NT Rama Rao original proponent of 'Congress-mukt Bharat' theory: Book

NT Rama Rao
x

NT Rama Rao original proponent of ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ theory: Book

Highlights

If there was one thing that actively constituted legendary actor-politician NT Rama Rao's political philosophy, it was the anti-Congressism that he propounded, so much so that he could be called the original proponent of 'Congress-mukt Bharat' theory, says a new book.

If there was one thing that actively constituted legendary actor-politician NT Rama Rao's political philosophy, it was the anti-Congressism that he propounded, so much so that he could be called the original proponent of 'Congress-mukt Bharat' theory, says a new book.

"NTR waged an uncompromising fight against Congress all through his political life. It could be said that he was the original proponent of 'Congress-mukt Bharat' philosophy," writes journalist Ramesh Kandula about the Telegu Desam Party founder in "Maverick Messiah: A Political Biography of N T Rama Rao". While addressing the inaugural rally of the National Front in Chennai in the late 1980s, NTR had said that "in the past, the Congress freed the country and now the time has come to free the country from the Congress misrule".

Veteran BJP leader L K Advani had written in his autobiography that he liked NTR's "genuine concern for forming a democratic and stable alternative to the Congress at the Centre. In pursuit of this objective, he tirelessly strove to mobilise Opposition parties on a common platform..." The author says NTR's most significant contribution was in the area of Centre-state relations, which constituted his core political philosophy.

"NTR was not the first politician to talk about federalism in the Indian context. There were regional parties in Tamil Nadu, Punjab and the Northeast even before NTR, but the credit for pushing Centre-state relations into the mainstream agenda should largely be accorded to him.

"NTR repeatedly talked of the need to rewrite the Constitution to ensure a better balance of power between the Centre and the states," he writes. He also says the TDP has come a long way from what it was under NTR's leadership, but the party still clings to his memory to connect with the average Telugu person. Popularly called NTR, he was a giant in the cinematic world and a political nobody when he founded the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and defeated the Indira Gandhi-led Congress in what was considered her turf.

He was the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh for seven years over three terms. He redefined the political culture in the state and scripted a new political idiom. The book, published by Penguin Random House India to coincide with his 25th death anniversary on Monday, talks about NTR's rather dramatic entry into politics, the profound impact he left on the people of Andhra Pradesh and the vital role he played in national politics during his relatively short political life. NTR's political career spanned less than 14 years, but the imprint he left in that rather short period was remarkable, the book says.

"He straddled the worlds of cinema and politics with equal aplomb. Many actors came into politics, but none of them dominated like him. A trailblazer in many ways, NTR emerged as a disruptive force in regional politics and a factor to be reckoned with at the national level," it says.

Show Full Article
Print Article
Next Story
More Stories
ADVERTISEMENTS