Saturday, September 12, 2009

YS Jaganmohan Reddy: Michael Corleone, desi style!

There would always be resistance to change. The more radical the change, the more the resistance would be in a society, from the beneficiaries of the existing set-up

- Julius Caesar

While the incessant Jagan Bhajan is almost making me (like most others) believe that YSR was sort of a Mahatma, the campaign through media is getting shriller by the day. We are now told about surveys where 3/4 of the surveyed are said to be dying to see YSR Jr as the new CM, literally. Countless morons threatened self-immolation If YS Jagan is not throned. Among them, I find even an MLA Dr. T. Rajaiah from my own district Warangal. I just wondered why this educated MLA doesn't show an iota of that loyalty to the electorate who elected him in the first place. That is the catch. Why do we see this mass frenzy for someone who was out of public eye and whose businesses no one in the general public is completely sure about. While the mass surge in emotion and sympathy could be explained partly by the unbelievably violent accident that claimed YSR's life, what should beat an outside observer is this unchallenged raucous campaign by YS Jagan camp. After all, Congress is always known as the faction-ridden, ill-disciplined outfit where every chance for CM gaddi is contested for by at least a dozen wannabes. Then why is that we don't see a single aspirant apart from YS Jagan? Why is the 'High-command' tolerant of this open revolt? The answer lies in the persona of YSR and his junior, and the legacy YSR left.

When a weak central leadership outsourced the state congress affairs to YSR, he grabbed the opportunity, gave his all, forged alliances and came to power in 2004. From his background from Rayalaseema badlands, he bought his own feudal morality into governance. He cleverly focused on populist programs for poor to consolidate his vote bank while benefiting his loyalists in every government program directly and indirectly. Strongmen started operating for tenders, real estate settlements etc and rule of law, regulations were thrown to the wind even in the capital like Hyderabad. His loyalists were given a sense of ownership as they were handed over certain geographical areas in districts. They were asked to deliver election results in those areas in exchange to unbridled freedom over administrative machinery and government program implementation - thousands of crores of projects in irrigation, infrastructure, power etc. YSR successfully experimented with this setup in the by-polls last year and achieved very good results, reducing the erstwhile ally TRS to a pygmy. YSR then successfully lobbied with Ms.Gandhi and got a free hand in the selection of candidates for the assembly polls. With all bounty he was obviously contributing and the results he showed in by-polls, he was indeed handed the whole stock. He handpicked all guys for assembly elections and no wonder, for all the rewards they got, his loyalists bought in a thumping victory for YSR this year. This well-oiled machinery is now the backbone of Congress in the state and YSR was the unchallenged leader in the state, till the flight did him in. Now when this whole system and its beneficiaries (MLAs, MPs, Party workers) are in danger of loosing favour with a new CM, they naturally are orchestrating a loud campaign in the media. Too much is at stake and and they wont let their years of 'hard-work' all just go. So, they thunder 'Jagan is the only leader who can fulfill YSR's vision'. And with all that we see, YS Jagan is all for this continuity and 'vision'. If the 'high-command' succumbs to the masses, it is to be seen if YS Jagan would react to the obvious corruption allegations with the same disdain and contempt his father did. Is Bangalore-based YS Jagan capable of the same feudal mindset and indifference to democratic ethos his father has demonstrated? Or would he be attacked, forced to debate and made to look a sorry figure by the opposition and pro-TDP media over his various businesses - thousands of crores worth power, mining, infrastructure and media enterprises? We have to wait and see. Meanwhile, media has been bombarding us with the visuals of YS Jagan tirelessly receiving unending stream of visitors supposedly conveying their sympathy and support in his moment of grief. However, it looks the other way round when we get to look at the pictures. Jagan unfailingly welcomes the wailing or grief stricken loyalist closer, holds his/her hands and then cups their cheeks, looks straight into their eyes and reassures them with some words. The scene reminds me of the physical contact involved in the Godfather series where in general, the Godfather is kissed on his finger ring by all loyalists who visit him. And in one particularly moving scene, Michael Corleone embraces and then kisses his elder brother Fredo on his lips. These are men of intensity and strong will and its natural, i guess, for them to get physical. They are natural leaders. I remembered the scene mainly because the context is similar. While Don Vito Corleone operated with the mobs, YSR operated in the mobocracy. Both were ruthless and were men of their word while in bargain they got unwavering loyalty. While the Don had Tom Hagen as his consigliere, YSR had an equally dear KVP Ramachandra Rao, whom he referred to as his soulmate. When the Don gets killed, destiny forces the young Michael to take over. Jagan faces a similar destiny now and is forced to take over, CM or not, and keep the flock together.


raju said...

Well said !!!

varun said...

nice one

myopinion said...

Well the catch is simple 'I might continue to have what i have and even what I wish for if it is YSRs son. It might not be true if i have another leader and Rosiah is too much of a conservative economist'. Not Jagan, not Rosiah, the congress high command has its own pawn.

Ravinder said...

Well.... we need to wait and watch ...

Good one Amar... great comparison

vijay said...

Super mama....great comparation...Keep going

Nikhil Saraf said...

Great post! sums up the situation perfectly!

sachin said...


I pity our state where, even after centuries when kingdoms were scrapped and govt took over, its sad to see that tradition still continues. And our state particularly follows that, be it in politics or in film industry.

In politics needless to say after our own elected ministers and general janta seethe over the issue of making Jagan as CM. our people are so habituated to see the popular figures next generation in the same seat with the same expectations no matter whether the person is eligible for that seat or that role.

It really irks me even in Telugu film industry, its not a fair policy, for a far more better actor than stars sons finds hard to get an opportunity to work with talented directors. As all the top directors are busy full-filling wishes of star sons. what a crap ????

I say, even a movie in which dog is acting is made hit by spending crores of rupees. so whats a big deal in giving a hit or flop. Everyone knows how talented Uday Kiran was and now he has no future in the industry or rather his future was destroyed. I believe these are the reasons which took away directors like RGV(Whom I consider a finest director in the present industry apart from Mani Ratnam) to Bollywood.

I think I deviated from the topic but that was needed to describe how habituated we are to see next kin to be in the same seat rather than voicing against it. I am not against Jagan or any other person he may be talented but I never saw him speaking about the issues we have in our state. Let him spend some time in state affairs and let him float his ideas in elections and leave the rest to public.

I wonder, in our system to get a small attender job several officers will be interviewing the persons applied for the job. How foolish can we be to just appoint a person on the top seat without even knowing anything about him...

By the way buddy ur analogy was perfect and one more thing in ur post you described our states situation or rather our ministers situation but u never said whats ur opinion ??? I would love to see your opinion not what's happening around us and the things behind it.

Sachin :-)

R Adarsh said...

Hi Amar,

Nice allegory :)

While Michael had to step in due to circumstances, Jagan's entry was carefully written and micromanaged by YSR himself.

The advent of Jagan Yuva Sena , the MP seat , the media empire were all written to a symphony by YSR himself though he would not have imagined it coming into play so soon.

While Michael had to spend some time away from the public glare(after he kills the cop), will the same fate await Jagan is to be seen.(If the high-command continues to keep Rosaiah for some more time).

Amar said...

Raju, Varun, Ravinder, Vijay,

Thank You :)


Nice to see u enter the blogosphere. If indeed 'High command' has its own pawn it would have wait for considerable time to install him as Rosaiah's successor. In fact, they cant get a more loyal guy than Rosaiah himself in present circumstances.

Amar said...

Hi Nikhil,

Thanks for the stumble :)


Valid point. Jr Corleone was destined, against his and his wives will. He was forced in. But Jr YSR seems to be more than willing, Infact threatening, to take the plunge. Yeah, he was groomed and I think he cant be forced away now. He would be given some or the other prominent role and he will continue to put his weight around, like his father did.

reddy12 said...

Nice post amar. Great comparison. Not sure who are the people who are commiting suicide. Are they really committing suicide for this reason or just committing suicide for some other reason including jagan's name as a way to get publicity.

Amar said...

Reddy12? I guess this is Bhaskar anna :)

I agree with the assessment. Lots of drunks and disillusioned out there just need a reason to die. I may sound harsh but that's how it is. The last time I checked, there were almost 30 suicides in Warangal and 1 in Kadapa. How would anyone explain that figure? YSR’s own district Kadapa which will be renamed after him shortly (if the loyalists have their way), where he built miraculous public infrastructure has only 1 committing suicide while a distant Warangal for which he did nothing has 30 of its populace committing suicide!?

In fact I am not even suggesting that the number of suicides should be considered a parameter to measure how popular or lovable leader YSR or any other public leader is. I don't recollect anyone committing suicide when the great lady Mother Teresa passed away!

All this hype about suicides has been done my immature vernacular media, mainly electronic media. They exaggerated the figures, didn't check the facts and sensationalized the issue.

Deepak said...

Good one, Amar.

I believe that Jagan would hold centerstage in Andhra Pradesh politics, irrespective of being crowned the CM or not.

The suicides / heart attacks don't really signify how great a leader / personality was and the example about Mother Teresa makes it amply clear.

And yes, I wish there was no other television channel except the golden "DoorDarshan" to cover this news with so much extravaganza and so much hype. The hullabaloo created by the TV channels and minute by minute updates only drew more and more people closer to death because of the shock. There needs to be some kind of regulatory body which provides clear guidelines so that the lives of common people are not at stake.

Radha said...

Anna...very nice post....i wonder y 30 people killed themselves in warangal....where there is nill development since last 6 years & only real estate hype created by this so called politicians & gundas

Amar said...

Hey Deepak,

Yes, its ineveitable that Jagan would have a role to play from now on.

Yeah! good old days of (only)DD when we were allowed to live in peace. Now I know how the chinese conserve their energies for better things :). Well, if we start talking abt regulation, we know where it will end up, in favour of rulers. Late YSR banned all media from live telecasting assembly proceedings when there no audience has been actually 'hurt','milead' by seeings the live proceedings. Now if we have a regulation, the men in power are adept in clubbing lots of things like 'sting operations' in it so that they get away from any investigative jouranalism (whatever that is left of it). Its better this way buddy. We can tolerate this occational torture. What say u?

Nice to see ur stumble. I really dont think the figure abt Warangal is genuine. Its fabricated just as it was with other districts. Whether for sensationalism by media or for propoganda by Congressmen, I dont know.

Vinayak Razdan said...

Hilarious! I don't think in a decade of so he would be saying, 'Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in!'

Madhav Mudumbai said...


I just was going through unread posts in your blog and chanced upon this one. Late Balagopal gave his final speech at Anantpur, which was published as 'Bhayandhrapradesh' in Andhra Jyothi. In this Balagopal laments that Andhra Pradesh is gripped with fear. He said despite passage of a month or so, no one dared to put things in perspective and call a spade a spade (paraphrased)! But you did just that within two weeks! And by the way this post is another example of your excellent writing skills. I really liked the comparison, I think you have a Hollywood scene for every happening around you!