Remember the old truism—a family that eats together stays together. How often haven't we heard counsellors offer this tip to help families stay happy?
Perhaps no other family believed in following this ritual as much as the YSR family did. Few parents (especially in the case of busy politicians) spent the kind of family time that YSR Congress party president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy did, till his sudden and unlawful arrest exactly a year ago.
In her columns, YS Bharathi, his wife, gives us an insight into the anguish and sadness that the family quite understandably suffers, day after heart-wrenching day in her husband's absence. It is obvious that although it is under his guidance that the party activities are being chalked out, there's no alternative to him in the house.
It was exactly an year ago that YSR Congress party president, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was summoned for questioning by the CBI and subsequently arrested.
The turn of events that followed have exposed the murkier side of politics of the kind never seen in national politics. While analysts and commentators have looked at the underlying political conspiracies, few people have spoken about the ordeal that the family is put through on an everyday basis.
After the sudden and tragic demise of Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy, the head of the family, Jagan shouldered the responsibility of overseeing family affairs. However, the turn of events following jagan's odarpu yatra did not let that happen. Within months after Jagan quit the Congress party to launch the YSR Congress party, the high command struck back at him vindictively and he was sent to jail.
Jagan is perhaps the only politician in the country to have stayed that long in jail even before the commencement of his case trial. This in itself, is a reflection of the extent to which the Congress party is scared of him. It is obvious that the Congress party cannot take on YS Jagan Mohan Reddy politically. Hence, it decided to unleash the CBI which has been filing one chargesheet after another and buying more time to delay the investigations so as to prolong the release of Jagan as much as possible. The CBI, which has been reduced to a handmaiden of the government, is aptly being described as the Congress Bureau of Investigation, in the way that it has been indulging in delaying tactics from the very first instance.
Everybody knows how Jagan's case has been playing out politically since his arrest, but what nobody really cares to think about is what happened to a happy family after he was imprisoned.
A family that always stayed together has been torn apart as a result of Jagan's arrest. Members of Jagan's family-- his wife, mother and sister found themselves in a helpless situation and had to face several challenges:
The women in the family took it all upon themselves to face the adversities that came their way steadfastly and dauntlessly.
Jagan's mother Vijayamma became the honorary president to oversee party activities in the absence of her son . A woman, who till now was happy playing the perfect housewife of a popular politician was thrown into a battlefield of the bad mad murky world of politics. However, she took it all in her stride and stepped out into public view to give moral strength to her supporters.
Jagan's wife YS Bharathi took over as the chairperson of Jagati Publications and Indira Television of the Sakshi media group and has been running it successfully besides looking into the needs of her kids while also protecting them from unrelenting public glare. To say that it's not been an easy task to convince the children, would be an understatement. The family lost an year's time with Jagan. They have been deprived of the basic joys in life—be it having a meal together, a family outing or even simply being together on a morning, an afternoon or an evening. And then, the family has seen the fast-changing loyalties of 'so-called die-hard supporters', who used to swear by YSR during his lifetime and who turned against the family in no time without so much as batting an eyelid. They hurled the vilest of accusations and the meanest of charges to cling to their positions and to humour their political bosses, each trying to outdo the other.
The entire family has channelised its energies towards keeping the momentum going.
Jagan's sister Sharmila had been leading a normal family life till her brother was sent to jail and she had to step into the dark, unpleasant world of politics. When the time had come to offer assurances to their supporters, it was Sharmila who stepped up to the plate and willingly took up the responsibility of conveying Jagan's message to the people and of assuring them that YSR's golden rule will soon be restored.
Although each one is doing her job well, there's not been a moment of family time since Jagan's arrest. The CBI has been ensuring that Jagan is denied bail on the ground that he would tamper with the evidence and influence the witnesses and on one pretext or the other. The government has turned the CBI into a tool of harassment to target political rivals on a selective basis. What happens to human rights? How can the government imprison one of the most important political leaders in the country simply because he is on the other side of the political fence? Sadly, even the mainstream media has been silent barring occasional comments and reports.
Meanwhile, a family continues to suffer in silence and hopes and prays that there will be a silver lining to this dark cloud soon, that a bright, radiant dawn will dispel the darkness and that they will soon be reunited.