The rise and fall of NTR: A Communist perspective

The rise and fall of NTR: A Communist perspective

NTRs biography is being brought out as a big volume of a book of 636 annals by Chandrahas and Laxminarayana jointly in English While I started...

NTR’s biography is being brought out as a big volume of a book of 636 annals by Chandrahas and Laxminarayana jointly in English. While I started reading, I got a doubt whether am I able to read such a big book. There is an idiom saying that “as we go on eating neem which is too sour also becomes sweet “. As i went into a deep study of this work, my interest was enhanced. There are two reasons for this – one, Life of NTR and two, style of the book and the content.

There were several personalities who have served the cultural front. Most popular among them were NTR & ANR duo. Akkineni Nageshwara Rao has contributed his services cultural front alone, but whereas Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao has come before people as multifarious talented and enthused crores of people through cultural front.

He has performed in different roles and made people satisfied. He has played roles of Rama, Krishna and even Ravana also very efficiently. NTR has created such a situation where people used to imagine that structure, shape of God resembles him. He has also inspired younger generation with his dance steps.

He has even played role of Bruhannala (Transgender in Hindu mythology) and proved his efficiency, by which he has contributed much to cultural front. He was such a restless great veteran to gain grip on various issues. Lakhs of people who were aloof from politics stepped into the political arena as soon as he entered into politics. He was successful in making people politically conscious.

What was the background of politics prior to NTR’s arangetram into politics? Congress party had continued to be away from people. Dissatisfaction had grown as Chief Ministers were frequently changed and at the same time Centre’s intervention crossed the limits.

At the same time, Corporation elections were held first time. Vijayawada Corporation had come into hands of Communists, while Vijayawada was a political centre. Jan Sangh had bagged Vizag Corporation.

At the same time with the initiative of Communists, a broad- based political platform was formed .Communists and BJP which were as North Pole &South pole shared single platform and become ready for mobilising people. Congress party was in a losing position. NTR made political entry in the same period as” iron to be bent when it is hot”.

‘Indian bourgeois is the most intelligent on the entire planet. They will change the superstructure soon after assessing there is danger to their socio-economic class base, by creating another platform in the next minute. If NTR wouldn’t have entered into political arena, a democratic govt would have been formed in AP then with a Communist majority’.

The mistake of Communists
Top leaders of Communist party had a subjective approach at the time of formation of Telugu Desam party. Reason being at that time prominent Communist stalwarts like Chandra Rajeshwara Rao & Puchalapalli Sundaraiah were in the political scene. They could not approve NTR as an equal alongside them. NTR first met with Communist leaders as soon as he made his political entry. As NTR was trying for political alliance, Nadendla Bhaskara Rao took the initiative for political alliance with Communists.

The then leadership of Communist parties underestimated NTR’s political background and made a mistake on the matter of number of seats offered to them by over reacting. It was a big crime, not accepting the offer of 60 seats. The people who were strongly opposing Congress turned towards Telugu Desam.

As a result, the base of Communists was also shaken up. If Communists would have had an electoral understanding the Nadendla Bhasker Rao incident would have not emerged. The effort of dethroning of NTR govt would have not arisen and at the same time we could have protected the base of Communists to some extent.

Chandrababu Naidu was attracted towards Congress politics through student activities prior to emergence of Telugu Desam Party. Raja Gopal Naidu has encouraged him. Chandra Babu Naidu was research scholar in Sri Venkateshwara University and Laxminarayana was Research Assistant, co-writer of the said book. This duo started from while Naidu was a student.

There were two groups in the university. Chandra Babu was the leader of one faction and Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy used to lead another group. During that period I started AISF. I got acquainted with them then itself. The then acquaintance with them is still continuing, however as parallel rail tracks “.

Chandra Babu Naidu got elected to state Assembly, became Minister, Cinematography got acquainted with the NTR family and became son- in - law of NTR in no time. In a way NTR’s acquaintance with a political family might have been one of the reasons to come into politics though NTR earlier had thought of serving the cultural field as a popular artiste.

Though NTR founded a regional party, he had started viewing politics at the national level. A regional party had emerged in Tamil Nadu prior to TDP. But NTR had become the first politician to play a key role in national politics. While Congress was in power both in Centre and state, relations were badly affected. Our country is of different regions, various weather conditions, religions, castes, cultural anamolies, unequal development ,and an all together political system of India is “unity with diversity “.

There is no place for monolithic regime in the Federal spirit of our constitution. Rule of Congress continued in such a way it hurt the sentiments of people all over India from Jammu & Kashmir to entire country including south India. Apart from it, split in Communist party in 1962-1964 happened while Congress and Communists were playing a key role.

The basis for the split was differences in international communist movement. Because of the split in Communist movement we failed to create confidence among anti -Congress masses. Its impact was that regional parties had come to power by defeating Congress in eight states in 1967. But Communists could not get their due share, which was supposed to come. Rights of states were being snatched away. Political discrimination was growing. Dismissal orders were being passed on states under Article 356.

In such a situation NTR ,founder of Telugu Desam, started National Front on a pan- India level. He could take credit as first man for federal spirit. TDP occupied place of main opposition in Parliament of such a big country like India. While NTR was Chief Minister he concentrated on OBC reservations and women reservations with the spirit of Mandal commission. That is the reason why still there is a strong base to TDP in BCs.

Rama Rao took daring decisions like reforms in revenue administration, establishment of mandals on the name of administration going to people, abolition of Karanam setup etc. There is no selfishness in the actions of NTR. He was used to implementing his decisions, irrespective of it being right or wrong. Once a Congress leader made a comment that “NTR made such decisions which cannot be implemented, but we tried to implement.”

Once Buddha statue drowned in Hussain Sagar lake which could not be lifted up , he made it possible to be lifted up from the bottom of it. With the scheme rice for Rs 2 per kilogram, he was recognised role in both state and central levels. He would have been successful in political field had he been flexible in politics. His adamant determination brought him up in politics and the same attitude threw him into abyss.

- Dr K Narayana
(The author is national secretary, CPI) (Part II will appear tomorrow)

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