03 August, 2021

A Rich Vein Of Avarice

Older hands shaped the cunning bluster of Jaganmohan, the Reddys

Illustration by Sorit
A Rich Vein Of Avarice

It’s an episode that is now nearly forgotten. Back in mid-1990s, veteran environmental activist Sunderlal Bahuguna, on a fast in protest against the damage the Tehri dam in Uttarakhand was wreaking upon the fragile ecosystem, was allegedly whisked away for coercive persuasion by a contracting firm. The firm had an earth-moving contract in the dam project. It was also associated with an upcoming Andhra politician, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. In post-liberalised India, as a wider world of opportunities beckoned, this was the first visible instance when the brazen attempts at control over territory and resources left trails way beyond their localised context.

The same process has now struck our polity with full force—Jaganmohan Reddy, YSR’s son, and the brothers Reddy (Janardhan, Karunakar and Somashekhar) hold national parties like the Congress and the BJP hostage to their ambition in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka respectively. Parties nowadays are but tools of political and economic ambition, as is apparent from the...

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