By Pramod Chaturvedi
Hyderabad/Amaravati (Telangana/Andhra Pradesh) [India], June 9 (ANI): Tollywood, the Telugu Film Industry (TFI) has met with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy today.
A few days ago the same team had met Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao. The main reason as portrayed for the meet with the Chief Ministers is of resolving the problems faced by the industry due to COVID induced lockdown. However, these meetings have shown the flip side of the coin too, that is, the differences between the top heroes.
Though there are several official fora for different crafts of Tollywood; there was a big head, who used to resolve most of the grievances. Multi-faceted filmmaker, actor, writer Dasari Narayana Rao used to play the big brother role.
Despite the political differences, all used to respect him and obey his instructions. After his demise, the TFI has gone wary with the lack of such a personality. After a long gap, Mega Star Chiranjeevi is trying to step into that position.
After a brief political stint and central ministerial berth for more than one and a half year; Chiranjeevi has put his political aspirations aside. But now he has started picking the role of the elder of the Tollywood family. While most of the industry is okay with that; there is some opposition too.
Chiranjeevi led a few industry people to meetings with Telangana labour minister and even the Chief Minister. That did not go well with Balakrishna, son of Late NT Ramarao and actor contemporary to Chiranjeevi.
He was furious about not being invited for meeting with KCR. Balakrishna made severe allegations of Chiranjeevi led group meeting with KCR, that they are trying for land grabbing. Those remarks didn't go well with Chiru's fans, as well as his own brother Nagababu.
Nagababu, brother of Chiranjeevi, gave a hard-hitting retort to Balakrishna through a video in his youtube channel. Nagababu demanded Balakrishna to apologise CM KCR and Telangana govt. He added that it will be much clear who grabbed lands, if we open our mouths; he commented. That was a straight reference to Balakrishna's brother in law and former AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu.
It didn't stop there, though producer C Kalyan, considered to be close to Balakrishna, tried to pacify the issue. Kalyan tried to convince the media that Balakrishna was not taking a dig at any individual. Fans of both the heroes have literally shaken the social media platforms, with their comments and trolls.
Then came another interesting turn. The Tollywood fraternity planned to meet with AP CM Jagan too. In fact, Tollywood did not maintain any relationship with Jagan, barring a few actors who personally have YSRCP links. Nobody even greeted Jagan after he became the CM.
It is a surprise move that a Tollywood delegation planned to meet YS Jagan, but again it is Chiranjeevi who initiated this meeting. Chiru who made good offices with Jagan in October last year took forward with this meeting. Interestingly, this time Balakrishna is invited.
This is a cache 22 situation for Balakrishna. Now he cannot blame that he is not invited. And he cannot attend as he is a TDP MLA, the party archrival to YSRCP. Another interesting observation is that YS Jagan was a hardcore fan of Balakrishna in his prime youth.
He was said to be an honorary president to Balakrishna fans association in those days. Reportedly, that was the reason Late CM YS Rajasekhar Reddy had reportedly saved Balakrishna from a shoot out case in 2004.
Balakrishna, who turns 60 on 10th June, took the same as an excuse. He said that he has to attend some poojas and havans so he won't attend the meeting with YS Jagan.
This entire episode makes a few things clear. That the unity in the industry is a myth. Caste equations still play a big role in Tollywood. Political affiliations are predominant. And, on the top of it all, the one in power is most wanted for most of them, be it KCR or Jagan.(ANI)
Unity is a myth in Tollywood, clashes erupt in the wake of industry meetings with CMs of Telugu states
ANI | Updated: Jun 09, 2020 22:06 IST
By Pramod Chaturvedi