Michael was born into a family of doctors working in the Campbell Mission Hospital in Jammalamadugu, a small town in Rayalaseema District in Andhra Pradesh, India. His parents, Dr. Mrs. Rathnamma and Dr. M. Rathnaraj were prominent citizens of the town and did tremendous service for the town people. The area of Rayalaseema acquired the dubious distinction of being the most violent and dangerous district in the country. Ridden with faction feuds, political vendettas and bloody murders to terrorize the populous into abject submissiveness, Rayalaseema seemed to exist outside the bounds of modern society. Governed by bloodthirsty warlords whose private armies freely used bombs, swords, sickles and guns, the district achieved a notoriety that is unrivaled even today. These killing fields birthed fearsome factionalists who wielded enormous power in the affairs of the state and the lives of the common man – factionalists who were beyond the law, beyond the bounds of all accepted morality.
Michael had a Christian upbringing and privileged education. His parents wanted him to follow their footsteps but at the age of 26 Michael plunged into active politics. He believed that temporal power and wealth defined a successful man and he put all his energies to acquiring them. As his reputation grew, it brought him into direct conflict with powerful local leaders. Spurred by the support he received from the people and the successes against his adversaries, Michael slowly metamorphosed into a power hungry, arrogant and cruel man. Violently temperamental, he physically assaulted and terrorized anybody who chanced to cross his path and even his family did not escape his unpredictable and irrational temper.
POLITICS AND MICHAEL:
Fiercely determined to become a Member of the Legislative Assembly and a Member of the Parliament, Michael joined the Indian National Congress in nineteen eighty nine and contested unsuccessfully in the Jammalamadugu constituency elections. Michael is closely related to the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Y. S. Raja Sekhar Reddy and they traveled the campaign trail together. Later, Michael left the Congress Party and joined the Telugu Desam Party and he extended his support to N. T. Rama Rao, a charismatic leader and renowned actor, who brought peace between Michael and one of his staunchest enemies, Shiva Reddy, a dreaded factionalist in the area. Chintakunta Mahadevudu, a ferocious factionalist was another powerful rival. The warfare between the two was brutal and bloody. Michael’s maternal uncle, Y. S. Raja Reddy brokered peace between them.
The path of power drew him inexorably into the bloody political landscape of the district and Michael Babu as he was known became one of the most feared and ruthless factionists the state had ever seen. The entire district lived in a state of fear as rivals fought it out with bombs and guns on the roads. In the fourteen years of his involvement in the politics of the faction ridden District, he was responsible for many murders, riots and criminal intimidation, booth capturing during elections and other crimes against the state and its people. Imprisoned a number of times, he nevertheless wielded power from prison, having terrorized the police force too.
WHILE IN POLITICS
MICHAEL SAVED BY HIS AMAZING GRACE:
One day Michael was cornered. Cornered by his conscience, Michael summed himself up and made a sincere prayer. A prayer for forgiveness, healing and restoration. God heard his prayer and liberated him from the brinks of hell and transformed him into an Ambassador for Christ. The transformation was very dramatic and the change permanent. This is a true story of the power of the cross.
The serene mountains near his hometown offer him a spiritual retreat and he spends his time there in prayer and supplications. The great heavenly plans of God are unfolding in Michael’s life. Michael is increasingly involved in ministering throughout the state. He is bringing hope to the needy, the downtrodden and the dammed. His ministry has touched thousands of people and he receives requests for prayer and is invited for Evangelical Campaigns and is being used widely in his Home Land and in other countries too.
FRUITS OF SALVATION — MICHAEL’S EXPANDING MINISTRY:
After his salvation, God has been using Michael widely in Jammalamadugu town and neighboring areas. Listening to his testimony and seeing the changes first-hand, many have accepted Jesus as their personal savior and are leading spiritual lives. In the gospel campaigns organized among different cities in the state and outside, people are attending in thousands and are receiving spiritual blessings. The Telugu short film on Michael’s life titled “Amazing Grace” that has been made available in video and DVD forms is playing an important role in the conversation and acceptance of Jesus as their personal savior among several of its viewers. The English version of this film titled “Guns to Gospel” is being widely distributed in other Indian states and overseas to reach out new avenues to reach out to people of different nationalities with the Gospel. Michael’s testimony DVD has become an instrument in changing many lives. The English version ‘Guns to Gospel’ was also screened at the International Film Festival held at Hyderabad the capital city of Michael’s home state.