From NTR to Jr.NTR: The highways and byways of TELUGU DESAM (Part 1)
The arrival of Telugu desam onto AP political scene in 1983 was a historic necessity for more than one reason; public were fed up with dictatorial attitude of Indira Gandhi; regional leaders mortgaged telugu pride and self-respect to the party high command; corruption and nepotism were at the highest; opposition was in disarray and dearth of charismatic figures who could challenge the mighty Congress; and Congress CMs were changed at the whims of Delhi bosses.
As the film audience wait for the hero to come and bash the baddies in any film, the public in Andhra Pradesh waited for a leader who can crush the Congress. And NTR filled that gap in real life too.
Whatever could be the political reasons behind his foray into politics, his arrival heralded a new era in the state political and social life. Such is the magnitude of the NTR phenomenon in the state politics, even today social scientists and political analysts divide the state’s political history into pre-NTR and post-NTR eras.
And in the days to come it is going to continue. Unfortunately as NTR belonged to one of the two powerful upper castes in the state, he remained as just an enigmatic political figure. Had he been born in some other backward caste, he could have emerged as one of the most powerful backward caste leaders in the country.
Even today the reverberations of the NTR political entry could be heard from the state political landscape and the his biological inheritors have to keep chatting his name and backward caste leaders will not escape attributing their arrival on to political scene as a reckoning force because of NTR. All the political partys, including NTR’s political arch rival Congress party and his personal enemy Naidu invariably have to refer his name to corner votes.
That is NTR. That is history.
But same cannot be told of the party he founded. The party once created political tsunami in the state is now struggling for its survival. As a final attempt, members of the NTR clan are roaming on the streets begging people to vote for it and the non-congress political parties are coming to save it. Still the future appears to be gloomy. It is not only TDP that is facing the biggest threat of it life for backstabbing its founder, even the people who conspired against NTR also facing the same fate. The dirty group, Chandrababu, Kotagiri Vidhyadhar rao, Devender Goud, Ramoji rao, Radhakrishan, who engineered the coup against NTR are now struggling for their survival. A strong talk has it that if YSR returns to power it will be death will for all of them and after elections the outlook of the TDP will change under the new leadership who will take control pushing the backstabbers aside.