A Visit to Telugu Baptist Church at Guntur

As I’m concentrating for my Doctorate on Dalit Christians, I had paid a visit to a few Churches at Guntur City of Andhra Pradesh, India in April, 2011. As a part of this exercise, visited the Telugu Baptist Church at Guntur on April 10, 2011. This Church was established in the year 1936. Incidentally, the day I visited was a historic event for the Church; as election took place for different posts of the Church, like President, General Secretary, etc.

Baptist Churches are self governing units, though they collaborate at higher level as Telugu Baptist Church in Andhra Pradesh for some other administrative actions.

Below are a few pictures of the Church, depicting the Day of April 10, 2011, when Election to various positions took place. 

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                               Church’s Chairman/President

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                               Church’s General Secretary

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All the Committee Members of the Church, who attended and got elected to various positions on this day of 10 April, 2011.

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                            Pastor of the Church Mr Vedamani.

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    A close view of the women who also attended and got elected to some positions. It’s interesting to observe, though women is predominant force for any religion, including Christianity, their presence at administrative level is  insignificant, perhaps, due to various reasons like social customs, family responsibilities, etc.

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He helps the Church in electrical matters, like sound adjustment, etc.

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Mr Sarvothama Rao, who is also a Committee Member.

The other pictures of the Church on April 9, 2011 are as follows;

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The sign-board of the Church, presenting its information, like timings of prayer services, etc.

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Impressive style with colorful lighting, especially suiting for its Diamond Jubilee occasion…

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Erection in Memory of…some crucial inputs to analyse the Church’s historical roots…

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Diamond Jubilee Logo on the wall…

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Church’s Logo on the wall…

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An Impressive Bible quotation on the Door…

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An overview of inside Church…

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Diamond Jubilee Celebrations 2011…

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Golden Jubilee Celebrations…

Leadership Crisis of TDP From NTR Times to Present

Leadership Crisis of TDP From NTR Times to Present 

On 20 June, 2012 I posted here a post on ‘Telugu Desam Party and Leadership Crisis’; which covered present leadership crisis of the TDP under Nara Chandrababu Naidu President-ship. After this post, I read two books; ‘NRTtoo Nenu’ and ‘The Other Side of the Truth: A Journey into the Past’, by H J Dora and Dr Venkateswara Rao Dagubati respectively, and the reviews of these books were also presented here. After reading these books, I observed how TDP had suffered from leadership crisis since its establishment!!

The first leadership crisis TDP faced was on account of political coup by Mr Nadendla Baskara Rao, who became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, with the active support of Congress Party. But, somehow, NTR was able to keep his Chief Ministerial position from Nadendla Baskara Rao, by making him not to get required MLA’s support. In fact, Mr Nara Chandrababu Naidu was the main person behind in hiding MLA’s from Nadendla Baskara Rao at that point of time, on behalf of Mr NTR, who was away in USA on health grounds. Later on too, the TDP leaders were not satisfied with the working style of Mr NTR in various occasions, but, they remained mute spectators. NTR used to behave in autocratic way and take decisions in haste, without taking into consideration political equations. He wished to surprise others with his decisions, but, plunged into troubles many a times; but, later-on was able to get out of mess, due to other causes. At some point of time, he went for elections by dissolving the State Assembly; without presenting earlier information to the cabinet colloquies. And, at some other point of time he dismissed the full cabinet and continued as Chief Minister for a few days and appointed totally new persons as Ministers, who lacked complete administrative experience. All this kind of behavior made party leaders annoy of him. As a result, TDP lost power to Congress Party during 1989 elections, if I remember well.

Though TDP came to power in 1994, the discontent of TDP leaders on NTR was so strong, due to previous instances and other reasons; persons like Mr Nara Chandrababu Naidu exploited the situation and occupied the position of Chief Minister!! But, presently, even Mr Chandrababu Naidu leadership is also in crisis. Thus, both the leaders of TDP since its establishment had been partly successful as leaders!! Mr NTR was able to enjoy leadership of Party due to his cine popularity and as himself launched the party; but, Mr Chandrababu Naidu is able to enjoy the presidential position, by taking the support of the NTR family members, by projecting himself well in the media, and by attempting to drop all the persons whom he perceived as potential threat to his position, etc!!

Thus, TDP had been not having satisfactory leadership since its established year, but, able to sustain in democratic political process till now, as there are no other principal opponent political parties!!

Book Review of ‘Merit: The Aryan Bluff’’

Book Review of

Merit: The Aryan Bluff’’

S R Talukder, Merit: The Aryan Bluff, New Delhi, Blumoon Books, 1997.

This is a very small book, which I read long back. Presently, I’m unable to trace-out this book with me, as some friend must have taken from me. That’s the reason for unable to share the further details of this book like number of pages it has and price, etc.

This book is a very significant contribution to the Debates on Policy of Reservation in India. The author joined his extraordinary skills and zeal, in doing research on this work, and put forward his analysis in an interesting way and to most possible extent in unquestionable way. The author takes place, in this book, in favor of Reservation extension to the various marginalized sections, though opposed by the upper castes.

In India, it is basically observed and recorded in the main literary discourses on reservation policy that the policy of preferential treatment or reservation policy towards the marginalized sections started with the implementation by some of the Princely states like Mysore in the South India or by Sahu Maharaj of present day Maharashtra region or by the Madras Province of the British India; in all these areas reservation policy to the marginalized sections like untouchables, backward classes, tribal’s, etc were provided with great commitment and vigor before Indian independence of 1947.

Even after grant of independence to India by the British in 1947 these preferential treatments are continuing with constitutional and further legal protections. But, there are huge voices of dissent against to these preferential treatment provisions by the Upper castes. Taking into consideration the dissent voices of the upper castes, the author point out with path-breaking research and rhetoric and proves that in India the upper castes were the first to use reservation benefits, during British India regime, who failed to compete with the British in educational standards, etc. The Indian upper castes got various series of concessions and preferential treatments for their educational uplift and employable opportunities in India, based on their requests or begging from the British Indian officials. By putting forward all those details, the author argues that the present day upper castes are not having excellent talent and in fact, they failed to compete with the other sections of the society like British, etc. But, forgetting this fundamental fact, the upper castes are arguing against reservations of the marginalized sections!! Thus, by providing facts how the upper castes lacked merit and later-on able to manage well, the author presents his argument, either directly or indirectly how the present day reservation is also much required for the marginalized sections!!

This fundamental path-breaking argument with evidences is not put forwarded in the main literary discourse on reservation policy. This dimension is totally missing and it is only pointed that the reservation policy in India started due to the efforts of Dr B R Ambedkar or Sahu Maharaj, etc. I regard this book as a must source to the persons doing research on reservation policy in India, and also to the persons who talks about reservation policy either in support or against in even lay perspective!!

The argument of the author requires taking main space in the debates on reservation policy in India.

Book Review of ‘Turning Points: Journey Through Challenges’ by A P J Abdul Kalam

Book Review of

‘Turning Points: Journey Through Challenges’ by A P J Abdul Kalam

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, Turning Points: Journey Through Challenges, Noida, Harper Collins Publishers India, 2012, 182 pp, Rs 199/-.

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam is former President of Indian Republic, during 2002-2007. He is a defense scientist by profession, and contributed immensely to the Indian missile technology and for other related defense activities. Though there are many scientists in India, his place is unique due to various reasons, especially the popularity which he is enjoying due to media projection and so-on.

Dr Kalam is not only author of books related to his academic profession, but also well-known – uniquely for his books related to inspiring the younger generation of the Indians. The earlier books, which aimed at inspiring Indian younger generation includes; Wings of Fire and Ignited Minds, etc. Mostly, they are presented from his personal encounters and his quest to see ‘developed India’, and the present book, ‘Turning Points’ also runs in the same way. But, the uniqueness of the present book lies at covering a substantial part of his Presidential tenure, which is a highly distinguished political position.

Dr Kalam immensely felt happy to occupy the position of the Indian Republic, as Nominal Head. But, though the post is a Nominal Head, he somehow expressed satisfaction that he got an opportunity to present his Vision, especially ‘vision of India 2020’. He enlisted the instances of his Presidential tenure, which gave him opportunities to present his version of Developed India 2020, and how he was successful, though as a nominal head. For this purpose he used some of the meetings of the Governors, etc.

The book also presents many interesting features of the Rastrapathi Nilayam, the official residence of the Indian President. But, same time the book failed entirely to present a comprehensive nature of his political decisions in various respects. Though some sections covered about his political decisions, they, in my view are not significant political aspects, like about thinking that Mrs Sonia Gandhi may seek his approval for occupying the position of the Prime Minister in 2004, Gujarat massacre incident of 2002, etc. The chapter on Gujarat had not much things to convey, especially about ethnic/religious intolerance in India. Though, he is a Muslim by birth, he failed to utter a single word about this massacre, which was committed by the Hindu fanatics.

His vision is to see India developed. But, again he failed to enlist what kind of practical problems are faced by the nation in the process of development. He highlighted only the smooth process of developmental activities. In my view, he should have said something about the problems faced due to the process of development, like poor citizens land acquisition/ improper displacement and failure in rehabilitation, etc. He also had no knowledge of social stratification of India, etc, basing on which developmental activities should be framed in a multi-cultural society like India!!! In other words, his concept of development is totally based on technology oriented, but failed to critically consider the disadvantaged sections like SC/ST/OBC/ and other marginalized sections. This indicates that he has no knowledge of proper understanding of Indian political process, based on various dimensions like identities movements, social movements, etc, and political ideologies like Left, Center, Right, etc.

The challenges faced by the Indian Parliamentary system, which he came to know across in his Presidential position, were presented separately at the end of the book as epilogue, again without synthesizing them in political analysis, which shows his political inability, though occupied the one of the highly distinguished political position!!!

On the whole, this book is basically suitable to idealistic persons like Dr Kalam, who don’t wish (or lack ability) to take into consideration various critical concepts and put forward political analysis!!!

Book Review of ‘The Other Side of Truth: A Journey into the Past’

Click Here for Pdf format of the full version of the Book: The Other Side of Truth

See here for Pdf format of the Telugu Version of the Volume: The Other Side of Truth (in Telugu)

     Book Review of

‘The Other Side of Truth: A Journey into the Past’ by Dr Daggubati Venkateswara Rao

Dr Daggubati Venkateswara Rao, The Other Side of Truth: A Journey into the Past, Hyderabad, Nivedita Publications, 2009, 204 pp, Rs. 250/- (Edited and narrated in English by M Rafi, Senior Journalist and Academic)

This is the partial political autobiography of Dr Daggubathi Venkateswara Rao. This is a partial political biography because the intension behind this book was to portray some as villain and himself and his wife, who are in politics on the other side as genuine.

Dr Venkateswara Rao is one of the Son-in-Laws of Mr N T Rama Rao, the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and the Founder of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Dr Venkateswara Rao is a medical doctor by academic qualification, but seemed to have never practiced the profession in a full-fledged way.

Primarily, this volume appeared in Telugu, but this English version is edited and narrated by M Rafi, a senior journalist and academic. The prime motive behind this volume seems to prove his and his wife’s political base in a turbulence of political atmosphere in their personal life. The author attempts to convey that he is sincere in various ways; but, even if he was not since at some of point of time, he made attempts to convey us that he recognized his past insincerity and took necessary steps to rectify. This, we can see, especially in relation to his regret to support the Nara Chandrababu Naidu during August, 1995 political coup, in over throwing the NTR headed government.

To understand the prime motive behind this book; one has to have knowledge of the past political developments, in relation to Mr NTR family and the split of TDP in August, 1995. In this book, he shared – that he was a student leader, but, never felt like entering into politics; but was interested to enter into business. But, with the launch of TDP by his father-in-law, he started to help him (sincerely!! along with some of his friends like Chalameswar, etc), and was successful in the political discourse as a politician during NTRs regime. He presents the evil motives of his co-brother-in-law Mr Nara Chandrababu Naidu. This makes us to believe that there seemed to have internal difference between the two (Nara Chandrababu Naidu and himself), for domination in the party and to have support (most) of the Members of Legislature, etc.

In a way, this book seems to be primarily written to expose his co-brother-in-law Mr Nara Chandrababu Naidu’s character in various political activities, which ultimately lead to the coup of August, 1995 in overthrowing the Government headed by Mr N T Rama Rao. He constantly attempts to establish how Mr Nara Chandrababu Naidu was insincere, and how in contrast he is sincere (of course his wife also, who turned as a politician. Especially, he says that his wife did not support the August, 1995 political coup against his father)!!

Due to the August, 1995 political coup; his political life took many directions. As part of the political coup he should be given the Deputy Chief Ministerial position by the Nara Chandrababu Naidu, who would become Chief Minister. He attempts to prove that Mr Chdnrababu Naidu betrayed all the family members of late NTR in various forms, including his Sons, like Bala Krishna and Hari Krishna and himself too. As a result, after the 1995 political coup – he shifted to many political platforms like;

  1.  NTR TDP,
  2. Anna TDP,
  3. BJP, and even
  4. Congress Party too.

He never shares with us in the book, how he justifies ideologically shifting of these many political streams!! But, he attempts to present us impression how sincere he is/was, in attempting to associate with those many political streams!!

The present book seems to have necessitated to him with the changed political atmosphere and to sustain their (both Venkateswara Rao and his Wife’s) political base by establishing some truths which are well-known to them, etc, especially in relation to Mr Nara Chandrababu Naidu, who did not allow him to be in the TDP!!

On the whole, he portrays that Mr Nara Chadrababu Naidu as an evil force and had not done any good as a Politician, especially as Chief Minister. But, the political party with which he and his wife are in presently are doing well, i.e., Congress!!!

Book Review of ‘NTRtoo Neenu’

Book Review of ‘NTRtoo Neenu’

H J Dora, NTRtoo Nennu (Telugu), Hyderabad, Emesco Books, 2011, 189 pp, Rs. 90/-.

This book is written is by the former Indian Police Service (IPS) cadre officer Mr H J Dora, who served in various key positions in the Police service of Andhra Pradesh, after his retirement. Mr Dora occupied various positions in the Andhra Pradesh State like Superintend of Police, Intelligence Head, Director General of Police, etc, and had been close to various politicians, etc. In this book, he chose to document his experiences with the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Mr Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR), who also happened to be the Founder of successful Telugu Desam Party (TDP), in the Andhra Pradesh politics, which also played a crucial role in the National politics as a constituent partner of the National Front, etc.

Mr Dora chose to document primarily his experiences with the NTR Chief Ministerial regime, which started during 1980’s starting with the launch of TDP, but, Dora had previous interactions, perhaps a bit close prior to the launch of TDP with NTR. Though the title indicates that the book illustrates his association with NTR, and can guess that the book illustrates the TDP history; the readers can also observe various political dimensions in isolation to TDP, but, which are part of larger Indian political system.

The books attempts to praise NTR – his actions, decisions, personality, etc, with superlatives, narrations, etc, to most possible extent, directly; but, indirectly too the book attempts to convey how stupid Mr NTR in various ways!!! This indicates that Mr Dora had not exercised his writing ability in full-fledged manner, to present an honest picture. A kind of undue romanticism encapsulated to Romanize to most possible extent of many pages the behavior of NTR.

This is a very interesting book for various sections of society both professionals (like researchers, politicians, media professionals, bureaucrats, etc) and lay readers to go through the interesting pages, which reveals many aspects to the best knowledge of Mr Dora. While going through the pages, it would be better to ignore the praises and undue narrations of NTR personality and concentrate upon the issues in analytical way. The decade of 1980’s in relation to TDP and NTR on one side and the Indian National Politics on the other side is presented in an interesting way.