Juggernaut – From Akali Rajyam to Swarajyam

Akali Rajyam a 80s’ classic movie directed by the legendary K. Balachander. Kamal Hassan is the lead protagonist who struggles to find a job which does not involve any corrupt practices. His performance struck a chord with all of us who were in our ‘rebellious’ teens, and we were regularly reciting all the iconic dialogues from the movie most of which were based on revolutionary Telugu poet Sri Sri’s works.

Amongst the many scenes in the movie, the one below is a particular favourite of mine.  Here Kamal Hassan recites a poem by Sri Sri that is based on the famous Jagannath Rath yatra.


Cut to 2015, When R. Jagannathan (Jaggi) (A journalist who I greatly admire) confirmed that he would join Swarajya, I was reminded of the above scene from the movie and tweeted this image.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.30.20 am

I then called my poet & lyricist friend Arun Kumar Vemuri to write me lyrics based on the above poem from the movie as I wanted use the same to welcome Jaggi. I also requested him that his lyrics should convey the same emotion that the original poem conveyed.

Arun came up with these wonderful lines :

భక్తులార, బంధులార
లెఫ్ట్లిబరల్ ద్రష్టులార
భంగపడ్డ బిడ్డలార
జగన్నాథ కలమీదరి వస్తున్నాదొస్తున్నాది
హృద్యాంతర ప్రళయఘోష
స్వరాజ్యంలో చొప్పిస్తూ
సురాజ్యాన్ని రప్పిస్తూ
జగన్నాథ కలమీదరి వస్తున్నాదొస్తున్నాది

(“Bhaktulāra, bandhulāra lefṭ liberal draṣṭulāra bhaṅgapaḍḍa biḍḍalāra eḍavakaṇḍ ēḍavakaṇḍī jagannātha kalamīdari vastunnādostunnādi hr̥dyāntara praḷayaghōṣa svarājyanlō choppistū surājyānni rappistū jagannātha kalamīdari vastunnādostunnādi”)

This is not a line to line translation but a loose gist of these lyrics in english:

Oh Left liberal smothered

Media Betrayed

Dutiful devotees, kindly kin

brothers and sisters

Worry not, worry not!

Jagannath’s incisive pen is moving this side, ending the draught!

Infusing the voice of reasoning, till now bottled deep in your heart;

to give into Swarajya, bringing in its wake the promise of a great narrative;

Jagannath‘s incisive pen is moving this side, ending the draught!

Due to various choices made in my schooling days, I did grow up deracinated ; meaning I  cannot easily read, write or speak in my mother tongue Telugu. So it took quite a bit of rehearsals to recite these few lines without interruption and the right emotion. I finally did this recording and sent it to Jaggi on his first day at work.



Coming back to the poem itself, Sri Sri was a communist and the lyrics itself sought to express the feelings of the oppressed. Given how many of us on the Right feel about the ‘majoritarian” Left Liberal view that is dominating the discourse, I guess using this particular poem as a template to express our feelings is apt for the present times.

“Oppressor” becomes the “oppressed” as the wheels of time marches on. 

Meanwhile the wheels of Jagannath Rath Yatra have given birth to a new English word “Juggernaut” which in its current usage has come to mean a huge, powerful or overwhelming force.

I do believe this is an apt description for Jaggi as his writings represent the voice of millions of Indians and will hopefully inspire the begining of a “Juggernaut” of Dharmic forces that will free us of the regressive Left Liberal narrative that we are currently trapped in.

A real Swarajyam.

(Big thanks to my dear friend Arun for helping me express myself poetically and indulge in a bit of dramabaazi . :))


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