From Megastar to political Chanukya...saga continues
This is the famous starting lyric of an old Megastar film. If it is rewritten today then it will be, 'Star....Star....Mega...star..Star.... Political.. Star.. Star...' True after a considerable debacle in the 2009 general elections many thought that it was the end of the political roads to the actor turned politician Chiranjeevi. Inspite of huge fan base he failed to garner Assembly strengths to crown self as the Chief Minister. This was considered as a major setback for his political aspirations and then rose the mature politician in Chiru (as he is fondly recalled by fans). Yes if you remember the media interview he gave to a prominent channel after merging his Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) with the Congress.
The senior journalist questioned his motive behind the merger. And pop, came the reply, 'to work better,' by the star. Then he added, 'if I could fight for many causes for the betterment of my people, while staying out of the ruling party' he pause and continued, 'my chances are better when I stay with the ruling party.' Initially, people thought he was an opportunist while merging the party. They went on to say that Chiru was benefited in the merger with power. But the political Chanukya proved his critics wrong and stated that not only he, but even Congress was benefited in the deal.
How do you think Congress was benefited: The Byelections for the 13 constituencies in the recent past, saw the results, inspite of a sympathy wave sweeping the Congress contestants off their seats. The sole two seats that the Congress garnered where those of Chiru's trusted lieutenants in Narsapur and Ramachandrapuram. Despite the sympathy wave, Chiru's wave was riding higher. Critics restricted their comments and some even went to say that in 2014 general elections, Congress might have a grand say if Chiru's role is well defined. Well this is not a political column and we shall not speculate much on these lines.
On the contrary what makes Chiru what he is today. From Siva Sankara Vara Prasad the journey to Rajya Sabha was surely not just a bed of roses, they had their thorns too. Out from the Madras Film Institute in the late 70's, his first film 'Punadhirallu' did not give him the necessary impetus for a robust career, as it took to screen after a long hiatus. But later started, 'Pranam Kareedhu' was the first released film and his role in the next film 'Manavuri Pandavulu,' directed by Bapu gave him a launch pad for a bright career. However the commercial hero status to the star was given by A Kodandarami Reddy's 'Khaidhi' in 1983. from then on wards there was no looking back for the star.
And the success journey continued for almost two decades and more. Chiru was moved by the flood victims plight in the late nineties. Though he donated for the cause liberally, his outreach attitude was never quenched and he formed the Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust (CCT) in 1998, to reach out the needy. As he realized that if one man contributes it is limited but creating an awakening amidst a larger base, the contributions are abundant. With this in minds he felt CCT would create the awareness. And for the larger base, he had the easy access to millions through his versatile acting skills. To maximize his service reach, CCT listed Chiranjeevi Blood and Eye Banks. As per stats CCT is the largest recipient of blood and eye donations, in the state. Infact CCT has reached out to numerous people in need,over 68,000 blood donations through and 1,414 eye donations, lists Wiki.
The reach out was so phenomenal that each of his audio cassette had a self declaration form for his fans to donate their eyes to the needy, as per norms. On most of his birthdays there were large blood camps organized by his fans and the donations reached the bank to help the needy too. All this needed meticulous planning and profound patronage, who else than Chiru, could accomplish this mammoth task. Yet the reaching out instincts to the needy, in him, were still not quenched, the thirst continued. In 2009 he started his political party PRP, with a slogan for social empowerment through social justice. However he was able to erode the base of Telugu Desam Party and Congress alike, he lost many seats in low majorities. Finally PRP could just win 18 MLA seats with 18% vote share.
With this point many thought that the political novice (as claimed by his critics) would turn his back to his aspirations. But Chiru was in no mood for bowing out, to the defeats, but was in hibernation for sometime. Later after the death of the former Chief Minister Y S Rajashekar Reddy in 2009 in a fatal air accident, Congress had a leadership crisis. And in 2011 Congress was pinned down by the YSR Congress party headed by Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, in the form of a non-confidence motion, in the assembly. And Congress had to call on Chiru for a support in the form of a merger. PRP was formally merged with the Congress on 6 February 2011 (after thirty months of existence). This was also blamed by the critics as a suicidal step by the PRP. But Chiru who had now become the 'Political Chanukya' knew that his move would give him the 'king pin's' status. And the byelections consolidated his prowess and powers.
Sitting in the Rajya Sabha as a Congress Leader, Chiru has never involved himself in mudslinging or taking shots of the ruling leaders. He was concentrating in making a path for getting his objectives of 'serving the people' fulfilled. Chiru is a well-balanced politician, this was visible when most politicians were pondering over the (by)-electoral gains, he carried on with his son's wedding, confident about his stakes. Such was the vision of the leader who delivered what promised and maintained all his duties as a human, actor and a politician. Wishesh wishes the Megastar of Politics a Happy Birthday and also wishes him success in his mission. (With inputs from internet-AW AarKay)
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