Y Satyanarayana

As political dynasties go, India has not been very fortunate when it comes to heirs. Mediocrity in fact has been institutionalised in our system. The one exception to this rule in earlier times was Indira Gandhi, though it must be said that she had her own glaring faults. In recent years, the one other exception seems to be Telangana IT Minister K Taraka Ramarao, popularly known as KTR.

In an age where we have political dynasties led by the likes of Rahul Gandhi, Nara Lokesh, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejaswi Yadav and the others, KTR stands out as someone refreshingly different. The GES 2017 in Hyderabad was a spectacular event which saw his charm and poise in full flow. He showed his presence of mind and his understanding of world affairs when he moderated a discussion with the likes of Cherie Blair, Ivanka Trump and others. One doubts whether anyone else among the heirs of political families across the country could have done such a splendid job.

In contrast, Nara Lokesh comes across as a green horn. He is still a political novice who has not learnt the ropes of politics at the state or national level. He is still unfamiliar with the nuances of the fine art of politics and his political naivete which is all too evident. In a way, Rahul Gandhi is no different. He is currently the Peter Pan of Indian politics as Jinnah is supposed to have described Nehru. Jinnah meant that Nehru refused to grow up. This is probably truer of Rahul Gandhi than of Nehru. To be fair to his great grandfather, the first Prime Minister of India was a man of substance and character, regardless of any difference of ideology one may have.

Coming back to KTR, we see that he has put his American education to good use in that some of his measures of governance and administration are expectedly modern. He has an energetic and youthful approach which is something that drives a young state like Telangana on many fronts. KTR started out as an MLA from Sircilla in 2014. This was the round of assembly elections which swept TRS to power after the bifurcation of the undivided state of Andhra Pradesh. From then, there was no looking back for the young TRS scion.

After becoming the minister for Information Technology, Panchayat Raj, Municipal Administration and Brand Hyderabad, KTR has tried to portray Telangana as a state which is investor-friendly and the results are there for all to see. Some of the biggest companies in the world of IT such as Microsoft, Google Deloitte or others have opted to come to Telangana. Over the last 3 to 4 years, the state capital has reinforced its image as one of the biggest software hubs in the country. No one understands the worth and value of branding the city of Hyderabad better than KTR.

In the days to come, the question of KCR's successor is likely to pop up more frequently, but one thing is for certain—KTR has made a mark for himself and has emerged as a leader who can communicate with both industrialists and business tycoons as well as the common folk of Telangana. This is an endearing quality which will stand him in good stead and take him a long way in his political journey ahead.

One of the things about him is that he is very tech-savvy and is active on the social media as well. He often responds to grievances and complaints on Twitter and tweets his views on a variety of subjects. He forwards complaints to the officials concerned and seeks their response. And this keeps the bureaucracy on its toes, which is again a marked change from the attitude that officials otherwise tend to have when one has to approach them directly for getting a complaint resolved.

In contrast, look at Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh, Lokesh and Tejaswi Yadav. For one thing, their political acumen seems sadly inadequate for the positions they have been pitch-forked into. All of them demonstrate a level of maturity which is incompatible with their political status. One is often left wondering as to how they got as far as they did and whether they could have survived in politics without the piggy-back ride they got, thanks to the political dynasty tag.