Never before in their history have the Nandi Awards been embroiled in such reprehensible controversy. Never were so many celebrities so severely critical of the awards. The latest to join the chorus of critics is comedian Posani Krishnamurali.
It all started with Nandamuri Balakrishna heading the jury to decide on giving the awards for the years 2014 to 2016. A major chunk of awards went to “Legend” in which he himself had played the hero. Moreover, none from the Mega Family had received any award for any of the years. The one award that went to Allu Arjun – ‘Best Character Actor’ – was construed to be more of an insult than an award. Many producers and directors vented their ire in most caustic manner. In the meanwhile Nara Lokesh, son of the Chief Minister of AP and son in law to Balakrishna made some rather unpalatable statements that those who criticised the awards did not belong to Andhra Pradesh and that they did not have any Aadhar Card or any other card registered in Andhra Pradesh. Those comments only added fuel to an already swelling fire.
Noted comedian Posani Krishnamurali, was so angry that he called for a press meet in which he lambasted the Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and his son Lokesh and the AP Government, mincing no words. Check out what he had to say.
• “There is something wrong with the Nandi Awards announced by the jury. Do we not have the right to tell them to correct the wrong done. Are we not Andhras?”
• “If Telangana people too had the same attitude as Lokesh does, then Andhras living in Telangana would be chased out like mad dogs. We would have become Telugu Rohingyas like the Muslim Rohingyas of Burma”.
• “Mister Lokesh, don’t your family members own properties in Hyderabad? Don’t you pay taxes here?”
• “Can we not pay taxes here and criticise what is happening there?”
• “Are you not paying taxes here and building houses here and yet playing politics in Vijayawada?”
• “Do your family members have Aadhar Cards in Andhra Pradesh?”
• “You have houses here and pay taxes here and yet become a minister in that state”.
• “What is wrong in our raising our voices?”
Further questioning Lokesh’ statement that if the controversy gets too severe then the government would consider putting an end to Nandi Awards altogether, Posani pointed out that there have been controversies surrounding even the Bharath Rathna and the Padma Awards given away by the central government. Both the BJP and the Congress Governments faced such controversies over the awards. But neither of them thought of stopping the awards. Pointing out that India is a democracy he concluded that in a democracy people do have the right to speak their minds. Nandamuri Balakrishna certainly has a first to his credit – a very dubious one at that.