The second anniversary of the Telangana state formation day saw chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao take on a new avatar, literally. In a heady mix of adulation and sycophancy, overzealous KCR supporters went overboard on Thursday deifying the TRS stalwart in flexis and posters that sprouted up across several parts of the city
In one such example, a poster at Sultan Bazar projected the leader as Lord Rama. Dressed in a godly attire, and with a bow and arrow, KCR is described as 'Telangana Bhageeratha' and 'Telangana Gandhi'. The reference to Bhageeratha is a well thought one; King Bhageeratha finds mention in the Ramayana as the one who brought down the Ganges from heaven, a result of his penance.The chief minister also himself named the Rs 35,000 crore drinking water project 'Mission Bhageeratha', an attempt to sanctify his grandiose plans.The posters that appeared on Thursday hold significance in a country where the deification of politicians and film personalities is not uncommon. Though a clear attempt by supporters to curry favour with the TRS leader, the projection of the chief minister as the all-powerful is in keeping with the treatment given to leaders across the nation in general and in the state in particular.
The attempt to deify KCR is not the first of its kind. After the TRS romped to power in the 2014, a temple was constructed for KCR at Rajendranagar on the outskirts of the city . In the small temple constructed by his supporters, KCR was projected as Lord Krishna. In the photograph at the 'KCR mandira', the leader is shown blowing a conch.
In fact when a separate state was declared by the Centre in the run-up to the 2014 polls, the 'deification process' had already begun. A huge hoarding of KCR was put up in the city showing KCR in Lord Rama's avatar during this pre-bifurcation period.
In building up KCR's image, TRS members have clearly taken a leaf from the NTR era. NTR became chief minister in 1983 and as long as he was alive, he was largely projected as the mythological characters he portrayed in his films. The actor-turned-politician had made history by riding to power within nine months of launching the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which only added to deity-like status. NTR's cutouts as Lord Rama and Lord Krishna were a common sight during elections. N T Rama Rao died in 1996, but his legacy endured, largely due to the image and aura built around him.
After him, however, there have been few politicians who have been projected in a similar manner. With KCR's ascendence this appears to have changed. It may be mentioned here that K Chandrasekhar Rao was a huge fan of N T Rama Rao and never missed watching his movies. Such was KCR's admiration for NTR that he named his son after him. K T Rama Rao is now IT minister in the Telangana state government.