In the South Indian Tollywood, Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan have captured a unique place as successful lead actors. Though these two leading actors also happen to be biological brothers; yet there exists a considerable age gap between them, at a range of almost close to 17 years or so. First, Chiranjeevi ventured into the Tollywood as a trained actor from Chennai, where Tollywood headquartered in those days. Chiranjeevi chose to migrate from his native East Godavari district in the Coastal Andhra Pradesh to Tamil Nadu’s capital city Madras (later-on renamed as Chennai), as part of pursuing his well aspired and cherished career in the Tollywood. As per his admired ambition, he was able to become a successful and established lead actor in Tollywood within a short duration and was able to continue the same position, since then. In his initial years of professional career, Chiranjeevi used to be very busy as an actor by almost simultaneously acting in various films. Somehow, in due course of Chiranjeevi’s professional career, his other family members also started to venture into this field, especially his two brothers; one among them happens to be younger brother Pawan Kalyan.
It was noted on a few platforms that Chiranjeevi has nurtured the career of Pawan Kalyan to some extent by providing him training in acting at a professional trainer at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Thus, both Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan entered Tollywood as trained actors and were successful also in due course of time. When seen from the educational background; Chiranjeevi happens to be little more educated than his younger brother Pawan Kalyan.
Pawan Kalyan, in a certain observable sense, entred Tollywood at a time when Chiranjeevi’s film career started to witness a slow motion, during the end of 1990’s. Most film and lay observers opined that Pawan Kalyan was fortunate enough to have continuous hit movies. In fact, in Pawan Kalyan’s professional career in Tollywood, so far, he has very less unsuccessful films. The parameter chosen to consider this success of Pawan Kalyan’s films stood at ‘less loss to the movies produced and released.’ Thus, almost all the producers must have been glad to have produced films under his lead character roles.
And, on other parameters, when judged, these two brothers, over the years, were able to sustain their base, though at times the film sector was under intense crisis. Not only these two brothers, but even their other family and extended family members in this Tollywood industry were also able to sustain and grow in various forms and folds. In addition to this observation, critics also noted that most of the Kapu caste actors, to which these two brothers belong to, also ventured into this sector and grown. And, in this direction, it was prominently observed and noted that Chiranjeevi’s acquired prominent position in Tollywood helped a lot in this sequential end’s realization. Thus, Chiranjeevi in a certain sense has a respectable and acknowledged honor among various sections of Tollywood, and one such section also happens to emanate from his caste, i.e., Kapu. In fact, a few critics well noted that the successful emergence of Chiranjeevi in the Tollywood had put an end to the sole domination of Kamma community, which enjoyed till then. Thus, inherently caste dynamics were present in this entire Tollywood industry for long.
The political entry of Chiranjeevi, primarily, was seen, by a few sections of society, as an extended desire to bring success to the Kapu caste, from his side, through newly floated political party ‘Praja Rajyam Party’ (PRP) in 2008. Both the family and extended family members of Chiranjeevi actively stood beside him during this phase of PRP election campaign. In the initial phase of this PRP electoral campaign activity, much crowd attended meetings. This crowding pulling capacity of PRP and Chiranjeevi was analyzed in various modes. But, in due course of time, PRP’s prospectus seemed to have diminished considerably. Ultimately, when PRP contested 2009 Lok Sabha and Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections; the result was heartening than expected. At last, on the whole, it was recognized and acknowledged that the PRP, on the whole, was able to garner only around 18% vote share or so. And, this 18% vote share was attributed to have emanated from the Kapu community.
Among all the family and extended family members, Chiranjeevi’s younger brother Pawan Kalyan got highlighted in the mainstream media due to various reasons; like due to opposition party’s satirically posed serious comments and allegations over his personal life and more. Pawan Kalyan, PRP and Chiranjeevi family and extended family, in certain sense took corrective measures towards this end. Thus, this indicates that the opposition has succeeded in its satirically posed serious observations and allegations. From this stage onwards, Pawan Kalyan’s personal and professional integration started to get exposed, prominently. And, Pawan Kalyan was also seen drastically quite the opposite from his other family members.
In due course of time, Chiranjeevi has realized that he was unable to run the PRP. As a result, PRP was merged into the Indian National Congress (INC).
The merger of PRP with INC brought to the forefront various political and social commentary on various platforms. One of the major critical allegation was that Chiranjeevi had sold his PRP, in the form of merger with INC, due to a drastically changed political situation in the Andhra Pradesh political scene. A few sections, which vote and patronaged PRP and Chiranjeevi’s leadership got disappointed and ventilated their anger openly, in various modes like at times in a harsh manner too.
As a result of PRP’s merger with INC, Chiranjeevi was offered Rajya Sabha membership by the INC and got inducted into the Union Council of Ministers headed by Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister. This step also brought some negative response from a few sections of society, that only Chiranjeevi was able to benefit by launching and merging PRP with INC, politically; since his political career continued under INC.
One of the most disappointed section over the failure of PRP and subsequent merger with INC was Kapu community, as per critics observations.
On the whole, with the merger of PRP with INC, the first active phase of Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan’s political career got a curtain closed.
But, both of them are still visible as film actors and leading politicians in the next continued second phase under INC and Jana Sena Party (JSP). JSP was established by Pawan Kalyan in the year 2014, taking into consideration scheduled elections to the Lok Sabha and Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Though JSP failed to contest in this election, it extended full-fledged active support to the TDP-BJP alliance. This second post-2014 election innings of these two brother’s needs another exploration.