Deep roots in Karnataka

 
Memories: YSR (second from left) with classmates at  St John’s High School in Bellary in the early 60’s.  That is not surprising. Years before his daughter and son-in-law settled in Bangalore, Reddy, popularly known as YSR, spent nine years of his student life in Karnataka. Born in 1949 as Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy, he did his schooling at St John’s High School, Bellary.

For one year he also pursued his graduation course in science in a Bellary collage. But his desire was to study medicine and a year later, in 1966, YSR joined the Mahadevappa Rampure Medical College (MRMC) in Gulbarga for the MBBS course. He had an eventful stint here for the next five years.  

He was here that his political instincts took roots. He was a ‘natural’ leader of the Telugu students, willing to go the extra mile for his friends. This was admitted by none other than YSR himself when he visited his alma mater in 2005. He got a taste of being a leader there and that paved the way for his political debut, YSR had said. And, often there were rifts between students from the two states (Karnataka and Andhra).

As students from Andhra were capable of paying the standard donation of Rs 5,000, which was unaffordable for the locals at that time, they would quite often outnumber the Kannadigas and YSR championed the cause of students from his state. He had demonstrated his leadership skills during the student’s days itself and had even become the general secretary of the students’ union.

“Though we were good friends, we used to keep a distance from each other due to the regional factor. He was average in studies and was hyperactive in extracurricular activities,’’ recalls Dr Mallikarjun Bhanadri, the current Dean of MRMC, who was YSR’s classmate.

Eminent physician Dr P S Shankar, who was YSR’s teacher, said he was equally interested in both academic and non-academic activities and quite often came to his house to seek guidance and advice.

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