Lofty ideals but unclear means

Five thousand miles from India, at around eight thirty in the night, my friends and me sitting in front of our laptops were eagerly awaiting for the arrival of Chiranjeevi to deliver his maiden speech in his first ever political meeting. The venue for the meeting, tirupati remembered me a book I read in my grandfather’s library about the late NTR. It is an autobiography about him written by a journo of an English newspaper soon after he won the elections in 1984. In one of the pages is a photograph of the legend appearing as lord venkateswara and below it is a comment, when the movie “Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam” was released people actually used to give arathi and pray to him on the screen. Such is the aura of him. It should not create any surprise that he swept the elections in 1984. Now Chiranjeevi starting his political journey from the temple town (NTR also had the first political meet here) seems to be having the same kind of aura. How else can you describe around ten lakh people (numbers reported by IBN live and Andhra Jyothy) almost the size of the population of Vijayawada, one fourth of Sydney turning up for the meeting. Anyone’s heart will miss a beat seeing such a huge gathering of people waiting for a person they love. Chiranjeevi is no exception. He truly appeared to be amazed by the gathering and he started his speech with a gaze and words of gratitude.

I loved the way he carried over the press meet and was expecting another terrific performance from him as a politician. However, it can be said that his entire speech hovered somewhere around above average. It started excellently, turned average for some time and picked up at the end. Once greeting the people who gathered there he sspoke without carrying any written speech in his hands. He spoke in perfect Telugu informing people about his struggle as a child, student and in the early days of his career. He remembered how his mother worked hard to bring him up. He told the story of how he achieved success of becoming a megastar from being the eldest son of a police constable. He also donned Characters that are endearing to lowest strata in the society. He acted as a dalit boy in his debut movie “Pranam Khareedu”, a shoe maker in “Swayam Krushi”, a person who dedicates his life for the welfare of his village in “Rudraveena”. He had a great time with his fans trying to become one among them and raising the curiosity among everyone about the party’s name, before he declared it.

As he started revealing the ideals of the party, his speech lost the initial punch. He read them from a written speech and the way he read them it appeared that he himself had no access to it till minutes before giving the speech. He had lofty ideas to make the state Santhoshandhra Pradesh. If he had revealed them like the way he told his personal story, it would have had a wonderful effect. It would have instantaneously struck a chord with the people listening to him across the world. He had ideas to help economically backward people in the forward castes as well. Instead of considering the naxalism as a law and order problem he wants to work to affect the very roots of it. He is against selling government lands (which actually belong to the people) for the sake of getting funds for populist schemes. He wants to take steps to reduce the consumption and effects of alchohol, though he is not sure what they are. He is dedicated to whatever verdict people give regarding Telengana and he is going to stick to it. Though he has great ideas for the overall development of the state, the question is how his party plans to raise the necessary funds for it. As some leaders commented, it is a bit true that his agenda in some ways resembled that of TDP.

He inaugurated the party’s flag by the hands of a handicapped boy. Later, a song in the lines of “Nenu Saitham” specially written for the party by Suddala Ashok Teja was telecast on the screen. In addition to informing everyone his humble back ground (may be as a reply to the attacks of congress politicians that he does not know about people’s problems) he told that till now everyone has seen only one side of him. There is another side which would be revealed to everyone from now on. He is going to work with a proper plan (not clear what it is) to tackle the problems of corruption.

Chiranjeevi fans went wild in their frenzy to see him. They did not mind alighting the huge banners set up though they know they might fall down even killing themselves. They did not come down until Chiranjeevi himself requested them. They almost went berserk when he came forward on the Dias giving tough time to the police and the security. As per reports two people died of heart attack and around forty people were injured in the stampede. At the end of the meeting the mega star requested his fans to go home safely.

Advertisements of the state government came as speed breakers to the live telecast of the meeting. The congress government wanted to piggy back on the TRP’s of the programme to tell every one of the schemes it has started in its regime. I do not know whether they achieved it, they were really irritating.

The meeting must have surely caused a political earth quake with the huge turnout and Chiranjeevi’s above average performance as a politican might have given some hope to the politicians. One of the newspapers reported that a smile came on the face of Chandrababu Naidu after the speech by Chiranjeevi. What does all this signify? The next few months are going to be the most interesting and Chiranjeevi has to improve and prove himself to create history and gain a chance to serve the people as he wishes.

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