It is the auspicious month of Karthikam and it is a norm for Telugu people to organize get-togethers with family and friends in gardens and farm houses.
But the ‘vanabhojanalu’ as they are called have acquired special significance this year as they have become an additional reason for caste-based gatherings. Or so is the case with one particular community in Andhra Pradesh.
Since caste continues to be the basis for identity in our country, many look upon such meet-ups as a part of social mingling.
It is rather intriguing that even high-ranking officials shed their inhibitions and mingle with people of their community and make no bones of such affinity. And the honorable speaker of Andhra Pradesh Kodela Siva Prasad has shown that he is no exception to this lot.
Recently, Kodela happened to be a part of a ‘Karthika vanabhojanam’ in West Godavari district.
So here is what Kodela had to say: According to him, his community had been side-lined in the past 10 years and during the Congress regime the community was relegated to the background. He said that the community had the opportunity to rejuvenate itself and make sure they remain in power for at least 15 years to come. He added that even NRIs flew in from various countries to vote during the 2014 general elections to make sure this happened.
The comments are shocking coming from him as he holds a position which requires him to be unbiased.
So, when a man of his stature talks of his community and of caste-based power politics, it makes one wonder if we live in a democracy or a caste-driven political system.