It's not chappals, Mr Bandi Sanjay, it's Telangana's pride you put before Amit Shah's feet
Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar's eagerness to pull out the pair of footwear of Union Home Minister Amit Shah has drawn flak from several quarters
HYDERABAD: Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar's eagerness to pull out the pair of footwear of Union Home Minister Amit Shah has drawn flak from several quarters and he has become the butt of trolls for the netizens.
The act of Bandi Sanjay was seen as pledging the "self-respect and pride" of Telangana at the feet of Amit Shah. Though Sanjay tried to cover it up by drawing a mythological similarity between his act of giving chappals to Amit Shah and Lord Rama's chappals being carried by his younger sibling Bharata, democratic India did not approve of it, apparently.
In fact, the carrying of someone else's chappals is considered an insult. Recall the incidents of politicians stooping to new lows to please their bosses. Touching the feet of an elder is a mark of respect, but nobody expects even the worst of sycophants to touch their footwear. The statement of Gyani Zail Singh that he would gladly sweep the ground that "Indiraji walked upon" came under sharp criticism just before his ascendancy to the presidency. He had once stepped ahead and opened the car door of Indira Gandhi, when he was the President of India and received brickbats.
BJP's Kaliash Vijayvargia in 2013 had said he would even sweep the floor of the party office, if the party wanted him to do so, in reference to the distribution of party tickets.
The act of N D Tiwari that took the sycophancy to the lowest ebb was carrying the slippers of Sanjay Gandhi in Lucknow in 1976. This exactly matched the servility demonstrated by Bandi Sanjay in Hyderabad on August 21. Similarly in February 2010, then Maharashtra minister Ramesh Bagwe carried the shoes of Rahul Gandhi.
And, there is no dearth of instances of singing paeans or building temples for leaders and describing them as paragons of virtue. And, the list is too long even to recount.
But insult is something individuals or a community or a region or a State or, for that matter, a nation cannot take lying down. Wreaking vengeance after nursing grievance over an unassuageable humiliation can manifest in its gigantic form. There is no exaggeration in this. Little did the white railway official know, nor could he fathom the vengeance a frail Indian could foment within himself, when he threw out a lawyer from a railway coach in South Africa. That lawyer was Mahatma Gandhi and whom he threw out of India was just history.
When Chief Minister T Anjaiah was publicly rebuked and chided by then Congress scion Rajiv Gandhi, who was nominated as General Secretary of the Congress only to signal that he was the heir apparent by his all-powerful mother Indira Gandhi, for organising a pompous welcome show, the Chief Minister literally wept and "begged for a pardon". Until he was convinced by some of his own henchmen, Rajiv Gandhi did not acquiesce to condescend and continue with the programme, which he had threatened to scrap and get back to Delhi.
Eventually, Anjaiah was shown the door. This triggered the concept of hurting "Telugu pride and Telugu self-respect". It's not just an eventuality that it became the most powerful weapon for N T Rama Rao to invoke the same for uprooting the Congress lock, stock and barrel in 1983 Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh.
The basis for Telangana agitation, spearheaded by K Chandrashekar Rao, too stemmed from adding myriad insults to the numerous injuries by dominant sections of united Andhra Pradesh on Telangana. The agitation that was ignited by humiliations simmered, raged, and finally doused, but not before the State was bifurcated.
The way Bandi Sanjay tucked the footwear of Amit Shah after he had left them outside the temple is shown in a Telugu TV channel. The hurry Sanjay had demonstrated in 'hiding' the footwear was clearly visible there. Being extremely alert, Sanjay came almost rushing out of the temple after the prayers along with the Home Minister and walked past him to pick up the footwear and place them ready for 'the Shah' to wear them.
This naturally became news and no wonder, if the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) magnifies it as an issue of 'self-respect and pride' of Telangana.