Hyderabad, March 29: It was on this day – March 29 - in 1982 that legendary actor N T Rama Rao has addressed the media in a small room in the MLA Quarters and announced the launching of the TDP, his new party to fight for the self-respect of the Telugu people.
Congress which was ruling the state ever since the country attained independence, has been implementing the policy of running the government from New Delhi and appointing the Chief Ministers from there, instead of allowing the MLAs to elect their leaders. As Delhi was deciding who the Chief Minister should be, Congress leaders have been complaining against each, as every one was hoping to become the Chief Minister. During the five-year- period preceding NTR’s entry, Congress has changed five Chief Ministers.
NTR has awakened the Telugu people and asked them how Delhi could decide who should rule them. He told them to assert their rights and def. who should rule them. He told them to assert their rights and defy the authority of the Delhi rulers. At a time when the entire nation feared the ferocious lady Indira Gandhi, NTR fought against her. He was advised by several people against political entry, stating that the vindictive Congress would create Income Tax and other problems to him. Still, he has not feared. He has toured the entire length and breadth of the state in a ramshackle van driven by his son and now Rajya Sabha member Hari Krishna. His influence on people was such that he has smashed every thing that stood in his way. He has given party tickets to any one he felt to be honest. Baggidi Gopal, an ordinary bus conductor got TDP ticket and became an MLA. He is one among many such unknown faces, who had defeated stalwarts. Yanamala Rama Krishnudu, Devender Goud and several others made their political entry only through TDP and defeated heavy weights. NTR took politics by storm and rode the crest of popularity, to become the Chief Minister.
After becoming the Chief Minister, NTR has done what he liked, for the welfare of the poor, unmindful of the consequences. The abolition of the institutions of Patel and Patwari was the most revolutionary of all his acts. With one stroke of pen, he has wiped out the system that has maintained an iron grip on the rural politics and economy. He has introduced a democratic system to rule the villages, instead of the hereditary system that was continuing since ages. It was also NTR who gave property rights to women. He has given this right to all women who were married after 1983, in their parents’ properties. It is a shame that no one thought about giving property rights to the fairer sex prior to NTR.
He has also introduced several pro-poor policies including subsidized rice, housing, Janata sarees and dhotis for the poor, to name a few.
It is right that the man who left a lucrative film career and entered politics to do justice to the poor and hapless, should be remembered and paid tribute to, on this occasion.
Andhra Headlines salutes the Legend.