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The death of Mr Reddy

Soutik Biswas | 16:41 UK time, Friday, 4 September 2009

A woman grieving in front of a poster of YSR Reddy YS Rajasekhara Reddy was a powerful and popular Indian politician. The fact that he grew to become an indispensable regional satrap in a dynastic party like Congress made his achievement more creditable. So when he died tragically in a helicopter crash in southern Andhra Pradesh state on Wednesday, an outpouring of grief was not unexpected. Party supporters wept profusely when his death was announced.

But soon the grief turned to mass hysteria - grown up men and women were crying a day after the death, there was a minor stampede at the funeral and the media published scanty, unconfirmed reports about people committing suicide or dying of shock on hearing the sad news. Mr Reddy's son and potential political heir even appeared on his own TV channel with an unusual appeal: ""Due to such acts [suicides] my father's soul will not rest in peace .. They [people] should not resort to such acts." In other words, the leader's son was begging his people to live.

Unquestionably, such mass hysteria is stoked by news television to a large extent. Why such frenzied public behaviour follows the death of some people is not difficult to ascertain. Supporters and fans regard these people as personal gods. When leaders and celebrities become larger than life, they evoke abject devotion in life and hysterical grief in death. Many of these leaders and celebrities even fashion themselves as modern gods - the late film star and Andhra Pradesh chief minister NT Rama Rao used to put on his godly regalia from his films and wave to his fans from his balcony when he was alive.

It is not the first time that such hysteria has been seen in India. When former filmstar MG Ramachandran died, at least two people immolated themselves and mass hysteria swept Tamil Nadu state. Such hysteria is not even a regional phenomenon as history shows. New York was choked by 100,000 mourners when Italian actor Rudolph Valentino died in 1926 and riot police had to be deployed to keep the crowd at bay. Dozens of women apparently committed suicide. When John F Kennedy was assassinated, some grief stricken Americans tried to take their lives and still others went into depression, a syndrome which even got a moniker.

Mass hysteria also has nothing to do with India's southern politics and politicians, as many in the country believe. A lot of southern politicians like the late MG Ramachandran and NT Rama Rao, among the dead, and Jayalalitha among the living, are larger than life having been film stars in their early lives. I believe very few northern politicians have matched the charisma of their southern counterparts - and none have been heroes or heroines to the masses.

Mr Reddy was certainly not in the same league. I sense a concerted effort at myth making here - there is still not a shred of evidence that any of the reported deaths of people in the state were caused by Mr Reddy's death and then there is the son's curious appeal. In these days of easy fame, Mr Reddy, in death, has become larger than life thanks to 'breaking news television'. "As each new medium of fame appears," wrote Leo Braudy in his treatise on fame, "the human image it conveys is intensified and the number of individuals celebrated expands". We see evidence of this every day.


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  • 1. At 7:29pm on 04 Sep 2009, ProMal wrote:

    Just a wee comment on clarity. When you talk about MGR's death and say "mass hysteria swept the state", you should make clear that the "state" you are talking about is Tamil Nadu and not AP or indeed India itself as people who don't know of MGR (I'm guessing there may be a few!) might be confused!

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  • 2. At 8:02pm on 04 Sep 2009, RiteshMishra wrote:

    If I may add to : We have a similar kind of Hysteria Building up in North India too - Imagine (God Forbid) if something like this happens to MAYAWATI - UP Chief minister (No mater ,how narrow minded -Indian psychophant media may describe her ) or say Narendra Modi -Gujrat CM ( No mater how Blunt he might be ) , i expect a similar mass hysteria . These leaders are hugely popular , among their Support base .

    The Dalits would go at lengths to show , how much they respect , adore and worship Behenji -Mayawati , not only in US but also all over India.

    Similarily Mr. Modi - has been the CM , last three terms -Inspite the whole of media and baised propaganda - just because he is popular .


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  • 3. At 8:46pm on 04 Sep 2009, lokabandhu wrote:

    The deaths in the wake of the unfortunate demise of Dr.Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddi,the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh , on November 2 do not at all appear to be part of "a concerted effort at myth making ",as suggested by Mr.Biswas.Dr.Reddi was a popular leader elected for a second term of five years in May this year.He was vigorously and often vitriolically criticised by a very determined and active political opposition both in the elected assembly and outside.He was also bitterly attacked day in and day out by the two populat Telugu dailies in the state-Enaadu and Andhra Jyothi.The political situation in the state is thus not so amenable to the kind of myth making mentioned rather hastily by Mr.Bias.There are political parties and a highly spirited media in the state to foil any such attempt.It would be decent of Mr.Biswas to apologise to the people of Andhra Pradesh and to the family of Dr.Reddi.

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  • 4. At 9:04pm on 04 Sep 2009, lokabandhu wrote:

    In my above comment the name in the tenth line should read Mr.Biswas.I deeply regret the typographical error.

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  • 5. At 9:39pm on 04 Sep 2009, indiablogger815 wrote:

    "Unquestionably, such mass hysteria is stoked by news television to a large extent."

    This is not true. People like MGR, NTR etc. command huge respect from the people. I know few instances in TN when there was a rumour that Karunanidhi died, riots broke out. It was only hear-say & people started rioting. TV channels immediately stepped in to clarify. I think the reason for mass hysteria could be the "personality worshipping" nature of humans.

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  • 6. At 9:50pm on 04 Sep 2009, YankeePoodle wrote:

    I am surprised the kind of "coverage" this event got in news media. In US Google had this news (on Google news) for pretty much a day and half, which is unthinkable given the YSR is a Chief Minister. No, I dont think he is popular as NTR no way and never will be, but the entire buzz is because of the air waves being saturated by million something 24/7 news channel in AP and India. His father is a factionist and YSR ran on those coattails even though he is mellowed. His son Jagan became one of the richest people in the state during YSR's term, which is not a coincidence. So, yes there are too many people with too much time who create Gods of totally imperfect men and then there is the media which needs some thing to be sensationalized (the sad story of Indian journalistic values). YSR is a myth is has his positives, he unified an utterly divided and indiscipline party under his wing in the state and delivered decent governance compared to his party predecessors. He provided the money, muscle and support to bull-doze congress victory at state level there by ensuring that Manmohan can be the PM at the center.
    The 24hour search and rescue mission for the missing helicopter has set the stage, and things have unfolded in murky and melodramatic fashion and the news confirming the death came as a "Grand Finale".
    All in all concerted effort or other-wise YSR's larger than life is a MYTH. I completely agree with you and congratulate you for your courage when the whole world is "glorifying" him.

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  • 7. At 10:18pm on 04 Sep 2009, rbabaji wrote:

    Soutik, you are so good... I pray that you should become the prime minister of India.

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  • 8. At 10:23pm on 04 Sep 2009, madhav_v wrote:

    Dr.Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy was responsible for UPA government's return to the power in elections this year. He won 33 out of 42 MP seats for Congress single handedly from Andhra Pradesh, the single largest group of MPs from any other state for the same party. This is no lesser an achievement when you see the total seats won by Congress are only 206. He was even expected to play major role in central politics in coming years. (Personally I felt like he would have been like P.V Narasimha Rao who became PM for India in his later years). He was very close to Gandhi family. Thats why the National media carried so many hours of coverage on his disappearence, death and burial. (Normally the so called National channels highly focus on UP-Bihar politics and ignore the Southern states)

    His rule would be remembered for large irrigation projects he initiated, 108 ambulance service, Arogya sree( health insurance for poor people), free power to farmers, loan waiver scheme to farmers, fee reimbursement for poor students and many more... this is more like a socialist making sure that money generated due to huge growth is distributed to the poorer sections, which the previous TDP government failed to do.

    The core idea behind all these initiatives is to serve lower/backward level people with a strong political will. He started his political career as a factionist, learned his mistakes and started delivering promises made during elections. People simply trusted him after his first term.

    But can we say he did all good and only for poor people? Not really. He was accused of being involved in huge corruption (which is quite normal these days) and not so bothered about the same charges leveled against his colleagues. He was accused of doing favours to many industrialists,
    his not-so-bothered type reaction to the Satyam scam and the way it was managed in the later days were criticized by many.

    His ruthless behaviour won him many hearts who called him Kadappa Tiger (Kadappa is the place where he came from) at the same time, made lot of enimies, even within the party. Recently he launched an operation dubbed as 'Akarsh' (meaning to attract). Aim of this operation was to attract many key leades, MLAs of opposition parties into Congress after luring with incentives and government contracts. Some made their moves, some in process of joining. Few days back there was news that he termed the main opposition party TDP as being 'finished' raising lot of eye brows among political analysts for such aggressive plan. Ironically today he is 'finished'

    With his death there is a huge vacuum created in the state of Andhra Pradesh, as he crushed his opposition with in the party to the ground. There is no credible 2nd leader in the party as of now. His home minister was a woman (widow of former minister, got elected just on sympathy without any political experience) simply underscores his authority on everything. Thats why his associates are in a rush to project his son as CM, keeping in ming the rivals in his own party. It will be very interesting to see how the things unfold in this fierce battle of succession.

    My guess is, this could be end game for Congress in South while TDP and newly formed PRP will make most of it to build their strength and adapt a model on the sidelines of Tamil Nadu where Congress is not a major party.

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  • 9. At 10:30pm on 04 Sep 2009, rekhamuri wrote:

    This obviously hastily written piece by Mr.Biswas underlines the risks of keeping a journalist in New Delhi to cover the entire country of India,which is a highly complex entity politically.culturally,and economically.He or she could be highly accomplished and knowledgeable.Yet it would be impossible for that person to keep abreast of all the political developments in the country where each state has its own show and set of actors.Some of the deaths following the passing away of Dr.Reddi could be fake.But to say that the whole thing was a myth making exercise is absolutely ridiculous.Mr.Biswas has missed one crucial fact about the politics of Andhra Pradesh.The opposition political parties and most of the print and electronic media is highly hostile to Dr.Reddi.They will not stand for any myth making to perpuate the memory of their bitter enemy .The deaths are widely reported by the print and electronic media in the state without any suggestion of exaggeration.

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  • 10. At 10:58pm on 04 Sep 2009, madhav_v wrote:

    I second rekhamuri's comments on the article.
    Further, Media in AP is more active than in any other state. They cover each and every corner of the state and obviously try to show negatives of the govt as well. I was lil bit surprised to see the praise on Mr.Reddy from even the rival Enadu media group.
    I think many ppl are jealous and wonder why a "regional" leader is getting so much coverage.

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  • 11. At 02:57am on 05 Sep 2009, creature321 wrote:

    Whilst comments on the cards here saying it has been valid only to certain individuals and states in India, I’d like to state that such mass hysteria did happen when Princess Diana and Michael Jackson died in the West albeit among the non-political personalities. I rather distinguish such frenzy notions among the people has often created by ‘media’ itself and commented thereupon, to say the least.

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  • 12. At 03:42am on 05 Sep 2009, jonsmitten wrote:

    Biswas your article is very bang on every count.I am very much impressed by the tight blade walk.
    Yes that mass hysteria is part of Myth making or more like martyr making by his powerful coterie who has benefitted immensly.They obviously want to use these pressure tactics to influence the congress high command to nominate his son so that they can continue.He is widely regarded as very corrupt and ran huge scams on the lines of the notorious Satyam Raju of Satyam computers but on a much grander scale especially SEZs, Irrigation projects and mining rights. His son Jagan Mohan Reddy owned company profiles are a solid proof to this. Once Advani commented before the recent assembly elections that his tenure is the most corrupt to date for any state in India.We are talking about billions of pounds here.He bribed voters with lush money in the recent elections.
    About the B-grade media in Andhra Pradesh most prominent politicians own TV news channels and you can imagine where it all started.Yes you are right that he is not in the same league as N.T.Rama Rao , MGR, Rajkumar(kannada film star) or Rajani Kanth when it comes to mass hysteria. That hysteyria was real but this is surely myth making.
    The fact that he has never lost an election in his 30 odd years in the violent badlands of poorest parts of Andhra Pradesh says it all.He is known to reward loyalty and friendship and open-show bully his opponents and so created a culture of fear and submission.He nurtured property and finacial bubbles to reward his loyalists and through populist schemes he made sure everybody got something.Just before elections he propped his evangelist son-inlaw to play the religion card.The audacity and professionalism of this myth making tells us about the morality and the might of his coterie and their sweep stakes.
    Thus his political life and strategy is very interesting to any Poltical Science student,NGOs and media.

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  • 13. At 03:42am on 05 Sep 2009, jocularMaddy wrote:

    This article is highly offending to the people who are familiar with the daily happenings in Andhra Pradesh. As a person who was born and bought up in Hyderabad, I feel that you haven't done your homework regarding YSR. His passion & vision for the betterment of poor is second to none. His commitment can be underscored when he undertook an arduous 1500km long padayatra during summer of 2003 to get a first hand information about people's problems. Just look at the policies that he has initiated during his tenure as CM. Arogyasri (Rural Health Insurance Scheme), 108 (Emergency Response), Indramma houses (Housing to the poor) not to mention the major irrigation schemes that he has undertaken. These are just a sliver of schemes that he has started and successfully implemented. Coming to your comment about YSR not being in the same league, I am not sure what league you are referring to. He is by far the most popular leader Andhra has ever seen. There will not be another leader of YSR's stature. Even his bitter critics agree that his popularity has surpassed every leader of his generation. The outpouring of grief across the state was spontaneous and not a concerted effort as you state in your article. I feel the people of Andhra deserve an apology based on some of the ignorant comments that you make in your ill researched article.

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  • 14. At 05:46am on 05 Sep 2009, BakedBeans wrote:

    Anyway he is better than Diana and co

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  • 15. At 06:01am on 05 Sep 2009, Ananya78 wrote:

    I have been also very intrigued after watching the hysteria created by Mr Reddy's death. I agree with Soutik that MGR and NTR were much bigger, more charismatic leaders than Mr Reddy, but we have to remember that there was no saturation TV when they died. I fully agree with Soutik that news channels are responsible for the myth making to a large degree with their looping shots and visual obituaries accompanied by mournful music. And what your blog said yesterday, the Indian papers seem to have realised a bit on Saturday, today: that none of the so called deaths of people attributed to shock on hearing Mr Reddy's death are confirmed. But still papers and channels run it. I think media needs to pull up its socks first and get more informed people on its payrolls before they begin reporting.

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  • 16. At 06:03am on 05 Sep 2009, k sriramulu wrote:

    Soutik Biswas’ article on Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy is clearly a product of twisted mind. He seems to be enamoured by new economics. YSR as he is known to millions of people in Andhra Pradesh is ‘the saviour’ of the poor and the downtrodden. His novel scheme Arogyasri, a health insurance scheme, helped millions of poor people to secure timely medicare for themselves and for their dear and near and thus secure them a new lease of life.
    While the people, cutting across caste and religious lines, pour out their grief ast the sudden death of their leader, Biswas is trying to manufacture a myth for the reasons best known to himself to tell the outside world that the grief is not real. Biswas, please shed your prejudices.

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  • 17. At 07:43am on 05 Sep 2009, ajassal100 wrote:

    How many people die in India for no reason everyday (heat, cold, starvation)...this was just a politician...way lower than the common person. He lived a way better life than the millions who starve every day, and he may be a good one, but still just a royal politician!!!!

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  • 18. At 08:16am on 05 Sep 2009, havaral wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 19. At 08:30am on 05 Sep 2009, satz12 wrote:

    I would recommend the author Mr. Soutik Biswas to know the facts in AP and what late Mr. Rajashekar reddy has done to uplift the poor and down trodden and then give a title his blog.

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  • 20. At 10:37am on 05 Sep 2009, vamsigk wrote:

    Well, Late mr.YSR has become quite popular during his term as CM, and he was also able to garner support to run for second term as a CM. His return to power was largely as a result of the division of the anti-government votes among the opposition parties.
    He can be considered as nothing extraordinary and also not too worst. But, the hype and the outcry created after his death, is not worth that. He did nothing extraordinary to the people. I dont understand why such hype is necessary. I did not see any act of him in all his days as a CM where he devoted his life,his resources to the people. He was just a normal otherwise politician. If at all he did something, it was to provide a stable government and unite or keep a lid on his party, which was otherwise divided.
    And, I cannot believe that these congress MLAs can be so naive in reaching a consensus to make his son as the chiefminister. It will be an absolute blunder. Lets say, a great singer dies. His son or wife or daughter cant just replace him just because, they might not have the same talent. Its just as simple. India is the worlds largest democracy, its also the worlds largest mockery of democracy. Sons, wives, daughters of dead politicians assuming their roles,a monarchy indeed.
    My only urge to those people who see these politicians as gods.,
    Dont see politicians as gods. They are not looting their personal wealth for you. They are just enjoying their power, amassing whatever they can, and leave the rest to the people. Gone are those days, when you can find a politician who commits himself to seve the people. Just think about the wealth of these people, everyone weighs in crores of rupees. Forget about the MPs, and MLAs. How about their followers? How about the civil sevants? It burns your heart, when you start to calculate all these.
    At this point my heart and deepest sympathy goes out for every Indian who still remains left out even for a days meal, for a day at school, for a day to have shelter.

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  • 21. At 12:00pm on 05 Sep 2009, indiablogger999 wrote:

    I agree with Soutik in most part. Not so sure about myth making. I don't think it happened by design but circumstances and the sequence of events certainly lead to it. I believe the whole hype is a manifestation of the dangerous media that can 'make news' from whatever they like and whenever they like.
    No doubt YSR is a great leader (purely as an individual) and he certainly deserves respect in this sad hour. But what he did through his leadership to the people of AP state (I am from the same state) is absolutely nothing. He and his gang of looters and goondas looted the entire state through their innovative schemes and left the scraps for poor people so that they can cover up their deeds with mass following. It's all credit to him and his coterie for coming up with this grand plan. I am hasten to add that he is not alone in this. He is in the elite league of 100s of Indian politicians who have been doing the same for years and their legacy will live on. They will continue to be demi gods and mislead masses. It's sad but that's how the biggest democracy of the world will be run in foreseeable future.
    YSR has created a legacy of 'divide and conquer the entire state' along the caste, religion and even regional lines. His re-election is nothing but the fine demonstration of these skills and a good case study for budding corrupt politician. His family were close to selling their home in Hyderabad before his first term in state (5 years back). Now his family own news papers, news channels, power plants, mines, 1000s of acres of estates and possibly billions stashed away in swiss accounts. He created a legacy where "it's free for all" as long as you are with me. If you are against me, you are dead. Many prominent opposition people were murdered by his regime. But the average person on the street is still happy with the scraps and left-overs because that is all they will ever get from the state until there is a fundamental mindset change of all the politicians and they actually start 'working for people' which is supposed to be a core value of democracy. And finally, it’s really sad and ironic thing to say but if he actually lived on, his corruption on grand scale would have been finally exposed when he looses his next election and he would become the most hated figure in the entire state. You can guess what will happens then !!

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  • 22. At 7:01pm on 05 Sep 2009, deep22 wrote:

    Mr. Biswas has been trying to be very diplomatic when he suggest--"Mass hysteria also has nothing to do with India's southern politics and politicians" and "Such hysteria is not even a regional phenomenon" So basically he is suggesting that be it North or South India , be it east or the west the intensity of peoples reaction is the same. If that is true why there are only temples in the name of filmstars and politicains in south India? Such worship of politicians and filmstars , would naturally result in over the top reaction to their deaths

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  • 23. At 9:09pm on 05 Sep 2009, sreekumar72 wrote:

    You are right. I blame media for this hysteria and panic. My wife and I watched online for an hour and we could not watch any more. Coverage did not make any sense and sounded totally unnecessary.
    he is just another CM who did his job (may be better than others). When do we realize that if a leader performs, it is just his duty and that is the reason he is there. May be after seeing all useless Netas our minds are taking it granted that they are there just to make money and not for service. But my friends... 'Serving people' is the only reason which make them CM or PM. Everybody knows that whatever YSR did (all his programs and plans) somehow his family and friends gained at the end (along with people) with either winning contracts or by some other means. Its said that he and his son made thousands and thousands of crores in last five years.
    Finally... every day hundreds of people die in Andhra Pradesh with Heart related issues. Its not right for media to relate every death in state somehow to YSR's death. Its different in those cases who are committing suicides. One will not die even if his or her own spouse or parent dies. Media... please do not create more Gods as we already have enough of them and use your common sense while broadcasting news. Don't create panic.

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  • 24. At 09:55am on 06 Sep 2009, pravssp wrote:

    It was not totally researched topic to be published on BBC blog in the first place.Mr.Biswas probably from a different state like orissa,could have little details other than comparing with film actors and brushing it off as mass hysteria,which is not.He could have commented on safety of flying helicopters in India instead.

    I see that everyone was benefited by YS Rajasekhara Reddy's policies.Farmers were written off loans,free power to farmers, strengthening education for poor people. While the previous Government under TDP has totally ignored these people's needs.On the other hand,there is widening of gap between rich and poor, which YSR has tried earnestly to reduce it.When things are done the way they should be, the power automatically follows.Andhra Pradesh being agrarian economy which supplies highest quantities of Rice to rest of India is in no doubt has seen worsening situation due to shortage of rains and burden on farmers.People wanted a leader who would address these immediate issues so, they chose him.

    His schemes light everyone's home, this includes myself. While most of the well off people can have health insurance in India,but for poor people it is something beyond their means to pay and this is where Dr.Reddy has been the savior in giving them a new life. From his own words, Dr.YSR always wanted to see the benefits reaching people,so his first choice was to visit villages and see if they are getting Government benefits,despite the rampant corruption in the state.

    Dr.Reddy's family had married dalits in their family history, Tell me, which politician family had that relationship in India?He never considers his caste,but works for poorer sections.

    It is not about 'Breaking News' but, to break that news it took 23 hours. If we consider human aspect to it, that is utterly long waiting,even Mr.Biswas could not have waited.The deaths are caused as people are hard to digest the fact that, this has happend to dear leader who impacted every one's life. When a great leader is lost, the whole nation is in paralysis state,as Dr. Reddy himself says and Mr.Biswas could have gotten ground reports before writing on this respected column.

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  • 25. At 11:36am on 06 Sep 2009, prasadblogger wrote:

    The People of Andhra Pradesh had strong sympathy to wards the way
    Dr. Y.S.R. got killed ,while most had emotional outburst ,hysteria is definitely a very sarcastic way of describing the emotions of a group of people.

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  • 26. At 1:32pm on 06 Sep 2009, srikanthi123 wrote:

    People belive in a person called Y.S.R and not the system of the government.Y.S.R has been blessing the poor with lots of schemes.And the schemes are presented directly by himself on well celebrated programme and widespread coverage.People who benefit by the schemes adore him and worship him like a god. And think the death of Y.S.R has wiped out all his promises, and left with no option.People are ignorant of the fact that the schemes are part of a system and governing body.

    Well the Politcal parties have been providing schemes and benefits since long time which means there should be reduction in the percentage of poverty.The schemes are only a short term benifits and not improving theirs lives for future. Infact it is not happening and the reasons are population and corruption in implemetation of schemes itself.The responisble people are leaders of the political parties ruling the state and nation. The schemes are desinged for the generating votes and political ambitions of a person or a party.Imagine,if a poor person makes use of his scheme or benefit he will not be poor again he will be above poverty line, and slowly there will be a change in the quality of life and will be out of ignorence.

    Its a vicious political propaganga and its outcome is political fanaticism and mass hysteria.People want to be associated with Y.S.R in the name of caste, region, religion, business, personal benefit, political ambition and more .... these are the one who are prone to depression.

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  • 27. At 4:11pm on 06 Sep 2009, dwipada wrote:

    Many outside Andhra Pradesh do not know that the late Dr.Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddi was politically attacked on three main grounds:

    1.Being a Reddi by caste,he was an upper caste politician no better than the other upper caste exploiters of the other castes.Other upper caste politicians were also worried that he was making so much money that when they themselves come to power there would be few avenues left for their own corruption;

    2.Being a Christian,Dr.Reddi was accused of conspiring to convert the entire state to Christianity.He was also said to be a favourite of Ms.Sonia Gandhi,who is also a christian; and

    3.He went all the way for more and more foeign investment in the state and wooed American investors in the process.So,he was accused of being a stooge of America.
    It is a tribute to Dr.Reddi's political genius that he succeeded extraordinarily despite the above baseless attacks on his motivations and character.He will be better appreciated by the common people when they experience the inevitable political instability following his unfortunate death.

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  • 28. At 9:10pm on 07 Sep 2009, liketruth wrote:

    YSR is an exceptional leader. Take it or leave it. Congress was on its death bed before he took the charge. He gave life to the party in A.P otherwise Congress would be another CPI/CPM in A.P. I beg to differ with those who claim that he is the GOD.

    Giving free money is not development. To put in clear words, it is bribing. Writing off loans, free electricity, free homes, free health care are schemes any lay man could think of. Lay roads, build new schools, improve the literacy, create employment, improve the infrastrcture on the whole. This is development. Collecting the entire tax payars money and distributing it for people is ROBINHOOD scheme.

    Attributing each and every death to YSR is a hysteria created by Media.

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  • 29. At 9:28pm on 07 Sep 2009, liketruth wrote:

    Mr.Biswas does not have to apologize to people of AP. The way our CM died is definitely a very tragic way for such a ferocious leader to die. These deaths are more fake than real. Even if those are real deaths, there is no way you can attribute the deaths to YSR. Get real guys.

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  • 30. At 02:20am on 11 Sep 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:


    My heartfelt condolences are sent to Mr. Reddy family...

    =Dennis Junior=

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  • 31. At 2:59pm on 11 Sep 2009, Londoner wrote:

    A hysteria was built up by vested sections of the media and politicians because YSR was a fiercely anti-Hindu Christian. Some of the facts about YSR, which have never been discussed by the mainstream media (though I doubt if you will publish them either):

    - During YSR's tenure, the Christian population shot up dramatically in Andhra.
    - He snached the revenues of 30,000 Hindu temples of Andhra and distributed them to Churches and Mosques.
    - He snached 5 hills of Tirupati Tirumalla and allowed construction of Churches there.
    - YSR gave out doles to Christian Pilgrims to Bethelhem.
    - He sanctioned Rs. 80,000 to anyone who repairs a Church and Rs. 150,000 to anyone who constructs a new Church. As a result the number of churches in Andhra rose from a few hundreds to 148,000 in during his
    - He openly declared that he was a Christian and he wanted a Bible state in Andhra.
    - YSR usurped thousands acres of forest land in his and his relatives' name.

    No wonder the western/Christian controlled private media of India gave him a demigod status.

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  • 32. At 7:01pm on 12 Sep 2009, poorrao wrote:

    Hysteria is just to show how loyal they are. Every common man in India knows this and it seems Mr. Biswas totally out of touch with him. And western media is covering this event because he is a prominent christian leader in a Hindu state

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  • 33. At 01:20am on 17 Sep 2009, dantulurisrraju wrote:

    Mr Biswas,with his journalistic insights,would have seen some similarities in the way the marxist leader Jyoti Basu of Bengal and the congress leader YSR of Andhra went about consolidating their power in the respective states by dubious means. The programme 'RachhaBanda' he was to inaugurate in a village in Chittore district for which he took that last journey was a part of the strategy to finish off all opposition at the grassroot level.

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  • 34. At 07:32am on 05 Jan 2010, Rami Reddy wrote:

    MrBiswas first of all i want to ask u, do u have any clear idea of south indian politics, with knowing the ground realties how can u comment such thing contoversially. Did u come to AP after YSRs Death or investigated about the deaths. My blood is burning after ur comments. Many people feel YSR more tham their life..

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