Signature campaign against renaming Kadapa after YSR

Staff Reporter

Signatures collected to be sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi

YSR family has factionist label attached to it: HRF leader

VIJAYAWADA: The Human Rights Forum (HRF) has taken strong exception to the State government's decision to change the name of Kadapa district to YSR (Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy) district.

In a statement issued by the forum's Krishna district convener P. Amareswar Rao on Tuesday, he said the HRF had kicked off a State-wide signature campaign opposing the move. The campaign would end in the first week of April and the signatures would be sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Pointing out that Kadapa was a name well-known to the Telugu people since over a thousand years, Mr. Rao went on to add that the name was contained in inscriptions, scriptures and important documents.

‘Gadapa' to Tirumala

Evocative of a history, a culture, politics, personalities, people's way of life, land, water, language, literature and more, there was this age-old belief that Kadapa got its name since it is the “gadapa” (threshold) for pilgrims visiting Sri Venkateswara Swamy in Tirumala. Kadapa was the first district to be constituted in the Rayalaseema region. It was only later that the districts of Anantapur, Kurnool and Chittoor were formed, he maintained. Given this repute, he said it was improper to suddenly change the name of the district.

Though Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was a popular political leader and chief minister who died in the most unfortunate circumstances, it must also not be forgotten that he and his family had the factionist label attached to them. “National leaders like Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi fell to their adversaries' bullets and bombs but their name is given to institutions, schemes and roads but not to a geographical entity.

India is known the world over as “the land of Gandhi,” but it was never thought by anyone, and rightly so, to name our country after him,” he said, adding: “This is because if we begin to do this, there will not be any area left with a permanent name, resulting in inconvenience and confusion for people, besides having to cope with administration chaos.” Mr. Rao said the forum would appeal to the Prime Minister and the UPA Chairperson to direct the State government to desist from any such attempts.