Political opposition is blaming
Andhra Pradesh chief-minister N Chandrababu Naidu for Godavari Pushkaram
stampede in Rajahmundry though the report by his administration (after all, the
collector of the district is from his governance spokes only) tries to blame
pilgrims for the chaos that crushed 29 people to death.
Though the TDP, the ruling party
of AP, dismissed any such report, the collector did send it. The TDP also says
opening the religious ritual, with special planetary conditions times time which
the calculations say has come this after 144 years, is ‘privilege of
Even if he and his entourage kept
the ‘area’ blocked – even if he overstayed – even if the crowd there was
increasing in count with every passing moment – even if the temperature was
making the heat unbearable – even if the administration (including the police)
there was not prepared to crowd.
Can we forgive the administration
with this ‘criminal negligence’?
Can we take this argument that
the administration did not expect ‘these many’ to turn up?
And moreover, can we forgive such
politicians who, knowingly or unknowingly’ cause such human tragedies and then
give such lame logics like ‘too great a number’ or ‘it was his privilege to
open the festival and to be there’?
But when would we speak up?
This is not a standalone example.
Politicians behaving like kings have become so common that it is considered a
societal norm. In fact, we find prevalence of VVIP (or VIP) culture among
politicians and members of higher-level bureaucracy. They are in every
locality. They are in every town. They are in every district. They are in every
state. They are the dominant tools of India’s governing machinery.
While watching news reports about
Rajahmundry stampede on television, during the course of channel sifting, a
movie caught my attention. I watched some last minutes of it a movie channel. Venkatesh was hero, so it should be a Telugu
movie dubbed in Hindi. The movie was complete trash and with illogical jumps
for the duration I saw.
But what caught my attention was
the plot element unveiling in the film’s climax – a hero fighting a politician
and a servile administration – forcing the minister, who is in desperate need
of some sort of surgical procedure, to go to the operation theatre of a
Now, the minister and the
administration don’t want it and the administration (including the police) is
hell-bent on sending the minister to some private hospital.
The ‘element of VVIP culture’ in
the movie caught my attention here because I was thinking on the same line at
The hero forces the ‘health
minister’ to wait like others, on ground in the lobby, with other ordinary
A sincere looking doctor assures
the hero that the minister would indeed be operated in the same hospital but
later colludes with the police and opens the back gate of the operation theatre
and the minister is taken to an ambulance there so that he could immediately be
transferred to a private hospital.
Hero comes to know it and though
he is shot twice while finding his way through the policemen, he ultimately
kills the minister by hanging him from the hospital wall.
Public waiting there cheers him
for this heroic. And in the next frame, the hero is shown smiling and walking with
the crowd. And the movie ends there.
Well, it can happen in such films
only – not acceptable in a democratic society.
But films on such themes and
masses watching them tell of a societal undercurrent – that - masses do detest unabashed
And there are many more movies
made on it – in every Indian language.