The recent announcement of Nandi awards by the Andhra Pradesh government has kicked up a caste war in the film industry, with one section of the Tollywood accusing chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu of favouring only his own Kamma community and targeting others.
Interestingly, the caste conflict seems to have spread even to the opposition YSR Congress party. It was evident from the way YSRC official spokeman Ambati Rambabu joined issue with another YSRC leader Ghattamaneni Adiseshagiri Rao.
Ambati Rambabu demanded that the government cancel all the Nandi awards announced in a biased manner, but Adiseshagiri Rao defended the Chandrababu Naidu government.
Needless to say, Ambati hails from Kapu community, while Rao represents Kamma community.
Rao told media persons that it was wrong on the part of the leaders and a section of film industry to attribute caste motives to the state government in the announcement of Nandi awards.
“It is nothing but common that some people who do not get the awards feel dejected and criticise the jury members. It happens even with national film awards. But one should not attribute caste motives to the government or jury members,” he said.
He found fault with Posani Krishna Murali for saying that he would return his Nandi award.
“This will damage the entire film industry. It is not a healthy trend,” he said.
Despite being an opposition leader, Rao defended the TDP government on Nandi awards issue for two reasons: He also hails from Naidu’s community and secondly, his nephew Mahesh Babu-starred film Srimanthudu and another film star from his family Gautam got Nandi awards.
Ambati, however, differed with Rao. He said he was demanding withdrawal of the Nandi awards in the capacity of the party’s official spokesman.
“Rao’s comments are his personal and have nothing to do with the party line,” he said.