Over estimating Gaddar!- Bhandaru Srinivas Rao (I.I.S.)
With balladeer Gaddar of erstwhile left-wing CPI-ML group launching Telangana Praja Front, to intensify the struggle for separate statehood, likely to hot up state politics, especially in the region. After lying low for quite some time after his expulsion from the left-wing Maoist party, Gaddar quite often seen sharing with all and sundry political parties to express his solidarity to fight for separate state for Telangana.
But, what really surprised many was a hard-core ideologue of Maoist philosophy changed his ‘heart’ to believe parliamentary democracy. All through his career as head of Jana Natya Mandali, a cultural troupe of the erstwhile People’s War Group (PWG) of CPI-ML, carried on the campaign to dissuade electorate from participating in elections. Today, he says the separate statehood could only be achieved through an introduction of Bill in Parliament and his decision to fight elections, whenever they are held.
Had he set his eyes on the local bodies elections round the corner to float the TPF? Well, whatever may be the reasons for his ‘change of heart’, its good that a hardcore Maoist ideologue who till recently propagated to capture power only through barrel of a gun, now opting for democratic process. That’s a good sign in Indian politics as Gaddar is known all over the country as he propagate the left-wing ideology through singing and dancing to lure especially young tribal youth to join its ranks to wage wars against the concerned state governments – whether in Orissa or Jharkhand or Maharashtra or Bihar, besides West Bengal. He is a known face in left-wing extremists fight against political establishments.
While one welcomes his decision join the democratic process, yet one express doubt over the timing. That too when the Telangana Rashtra Samiti of K Chandrasekhara Rao, indeed managed to claim credit for pushing the movement for separate statehood to this far – forcing the Centre first to announce the beginning of process and then later constitution of Justice Sri Krishna Panel. Many feel bifurcation of the state is not far off as the emotive issue touched everyone in the region. The electorate of the region expressed their emotions so strongly in recent by-elections by re-electing all those who resigned to put pressure on the Centre.
Many wonder when the issue had come to a climax, why Gaddar had to launch the TPF. Had he done with some ulterior motives as KCR determined to take winds out of all parties’ sails on T-issue? One could find some logic in their genuine doubts over Gaddar’s real intentions? None can give guarantee that their fears may come true of Gaddar playing spoil sport. That too, enough confusion has been created with every major political party in the state virtually dividing on regional lines and staking claim that they are the real champions for the T-cause.
Gaddar’s TPF will become yet another ‘front’ to attack K Chandrasekhara Rao, who indeed virtually turned his party into a ‘family’ business. Those who justify Gaddar’s intentions, also reason how weaker sections in the region suffered at the hands of “Doras” in the region. In fact, the Maoists in the region mostly fought against these Doras as they exploited, especially the poor dalits. TRS Chief Rao belongs to “Velama” community and they hold huge chunks of lands in several Telangana districts like Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Adilabad and Medak, besides Nizamabad.
Thus far, Gaddar as a Dalit justified in continuing the struggle against this predominant community which indeed created havoc in the lives of weaker in the region. And, Gaddar, who had mass appeal as an artiste, undoubtedly a ‘mass leader.’ Wherever he holds a programme, thousands of people throng to see and enjoy. His poetry is very attractive and sway away the poor masses. Some of his songs like “Bandenaka bandi katti, padaharu bandlu katti, nee gori kadatham koduko Nizamu sarkaroda" were great hits.
Yet, can he turn masses into votes is the million dollar question. One of my senior journalist friend told me that Gaddar many a time confessed that people may come in thousands to see and enjoy his programmes, but he cannot win an election, even as a councilor in a municipality. Having said that how come Gaddar now talks about fighting elections and accomplishing the separate statehood through movements? Doesn’t it sound strange? Moreover, doesn’t Gaddar aware of the fact that to fight an election today requires a lot of funds. Where from he expect the money to come from?
Hence, I for one feel his entry into state political arena may prove yet another ‘disaster’ like the one of yesteryear mega star Chiranjeevi. (06-10-2010)