Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu again landed himself into controversy by humiliating and threatening barbers. Thousands of barbers who are working in the temples are on strike with their demands of fixed wage of 13,000 and provident fund facilities. Few barbers were protesting near the Amaravati secretariat, they started raising slogans when they saw CM’s convoy. Seeing this, CM Chandrababu Naidu stopped the convoy and shouted at the barbers. The video of this whole incident has gone viral. The News Minute quoted him saying, “I will give respect if you give respect. If you play games like this, I will be very serious. There is a method for everything. You can’t dictate to governments. I thought of giving you respect, but you are coming to the Secretariat and doing whatever you wish. If you ever do this ever again, I will take you all to task.” Naidu in the video can be seen saying, “What are you saying? You’re not allowed to talk. Are you going to shout like that? Is this a fish market?”
When one protester said, “Sir, you gave hike to VRAs (Village Revenue Assistant) and Home Guards. Give hike to us as well.” Naidu pointed finger at the person and said, “You do whatever you people can do. I won’t say anything. Whom are you threatening?” When the person tried to justify he was not threatening him, Naidu became angrier, asked his village address and angrily boasted about his rule. He said, “Which village are you from? You know I ruled for 9 years and not one person has taken to the road [to protest]. If there is justice in your cause, I will come searching for you, but if someone threatens me, I will cut their tail.”
As if all this disrespect and ill-treatment given to barbers was not enough, Naidu accused them of holding the government to ransom but then the barbers were only exercising their right to protest in a democratic country. Naidu insulted them further as if these barbers were not people. In fact, later on Naidu threatens them again as the security officials can be seen in the video, pushing the protesters back. However, Naidu says, “Don’t stop them. Let them come freely. I will talk to them. Let me see what they do.”
It looks like CM Chandrababu Naidu is frustrated and scared of losing the upcoming elections. His tirade against the BJP and mad anger at protesting barbers makes it evident. Plagued by anti-incumbency, he is confused and doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t want to lose power and that’s why he is losing his cool in public. Power has gone to his head so much that he has forgotten the basic decorum in which a CM must behave. Such an irresponsible behavior from a CM is just unacceptable. These signs are not good for Naidu. This episode is only going to exacerbate his problems. One should not forget that democracy is form of government in which power ultimately comes from the people who are ‘governed’ and not ruled.