It is 9 o'clock in the morning. The road is filled with traffic. You're already late for your work. You plan to catch an auto or a cab to reach the office in the nick of the moment. You're short on cash during the month-end. A city bus is a viable option. But they are not available at the moment. As the Road Transport workers are on a strike. As a person who doesn't want to get into trouble, you'll try to catch an auto despite cash crunch so that you can reach your work on time.
But George Reddy doesn't do it. He didn't do it. He'll fight for the rights of the Transport Corporation employees. Good? Bad? Evil? Angel? Whatever you think about him, George Reddy is not one of those. Those who idolize him say he is the inspiration. He was a hero. He was a martyr of sorts. Those who oppose or opposed him say he is a goon who carried sharp weapons on the university campus. It's all about your perceptions.
But George Reddy was none. And is none of these. George Reddy means commitment. A commitment of not backing off anything. He might have fought for a good cause. Or he might have championed the oppressed with a hidden agenda. But people often miss one point. Has anyone said that George Reddy entered Osmania University campus the same year when Che Guevara was killed? 1967!
Is there a connection? You may ask. Yes. There is a connection. George might have fought for what he thought of as the right (pun intended) since he was a kid. But it was when he joined Osmania University to pursue M. Sc. Physics that his ultimate journey started. Just when Che Guevara's ended. Not even those who call George the Che Guevara of Osmania University tell this.
Ever since the biopic on George Reddy got into the news many people started to talk about George Reddy. His friends are interviewed by many people in the media, social media and YouTube channels. Everyone has their own version of George Reddy. The director stated in his interviews that he wanted to show why George's ideals are relevant today. But did he show? What're George Reddy's ideals?
Leave aside the politics and dissect George Reddy the man. Why he is remembered by everyone who walked along with him or against him? Why the name of George Reddy sends waves of electricity through the veins of a few people who know him? There must be something. What's that something?
Intelligence that comes through thinking
Everyone can pose as an intellectual. Everyone has a certain amount of intelligence. But the intelligence that comes through thinking has a power which creates an aura around the person. A thinking man is always the man (feminist sisters, man is used as in human). Man is a thinking animal. And that thinking separates man from other animals, including his fellow beings.
George was well-read. Here's an anecdote. George Reddy was rusticated from the university for a year for his involvement in a fight. Or indulged himself in. Whatever. What'll anyone who is out of college for a year do? Get depressed? Drink and enjoy? Binge-watch Netflix and Amazon Prime series? Or get detracted from aim? Or feel that a year of your life is wasted? Or take a small job and wait till the year is over, but as you have tasted income - leave your studies altogether?
George did none. He is not the common man like any one of the many. We already said he was a thinking man. He used the time to study. To act. And to widen his purview of the world. He used to teach his fellow students. He had developed his scientific understanding of the subject. Physics. He didn't do a thing he wouldn't do when he was going to university. He wasn't at the university in person. But he became a university. His presence wasn't lost at the university. The one year gap at the college made George even more astute.
He read the world
George isn't just a bookworm who wanted to count the number of books he read for year-end lists. He studied. He understood. And he applied. His understanding. To the issues. Around him. He read the world. He was not influenced by anyone. He embraced the reality around him as he perceived. And made himself what he was. He read the world around him as much as he read books. He formed his ideas.
He was committed to the causes he believed in
What separates millions of youngsters who died young at 25 from George is the impact he had on the lives of others around him. He had leadership qualities. One such big quality is: commitment. To the causes, he believed in.
As Elsworth Toohey says in The Fountainhead, what people often lack is commitment. People like Toohey prey on those who have less to nil commitment. People like George unite people with their power of commitment to the cause they believe in.
George never hesitated to fight for the cause he believed in. He never feared the officials and authorities and changed his views. When he didn't believe in something, he never took up the cause. But when he believed in something, he never wavered. Even when his life was attempted at by the opposing gangs.
George was courageous is an understatement. He never wavered from his fight no matter what. How powerful the opposition was. His courage caught up with those around him. Like wildfire. It was overflowing courage. Just like Allu Arjun says in Arya, his great qualities were overflowing.
George was balanced and unaffected by external happenings
He used to study in the library. He used to read no matter the situation. He used to lend his hand to those who were in need. If anyone asks George for help, he never said no. If. He. Could. Do. It. He. Did. It.
Say, for example, a murder attempt on your life had happened a few moments back. How will you react? Will you go hiding? Get shivers and wet your pants fearing another attempt? Or talk about it for hours blaming and cursing those attempters? George would just carry on what he was doing before the attempt was made. Balance of mind. Stable thinking. Ability to lead people. He was a furious man. But not devious in his methods. All qualities of a leader. On the other end of the spectrum is English professional cricketer (pace bowler) Andrew Ellis, who got hit on his head by a ball that went for six in 2018, has been wearing a helmet ever since when he’s bowling.
George valued comradeship. He has friends. Once a person becomes his friend, he would go on to be his friend till the end of life. Why? George's commitment. And affection? Something much more than what mere mortals can perceive. George led men. When any of those friends of his were in trouble, however small it is, he was the first to attend them and fight for them.
George was not a person who wants the responsibility. He was a person who 'takes' responsibility. Sometimes forcefully. He was socially responsible. He wanted to fight for the oppressed. And fought till the last drop of his blood. If he believed in the cause of the ABCD group in the film or such groups, he would have fought on behalf of them. No. Matter. What. That's George. He was a man of integrity.
He was honest
He never said one thing and did another thing. No. He could convince anyone, who is with an open mind, of his ideas and his perceptions. He has the ability to talk and make people understand. He had clarity of thought. He was a man of action. He never preached and then shut the shop. He acted on what he preached. He is not just a thought-provoking speaker. He knows solutions to the problems at hand. Whether the path he had chosen was right was another matter.
He was inspiring
George was a brilliant student. 2nd in the PUC examination. Gold medalist in M. Sc. TIFR wanted to get him into the esteemed institution because of the brilliance in physics. He would have been a world-renowned physicist like the other George from Kerala (George Sudarshan) if he had not chosen the chosen path he had chosen. He was committed to people more. He lived for others. Whether all this to gain power over the masses and rule over them is questionable. He didn't live long enough to prove this true or false. He was killed.
Just because of Gang Wars?
No. People fear a thinking man more than a man with a weapon. If that thinking man has a weapon in his hand? A potent combination. Those who murdered him not just murdered a 5 feet 6-inch well-maintained body. They also killed the idea of George Reddy. But as ideas cannot be eliminated, George Reddy still remains in the thoughts of people. At least in the thoughts of people who were affected by him.
Has the film George Reddy really shown all of this?
What the audience remembered most about the film was: the stunt sequences are creative. Creative? My foot! The makers murdered the spirit of George Reddy brutally. Than those who eliminated his 5 feet 6 inch and well-trained body.
Is making a film about George Reddy justified? Yes. If George is presented as is. As he was. But it would have been better if they presented the idea of George Reddy. Nowadays people lack the fighting spirit. When RTC employees are on a strike people look for alternatives. Never think if the strike is justified. As long as the needs are satisfied, they won't even think about others. RTC strike is just an inconvenience.
People have lost the ability to think. They follow. They go with fads. They lack the killer instinct. For them, Che Guevara is just a style statement face on their T-shirts. They don't know who he really was. The same is the case with George Reddy. With the film, the makers seem to have wanted market George Reddy as Indian/Teluguland Che Guevara than presenting the fire of George Reddy. At least, they could have presented the spirit of George. An action hero? Was that he? He would have thrown the handkerchief with blades on those who made the film.
How the film would have been?
- The idea of George as a brilliant student would inspire thousands of kids.
- The idea of George as a thinking mind would have inspired thousands of youngsters into action.
- The idea of George as a man with commitment would have made youngsters understand what commitment means.
Expecting this much from the makers who were frightened to present George's enemies as they were (at least as said by those who were with George) is just a joke.
George Reddy lives on. But he shouldn't be ashamed of the film that was made on him for not presenting him as a right idea for these times. He is not a man to be marketed. He was a man who was committed to certain ideals and fought. Don't make him a commodity. It is certainly this that he would despise.