KADAPA: In a place infamous for faction violence, a 21-year-old student is using the power of social media to showcase the region’s rich historical and cultural heritage. Moula Sheik, a third-year degree student from Sri Hari Degree College in Kadapa town, has more than 23,000 followers on Instagram, perhaps the most in the district.
Moula Sheik posts eye-catching images of historical edifices and photos of prominent personalities from different fields that are proving to be an eye-opener for the younger population, most of whom know Kadapa as a faction-ridden region. Movies also portray Kadapa in poor light, blurring the lines between fact and fiction.
“It is sad that Kadapa and other regions in Rayalaseema are being projected as a den of factionists. When youngsters from here go to Telangana or coastal Andhra, they are looked at with suspicion, which really hurts,” he said.
In a bid to change the mass perception, he started an Instagram account by the name of ‘Kadapa Smart City’ in June 2019. The account garnered interest, which encouraged him to continue with contributions by some prominent people.
Renting a digital camera, he goes around the district clicking images of the historical sites, collects data of Kadapa’s glorious past for his followers. It is not just his friends, but people from older generations and others living abroad not only follow him, but also contribute to his efforts by sending images and facts they know about the district.
He is also praised for using social media as a tool of change, and not following in the footsteps of those who misuse it to create unnecessary hype and panic. “Kadapa is an integral part of Rayalaseema history or for that matter, Indian history. It witnessed several historical developments and is a homeland to several famous people. Annamacharya, Alasani Peddanna, Vemana, legendary poetess Molla, Sri Madvirat Pothuluri Veera Brahmendra Swami, poet and literary critic Puttaparthi Narayanacharyulu all hailed from Kadapa,” he said.
Not only literary giants, several actors and filmmakers also hail from this region, including B Nagi Reddy--who started Vijaya Vauhini Studios, Padmanabham, Kannamba, Y Vijaya and Sarita. “Former CM late YS Rajasekhara Reddy and ruling CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy are from Kadapa. Besides, the district is rich in mineral wealth such as barytes, black stone, limestone, other natural resources like red sanders,” he added.
For this undergraduate, faction violence is a thing of the past. “Today, with the advent of globalisation, more job avenues are opening up for the unemployed. All of them have put an end to faction violence, but unfortunately the perception about Kadapa has not changed and profit-motivated filmmakers are only worsening the image,” the youngster said.
Moula is asked to update his account more frequently. Contributing to the fight against the pandemic, he uses Instagram to also update details regarding Covid-19 hospitals, care centres, oxygen beds, vaccination availability and test centres.