Presidents of the ‘Dalit Students’ Union (DSU)’

Dalit Students’ Union (DSU), University of Hyderabad was established in the year 1996. But, the formal inauguration took place on 19 August, 1997, at Dr B R Ambedkar Auditorium on the University Campus. The following is the list of Presidents’ who served the Union. All the following persons served the Union one after the other. But, we are having record from Dr Ravi V M’s tenure in chronological order. Dr Devarapalli Satish Babu served the Union for longer duration than most of the others, in various capacities like President, Convener, etc.

Mrs Rani V was the Vice President during Mr Sukanna’s Presidential tenure. But, as Mr Sukanna left to Ethiopia, as an English faculty, she acted as the In-charge President for the rest of the tenure.  Mrs Rani was the first women President to head any student organization on the entire University Campus.

List of the ‘Dalit Students’ Union (DSU)’, University of Hyderabad Presidents

  1. Mr. Katti Kalyan
  2. M r Raju K V N
  3. Mr Baran Basu
  4. Dr. Devarapalli Satish Babu
  5. Dr. Akumarthi Nageswara Rao
  6. 2004 – 2005 Dr.  Ravi Kumar V M– History
  7. 2005 – 2006 – Mr. Gurajala Ravi
  8. 2006 – 2007 – Mr. Digumarthi Suresh Kumar
  9. 2007 – 2008 – Mr. Praveen Veluvolu
  10. 2008 – 2009 – Mr. Siluveru Harinadh
  11. 2009 – 2010 – Mr. Sunkanna/ Mrs Rani V
  12. 2010 – 2011 – Mr. Munnangi Prasanth Kumar
  13. 2011 – 2012 – Mr Santhi Swaroop Sirapangi

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Telugu Desam Party and Leadership Crisis

Telugu Desam Party and Leadership Crisis

I

Mr Nara Chandra Babu Naidu started his political carrier in the Indian National Congress (INC) Party, but later on shifted to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), headed by Mr Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR), a famous cine star turned founder of TDP, who captured Andhra Pradesh Chief Ministerial position within nine months of his party formation. In fact, Mr Chandra Babu Naidu was a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and Minister in the INC, but shifted allegiance to TDP, primary, due to the best reasons known to him!! He used to be very close to NTR, as his Son-in-Law and enjoyed best political positions within the Party and in the Government under his leadership.

II

Anyhow, he was a successful person in overthrowing Mr NTR from power in 1995, on various grounds, of course with the active support of the NTR family members too. He was branded as highly selfish, cunning, untrustworthy, etc, by his own NTR family members after the political coup of NTR overthrow from the political position within the Party and from the Government. As per agreement between the NTR family members and Mr Chandra Babu Naidu, the later was supposed to elevate Dr Daggubathi Venkateswara Rao as Deputy Chief Minister of the State, who is his co-brother-in-law. But, he evaded this, for the consolidation of his political base and Chief Ministerial position. In the process of consolidating his political base, he attempted to suppress many, including the family members of NTR and TDP leaders or others. This nature of him was attributed and analyzed from his suspicious background towards others, with which he always sailed his life. It was highly believed that he never believes anyone, and wishes to suppress others, for the sustenance of his political base or otherwise. In this backdrop only one can observe and guess that he was not willing to offer Ministerial position to Mr K Chandrasekhara Rao (KCR), after 1999 general election, as a result Mr KCR launched his own political outfit Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS)!! Many more instances can be put forward to justify this kind of perspective. Moreover the sad and sudden demise of Mr NTR in 1996 was also one of the key positive factors for the unchallenged political carrier of Mr Babu, apart from other political factors, like weak INC AP Unit, etc or mis-propagation of his regime in positive tone by the media, TDP-BJP electoral alliance, etc.   

The Ramoji Rao’s Eenadu daily became a mouthpiece of Chandra Babu Naidu’s regime, which enjoyed unbeatable circulation in Andhra Pradesh’s print media during Babu’s regime. Some of the political analysts and INC Andhra Pradesh leaders too attributed TDP and Babu’s success during 1999 elections to his background (Eendau support). In fact, I can still recollect and imagine vividly the peaks of Eeandu’s yellow journalism of that particular time in favor of TDP and Mr Babu. I became very avers towards this daily and even today I don’t wish to read this newspaper for its peaks of yellow journalistic attitude!! Not only Eenadu, even the national media too started to project Mr Babu as an able administrator, visionary, intellectual, etc. This attitude of national media was understood from ‘paid news’ projection in favor of TDP and Mr Babu. In fact, Mr Babu had huge faith on media sector. His belief was that; whatever gets projected by media (in his favor) is taken for granted by the masses. So, if he can manage Media, his position is absolutely safe. Even, he had same kind of impression towards the Film stars and other actors who even acts in various television serials. He encouraged film stars, small screen serial actors too for his regimes campaign in positive mode. He had faith more on media, film and television actors, but not on party cadre, to carry forward the party’s ideology, government’s successful programmes etc. Of course, ideology of TDP or any other major political parties is a debatable issue.

In a way Mr Babu destroyed his Party structure. He is the sole responsible person for the destruction of Party cadre, base and structure. During NTRs regime there was strong and committed cadre. But, Mr Babu never tried to use Party cadre in a systematic manner. He acted as a CEO of a Company, rather than Party President and Chief Minister of a State, which is operating on democratic lines. His Party events represented Company’s organizational structure and look. The Party’s events were outsourced also for readymade look, like the events like Mahanadu, rallies, meetings, campaigns, etc, rather than utilizing party cadre and structure. There was huge discontent towards this nature of him, but, when he was in Chief Ministerial position party leaders and cadre kept quite. He allotted different constituencies to film personalities, business people, other party persons who defected to his party, etc, rather than to his own party cadre!! As a result, the party cadre, base, and structure too got damaged over the years. The persons who had been enjoying the political positions offered by him after getting elected to various representative bodies were not full-fledged politicians and such persons failed to be effective politicians even after their election, if happened. In this category we can observe plenty of personalities like Mr Babu Mohan, Dagubathi Ramanaidu, Mysoora Reddy, etc.

Mr Babu’s rule continued since 1995 to 2004 in autocratic way, without taking into consideration his Party properly. He used to self boost in front of media, that he was very hard working Chief Minister, who is working for eighteen hours per day, and his party cadre, leaders and government officials/employees were not working properly in order to fulfill his vision or peoples requirements, etc!! But, the counter argument runs in opposite way; that his regime had no productive engagements and outcomes, especially productive projects were not undertaken. He destroyed completely the agricultural sector. As a result, the Leader of the Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, from INC Dr Y S Rajashekara Reddy was successful; by promising that the Babu’s neglected areas would be revived and made profitable/serviceable to the masses!! And, in this direction Dr YSR was successful after capturing of political power, i.e. during 2004-2009. Mr Babu made little of Dr YSR’s promises and campaigned in negative during 2004 general election that YRS and INC electoral promises were not feasible. But, Dr YSR implemented many of his promised schemes, like free electricity supply, etc, to which Mr Babu campaigned was impossible!! As a result, Mr Babu lost the trust of the masses!! Mr Babu even failed to be a responsible Leader of the Opposition, especially since 2004!!

III

On the whole one can observe that as Mr Babu did not emerge in proper political structure, i.e. step by step by occupying different political positions, by understanding the genuine requirements and aspirations of the masses, etc. He failed to fulfill and solve the genuine problems of the masses. On the contrary, he was a product of Neo Liberal Economic policies era, which he intensely admired and implemented at the cost of his party, democratic spirit, and his political carrier. He treated sectors like software as the only essential priorities, and alleged that the sectors like agriculture were waste!!  

After losing political power to INC headed Dr YSR; at certain points of time he started to appeal to the masses to believe him as he changed, and if his party is voted back to power he would be genuinely doing the service to the poor. But, TDP’s, along with INC base is increasing lost, after the demise of Dr YSR in 2009 and YSR Congress Party is increasingly gaining base across the three regions of Andhra Pradesh, along with TRS in Telangana.

IV

TDP is basically launched and lead by Kamma’s, especially by the NTR family members. In the present circumstances change of leadership seems to be inevitable for TDP, as masses have lost faith on Mr Babu and as he also seemed to have failed as the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly.  But, who can take over charge of the TDP. Mr Babu seems to be not interested to leave his position in the party. Can we expect any internal rebellion within the Party? Or will the party cadre shift to other political parties like YSR Congress Party, etc? Since 2004 most of the TDP cadre has been shifting their alliance to other political parties like INC, TRS, YSR CP, etc. Even the traditional caste groups like the Kapus are also distancing from it. Right now, TDP is in miserable position!! This crisis is perpetrated by inability of the Party cadre and leaders, who failed to set right their own political outfit. The party cadre and leaders failed to dare to change their leader. This kind of inability is mostly visible in most of the political parties, which are dominated by a single family lineage. Even, in the present circumstances, I don’t see able leadership in any of the NTR’s family members to bring back TDP’s past glory and make TDP to capture political power. Mr Babu aligned with Mr Nandamuri Taraka Balakrishna, one of the Sons and film successor to Late NTR by having matrimonial relation between his Son and Bala Krishna’s daughter. Mr Bala Krishna has been occasionally campaigning for TDP, but receiving poor response. Mr Hari Krishna, another Son of late NTR also seems to be not having charisma and caliber to lead and bring back TDP to power. During 2009 general elections Mr Junior NTR campaigned for TDP and received wide response from the masses. But, after the elections, Mr Babu distanced Mr Junior NTR, fearing that he would be losing his base to him. Mr Babu’s son Lokesh also failed to attract the masses.

Under the present circumstances TDP requires a visionary leader, who can consolidate and revise most of the Party strategies, policies, bring back new (caste) cadre/sections into its fold and confidently discharge responsible Opposition role and more over who can win the trust of the people!! 

Brahmins Hegemony in Fine/Classical Arts

Due to the prevalence of the caste system in India, education was selectively offered, especially to the upper castes and the monopoly of the Brahmins was clearly visible throughout the Indian History. Slowly, the hegemony of the Brahmins got set back with the emergence of middle castes to prominence and acquisition of education. In the Indian Brahmin centered education system; a Brahmin usually imparts education to the upper caste sections, like Kshytriyas in an isolated place, when full fledged reverence towards him, like a religious Seer is shown. Modern education system is completely against to this system of ancient imparting style of knowledge and education. But, the Brahmins are following the same ancient style of imparting education, in the present day also in some of the traditional fine art programmes, like classical dance and music. Traditional fine arts like classical dance and classical music are under the hegemonic control of the Brahmins only, even today. These fine arts were never properly imparted to the other social sections, which do not recognize their hegemony. As a result the other religious/social sections in this category (classical or fine arts) are almost invisible, especially in learning and imparting positions.

The Hindutva sections advocate that the Indians should admire and propagate the Indian Culture, admire Indian Forms in every aspect. But, in practice their behavior and actions are against to this spirit. The upper caste sections like the Brahmins are not ready to change their mindset and impart knowledge to the other section of the society, especially like the forms of fine arts – classical music and dance. The religious minorities are also not interested to learn the classical forms of dance and music which are usually imparted only in Hindu mythological styles. The classical forms were not secularized; in fact Brahmins are not willing to secularize those forms. As a result, those arts are on the verge of diminish and likely to vanish from the public realm in due course of time.

Proper socializations of different cultural, social and religious sections never took place in desired and required form in our society. As a result enmity among different sections can be observed in various forms. Hindu religion dominated by the Brahmins, being the predominant force in our society never seemed to have taken proper steps to adjust with the mainstream sections to order to establish harmony. Hindu religion always seen the other social groups/religions as a threat to its existence. Brahmins took temporal steps to effectively combat such short comings, but resulted in vain. Movements like Bhakti movement was started as an accommodative strategy, but, it too got failed miserably. Fundamental changes never took place within the fold of the Brahminic style; like leaving the practice of untouchability, socializing properly with the other social groups, etc. In this respect only, we can also observe that the Brahmins never liberalized their teaching styles also. For example, the Brahmins made it compulsory to bow before Nataraj Statue/Idol in order to learn arts from them, like the present ones, which we are talking – Classical dance and music. The other religious sections and social groups have objections to bow before idol/s. As a result of this stumbling block the fine arts not reaching to the desired destinations or desired levels of propagation and promotion. Brahmins should change their mind set to some extent and if they are genuine towards the protection and promotion of fine arts – dance and music, they should liberalize themselves and make others to learn these forms.  

In the present case; I regard Brahmins as the first responsible for lack of proper propagation and promotion of the fine/classical arts. If they take some steps towards liberalizing their styles for the promotion and propagation of fine/classical arts, then we can also expect the other social/religious sections too come down a few steps and learn these forms. This is how secularization and establishing of harmony takes place. But, when this will happen?

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam – Preferred Choice of the Hindutva Forces

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam served as the Indian President during 2002-2007. He was elevated to this position during the NDA Government regime, which was primary headed by Right Wing BJP. It’s a kind of surprise, in Indian political discourse, that a person, who belongs to minority community is elevated to this prestigious political position of the Nation during a Right Wing duration. This surprised some. But, this is not a surprise to some others, who had been closely observing Abdul Kalam’s public life and Hindutva political discourse.

As he hailed from non-political background (without any affiliation to any formal political party) most of the politically vibrant sections, who knows the role of the political role of the President opposed his selection and election as the President. As a sequence to this series; Communist parties fielded an opposite candidate to him in the election, as a nominal token gesture, as they know that their candidate cannot win the election. But, the Communists fielded opposite candidate to ensure that in public life the democratic principle of opposition and contestation prevails.

Dr Abdul Kalam emerged as a preferred choice for the Right Wing headed NDA and NDA constituent partners, amidst of the allegation of anti Minority Government for lack of proper action during Gujarat Communal violence of 2002, sponsored by Hindutva forces, actively aided, supported, encouraged and promoted by the Right Political outfit, which is heading the Governments at both Gujarat and at Union level. At this particular juncture; Dr Abdul Kalam, though a Muslim never had serious faith in any particular region, and used to see in esteem even the Hindu religion and their Seers, never voiced his concerned towards the communal tensions prevalent in the nation. He used to talk and act in reverence towards the Hindutva forces.  This attitude of Dr Abdul Kalam made the Right Wing to choose him as their preferred candidate, who advocates and terrifies that the Minorities of the Indian Nation should invariably acknowledge the superiority of the Hindus in public space, and their religious practices should not come in contact with the majority Hindus. And, the other constituent partners of the NDA, basically who hailed from the regional backgrounds (i.e. regional political parties) accepted his candidature, primarily, as an acknowledgement to the nation his scientific contribution (his scientific contribution to the Indian Nation is contested by many of his colleagues and others, but, Dr Kalam rejected such claims). Dr Kalam’s scientific contribution to the Nation is well acknowledged and propagated by the media and other sections of the society, without taking into consideration many of the counter allegations and arguments. He had been awarded by many sections of society as a token of gesture of recognition his scientific contribution to the Nation.

After elevated to the position of the President of India, in contract to the tradition of his predecessors, he mingled much with Media and talked much with reporters and journalists and even continued his habit of talking great about Indian Nation and giving boost to the young generation of the nation, etc. He was projected as spirit and ideal to the young generation of the Nation by the Media. As he was talking much to the media, the media took advantage and at one point of time posed him question, ‘whether he would be interested to contest as President for second tenure?’. To this his prompt reply was in negative. But, when his tenure was on the verge of completion, he expressed his desire to continue as the President for another extended tenure. There was a shift and prompt rejection and criticism against his candidature by some sections of the politicians like RJP Chief Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav. At, last, he chose not to contest and the political parties too were not in favor of him.  As a result, Mrs Partibha Devi Singh Patil succeeded Mr Abdul Kalam.

I see and regard; how Dr Abdul Kalam became addicted to the political positions and privileges by expressing his strong desire to continue in the position of the President for extended second tenure!! Basically, the human nature always prefers to be at higher positions and enjoy power. And, Dr Abdul Kalam was no exception. But, the stupid Indian media never explored this angle and projected!!