Truth behind Jagan Reddy’s action-packed Tollywood script

The Jagan Mohan Reddy govt has slashed movie ticket prices. Those in the know say Jagan is trying to get back at the Telugu film industry which is dominated by caste groups that support Chandrababu Naidu and Pawan Kalyan. Imaging: Immayabharathi K

In 2019, after scripting a stunning victory over the Telugu Desam Party in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had called Chandrababu Naidu’s political rout some kind of “poetic justice” delivered by God.

In 2022, the 49-year-old chief minister seems to have taken it upon himself to play God and deliver a ‘cinematic justice’ of sorts. Hitting where it hurts the most, Jagan seems to be trying to starve the Telugu film industry of the big bucks.

Regional cinema, not Bollywood, monetarily dominates the Indian film industry. As per a report released at the FICCI Frames Summit in 2020, in 2019, the Telugu and Tamil industry contributed about 47 per cent in terms of revenue to the Indian film industry. The Hindi film industry contributed about 40 per cent to the total revenue of around $2.7 billion in 2018-2019.

Among the South Indian movies, it’s the Telugu industry which brings in substantial revenue. Both in Telugu and Tamil cinema, actors enjoy God-like popularity and loyalty from their fans. Many stars have gone on to become highly successful politicians including former Andhra Pradesh chief minister NT Rama Rao and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa.

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