(Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao is Chief Public Relations Officer to Telangana Chief Minister, K Chandrashekhar Rao. Earlier he was the PRO to Chief Minister Marri Chenna Reddy. Jwala is a vetaran journalist with 40 years in Print & Electronic media)
When Telangana State Chief Minister Sri K Chandrasekhar Rao, along with members of his family had an affectionate Darshanam of Thirumala Lord Venkateswara Swamy and presented gold ornaments I too had the privilege to be present there. It was a rare and wonderful experience! Half an hour before the Chief Minister with his Wife entered the temple premises, the temple authorities allowed the team accompanying the CM through the Vaikuntam Queue Complex. After paying respects to the gold Ornaments placed in the Sri Ranganayaka Mandapam we had Darshanam of the Lord along with the CM and his family members. The CM saw to it that all of team members accompanying him had the similar Darshanam like the one he had and he even called out each and every one of us. Harathi and Thirtham were given to all of us.
I had the rare coincidence of having a similar Darshanam 26 years ago when I was PRO to the then AP CM Dr M Channa Reddy during the same month of February. I remember that in accordance with the rules prevailing then CM team was allowed into the temple through the Main entrance. Tirupati was the venue then for a tripartite meet on the Krishna water distribution among the then Maharashtra CM Sharad Pawar, Karnataka CM Veerendra Patil and AP CM Dr Channa Reddy. I also participated in that meeting and I still remember one issue that took place then. The three CMs then met to discuss the Krishna water sharing issue only and there was no scope for any political discussion. After the meeting on the river water sharing they did not meet at all. However, a prominent journalist then wrote in the popular national Tabloid “Blitz” that the three CMs met to gang up against Rajiv Gandhi. I brought this matter to the notice of Dr Channa Reddy and told him that the journalist wrote about something that did not take place. For this, Dr Channa replied, “Good, at least Rajiv has something to fear about!”
There is a strong belief among the devotees that unless Lord Venkateswara Swamy desires to give his Darshanam, it can never happen. Speaking to SVBC Channel, after presenting the Gold Ornaments to the Lord, the CM had detailed his own personal experience in this matter. The CM said many years ago when he came here to have Darshanam it did not take place. He also said that though he wanted to present the Gold Ornaments soon after the formation of the State it did not happen as the Lord did not desire to give till now.
“Venkatadri samam sthanam brahmande naasthi kinchanam……Venkatesa samo deva na bhooto na bhavishyathi” It is just enough to have the Darshanam of the Kaliyuga Presiding deity for a moment and the Lord will make his devotees come to him travelling thousands and lakhs of miles. The Lord will attract his devotees to the holy Tirumala hills.
Meanwhile, it is totally unjust and unreasonable one, for some people to talk about CM fulfilling his vows with government money. This sort of prejudiced criticism on an issue like this is hurting the sentiments of majority of the Telangana people and their faith. One would fail to understand as to what is wrong for a leader duly elected by the majority of people and trying to fulfill a vow he took on behalf of the same people and region? Moreover the vow is for the welfare and common god of the people in the State.
Some people are also still criticizing the Ayuta Chandi Yagam performed by the CM. Performing Yagam and Yagnams is belief of certain people. It is also belief that through performing Yagnam and Yaagam it will result in universal peace and people’s welfare. Such beliefs and faith is in vogue in several countries in the world as well as in our own country. Even in a Communist country like China they give equal importance to Mao and Buddha. The World’s largest temple Angkor Wat was in Cambodia. The fruits of Yagnams protect the humanity. Yagnas and Yagams are the reasons behind evolution of human society. Even today, those having Practice, Prosperity, Commitment, Good Samskara, punya of the previous birth and having a desire to help others are performing these rituals.
Coming back to the vows fulfilled by the CM Chandrashekhar Rao it is known that he had taken these vows to various temples, Shrines and deities in anticipation of the dream of separate Telangana sate during the height of the Telangana movement. He took these vows before he became a CM for the well being of the people and for the formation of the State. In accordance with his vows, the state is formed and the people are happy and leading comfortable lives. Under such a situation what is wrong if the CM fulfilled his vows on behalf of the government, through government funds by donating gold Ornaments to fulfill his vows to various temples? In case of a natural calamity in the neighbouring State, if the State wants to offer help it is done from the Government Ex-chequer but not from the personal accounts of the CM. Moreover, the CM never said he would fulfill his vows by paying from his pocket! Then why criticize him?
However, these unfound criticisms have no takers in AP State Government, its public representatives or even the political parties there. TDP, BJP, YSRCP party leaders there have actively participated in the CM programme. When the CM reached the Renigunta Airport as part of his tour of Tirupati and Tirumala along with his wife and family members, AP Minister Bojjala Gopalakrishna Reddy, Tirupati MLA Ms Sugunamma, Chandragiri MLA Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy, TUDA former Chairman Shankar Reddy, TTD Board member and BJP MLA Chantal Ramachandra Reddy from Telangana accorded a grand welcome. Outside the Airport, Vedic Scholars welcomed the CM with Vedic Chants. Thousands of fans of KCR have thronged to the Airport to welcome him. Prominent leaders from Chittoor district, officials and others have met the CM. TTD EO Sambasiva Rao had went on record to say that no other CM in the independent India had ever presented Gold Ornaments to the Lord! He also hailed the CM for heralding a new precedent in the independent India. He also said that in the ancient past, Emperors and Kings like Sri Krishnadevaraya and Mysore Maharaj presented the gold Ornaments to the Lord on behalf of their governments. This means that there is nothing new in presenting the gold Ornaments on behalf of the government and people.
Against tis backdrop the CM presented the Ornaments, had Darshanam and performed poojas in accordance with the Temple norms. Under the guidance of Temple Chief Priest AS Narasimha Deekshitulu special poojas were performed. The CM later had Darshanam of Vakula Mata, Sri Ramanuja Charyulu, Vimana Venkateswara Swamy, Narasimha Swamy and performed poojas. The CM also paid respects to the clothes of the Lord kept in Sabera Mandir and salutations to the Flag-Staff (Moola Sthamba) and had the blessings of Vedic Scholars in Ranganayaka Mandapam.
In his message through SVBC Channel the CM said, “I have taken a vow during the Telangana movement that I would present golden Ornaments to Lord Venkateswara Swamy if separate Telangana State becomes a reality. Due to Lord Venkateswara Swamy’s blessings we got the Telangana State. I am happy today that I have presented the Ornaments and fulfilled my vow. After the formation of Telangana State I wanted to come here and fulfill my vow. But it did not happen. As they say unless you have calling from the Lord you cannot make the visit. I prayed to the Lord to take care of the Telangana State and bless that it should do well. I also prayed from bottom of my heart to make the two Telugu States flourish. Not only the two states but also I prayed for the well being of the entire country….”
CM has definitely fulfilled his vow on behalf of the Government and people of the state. What is wrong in it? Why then the criticism?