Monday, October 17, 2011

Telangana Sakala Janula Samme fizzling out..?

Andhra Pradesh has been going through a period of uncertainity which is caused by the agitation for Telangana state. The agitation has gone through several forms during the last two years. Presently, an indefinite  general strike - Sakala Janula Samme (All People's Strike) - is being observed across the region. It is already more than a month old.

After a successful month long strike, the SJS received a severe jolt on Oct 15, when one of the participant organisations- the RTC employees' Joint  Action Committee - has withdrawn from the Sakala Janula Samme (SJS). Though different reasons were given for the withdrawal, the actual reason looks to be that the employees are fatigued out due to the month long strike.

There is every possibility that this fatigue will quickly spread to the other constituents of the strike, because it has been very taxing on the employees' pockets. Already there are voices from Teachers, expressing to resume teaching at Schools. The workers of Singareni Collieries may also make a decision on Monday when they sit across the Table for discussions with the Management.

Moreover, the striking employees are under the impression that the strike, though is supposed to be of "All sections of the people",  is limited only to the employees, teachers and the workers of RTC and Singareni. They are particularly unhappy with the political leaders of Telangana Congress, who, the employees say,  are simply giving lip sympathy rather than participating actively in teh strike. The leader of Employees JAC, Swami Goud expressed this publicly on more than one occasion.

The Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) which is the chief organiser of SJS received another jolt on Oct 15, when the State Minister Janareddy appealed to the striking employees to call off the strike in the wider interests of the people. He spoke to the reporters along with other ministers of teh State Government. Janareddy is the President of the Steering committee of Telangana Congress leaders which coordinates their actions, which makes his announcement that much more important. His announcement, coupled with the withdrawal of RTC employees will have profound impact on the continuance of the strike. 

Though Kodandaram, the Chairman of TJAC, put up a brave face in front of the reporters, the anxiety on his face did not go unnoticed.

The coming few days will be crucial for the Telangana agitation, for, the success or failure of SJS will have a profound bearing on the agitation.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chiranjeevi launches Prajarajyam

Chiranjeevi launched his political party Prajarajyam after months of deliberations. Roughly translated, it means People's State / People's Rule, the name sounds very good. The meeting at Tirupathi, where he announced the name, was huge. Lakhs of people cheered him while Chiranjeevi went on narrating his rags-to-riches life story.

It was a dramatic speech. It was emotional. But it was disappointing. It was no different from all those run-of-the-mill political speeches.

He started by narrating his childhood. He spoke a lot about the days when he had to live with only one meal per day -all the stuff that his ardent fans would expect from him. He delivered what they expected. He was his usual self while delivering this part of the speech.

But, while handling the policies part of his speech, he found it difficult to handle the prepared speech. He fumbled at several places while reading out from the papers.He did not seem to have prepared well.

What about the party's policies? Prajarajyam was no different from its seniors. It is as loud as the other parties are, while talking about social justice, women, Backward classes, Youth etc. It was as ambiguous as Congress and TDP are, when it came to contentious issues. Chiranjeevi skillfully avoided spelling out his policy on the crucial issues like Telangana, SC reservations, Kapu reservation etc. He said he would frame his policy after thoroughly discussing the subjects. But, there was no mention about the timeline. He left the When and how of these discussions to the imagination of the people. It is likely that this policy will prevail until the elections.

There was no mention about prohibition. But, he spoke of controlling liquor. Again no mention about the details.

Overall, it was a cinematic speech for a political audience. Chiranjeevi disappointed me.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chiranjeevi spoke at last

Chiranjeevi broke the silence and announced his entry into politics. Nothing was new in it. World knows it already. Did he say anything new? Anything about the party and its policies?

Nothing! He delivered a well prepared speech. Answered some expected questions on almost expected lines. But, nothing is new in today's press briefing!

He wore his characteristic smile on his face and Spoke in that well known style. He tried to make friends with the media persons. He conducted the entire media meet as one of those run-of-the-mill Telugu film related media events.

For a question about his understanding about the burning issues facing the State, he replied that you are here to tell me about the problems. I will look into all the issues and respond to them in the appropriate way. His immaturity was evident on this occassion.

He postponed answers for all the important questions, to Aug 26, the day he formalises the party.Let us wait until Aug 26 for more on the new party.

Today's press conference was a mere formality.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Chirajeevi to enter politics?

Chiranjeevi is undoubtedly the most popular actor amongst the contemporary Telugu movie stars. Of late, there have been lot of speculative stories doing rounds about his possible entry into politics. What are his qualifications to be a political leader?

  • He has the charisma, the mass following and the necessary social status.. a.k.a caste to take a plunge into politics.
  • More importantly, he has that political appetite. He is clever in managing behind the scene political menouvres in Tollywood. (That the Telugu Movie industry is a big political playground is another interesting story, which will be discussed on these pages in future.)
  • He has also become popular through his social service activities like running a Blood bank. Of course, when compared with the mega mass appeal that he has, his social service can be considered minuscule. But undoubtedly, the blood bank brought him more humane touch to his already public face.

Last week, specualtion ruled the pages and waves in the Telugu Media about his possible plunge into politics. Media constructed stories, conducted surveys and published the reports - all positive for his political arangetram. The news is so intense that people thought it is either today or tomorrow. After three days of speculation, Chiru came out with a statement which is neither a 'yes' nor a 'no' to the grand opening. He has effectively postponed the decision for some more time.

But why this delay in decision making? There are many concerns..
  • caste calculations. This is very significant, owing to the caste based churning that is currently taking place in AP politics
  • Telangana movement.
  • Money
  • Fear of failure. Though a hard-core Chiranjeevi fan may not buy this argument, it is one factor, he cannot afford to ignore. Any failure to capture power, will spell doom to his political career. Five years of hibernation (sitting in the opp. benches) will kill him not only as a politician but also as a movie hero. So he cannot ignore this risk.
One curious observation:
If Chiranjeevi launches a political party and supports separate telangana cause, he is sure to get overwhelming support. That would be real trouble for TRS!

Another (more curious) observation:
If Chiranjeevi's party wins power in Telangana State, and loses in Andhra state, will he become the Chief Minister of Telangana?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Thus spake Rahul...

"In the state of Mahatma Gandhi, let us remember his teachings to seek the truth. Today, the Gujarat government is in a habit of bowing to falsehood and lies. Never support falsehood," Rahul Gandhi said at an election rally in Surat, Gujarat.

What a joke! He is asking people to join him in remembering Mahatma's teachings!! Sure, he needs it badly, but not the people of Gujarat.

"Mr.Gandhi, you know.. it is difficult to recollect something which you never know, wherever you are.. in Gujarat or elsewhere!"

'..Never support falsehood'.. If Outlook pre-poll survey is any indication.., people of Gujarat are not going to support the falsehood this time again. Dont worry!