Sunday, April 21, 2024

‘T sentiment’ patent going out of BRS’ hands

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By Krishna Prasad

The ‘Telangana sentiment’, originally patented by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in its previous avatar as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), is going out of the hands of the pink party, with both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party now competitively owning the T sentiment in myriad ways.
Although TRS itself had jumped quite late on the bandwagon of T sentiment, which originally peaked in the late Sixties, the beginning of the end of BRS’ patent on T sentiment started when TRS re-positioned itself beyond the borders of Telangana by rechristening the party as Bharat Rashtra Samithi before the recent Assembly polls.  Post-elections, the Revanth Reddy-led Congress took the starter pack to its logical conclusion!
The Revanth government has left no stone unturned to whip up Telangana sentiments creatively, be it through honouring Ande Sri, the author of Jaya Jaya He Telangana, which is deemed to be state song;  change of RTA registration initials from ‘TS’ to ‘TG’; honouring hard-core Telangana movement activists or whatever.
The latest concrete pro-T sentiment action of the government is the decision to soon adorn Tank Bund with the statues of Telangana protagonists.  Apart from statues of Chakali Ailamma, Sardar Sarvai Papanna, Komaram Bheem, Ramji Gond, those of new age influential politicians like PV Narasimha Rao, Sripada Rao and S Jaipal Reddy could embellish Tank Bund in the near future. The Cabinet sub-committee formed for the purpose could throw up new names of T stars deemed fit to light up the night sky at Tank Bund.
The Revanth government has already decided to instal a statue of renowned balladeer, folk singer and revolutionary poet late Gummadi Vithal Rao, popularly known as ‘Gaddar’, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Although Gaddar had anchored the Telangana statehood movement through his folk songs and rousing speeches, post bifurcation he was evidently sidelined by KCR reportedly due to their mutual differences.
The Congress had fielded Gaddar’s daughter G V Vennela from the Secunderabad Cantt Assembly constituency in the elections, but she lost to the BRS candidate. Not to be outdone, the Congress may accommodate Vennela in a suitable position to cement its claim over Gaddar’s legacy and the Telangana sentiment.
Like Gaddar, Ande Sri, who had moved millions with his song, was given the cold shoulder for daring to question the KCR government’s ways. By honouring these two obviously ‘pro-T but anti-KCR’ activists, the Revanth government has bearded the lion in its own den.
Likewise, the BJP has been cherry-picking Telangana biddas when it comes to its choice of candidates for the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.  Given the Congress party’s visible actions resonating with T sentiments, it is predictable that Telangana biddas will have a pride of place in its list of candidates too.
Going by the recent Assembly elections’ outcome, the BRS has lost out heavily on account of its choice of trans-Telangana candidates, since most of the losers were not identifiably Telangana biddas. This means that the BRS cannot now afford to identify Telangana biddas who can salvage the rump of TRS in its avatar as BRS. Besides, having tried in vain to get a foothold in Maharashtra and Karnataka political arenas, the BRS cannot shed its national ambitions ahead of the LS elections. Numbers count and it cannot crank up its numbers on T sentiment any longer.     The upshot is that the individual efforts being made by the Congress and the BJP to own (or rather snatch from BRS) the Telangana sentiment will deprive the original patent holder of its life force that in the first place brought the erstwhile TRS to power in India’s newest state.

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