• 10 days yaga with 1000 priests
  • 700 mantras to be repeated 10,000 times
  • All in praise of Goddess Durga!
  • What would inverstors think?

(M Ramdas)

It is indeed surprising to learn that Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) is planning to perform a grand a�?yagaa�� in February next year. The a�?Ayutha Chandi Yagaa��, as the elaborate Hindu ritual is called, will involve 1,000 priests chanting mantras non-stop for 10 days! Also, 700 mantras will be repeated 10,000 times in praise of Goddess Durga. A hundred sacrificial pits will be readied. KCR is also trying to ensure victory over his a�?enemiesa�� by performing two ancient rituals which allegedly bestowed invincibility to kings of bygone ages. a�?Raja Vashikarana a�?, for example, it is believed can develop certain powers in the participant to control the thoughts and actions of others. a�?Shatru Samharaa�� is all pervasive in shielding the participant from evil eyes, curses and other undesirable occurrences and makes his going smooth in life. This rite is supposed to be specially tailor-made for persons who are constantly hounded by enemies.

The publicizing of this grandiose religious event is perhaps KCRa��s way of advance warning to his detractors to watch their step with him. No one grudges a politician who is indulging in his religious beliefs in this manner in the confines of his home, but does it not send wrong signals to the people, his own party rank and file and the Opposition? He might find himself more in the limelight than he would wish. This yaga would be listed among his other excesses like getting all his escort vehicles painted white. Would the general public go to the extent of comparing the TRS supremo to the late NT Rama Rao who was also high on the eccentricity index (single ear earring, Vivekananda headgear, et al)?

Will the preparations for this mind-boggling show somewhat deflect the CM from serious problems staring Telangana in the face? With the new-born state still trying to find its feet, February 2015 (just 2 months away) is hardly the time to indulge in onea��s religious persuasions in this extravagant manner. KCRa��s plate is overfull already— farmer deaths have turned into a human tragedy; Hyderabad Metro Rail is still limping on directionless, thanks to KCR constantly moving the goalpost ; land acquisition for projects will be a thorny issue; studentsa�� demands are also proving a handful. Finally, will would-be investors, both Indian and foreign, as well as the cynical man in the street, comment: a�?Like Nero, is the CM fiddling while Telangana burns? a��Let us hope not.

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