Evangelist K A Paul was a highly respected and widely accepted spiritual leader in the 1980s and 1990s. He used to travel by his own flight between the countries and by his own helicopter in India. It was difficult to meet him in person or get an interview in those days.
After 2004, whatever the reasons are, he entered politics and started speaking the mother tongue – Telugu for the first time. Till then, it was thought that he was born and brought up in the US and couldn’t speak Telugu as his speeches were translated by some pastors in those days.
But, once he started speaking Telugu and speaking politics, people began to have fun. He became a joker in politics, when he launched a political party – Praja Santhi Party – and contested the 2014 and 2019 general elections. Though he did not win even a single seat in both the elections, he gave a lot of entertainment to the people, particularly to the politicians and the media. A great and successful evangelist had thus become a joker in politics.
Brother Anil Kumar, brother-in-law of AP chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and husband of YSR Telangana Party chief Sharmila, is now becoming another K A Paul. Recognised as a great speaker and a good evangelist, Brother Anil Kumar enjoys considerable support among the faithful Christians. Several Pastors follow him in the two Telugu states and they respect him for his oratory and organisational skills.
These days, he is speaking politics and is giving indications of launching a political party in Andhra Pradesh. It is not clear whether he is seriously thinking of launching a political party or a creation of media or some force, it is for sure that he would end up becoming a laughing stock. The Pastors or the faithful who respect him as a preacher or evangelist, will make fun of him if he speaks politics.
People in South, particularly those in the Telugu states don’t subscribe to religious politics. They are wise enough to draw the lines between politics and religion. In fact, this knowledge or the wisdom of the people had made K A Paul a laughing stock. Anil Kumar is not going to be different if he moves forward with a political agenda.