Tirupati, Aug 26 (IANS) Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi, who launched his political party Tuesday, attended college in shorts because his family could not afford to buy even two pairs of trousers.
'When I completed my schooling and took admission in intermediate, I only had knickers and it was embarrassing to attend the classes. My mother had no money to buy even two pants for me,' he told a mammoth crowd of nearly one million while launching his party, named Praja Rajyam (People's Rule).
The actor, who bid adieu to film career to enter politics, recalled this to respond to criticism by his rivals that he comes from a glamorous field and hence does not know the problems of the common man.
'Some people ask what I know about politics. They know only one Chiranjeevi. I know people's sufferings, problems despite living a glamorous life for 30 years. I have seen both the worlds,' he said.
The 53-year-old actor spoke about his birth in a lower middle class family of a police constable in a remote village and his struggle to come up in life.
'I can't forget the distance my mother used to cover to fetch a pot of water and the difficulties she had to face in running the house,' he said.
The actor recalled that he helped his father in cultivating fields. 'Once floods destroyed our crops and a portion of our house. We had to live in one room and for three days we survived on rice ganji,' he said.
'When I began my film career, I always played roles which are closer to weaker sections,' he said.
He also became emotional while remembering his father, who passed away earlier this year. 'I know his blessings are with me,' said the actor while looking towards the sky.