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Showing posts from September, 2009

The coronation of Karna

I made an attempt to translate one of my favourite scenes from the movie Daana Veera Shoora Karna. There could be a few words that I have not translated, but overall, I think I managed to convey the spirit of the dialogues, especially the ones by Suyodhana.

Scene: The Court of Kaurava king Dhritarashtra. The court opens on to a ground. The Kaurava and Pandava princes, the elders of the clan, and other courtiers are present. The public is seated around the ground, where an exhibition of skills has been going on. Arjuna has emerged as the best fighter among all.

Drona: In the entire Bharata Khanda, my favorite disciple, the third Pandava prince Arjuna is the best and the incomparable among the archers; he is best warrior in the entire world.
Arjuna twangs his bow.
Suyodhana (Duryodhana) is unhappy but doesn't have an answer to this claim.

Drona: In the science of archery, on this entire landmass surrounded by the four oceans, there is no one who can compete against Arjuna. No one ! No on…

On the age of 'ostentatious austerity'

I wanted to write about this austerity thing. But now, its taken a new turn. Will write after we see the fun with Shashi Tharoor's 'cattle class' statement, inspired by Kanchan Gupta, and taken offence to by the Congress Party.Meanwhile, here's an excellent view of the issue from former diplomat M.K.Bhadra Kumar

Hypocrisy of the 'austerity drive' must stop Now!

Will / Should Jagan succeed YSR as CM?

When I heard a confirmation of YSR's chopper being found last Thursday, I had just reached my office. I called home and asked my wife to switch on the TV.I told her to call me as soon as she sees a confirmation of YSR's survival or demise. And in a conversation with a colleague a few minutes after the confirmation of his death, I suggested that by evening we would see Jagan being sworn in as the new CM.

That it did not happen and Rosaiah was made interim CM was explained away by people.They said it was mourning period and let Jagan at least complete the last rites along with his family. Well, the funeral did not stop Rajeev Gandhi from being sworn in as PM on the night of Oct 31, 1983, did it?

Any way, there are a few issues here:

1.Who should decide on the next CM? Congress Party high command (basically Sonia and Rahul) or the MLAs of AP? The Constitution is very clear on this aspect.The MLAs have to chose their leader, and the Governor has to be satisfied that the leader can co…

YSR (1949-2009) - The 'born again' politician - 4

In the previous three posts on YSR's legacy ( Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), we looked at the political career of YSR. However, along with 'factionism', 'dissidence', 'paada yatra', and 'welfare sops' , the question of YSR's role in the spread of Christian evangelism in AP is also an important motif for polarising opinions on him.

The first point to note is that the popularity of YSR among the minorities in AP has in no way compromised his pull among upper caste as well as dalit Hindus in AP. Rather than just looking into the allegations about his encouragement for evangelism and his supposedly anti-Hindu policies related to management of temples, and the use of Hundi collections for 'secular' purposes, it will serve us better if we try to understand the issues involved in a little more detail.

Frequently Asked Question : Has there been a tremendous rise in evangelism/forced conversions after YSR became the CM, and if yes, how much of this c…

YSR (1949-2009) - The 'born again' politician - 3

Part 1 and Part 2 of this post.

The trajectory of YSR's political career post-1999 shows a gradual ascent. Playing the mature and constructive opposition leader did not come easy to him. It was a learning curve that demanded YSR to read up and understand how agitational politics in a democratic setup need to be managed.

The State Congress was not short of people who reminded him about the vow he had taken before the 1999 elections to either dislodge Chandra Babu Naidu or take poilitical sanyas. Locals say that it was just pre-poll rhetoric and that YSR, after spending two decades in politics would just have to continue, at least to retain the family's pre-eminence in Kadapa district, and also to provide political cover to his son's business interests.

Around this time, Jagan's business ventures started picking up, and the friendship with the Reddy brothers of Bellary (Gali Janardhan Reddy being the main person) came in handy. And to stay in peoples' minds, YSR chose h…

YSR (1949-2009) - The 'born again' politician - 2

Part -1 of this post.

While it is true that Chenna Reddy was the PCC president when Congress defeated NTR in 1989, a good number of people gave YSR a decent chance of becoming CM. However, that was not to be. This marked the beginning of a new phase in YSR's career - that of a dissident Congressman, trying to undermine the incumbent Congress CM.

Hyderabad was always prone to Hindu-Muslim clashes around the Ganesh Chaturthi, Bonalu and Ramadan time. The Police were unable to prevent the riots, and their effectiveness during the riots was hampered by political interference. But during NTR's first term (1983-89), there were hardly any riots in Hyderabad. NTR gave free hand to the state police to do preventive detentions and increase the patrols. Even though there were some protests about the annual arrests, for about 7 years, Hyderabad was riot free.

But during the Congress tenure (1989-1994), communal riots became an annual feature once again. And every time the riots occurred, th…

YSR (1949-2009) - The 'born again' politician - 1

(Caution: Very long post)

"In the long run, we are all going to die," said a famous economist some years back.


Yedugoori Sandiniti Rajasekhar Reddy (Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy or simply YSR) who died in a chopper crash over the dense Nallamala forests in the Rayalaseema region of AP seemed to have never believed in that truism.

YSR (1949-2009) may have died suddenly, and at arguably the peak of his political career, but leaves behind strong political legacy. Not many people would have agreed with his supporters' assertion that YSR has been as influential as the late N.T.Rama Rao (NTR) in shaping the AP political discourse. But when one looks at the events leading to his tragic death, and the emotional response to it by his fans, YSR has once again surprised his own expectations.


I have never written an obituary even during my days as a rookie journalist. I did not intend to write one for YSR. And this post is not going to be one either. But watching the thousands of people who thr…