kodandaram and the students JAC of OU and Kakatiya Universities, decided to derive maximum advantage of the Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy’s ‘Odarpu yatra’, in spite of his appeals not to see his visit to Warangal in political angle.

But, for TRS, the fear of the by-elections, which are scheduled to be held in next couple of months, become major concern and remain to be in news for some reason or the other.  The past experiences of ‘major set backs’ to that party in by-polls haunting TRS leadership like a shadow.  The party had no great hopes on getting a positive report from the ongoing Srikrishna panel.  This was evident from KCR’s veil threats of ‘civil war’  if the Committee submits negative report in December.  The recent Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s reported remarks on new states’ formation also become a major worrying factor to KCR and his party. The Prime Minister made it clear on the occasion of his government’s first anniversary that creation of smaller states is not in his party-led UPA coalition government's priorities.

Well, for whatever reasons, the TRS and its supporters might have chosen the path of confrontationist to prevent the Kadapa MP’s ‘Odarpu yatra’; it served their purpose for being in news yet again.  They proved that they indeed capable of creating a ‘civil war’ like situations.  At the same time, by knowingly or unknowingly also scored a ‘bonus’ point of pushing the main Opposition Telugu Desam from getting its due coverage on an important day like the party’s foundation day and its founder president N T Rama Rao’s birth day.
The same yard stick may be applied even in case of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, who like his father, determined to build his career as strong ‘mass leader’ rather than count as one among many politicians sons.  Like his father, he understood that ‘credibility’ is the major factor in today’s politics to get people’s acceptance.  If his father chose the path and accomplished as ‘madama tippani neta’ (A man who will not go back on his promise), the young scion too appears gaining that acceptance.  His determination to go ahead with the “Odarpu Yatra’ in spite of the alleged party high command’s flat ‘no’ indeed helped the party more than it expected. 
If the state bifurcation issue has attained national importance with almost all major national channels running debates in their ‘prime time’ slots, so was Jaganmohan Reddy’s image. He now, has  become a national ‘hero’ for his dare-devil attempt as yesterday's incident let rest of the country’s population know how a committed leader he is to pay back the gratitude.(29-05-2010)

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