TRS under KCR’s Leadership During 2001-2009

The second political innings of Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) as a prime leader and founder of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had witnessed intense emotional political commotion. As a sub-regional political party leader articulating the interests of the Telangana region and people within Andhra Pradesh’s political entity, he used to device a few innovative strategies. His original assertive political approach, as per visible observable pattern was his emotionally connecting speeches. His speeches had a simultaneous dual edged target. While the Telangana people used to cheer, the rest of the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema people used to feel hurt, after watching and listening KCR’s speeches.

Politically KCR’s TRS party was able to establish some hold and ground only within a few districts after its establishment. This dimension continued for long. The North Telangana districts primarily had a firm grip in favour of the TRS. But then, even on a few occasions, the TRS lost its prospects within the North Telangana districts and performed miserably during a few electoral contests. The Southern Telangana zone had relatively less impact concerning about the TRS’s base and ideology. In another sense, while the North Telangana zone had better cadre and leadership, such dimension lacked in the Southern Telangana zone.

But then, the political prospects of the TRS started to had an entirely different position due to the changed political situation since November/December 2009 onwards. The political base of the TRS began to witness widespread penetration since the end of the year 2009; same time other political parties used to feel worried due to loosing of their base to the TRS. 

II

From 2001 to 2009, i.e., from the establishment of the TRS to broad political base shift in favour of the TRS had undergone different dimensions. During 2001 to 2004 the TRS made intense efforts to pave base for its ideological assertion within the democratic electoral sphere. The confidence of the TRS also gained an immense positive boost after witnessing a certain level of success in the local self-governance bodies elections.

During the year 2004 elections to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies, TRS and the Indian National Congress (INC) had an electoral collaboration. As a result of such coalition engagement both the TRS and INC, after elections had formed joint governments at the Andhra Pradesh level and the national level. In another sense, both at the Andhra Pradesh level and at the federal level, the TRS became part and parcel of the Council of Ministries headed by respective Chief Minister and Prime Minister. The INC primarily formed both governments at the Andhra Pradesh and national level. Mainly, the INC government at the federal level was a significant coalition government, under the Prime Minister-ship of Dr Manmohan Singh. But, the INC government at Andhra Pradesh secured an absolute majority in the Legislative Assembly to form the government on its own. Even then, both the INC and the TRS had become part and parcel of a coalition government, at Andhra Pradesh. 

The TRS continued for a few years as part of the INC headed rules at the  Andhra Pradesh and national level. But, in due course of time, TRS started to quit the respective Ministries, alleging that the INC headed coalition governments, primarily at the national level failed to initiate measure towards the realisation of a separate Telangana state formation! First, TRS Ministers withdrew from the INC government at Andhra Pradesh level. And next, the TRS withdrew from the Union Council of Ministry. But, there was a significant time gap between the two decisions and withdrawal from the respective Council of Ministries headed by the Chief Minister and Prime Minister. 

The TRS faced an intense political competitive challenge, primarily from the INC at Andhra Pradesh level. A few elected representatives after 2004 elections had challenged the working and decision making styles of the TRS leadership, i.e., KCR. This prime challenge emerged when the TRS under KCR’s leadership decided to withdrew support to the INC government at Andhra Pradesh level; as a result of which TRS Ministers withdrew from the Council of Ministry headed by Y S Rajashekara Reddy.

The challenge of a few elected representatives during this time was analysed in both negative and positive shades. As per negative shaded perspective argument, the elected representatives who challenged the TRS and KCR’s leadership and decision making style were branded as opportunistically looking towards the INC and Y S Rajashekara Reddy’s leadership for better political prospects and more!!

Such suspected ill-intention of the TRS elected representatives amounts to arguing that a few elected representatives were always ready to associate and benefit by willing to illegally and immorally associate with those who are in political power, like the INC and Y S Rajashekara Reddy in this particular case and situation. In fact, this kind of trend in politics had started and made party formal political affiliations and ideological commitments in jeopardy. The Indian politics is continuing with this kind of contradictions. 

At another level, after 2004 elections, at times, on a few occasions, TRS cadre and local level leaders used to object to the working style and functioning nature of the KCR’s leadership. KCR used to had prolonged arguments with such sections and groups. But, as per media projections and analysis, KCR failed to engage and address their genuine political concerns democratically. As a result, the final result on such occasions resulted in loosing of sincere and committed cadre! During such times, political observers felt that the TRS under KCR’s leadership was heading towards a dangerous political crisis, as proper democratic decision making and problem resolving mechanism was not in place. 

Another political strategy adopted by the TRS under KCR’s leadership was to contest in the elections, even before the end of the formal tenure of the Legislative Assembly. As a result, a few Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and Member of Parliament (MP) resigned and contested elections seeking fresh mandate towards their ideological and political performance. But, a few TRS elected representatives challenged such decision and sided with the INC, politically. This dimension should be seen from party defections perspective. All this happened in the year 2008, even though general elections were scheduled to be held in 2009! But, during this by-election atmosphere, the TRS contested elections without having any formal electoral alliance with any other co-political party like the INC, etc. The result of this by-election was dis-heartening to the TRS. KCR had a tight position to face; because of electoral humiliation after witnessing the by-election result and justify his leadership and decision-making ability and capability formally in front of media! During this by-election, the TRS lost the election on a massive scale. 

All this proves that the TRS during 2001-2009 had faced an intense political crisis. But, somehow, after completion of the year 2009 general elections and in particular after the sudden and tragic demise of the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajashekara Reddy; the TRS under KCR’s leadership had faced intense political ascendance. The political prospects of the TRS since the year end of the year 2009 should be analysed as a separate political phase. 

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KCR as a United Andhra Pradesh Leader to TRS Founder

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s President Mr Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) had political innings since 1980’s with the launch of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). TDP’s favourite and the vocal stand was in favour of protecting and taking forward the interests of the ‘Telugu people and their pride’. Since KCR started his political career in the TDP, he was also primarily in favour of the TDP’s ideological legacy and projection, by and large.

Immediately after the conclusion of the year 1999’s Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly’s election, KCR expected to become part and parcel of the Council of Ministry headed by the TDP Chief and Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu. But, to his utter disappointment, he was offered and elevated to the range and level of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly’s Deputy Speaker position. Surprisingly, KCR accepted and discharged the role and responsibility of this post, though he was disappointed for failing to get a berth in the Council of Ministry. Media used to highlight that KCR was discontented for failing to get a chance of induction in the Council of Ministry. But, KCR maintained tense silence without expressing his outburst against TDP President and Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu, for offering him below range position, by keeping aside his political seniority, etc. 

Ultimately, in April 2001 KCR launched a separate Political party and named it as TRS. With the launch of TRS, KCR’s second political innings started as an independent prime leader of the TRS. He became a prominent sub-regional and state level political leader, primarily. Later on, he went on to become a national leader also, on behalf of the TRS, as Member of Parliament (MP),  Union Council of Minister under the Prime Minister-ship of Manmohan Singh led UPA coalition government, etc. 

II

KCR’s political leadership, activism, role, prospectus, etc. until the launch of the TRS revolved as a leader of the United Andhra Pradesh only. In every aspect, constitutionally and legally, he was committed to the progressive prospectus of the entire Andhra Pradesh and India, for having had taken oath as people’s representative! And, most importantly, he was part and parcel of the TDP, which was committed to the overall development and prospectus of the Telugu’s. 

As leader of the TDP and MLA in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, KCR once expressed his vociferous concerned wishful desire of curbing prevalent zonal system in the united Andhra Pradesh. The zonal system in the united Andhra Pradesh was prevalent, in order to curtail and limit encroach of some developed region people’s hegemony on some under-developed regions, in the spheres of education and employment. This zonal system has had constitutional protection also.

The TDP released video clipping of KCR’s speech in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, in which he expressed his opposition to the prevalent zonal system. But, the timing chosen by the TDP in the release of that video clip of KCR’s speech in favour of curbing Zonal system was subject to different criticisms. TDP released this video clip of KCR’s statement in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, much late, after the launch of the TRS by KCR. By the time TDP released the video clip of KCR’s speech, the political situation was far volatile, and there was no much impact on the TDP’s propaganda against KCR, as a suspicious person taking forward separate state cause of Telangana!! 

 

KCR’s Two Biggest Deceived Promises

Kalvakuntla Chandrashekara Rao, popularly referred and recognised as ‘KCR’ as per abbreviation is the Chief leader and President of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) since its formation in April 2001. KCR had political leanings, primarily since 1980’s with the launch of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) by late Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR), one of the lead founders of the TDP. KCR had impressive and successful political growth in the TDP up to 1990’s end, until he developed severe differences with the then TDP President and Andhra Pradesh (AP) Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu. As a result of sharp developed differences with AP Chief Minister and TDP President he launched his own and separate political outfit and named it as TRS.

After the year 1999 general election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, KCR felt deceived by the TDP President and AP Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu for not offering him a Ministerial position, which he held and discharged during the previous tenure of the AP Legislative Assembly. Since then, though he was elevated and offered the Deputy Speaker position of the AP Legislative Assembly, he was highly uncomfortable and started to move his wishes and plans to launch a separate political party for the cause of achieving a different Telangna state, by bifurcating from the united AP.

From this point onwards he emerged as one of the lead leaders in AP politics as a person wishing to represent the wishes of the sub-regional identity political discourse. Interestingly, media also gave him, and his party required space concerning coverage. But, whether such media coverage could be satisfactory or unsatisfactory depends upon various factors like the methods and ways of projection adopted by media regarding the news report, analysis, etc. On the whole KCR, had emerged as a lead sub-regional and state level leader in AP politics. This was a drastic departure from his previous role and position as a leader of the TDP, people’s representative as Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), etc.

Media coverage, people’s expectations and observation of a prominent leader would always be different. In fact, observation and media coverage varies from the role and position of a politician. In the present case, KCR also occupied a unique situation, with his launch of TRS. The actions, speeches, observations, views, etc. of him used to get immense attention in media. At times, mocking also used to happen.

II

In entire KCR’s political career two significant issues are noteworthy. They relate to his prominent promises made and tendered at crucial times and on crucial matters. But, he failed to stand up to his promised words!! These two incidents pertain to ‘his promise of elevating a Dalit politician as Chief Minister of a separate Telangana State, after formation of Telangana State’, and another one related to ‘merger of TRS with the Indian National Congress (INC) immediately after passage of separate Telangana Bill by the Indian Parliament’. He failed to live and stand up to these two repeatedly made promises!!

Immediately after passage of a separate Telangana state formation Bill by the Indian Parliament he made volta and started to attack the INC in a filthy language verbally and declined to merge TRS with the INC! And, next, after completion of the year 2014 general elections, he refused to elevate any Dalit politician as Chief Minister of newly formed Telangana State!!

III

In India, politicians and political parties are notable for making deceiving promises as part of their electoral promises and at times even fails to implement and stand up to declared electoral manifesto promises. But, KCR’s deceived promises are very historical and contextual. He will be remembered in political history in both positive and negative terms. He will be recognised positively for fostering a separate democratic political movement and battle for achieving a different Telangana state. And, at the same time, his role will be negatively documented for deceiving Dalits for not elevating any Dalit politician as Chief Minister of Telangana state and for cheating a co-political party INC without TRS merger into it.

Interestingly, KCR felt deceived by the TDP Chief and the then AP Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu for not offering him a proper political position, i.e., space in the Council of Ministers immediately after the conclusion of the year 1999 general elections to the AP Legislative Assembly. And, KCR repeatedly continued to argue, voice and highlight deceived and humiliated developmental prospects meted out by the Andhra politicians to the Telangana region and people, as leader of the TRS. But, in reality, he turned to be a deceiver, on a few occasions, like the prominent two deceived incidents mentioned and highlighted above!!

Book Review on ‘First Naxal: An Authorised Biography of Kanu Sanyal’

Indian English media reporter Bappaditya Paul, as part of his professional career, came to know about the most historical person behind Naxal Movement, i.e., Kanu Sanyal. Naxalite Movement in India is one of the most powerful and widespread political movement for close to fifty years now. This movement had its origin in the Siliguri region of the North Bengal zone of West Bengal state. After knowing about Kanu Sanyal, Bappaditya Paul put forwarded immense and intense efforts to bring light to his life in a biographical mode. In this direction, Bappaditya Paul had spent three continues years with Kanu Sanyal by recording about his life history, his attraction towards Naxalite movement, his role in this entire movement, his perceptions of this movement, etc.

In addition to the primary data collected from Kanu Sanyal, Bappaditya Paul also made efforts to gather secondary source material and brought cohesiveness to this entire authorised biography and published the same on behalf of the Sage Publications India Private Limited in the year 2014. Kanu Sanyal himself authorised almost the entire part of this biography, except concluding section. Kanu Sanyal, unfortunately, passed away without authorising the concluding part of this biography.

This Review, composed by me, is published by the Galaxy: International Multidisciplinary Research Journal, as part its September 2017 – Vol. 6, Issue – 5. Please have a look at the below link for a .pdf formatted version of this Review. 

First Naxal An Authorised Biograpby of Kanu Sanyal

Is Prof Kancha Ilaiah A Christian By Faith?

Professor Kancha Ilaiah is one of the well-recognised academic personality among non-academic circles of India, and that too in particularly in the South Indian Telugu region, for close to two decades for now. He has been in public life for more than 30 years as part of various activities like human rights issues, Naxalite movement, debates over caste-class articulations, etc. But, his prime focal venture upon the problems related to ‘caste’, from various vintages as a writer and verbal articulator made him acquire a sudden representative base among different sections of India and abroad too. The sections which recognised him concerning his articulations on ‘caste’ issues are also well divided in having their opinions either in support or in against of him.

One of the Prof Kancha Ilaiah’s work produced and published in the form of ‘Why I Am Not A Hindu?’ during the later part of the 1990’s decade made him acquire unprecedented popularity even among non-academic circles. This work attempted to theorise ‘Dalit-Bahujan’ ideological base for political emancipation and recognition. Though this volume’s content made him gain unprecedented popularity even among the academic circles; there were a few among academic circles who considered this volume’s articulation as incoherent. Among such academic critics, only one academician’s professional review of ‘Why I Am Not a Hindu’, is well received by certain quarters of the academic world. D R Nagaraj produced this professional critique, and titled it as ‘The Pathology of Sickle Swallowing’. This review is part of a D R Nagaraj’s volume ‘The Flaming Feet and Other Essays: The Dalit Movement in India’. In this professional academic examination, D R Nagaraj pointed out an incoherent way of looking at and theorising Dalits and Bahujan’s as a coherent section vis-a-vis other upper castes like Brahmins, Vysya’s, etc.

In due course of time, the criticism of D R Nagaraj and others who have been subscribing to the incoherent way of looking at Dalit-Bahujans’ as a homogenous section vis-a-vis against upper castes also started to gain currency. Towards this end, the atrocities committed by Bahujans’/OBC’s against Dalits in various forms got well reported and established!! Thus, the attempted way of Prof Kancha’s synthesised Dalit-Bahujan as a coherent section against the upper castes of India started to get debunked to some extent.

II

Meanwhile, due to widespread gained popularity on account of sensational ‘Why I Am Not A Hindu?’, Prof Kancha’s activism ventured into various other domains of mainstream society and polity. He became a leading recognisable face of national and international media, civil society organisations, human rights forums, etc. He writings started to circulate well in the public media sphere in the form of newspaper articles, in a few leading national English dailies for quite a sustained duration.

During this same phase in the Indian polity, the Hindutva political outfit Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was acquiring ascendence in various forms and started to successfully run a coalition government under the Prime Ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. As a result, Prof Kancha begun to express his anti-Hindutva, anti-upper caste stands & modes of upper ranks exploitation, lower castes subordination and exploitation, etc. in the newspaper articles. This regular appearance of him in the mainstream media coupled with his consistent involved political activism in various forms made him a limelight personality.

The acquired fame of Prof Kancha, his produced and projected literature, arguments, rhetoric, etc. generated, nurtured, developed and spread anxieties among the upper castes and even among the Bahujan’s. These sections started to feel threatened and saw the rise of Dalit-Bahujan ideological orientation as a threat to their existence, domination and comfort in the mainstream Indian society. Thus, as an academic Prof Kancha Ilaiah with his regular writings in the mainstream media against Hindutva, upper castes, etc. started to create anti-Dalit Bahujan section, in a renewed fashion.

Same time, a few ranks, mostly, Dalits across India, especially in the South Indian Telugu region began to embrace his verbal and vocal articulations and writings!! All this indicated that within the constructed and projected section of ‘Dalit-Bahujan’, only a significant section of Dalits started to embrace openly and widely Prof Kancha Ilaiah’s ideological orientation. And, a particular part of mainstream Indian society also commenced to perceive him as a ‘Dalit Ideologue’ only, by keeping aside his Bahujan/OBC leanings.

On the other side, the Bahujan’s/OBC’s proven to be foot soldiers of the Hindutva identity, by becoming an influential vote bank; and as a ferociously wishing sect to see Hinduness in various walks of life and society.

III

Form this entire vantage point onwards; how Prof Kancha developed an image of pro-Christian should be ascertained?!

One of the prime focal centres of arguments in Prof Kancha’s writings is; that the Hindu religion is a ‘spiritual fascist’ sect. Here Hindu religion was seen and shown as a Brahmanical disorder by him and projected in the same manner in his writings. Thus, in his opinion, the Indian society over the years is infected with Brahmanical spiritual disturbances, and the large chunks of Indian masses like the upper castes, OBC’s, etc. are under Brahminical spiritual fascist orientation, without their knowledge and escape possibilities. Having observed so, Prof Kancha started to compare various Hindu / Brahmanical Gods and Goddess on one side. And, on the other hand, he also began to examine Hindu Gods and Goddess with different Christian and Islamic spiritual sect.

Towards this end of comparison, he, on various points of occasions expressed an inclination towards Christian faith and belief, as a liberating, egalitarian and humanitarian force. All this indicated that he had been a vocal opponent of Hindu/Brahmanical religious order. But, saw conversion to other religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc. as a source of liberation. Unusually, he sounded as much inspired towards Christianity, its values, achievements, etc.

In this direction, he even maintained a few good contacts and relations with quite a few non-Hindu / non-Hindutva / non-Brahmanical leaders and organisations. On the other side, a few Hindu / Brahmanical groups and leaders; started to report and accuse that a few Christian leaders and institutions are well interested in the articulations of Prof Kancha Ilaiah, to encourage religious conversions from Hinduism to Christianity!!

Thus, the open vocal position and articulations of Prof Kancha Ilaiah against Hinduism / Brahmanical religious order came as an handi source to the Hindutva forces who have been attempting to consolidate their base by showing the religious minorities as a threat to the national security, Hindus unity and prosperity.

Towards this end, at times, a few Hindu organisations / Hindutva sections, etc. even accused Prof Kancha Ilaiah as an agent of Christian religious conversion plans and having hand-in-glove relations with foreign Christian conversion forces. By making such politically motivated statements and propaganda, various Hindutva sects, organisations and individuals have been focusing on creating a panic among the more extensive Hindu section and wishing to consolidate vote bank for electoral gains, in favour of BJP.

But, on the whole, the fact remains entirely different; that Prof Kancha Ilaiah never converted to Christianity or any other non-Hindu religious orders. And, he never expressed his desire and inclination to turn from Hinduism to other religions like Christianity.

IV

A few Academicians, progressive civil society organisations and activists, have viewed, regarded and considered Prof Ilaiah’s writings and speeches as a mere initial expression of comparison of Hindu / Bhramanical order with other foreign religious laws like the Christianity / Islam, etc. And, such writings and speeches of feelings, in a few academicians view, lacked scholarly depth, from various vintages.

Towards this end, the Bahujan Students’ Front (BSF), University of Hyderabad organised a debate between Prof Kancha Iliah and Prof Arun Kumar Patnaik on August 06, 2015 stands vindication. This discussion got hosted in the wake of a controversy racked by the Hindutva forces over one of the Prof Kancha Ilaiah’s article in a Telugu newspaper daily, Andhra Jyothi. This debate’s shrouded titled was marked as  ‘Future of Social Science and Perils of Hindutva’.

In this debate, Prof Arun Kumar Patnaik found fault with Prof Kancha Ilaiah’s line of synthesis against Hindu religion, Hindu Gods, Hindu Goddess, Hindu mythology, etc. Prof Arun felt that Prof Kancha Ilaiah had been failing to recognise dual and multiple versions and meanings in Hindu mythology and other religions like Christianity. Having failed so, in the opinion of Prof Arun; Prof Kancha Ilaiah lacked comprehensive reading and understanding of various texts, dimensions and discourses. All this indicated in the view of Prof Arun; that Prof Kancha Ilaiah have had inclined towards a linear path of analysis, which is wrong in rational discourse. But, in this debate, Prof Kancha justified his line of synthesis, arguments and activism from ‘personal experience perspective’.

V

On the whole, the Hindutva forces activism and accused propaganda against Prof Kancha Ilaiah as an anti-national, threat to the Indian national Hindu identity, etc. are well received and believed at times, due to a sporadic rise of specific sensational issues.

Towards this end, Swami Paripoornananda’s accusation of Prof Kancha Ilaiah as a foreign Christian forces agent, be seen. Such an allegation of Swami Paripoornanada against Prof Kancha Ilaiah appears; as believed by a large proportion of the population. Swami Paripoornananda made this charge against Prof Kancha Ilaiah in the wake of racked controversy by the Telugu Vyasya community over Prof Kancha Ilaiah’s book against Vyasy’s as ‘Social Smuggler community’.

Sadly, as per many observations; Prof Kancha Ilaiah, though not a convert to Christianity and not having such a wish to convert to Christianity as of now, is failing to negate and debunk such compelling allegations of the Hindutva forces!!

Note: It would be better if one can read this article after going through extensive Hindutva sections propagation and accusations against Prof Kanha Ilaiah as a Christian conversion forces agent or concerning such allegations. 

How to View Tollywood Actor Pawan Kalyan’s Re-emergence During 2014 Election?

Tollywood’s lead actor Pawan Kalyan who had formal political entry through the Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), launched by his brother Chiranjeevi in the year 2008 had to reincarnate his political innings during 2014 general election to the Andhra Pradesh (AP) Legislative Assembly and Indian Parliament’s Lok Sabha constituencies. Chiranjeevi, as President of the PRP, had successfully merged PRP with the Indian National Congress (INC) in 2011. PRP’s merger with INC had put an end to expected positive political outcomes by certain quarters in AP politics through Chiranjeevi and Kapu community.

I

Due to a sporadic change in the political atmosphere of AP, on account of the sudden and tragic death of Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajashekara Reddy (YSR) and other associated factors, INC was pushed into a massive political crisis. As a result, INC’s political base and support to its government at AP level started to diminish.

After the death of YSR, INC at AP level faced challenges from YSR’s son Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS) Chief K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR).

A significant section of AP INC Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA’s) started to favour the leadership of Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, after the death of YSR. An eloquent section of AP MLA’s favouritism towards Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s direction pushed the INC into a minority position, politically. But, somehow, the INC at AP level managed to lead the government for almost five years without losing ground on the AP Legislative Assembly.

During this same phase, the INC was also not in a position to seek and depend on the support of the TRS on the floor of the AP Legislative Assembly for a majority. Even INC started to face a stiff political demand from the TRS championed public movement in favour of the creation of a separate Telangana state. Thus, the INC, at AP level, during this phase, was in an unusual dilemma on how to save its government’s strength on the floor of the AP Legislative Assembly and political base at ground level? Both, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and TRS under KCR have become a stumbling block for its political prospects.

II

As a result, the INC concretely made efforts to have support and subsequent merger of PRP into its fold. But then, at a certain point in time, even PRP’s merger with INC failed to rescue INC concretely on the floor of AP Legislative Assembly. The opposition Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) ‘favourable role’ during ‘No Confidence Motion’ against the INC government rescued it. Thus, at a particular point in time, both the ruling and opposition parties (i.e., INC & TDP, respectively) have realised the potential looming danger in the form of Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy (by this period he launched a separate political party and named it as YSRCP) and TRS Chief KCR.

One of the primes edged factor, which contributed the INC to control massive losing political ground, for a limited duration, at AP level emanated through INC’s political power at New Delhi range. INC was also successfully running Indian Union’s (coalition UPA) government under the Prime Ministership of Dr Manmohan Singh during this period. And INC was headed by Sonia Gandhi as National President. Sonia Gandhi as National President of the INC was the prime leader who dealt with unfavourable political conditions at the AP level during this period of crisis, albeit through the undisclosed support of the Indian Union government under the Prime Ministership of Dr Manmohan Singh, at times!!

With the merger of PRP into the INC; INC not only had anticipation to save its INC government at AP level for the 2009-2014 duration but also had the intention of increasing its support base at ground level. The INC expected that PRP’s scored 18% vote share during 2009 elections may shift into its fold. [But, such expectations of INC got proven entirely wrong after witnessing the final results of the 2014 elections.]

Finally, the INC put forward a few efforts to save its government and political base at AP level, after the death of YSR. In this whole process, INC initiated a few steps, like;

01. Made high intensified corruption allegations against the YSRCP leader Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and started to prosecute him legally, through various national investigative agencies like CBI, etc. In this whole process, INC government(s) (at both AP and federal level, in a collusion mode) imprisoned Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy for a significant sustained duration.
02. Initiated process for formation of a separate Telangana State, by conceding to the high intensified political movement led by the TRS Chief KCR, which witnessed an unprecedented support from a large quantum of Telangana masses.

III

By imprisoning Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, the INC and TDP expected to regain, retain and sustain their political bases. Thus, the INC and TDP, which were formally Treasury batch (government) and Opposition in the AP Legislative Assembly have entered into an undisclosed hand-in-glove agreement to keep at bay Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP unprecedented emergence on the AP political landscape, especially in the Coastal and Rayalaseema regions. Towards this end process, YSRCP’s prime leader Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy got imprisoned for about 13 months duration or so.

At a certain level of a point, even after the PRP’s merger into the INC; it became difficult to capture the base of voters at Coastal and Rayalaseema regions. In these areas, in various by-elections, the YSRCP performed exceptionally well by winnings different AP Legislative Assembly constituency seats. And, in these elections, the INC and TDP have lost their deposits also.

And, in the Telangana region, in the by-elections to various AP Legislative Assembly constituency seats, TRS won with a tumping majority by trespassing other political forces like the INC and TDP.

Thus, in all the three unique regions of AP, i.e., Coastal, Rayalaseema and Telangana, the INC and TDP have started to witness single anti-incumbency factor as ruling and opposition sections.

In this background, the INC and TDP had recognised and extended support to a separate Telangana state formation to save their electoral prospectus, at least partially. The INC took concrete steps in this respect and initiated the process for an independent Telangana state formation at Parliament of India level. But, TDP, though extended support to a separate Telangana state formation had played a dual role at a certain level. The TDP chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu talked in double tongue and tones in support and against the separate creation of an independent Telangana state.

Ultimately, by deciding and initiating the process towards bifurcation of AP; as AP and Telangana at Parliament of India level, the INC and TDP had expected to benefit politically, in their ways and forms. Mainly, in this direction, the INC lost hopes on the Coastal and Rayalaseema regions. Its base, in these two areas, was regained by YSRCP under Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s leadership at a certain level; and at a certain, another level, the initiated process towards the formation of a separate Telangana state routed its presence.

As a result of losing hopes on the Coastal and Rayalaseema regions, the INC by forming a separate Telangana state had expected to regain political power at Telangana state level after 2014 election. Towards this direction, it was also believed and rumoured that after the formation of a separate Telangana state, the TRS would merge into the INC; as a result, after 2014 election the INC would easily win the election!!

While this was the anticipated strategical plan of the INC, the TDP which was in opposition under Nara Chandrababu Naidu’s leadership had a tough time to regain and sustain base at both the Telangana and AP level; after AP’s bifurcation by the Parliament of India.

Against this background 2014 elections approached, again to the AP Legislative Assembly and the Parliament of India’s Lok Sabha constituencies. There was a complete change in the AP political atmosphere by 2014 (on a comparative basis from 2009 election). Though technically this election was held as an election to the AP Legislative Assembly; after the final election result’s declaration, two governments were scheduled to form as per the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 as passed by the Parliament of India. As a result, electoral political atmosphere continued as per the expected two governments formations, accordingly.

IV

No one expected any role of film stars during this 2014 election, especially in the Coastal Andhra Pradesh. During 2009 elections Coastal AP witnessed an unprecedented participation of film personalities political campaign. On the sidelines of 2009 elections at AP level, Kamma and Kapu Tollywood stars campaigned on a massive scale, on behalf of the TDP and PRP respectively. No one anticipated such large-scale participation of film stars again during this election.

But then, TDP wished to have movie stars electoral campaign, especially like those of; Nandamuri Balakrishna and Junior Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (Jr NTR). Though the former took part enthusiastically, the later failed to take the lead this time. This position of Jr NTR also made a few quarters of TDP to express venom against him, especially from the top TDP’s leadership.

The TDP leadership, which primarily depended on the Kamma film stars political campaign during 2009 elections; this time, due to the changed political atmosphere, remodified its electoral strategy and stretched its arms to welcome Kapu community’s film star Pawan Kalyan!! Thus, all this indicates, that the two caste’s, i.e., Kamma and Kapu, which have animosity for years together in the social and political realms have come along. The socio-political enmity of the Kamma and Kapu communities even got manifested in various domains of everyday’s life activity, like, in the political sector too; that’s one of the prime reasons behind 2009 electoral analysis.

The changed political atmosphere due to the unprecedented emergence of the YSRCP, TRS and bifurcation of AP into AP and Telangana states, respectively had made the TDP reconsider and remodify its electoral strategies. Accordingly, the TDP leadership attempted to co-opt Kapu community for electoral gain; in this direction, it saw Tollywood actor Pawan Kalyan as a potential leveraging source.

Political critics saw TDP’s extension of open arms to Pawan Kalyan as an astute political strategy; because TDP during 2014 elections cannot extend such an invitation to the PRP’s founder President and Tollywood star actor Chiranjeevi. Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan should be seen not just as the film starts; but as holders of a significant base among the Kapu community. Chiranjeevi during 2014 elections was technically part and parcel of the INC and was also the sitting Union Council of Minister under the Prime Ministership of Dr Manmohan Singh. All this indicated that Chiranjeevi got benefitted a lot after the launch of PRP and even after the merger of PRP with the INC, in many forms. But, a significant proportion of those who had trusted and considered PRP’s positive prospects under Chiranjeevi’s leadership got disappointed.

V

At an individual level of analysis, even Pawan Kalyan, who sailed with his brother Chiranjeevi also got disappointed; because, due to the merger of PRP with the INC, only Chiranjeevi got benefitted politically and more.

The move of TDP in attempting to extend a hand and invite Pawan Kalyan, who visibly failed to get benefited from the merger of PRP with INC; is, as per the views of political critics an astute move from TDP chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu and others. This step of TDP was seen and read as attempting to co-opt a section or favourite person from the former political opponent sect, i.e., PRP and Kapu. But, what kind of political calculations pushed TDP to weigh this option of an attempt to co-opt Pawan Kalyan during 2014 elections, should also be known!!

As per political calculations, during 2014 elections, the TDP anticipated that the Kapu community’s vote bank would play a crucial role in deciding the attractive prospects of lead contesting political parties, i.e., TDP and YSRCP, in the Coastal and Rayalaseema regions of AP, after bifurcation of AP into AP and Telangana. As a result, it ensured to co-opt and play the political game through former PRP leader, famous film actor and Kapu community’s renowned personality Pawan Kalyan!!

VI

All this indicates that popular forms of political assertions like those based on ‘caste and class’ notions have undergone a significant sea-change immediately after the 2009 general elections and that too in particular after the sudden and tragic demise of YSR. The common modes of political games and prospects existed till then have invariably reincarnated their aspirations through various forms, during a polarised political crisis.

And, Pawan Kalyan also reidentified and redefined, to some extent, his political position in this entire turbulent political phase. In a certain other sense, Pawan Kalyan’s possible playable political prospects were suggested by ‘the Other’, i.e., TDP, and he obliged with gladness to choose, incline and perform such role!!

Thus, at last, Pawan Kalyan ventured into the 2014 electoral fray on behalf of the TDP-BJP electoral alliance as a support lead campaigner.

University of Hyderabad 2016-2017 Students’ Union Election Contestation

A few details pertaining to the previous academic year 2016-17 Students’ Union election at the University of Hyderabad is as follows;

ABVP OBCA Whole Panel

ABVP OBCA President and VP

ABVP - OBCA

ABVP OBCA GS and JS

ABVP OBCA Cultural and Sports Secretaries

GS CASH

UFSJ for 2016-2017

Ultimately, this election witnessed the fruitful and victorious emergence of the United Front for Social Justice (UFSJ). UFSJ comprised various student organisations like Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Dalit Students’ Union (DSU), Tribal Students’ Forum (TSF), Bahujan Students’ Front (BSF), Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika (TVV) as electoral alliance partners. Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) contested as a separate panel entity; though there were high range expectations that ASA will become part of UFSJ. The ASA’s contestation as an independent electoral group of a body made many disappointed, and some even accused ASA by attributing evil motives in various forms.

This election took place after the Univerity of Hyderabad witnessed an unprecedented global attention in the wake of the unfortunate suicide of one of the Ph.D., Research Scholars, i.e., Mr Rohit Vemula. The death of Rohit Vemula attracted global attention towards projected and alleged caste discrimination on the University of Hyderabad campus in particular and on other academic institutions across India, in general.

This 2016-17 election also witnessed an unprecedented focus. One of the focal centres of concern was; why a united student body, which led a glorious revolutionary democratic battle against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Vice Chancellor Prof Podile Appa Rao, etc. got disunited and contested elections? A large chunk of the University student body, comprised almost all the student organisations, expect ABVP, came under two platforms: ‘Justice for Rohit Vemula & Joint Action Committee For Social Justice’ and led a massive revolutionary democratic battle against the groups mentioned above and Vice Chancellor. This large-scale student organisations activism was expected to retain and sustain during this electoral contestation in the form of electoral alliance. But, such expectations, in reality, saw disunity in electoral collaboration.

By the time of the 2016-17 election, these two platforms; ‘Justice for Rohit Vemula & Joint Action Committee for Social Justice’ activities got declined. Critics observed that the reduction of these two platforms activities had to do something with the ensuring and forthcoming elections for that academic year. All this indicates: politics, though openly not acknowledged, is well mastered and practised by various student organisations and sections. And, it took some time for others to realise realities, especially for those whose expectations were very high after witnessing high-level student activism in the form of Justice for Rohit Vemula, etc.

Allegations and counter allegations also went-on high during this electoral process and immediately after completion of the electoral process also this tempo continued. It was highly alleged that ASA was the prime responsible student organisation for betraying the spirit of possible electoral collusion of all the participated teams in the Justice for Rohit Vemula movement. But, ASA justified and propagated that it fought as an independent electoral body since it got betrayed by other co-students organisations (ASA allegations over disappointment should be ascertained and seen separately)!! But, such charge and propagation of ASA got negated by other co-student organisations, which colluded under UFSJ for electoral gain. Among all the colluded partners under UFSJ; BSF took the lead and criticised ASA, as ASA possessed evil motive, for failing to join UFSJ and making unjustified allegations against UFSJ partners. BSF accused ASA has had hand-in-glove with the Indian National Congress (INC) and National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) for not joining the alliance under UFSJ. While BSF expressed such opinion publicly, some others too expressed such opinion in informal ways.

All this indicates that the University range elections, at the University of Hyderabad level, are getting entwined with the mainstream political atmosphere, which was not the case until a few years ago. In fact, in the past, almost all the Student organisations desired to have wider exposure to their political activism in the mainstream media with public attention and concern. Such wish of them started to fruity slowly over the past few years in various respects. The University of Hyderabad’s, unseen alumni role is also prominent, in getting this University into the public limelight over the past few years.