Telangana CM, K Chandrashekar Rao, a Hindi speaking CM in south India

It is almost 25 years that a chief minister who can speak in Hindi also has taken his seat in the assembly. And this has come about, thanks to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into two states on June 2 into Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The first chief minister of Telangana state K Chandrasekhar Rao who spoke at length in the Telangana assembly on Thursday spoke in English, Telugu in its Telangana lingo, and in Hindi. The happiest person in the assembly perhaps was the Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen legislator Pasha Quadri who got replies to his questions from KCR in Hindi/Urdu.

In the united Andhra Pradesh state, none of the chief ministers from 1990 could speak in Hindi. Marri Channa Reddy was fluent in Urdu and he was chief minister from December 3, 1989 to December 17, 1990. That was second stint as chief minister – the first being from March 1978 to October 1980.

However, after Marri Channa Reddy’s second stint, none of the chief ministers could speak in Hindi. They included N Janardhana Reddy (Congress, from Andhra region), Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy (Congress, from Rayalaseema region), N T Rama Rao (Telugu Desam Party, from Andhra region), N Chandrababu Naidu (TDP from Rayalaseema), Y S Rajasekhara Reddy (Congress, from Rayalaseema), K Rosaiah (Congress, from Andhra) and N Kiran Kumar Reddy (Congress, from Rayalaseema).

For the first time in 25 years, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader K Chandrasekhara Rao, who is now the chief minister of the newly formed Telangana state, is showing his language skills in Hindi.

KCR was born in Chintamadaka village in Medak district, which is 100 km from Hyderabad. He also did his post-graduation studies in Hyderabad. If one assumes that having been born in Telangana and having lived in Hyderabad, he has been able to master the language, several other chief minister lived for decades in Hyderabad but could not learn it – or bother to learn it. Former chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy who prefers to describe himself as a Hyderabadi as he was educated in the city, cannot speak the language. During the 2014 polls, he did try to impress Muslim voters by making an attempt to speak in Hindi. He failed. It is another matter that former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin was his classmate in Nizam college. Kiran Kumar Reddy was the captain of the cricket team and Azharuddin played under him. Well, he did not pick up the language even from Azharuddin. Despite his experience of interacting with leaders of various political parties in the country, N Chandrababu Naidu also cannot speak in Hindi. KCR’s language skills in Hindi came in good stead as his party has been able to garner the Muslim minority votes in Telangana. He made it a point to address them in Hindi during public meetings.

In the South, Kerala chief minister Oomen Chandy’s ‘languages known’ also include Hindi.

Courtesy : The Times of India