Andhra Pradesh

Dissecting the ‘Pawanism’ phenomenon

The actor fires a salvo or two and then withdraws into his shell, leaving everyone guessing.– FILE PHOTO: AFP  

Comparison of two unrelated objects and features may sound odd but at times it becomes compulsive, too tempting to resist. Among the wide variety of clocks at the popular Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad, the musical British Bracket clock draws maximum visitors as a toy of a bearded timekeeper pops out of a door, strikes the gong every hour and then retires into the little enclosure quickly.

Maverick politician and actor with a seemingly large fan following, Pawan Kalyan, seems to do the ditto though the frequency of his public appearances often stretches to several months. Suddenly emerging out of hibernation and taking his own sweet time to react to a topical issue, the bearded actor fires a salvo or two and then withdraws into the shell, leaving everyone guessing in the intervening period over his political and social philosophy.

From his threats on land acquisition for the new capital, special status for Andhra Pradesh to his take on cash-for- vote scam, the Jana Sena leader’s strategy has been the same that shows him as a reluctant politician who is willing to hit but afraid to hurt big leaders where it matters the most, much like his eldest sibling Chiranjeevi.

No doubt, the sensitive actor has the good intention of highlighting a wrong in the society and wants to be always on the people’s side. But is it enough to just tweet and kick up a controversy to shake up a seasoned and hardened politicians and a moribund system which he promises to change?

Look at his first foray after playing stellar role in the success of Telugu Desam- BJP electoral alliance in Andhra Pradesh.

He undertook whirlwind tour of villages in the capital region in Guntur district, a shade late in the day after land pooling became an issue.

After keenly listening to the grievances of the people to be dispossessed, he went into a discourse mode and then held out a threat of hitting the streets if the Government invoked land acquisition law.  People appreciated his gesture.

But days later when the Government indeed made its intention clear to invoke the law and issued a GO seeking certain exemptions, the Jana Sena leader remained silent, as if nothing has happened, though he could have used his clout to force the Government to retract.

It is a different matter that the Government told the High Court later that it was not in a hurry to use the law.

Special status to AP

Earlier too when there was raging debate over NDA Government’s reluctance to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh, the actor could have used his pre-election acquaintance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lobby for it.

But barring a comment here and a guarded criticism there, he preferred to remain quiet, letting go an opportunity to embarrass the TDP Government for miserably failing to extract the status from the Central Government. Instead he targeted the AP MPs, most of whom, he said, were businessmen and industrialists busy in pursuing their own commercial interests rather than raise their voice in Parliament over issues affecting the State.

Similarly all through the cash- for- vote scam, a big embarrassment for TDP Government, he did not utter a word but belatedly addressed a media conference where he dodged the issue saying he would do so soon, that never came.

On the contentious Section 8 of the AP State Re-Organisation Act, the Jana Sena leader took a peculiar stand saying one should not take away the happiness of the people of Telangana by insisting on its implementation, much against what his supporters were expecting from him.

At best this upcoming politician’s shifting and often contradictory stand on contemporary issues, his spells of silence and quirky nature may just add some colour to otherwise drab political narrative that dominates Telangana and Andhra Pradesh minus the substance.



At best this upcoming politician’s shifting and often contradictory stand on contemporary issues may just add some colour to otherwise drab political narrative in TS and AP minus the substance




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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 11:55:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/dissecting-the-pawanism-phenomenon/article7436031.ece

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