Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
There are statues for TN politicians, Kamaraj, C.N.Annadurai and the matinee idol-turned-politician, M.G. Ramachandran, in the village centre, of course, along with those of Mahatma Gandhi and Indira Gandhi, while there are none for NTR or Tanguturi or anybody from the Telugu land. Even, there are foundation stones depicting the name of DMK leader, M.K.Stalin, and the walls are full of the AIADMK's "two leaves'' symbol, adding to the confusion.
Even a bus stop is named after MGR and the sleepy village has a fan club for Tamil film star, Satyaraj. The only theatre there shows a new release Tamil film. All these are a pointer to the village's affinity to the neighbouring state and make it clear that it is more alive and responsive to Tamil Nadu politics and cinema.
Though inter-state influence is only common in any border village, the journalists who converged on the village to cover the `Galeru Nagari' padayatra on Monday were taken aback at the extent of Tamil influence here. The village comprises Mudaliar, weaver and Reddy castes, most of whom speak Tamil. Tamil dalits also form a major part of the region.
The famous quote `Indha padai podhuma, innum konjam venuma' (Is this might enough or you want more?), used widely in TN politics to pride over the numerical strength and to tease the opposition, was widely used here.
Given these equations, it was only natural for the CLP leader, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, to first garland the statue of former Tamil Nadu Congress Chief Minister, Kamaraj, before kicking off the padayatra. However, the statues of MGR and Anna (of Dravidian parties) went unnoticed for obvious reasons.
Referring to YSR's recent padayatra from Ranga Reddy to Srikakulam, Mr.Chenga Reddy, in his address, likened YSR to "Ulagam Sutrum Valiban'' (the youth who tours the world), an MGR-starrer film with a similar name, which brought instant cheer and applause in the audience. In fact, the address by local leaders was both in Telugu and Tamil.
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