Dr.Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy’s Personality
A modest Personality:
Dr.Reddy,unlike most politicians, reflects the spirit of a true Indian who walks his talk.While his thought is dressed with all that is modern and ennobling, Dr.Reddy’s person is invariably clothed in traditional costumes that include dhoti and a shirt made of handloom cloth.In all of his public and private conversations, he speaks from the core of his heart. Naturally, he hates hypocrisy.
As a demanding Chief Minister, YSR expects bureaucrats to do their job meticulously, and present before him only facts that are shorn of all publicity-oriented and manipulative figures. He does not tolerate hype and extravaganza in communicating official messages. He wants incontrovertible facts stated in a simple language that is intelligible even to the unlettered, because taking administration to the people is an article of faith for him.
His Philosophy of Life:
Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy strongly believes that the human life is a boon provided by the Almighty to share one’s blessings with others, while serving less privileged human beings.
“Don’t count the years you want to live. Ask yourself how much you have done for society at large with whatever opportunities the Almighty has provided you”, is Dr. Reddy’s word of advice for those who have excuses for not doing even what is within their means.
It is this humane principle that prompted him to take pioneering steps to ensure delivery of social security pensions to the needy in the first week of every month.
Though measuring 5’7″, Reddy looks majestically simple in his appearance with an ever-smiling genial countenance. This in fact overshadows his unfailing willpower to achieve his targets with the resilience and tenacity of a spider.
When YSR undertook his unprecedented 1500-KM-long Padayaatra (march on foot) in scorching sun during summer in 2003,covering backward areas of the state in particular, few people could discern the underlying motive: knowing first-hand the real problems of the people in their own language and their doorstep.
As around 75% of the population in India depend upon agriculture for livelihood, most administrative efforts should be focused on the rural economy, he believes.
Citing renowned economists, Dr. Reddy regrets that neglect of the agriculture and irrigation sectors in recent years have become the bane rural economy. As a proactive Chief Minister, he embarked upon a massive programme of executing 26 major irrigation projects to create 65 lakh acres of new ayacut.
Dr. Reddy’s motto is that the ultimate objective of any program executed under a democratic set-up should be prompt and dependable delivery of sevices to the common man.
With this as the guiding principle, YSR has advised bureaucrats at all levels to help revive the functioning of the administrative system at all levels without habitually looking for autocratic ‘diktats’. ‘Decentralization of administrative power within the guidelines of the policy framed by the government reflects the true spirit of democratic governance”, Dr. Reddy argues.
Dr Reddy’s strength lies in his stature as a mass leader since his advent in politics. Whether in or out of power, he has always championed the cause of the common man. This has endeared him to all segments of the Congress party as well.
Even after becoming the Chief Minister in May 2004, Dr Reddy makes it a point to address all the problems that are brought before him directly by people, cutting through bureaucratic hurdles, every day.
If any scheme or programme under formulation is placed before him for approval, its outcome is a foregone conclusion that is dependent on Dr. Reddy’s invariable query: “How best will it benefit the people at large or ensure good governance?”
A curious ‘pastime’ of Dr Reddy is to feel the pulse of people in rural areas on Sundays through the Rajiv Palle Batta.
The Rajiv Palle Baata is a novel mass contact programme under which the Chief Minister reaches out to even unmotorable areas in the rural areas for personally collecting feedback on the implementation of various programmes. This programme has become extremely popular, because it highlights not what the Chief Minister does in the glare of official publicity, but what his officials may not have done in the people’s own words.
In view of the rational changes brought about in administrative matters following the success of Rajiv Palle Baata, the Chief Minister now extended the programme to urban areas through Rajiv Nagara Baata.
The Chief Minister’s emphasis on development of the rural economy does not presuppose a blinkered approach towards new and emerging technologies.
Dr.Reddy is committed to a balanced approach towards giving thrust to information technology, bio-technology and all sectors that enhance industrial and agricultural production. His watchword is total transparency in all transactions and deals that envisage public-private partnerships or involve private investments. Because, YSR believes he is simply a custodian of people’s trust that is invaluable.
It is not a coincidence that he loves the company of children and often “gets lost” in their World that is founded on trust of the highest order.