Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
What is a real tribute a son can give to his departed father? It lies in bringing more honour and prestige to his father, besides carrying forward his legacy and values. Perhaps, no other son can pay such befitting homage to his father like Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is doing to his late father Dr. YS Rajashekhara Reddy! He declared YSR's birth anniversary as Farmers' Day and announced a slew of welfare measures. The day is celebrated like no other across the State by further etching YSR's memory in everyone's hearts. No father will ask anything more than this.
Though it is true, people are yet to come to terms with the fact that a helicopter accident has snuffed life out of YSR. It's already been 10 years. The tragedy left everyone sorrow. While it is said that time heals everything and erases everything from our memory, but it did not happen in YSR's case. YS Jagan worked to make Time work in his favour. He ensured that nobody forgot his father.
Two departed leaders significantly influenced the united AP like no other. NTR and YSR loom over us like colossuses. There's no doubt about this. While NTR altered the political landscape of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh with his new political party, YSR permanently etched his name in the State's history with his irrigation projects and welfare schemes. But NTR faced the ignominy, particularly caused by his sons, daughters, and sons-in-law. He was dethroned. He was left alone, made to suffer, and finally breathed his last unable to come to terms with the humiliation.
But in case of YSR, YS Jagan set out on Odarpu Yatra to reach out to those families who lost their loved ones unable to bear the void left by his father. He did not deter in face of resistance from all-powerful Sonia Gandhi, the Congress chief. The cases foisted upon by him by illegitimate nexus of Congress and TDP resulting in his serving 16 months in jail did not move him. He continued unperturbed with his focus unwavering and keeping his father's legacy alive among the people.
On the other hand, there have been many instances when Chandrababu Naidu, who snatched away power illegally, tried to erase the memories and the legacy of NTR. While Chandrababu encashed on the inability of NTR sons, YSR's family stood their ground committed to their cause. All three, YS Jagan, YS Sharmila, and YS Vijayamma breathed their vision. Sadly NTR was cheated by his own family. Not just his property, but his political party and legacy were also ruined. Though Chandrababu Naidu and his ilk publicly exhibited their fake love towards NTR, they despised him in their heart of hearts.
In complete contrast, YSR name and all that he stood were protected like the apple of their eyes by every single member of the departed leader. Whether in united or successor state of Andhra Pradesh, there are only three leaders who floated political parties. The three are NTR, KCR, and YS Jagan.
NTR set a record by storming to power within nine months after floating the party. His politics continued by tying up with other political parties to taste success. Similarly, KCR carried the Telangana sentiment as his trademark but depended on alliances many a time. The only exception to this was TRS victory in 2014 and 2019 after Telangana statehood was realised. But YS Jagan is different as he never had a truck with any other political party. He stood for values when several Congress MLAs wanted to join him, but they were asked to tender resignations to their posts before joining him.
Despite losing power by a whisker in 2014, YS Jagan continued with passion and kept YSRCP afloat to capture power in 2019. As much as his father's legacy helped him, YS Jagan's sheer hard work and tenacity made him successful. It is clearly evident that YS Jagan not just wants to live up to his father, but achieve a name for himself. Towards this effect, he has been launching a slew of welfare measures in line with his Navaratnalu promises.
It is in this way YS Jagan is paying rich tributes to his father. He is the true personification of the Telugu adage which loosely translates as 'a father's pride lies not just in his son's birth, but by the deeds of the son when he grows up'. YS Jagan has become successful in keeping his father's name alive among us, though he is not among us physically. Perhaps, no Father can ask for anything better!