Political career of cine stars- beginning of the end? శుక్రవారం, మార్చి 4 2011 

Whither Stardom In Politics?
Assessing Chiranjeevi’s Future

K Naresh Kumar, Power Politics, March 2011

Telugu megastar Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party with the Congress in Andhra Pradesh has raised questions about the shifting political patterns and trends in southern India. From Hyderabad to Chennai, the two cities where film stars could get into a political career whenever they wanted, at least till two decades ago, the doors are slowly being shut on the overarching political ambitions of superannuated superstars, argues K Naresh Kumar from Hyderabad.

In many ways, the rude reality check was just waiting to happen. Only that it was sooner than expected.

The early February 2011 merger of megastar Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party with the Congress in Andhra Pradesh, unconditionally at that, has once again raised important questions about the shifting political patterns and trends in southern India.

From Hyderabad to Chennai, the two cities where film stars could get into a political career whenever they wanted, at least till two decades ago, the doors are slowly being shut on the overarching political ambitions of superannuated superstars.

Earlier, in at least as far as a host of illustrious stars like M G Ramachandran, N T Rama Rao and the temperamental Jayalalitha were concerned, it only looked’ natural’ for them to move on to the political stage and keep serving the fans who had kept them at the numero uno slot for a long, long time. Not anymore.

It does mean, at least for the present, that a successful hero is not an automatic choice for the chief minister’s post. Chiranjeevi’s example is a stark reminder of this fact. In a region where reel merged seamlessly with the real, it no more seems to be an open and shut case. (మరింత…)


Hyderabadi identity – Bakthiar Dadabhoy బుధవారం, డిసెం 23 2009 


Quo Vadis, Hyderabad?

Whatever happens, the Dakhni in their souls will unite the people of this city

Bakthiar K. Dadabhoy

OUTLOOK The Weekly Newsmagazine, December 28, 2009

Union home minister P. Chidambaram’s declaration on the midnight of December 9 that the Centre would initiate the process of forming the state of Telangana seems to have thrown most Hyderabadis into a severe identity crisis. The last major upheaval relating to Telangana was in 1969. Forty years on, Hyderabad finds itself caught once more in the political crossfire. In the case of Telangana, it has not been ethnicity but socio-economic deprivation resulting from political exclusion that has powered the sinews of the demand for a separate state. Language and culture are no longer a focal point of identity in the dynamics of federalism. It is economics which determines the new federal politics. Telangana and Andhra speak the same language but their economic interests are diametrically opposed. In fact, the latter accuses coastal Andhra of exploiting its resources.

There was a feeling (which still persists) that people from outside (read Andhra) were carpetbaggers and not stakeholders in Hyderabad. In part, this feeling can be explained by the fact that the feudal culture of Hyderabad was unable to deal with the entrepreneurial spirit of the people from Andhra. Their aggression and drive proved more than a bellyful for the laidback Hyderabadis. Anyone who has lived in Hyderabad will testify that ‘parsaun’, which in the Hindi heartland means ‘the day after tomorrow’ can stretch from a week to never. To live by such lexical precision is to create avoidable tension, and ever since I moved to Secunderabad, I have tried to liberate myself from the tyranny of the calendar and the clock in such matters.

Hyderabad has been the meeting place of many different cultures and traditions. It has over the years developed its own distinctive ‘Ganga-Jamuna’ culture. Hyderabad is a cosmopolitan city: people never identify themselves by their religion but only as Hyderabadis. Dussehra, Diwali or Sankranti are all meant to be enjoyed, whether one is Hindu or not. And Id brings celebrations not for a single community but for the entire city. Faith is a personal matter and what unites one is the sense of belonging to Hyderabad. (Old-timers say all this is a thing of the past, but I believe such pessimism is unwarranted).

Language is not a problem. The unique lingua franca, Dakhni, one of the most identifiable markers of Hyderabad, is a delicious blend of Hindi, Urdu and Telugu, with a lacing of old Marathi. The plural character of the city dates back to its founder, Quli Qutb Shah, who was also a Telugu scholar. Geographically too, it is inclusive: the twin cities, Hyderabad and Secunderabad, do not exhibit the cleavage in environment that divides, say, South Mumbai and the suburbs, or the Calcuttan whose life is confined south of Park Street. And now there is also Cyberabad, as the 400-year-old city constantly reinvents itself. (మరింత…)

City that grew on love- Hyderabad శనివారం, జన 24 2009 

When love is lost in the city of bridges


G S Vasu, the Indian Express


Puraana Pool is not just a mediaeval physical structure of stones and plaster across river Musi. It bridged many a gulf. Between a man and a woman. A prince and a pauper. A future king of a rich dominion and a dancing girl. A Muslim and a Hindu. Capital city Golconda and a small hamlet Chichlam.


charmninar-the-new-indian-expressHowever, in the four centuries that followed, the Musi has seen at least seven more physical structures, in the course of time erasing most of, if not all, emotional bridges.


The present day Hyderabad saw its foundation stone laid, in 1591, by Muhammad Quli (1566–1612), the fifth ruler of Qutb dynasty. Though it was true that the then capital Golconda was unable to cater to the emerging modern requirements and building a new capital was much in order, the choice of place has a legend behind it.


Quli, as a young prince, fell in love with a dancing girl Bhagmati, who used to live in Chichlam, a small hamlet near present day Shah –Ali – Banda. (The Deccani coinage Chichlam might be a distorted form of Chenchulagudem, similar to Chanchalguda now). The young prince was so enamoured by the dancing girl that he used to cross the Musi, even when it was in full spate, to meet his beloved.


Quli’s father and the then king Ibrahim ordered building the first bridge on the Musi, Puraana Pool in 1578. However, Quli has not lost the charm of the place of his first love and wanted to make that place eternal by setting up his new capital in 1581. One of the finest Urdu poets in his own right Quli wrote a couplet to celebrate the new city:


Mera shahar logan soon mamoor kar,

Rakhya joon toon darya mein

min ya sami

(Fill up my city with people,

My God, just as you have filled the river with fish).


Of course, Hyderabad over the years was filled with people, as the founder wished. But the bridges started getting destroyed and the river became uninhabitable for fish. The city is now seen as a fertile ground for communal divide. Refer to any communal tension and violence in the country, the needle of suspicion, sometimes with evidence, but most of the times as a ‘manufacturing doubt’, points to this city. (మరింత…)

Rural Women & Lifeworld- paintings of G Bharath Bhushan గురువారం, నవం 29 2007 

చిత్రకారుడు భరత్ భూషణ్

– C B Rao

Inaguration of Exhibition Photo:cbrao

శుక్రవారం, 23 నవంబరు 2007 సాయంత్రం ఆరున్నర గంటలకు, మాసాబ్ టాంక్ లోని లక్ష్మన్ ఆర్ట్ గాలరి లో, ఒక విచిత్రం జరిగింది. ఇంతవరకు ఛాయా చిత్రకారుడిగా చిరపరిచితమైన భరత్ భూషణ్ గుడిమిల్ల, రంగుల కాన్వాస్ తో కూడిన చిత్రకారుడిగా పరిచయ మయ్యారు. ఈ మార్పు ఆశ్చర్యకరమైనా, ఆహ్వానించ తగినది. కొంతకాలం అనారోగ్యం, బయటకు కదలనీయక పోవటంతో, ఆ సమయాన్ని, సృజనాత్మకంగా, చిత్రలేఖనానికి ఉపయోగించారు భరత్ భూషణ్.

Bharath Bhushan at Painting Exhibition Photo: cbrao

ఓరుగల్లు లో పుట్టి పెరిగిన, భరత్ భూషణ్ కు బాల్యం నుంచీ, తెలంగాణా పండగలు, సంస్కృతి పై మక్కువ ఎక్కువ. బతుకమ్మ పండుగలో బొడ్డెమ్మ దేవత చుట్టూ గ్రామీణ యువతులు చేసే ఆట – పాట, రంగుల పూలు, పండుగకు భూషణ్ అమ్మమ్మ చేసే మిఠాయిలు, కొనిచ్చే బూరలు, ఇవన్నీ భూషణ్ మదిలో చెరగని ముద్ర వేశాయి. ఆ రంగుల పూల పై మమకారాం, భూషణ్ ను తరువాతి జీవితంలో ఒక మంచి ఛాయచిత్రకారుడిగా మలిచింది. బతుకమ్మ పండగ ఉత్సవాలపై వరుసగా నాలుగేళ్లు చిత్రాలు తీసి, పండగలో కాల క్రమేణా సహజ పూల స్థానంలో ప్లాస్టిక్ పూలు రావటాన్ని వేదనతో గమనించారు. బతుకమ్మ పండగ గురించి భూషణ్ మాటల్లో వినండి. (మరింత…)