Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Y Samuel Reddy legacy « Hindu focus

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    • During his first term as Chief Minister from 2004 to 2009, YSR implemented many new welfare schemes apart from the usual freebies such as free power for farmers, waiver of loans, Rs 2/kg rice, which have become the order of governance in the country now.
    • Though the Congress party claims these schemes and many others have been a success, the opposition parties have alleged rampant corruption in implementation of the schemes. Probably a change of regime in future might bring out the facts regarding implementation of these much hyped schemes. Also, if the schemes prove really “remunerative,” succeeding regimes may continue with them, perhaps under a different name!
    • Corruption charges
    • YSR and his family were in the thick of controversies during his tenure. The leader of the opposition, Chandrababu Naidu, accused him of amassing huge wealth through companies like Sandur Power Company, Jagathi Publications, and Bharathi Cement Corporation, which were owned by his family members. 
    • As the allegations gained momentum and featured in the assembly, YSR accepted holding Government and forest lands and returned 614 acres at Idupulapaya estate in Vempalli mandal to the government.
    • Almost all opposition parties and the media alleged his family’s involvement in the multi-crore ‘Satyam’ scam. He was blamed for the government’s granting of huge contracts to ‘Maytas’ of the Satyam group.
    • During his tenure, Thirumala Thirupathi Devasthanam was always in the news for all the wrong reasons, from appointment of Chairman (once his own step-brother and another time a liquor baron), to mismanagement, to lack of transparency, to abuse of power, to shortages of jewels and gold coins, to sacrilege of Thirumala by evangelical activities and ant-social elements. The total abuse of TTD was attributed only to YSR and just some days ago Dr. Chandrababu Naidu demanded dissolution of the TTD Board.
    • The New Indian Express dated 4 September 2009 said, “Charges of massive corruption in irrigation projects and other big ventures dogged him throughout his first innings, so much so that he was described as the chief fund raiser for the Congress at the national level.”
    • State’s insecurity
    • YSR’s tenure blundered on security. Apart from the anti incumbency factor for TDP, YSR’s understanding with Maoist and PWG (Naxal) groups allegedly helped in his victory in the 2004 elections. As per the understanding, he stopped the anti-Naxal operations in the name of ‘peace-talks’ and allowed them to regroup and roam the state freely with arms and ammunition. The Naxal and PWG utilized this huge opportunity to establish contacts with Maoists in other states and Nepal.
    • Christianisation of Andhra Pradesh
    • With YSR’s advent in 2004, evangelical activities increased alarmingly and mass conversions were witnessed in rural areas on a large scale. His open pandering to Church and missionaries emboldened evangelists to go all out in their conversion activities. They dared focus on Hindu pilgrimage sites such as Badrachalam, Simmachalam, Srisailam, Ahobilam, Mangalagiri, Kalahasthi, and didn’t spare Thirumala-Thirupathi! YSR aided the Church and missionaries in many ways.
    • This is done while the government is controlling over 30,000 Temples and taking all their revenue. Only 15% of temple revenue is given back for temple maintenance and salaries of priests. Over 40,000 Priests earn a salary of only Rs. 500/- to Rs. 1000/- per month. The rest of the revenue is being used for other government schemes and minority welfare schemes, as in Tamil Nadu.
    • The AP government is also auctioning cows and calves donated by devotees to Bhagwan Narasimhar Temple at Simhachalam to owners of abattoirs. With so much of revenue from temples, it is unfortunate that the government has not bothered to maintain a decent Goshala respecting the sentiments of Hindu devotees. (
    • The state government identified 7000 acres of temple lands for sale to raise revenues of Rs. 20, 000 crores. In many places, those lands have been allegedly encroached upon by Churches and Missionaries with the connivance of government officials. Some have been given for construction of Churches and Mosques.
    • Thousands of Churches have been planted by missionaries throughout the state totally disproportionate to the Christian population – one Church for every seven Christians! The number of Churches stands at 148,000; the temples are 190,000 (one for every 350 Hindus) and Mosques figure at 176,000 (one for every 40 Muslims)
      (Ref: and ).
    • The pastors of the planted Churches straightaway started their ‘harvests’ particularly in rural areas, where mass conversions have been rampant for the last five years. While the government figure of Christian population is 1.5% (2001 census), the Church itself puts the figure at 10 to 12%, which could certainly be more in view of the large scale conversion in the state.
    • The TTD’s commodities contract also went to a Christian company by name JRG Wealth Management.
    • His son-in-law Anil Kumar is an evangelist with his own ministries.
    • When he arranged for a mammoth congregation, as huge as US evangelist Benny Hinn’s, the government’s machineries were allegedly used to make the show a big hit. Hundreds of banners were erected throughout the twin cities and other major cities and towns to welcome Brother Anil Kumar. YSR participated with his wife and daughter.
    • Little wonder that he subsidized Bethlehem/Jerusalem pilgrimage for Christians, first of its kind in the country, allotting a budget of 2 crores of rupees for 2008-09, apart from 5 crores of rupees for repairs of churches and mosques.
    • The New Indian Express reported, “Physical elimination of rivals, typical of the factional politics of Rayalaseema region, began soon after YSR became Chief Minister. Congress warlords loyal to the Chief Minister, but till then confined to Rayalaseema, spread their tentacles to even the state capital, dictating who should be awarded works and involving themselves in real estate settlements.”
    • Coincidentally, just five days before, TDP president Chandrababu Naidu accused YSR of mismanagement of Thirumala Tirupati Devasthanam’s affairs and demanded dissolution of the TTD Board.
    • Dr. Naidu said the Chief Minister would face the wrath of Lord Venkatesvara for indifference towards Tirumala, the Lord’s abode: “Lord Venkatesvara (Lord Balaji) is very powerful. This is a proven historical fact. Such people will pay a heavy price in the long run.” He said former Chief Minister NT Rama Rao wanted to develop Tirumala at par with Vatican City.