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Cultural icon of Telangana, Gaddar's influence on masses, his poetry and ideological clarity

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat* 
There are very few in public life who get the love, affection and respect of huge number of people such as Gummadi Vittal Rao who was popularly known as Gaddar in the entire country but particularly in #Telangana region. His poetry, lyrics and the style all became iconic as youths, women and men in the Andhra Telangana region would not merely flock to watch him performing but also imitate his style. There is no doubt in saying that #Gaddar through his songs became the most powerful voice of resistance against the culture of impunity, state power and feudal exploitation.Born in Medak district of Hyderabad state, the growing years saw the greater Andhra Movement as well as the historic peasant revolt of Telangana which inspired millions outside the state. That was the period when means of communications were little and no social media but stories of left revolutionary movement was always on the lips of activists elsewhere.
In 1953 when the government of India appointed a State Reorganisation Commission, it submitted the report in 1955 favoring creation of Telangana state but there was a counter movement for Greater Andhra Pradesh. Ignoring the wider Protest and sentiments of Telangana people, government decided creation of Andhra Pradesh State and Hyderabad its capital city. The biggest movement that rocked the state since the inception of Andhra Pradesh was the student protests in January 1969. Interestingly M Channa Reddy, who was spearheading the movement under his own Telangana Praja Samithi merged it with the Congress party and was later made the Chief minister of Andhra Pradesh but the people's resentment remained. Gaddar's popular album came in 1971. He was part of these struggles and understood the emotion and sentiment of his people.
After the emergency, Gaddar became part of the radical left led by People's War Group's cultural wing Jan Natya Mandali. The popular cultural thoght in Telangana was always sympathetic to the left wing radicalism because of historical reasons of exploitation and the land struggle. Whether the ordinary landless ever got a land or not but the cultural team of Gaddar had popularised the perception that the leftwing will bring the revolution in the country. As the reach and power of the government grew day by day, the revolutionaries had to retreat in the deeper forest towards Chhattishgarh and Odisha. While there was tremendous respect for Gaddar and his poetry, Dalits were least interested in left wing radicalism. The growth of Ambedkarite movement, self assertion and faith in constitutionalism also created a feeling that the revolution envisaged by violent methods are not going to succeed and it will only ruin the youths of these communities.
Two big massacres of Dalits in Andhra Pradesh actually reflected the fact that nothing much changed for the Dalit landless people and feudal lords remain at large with impunity. Karmchedu was a village in Bapatla district of Andhra Pradesh dominated by the Khamma castes feudal landlords, they killed 6 Dalits belonging to Madiga community and injured many others on July 17th, 1985. People's War Group avenged the massacre by killing one of the main accused but Ambedkarite sections were opposed to such violent move and followed the constitutional path. While Gaddar's popular poetry and popularity was always useful to spread the message of state impunity as well as feudal structure, there was very little about Caste system and its root causes. Mostly, the left movement that time, we not keen to speak about caste and considered the 'state' as its main enemy which was a complete contradiction to the Ambedkarite version which wanted a strong state to protect the dignity and interest of the Dalits. Karmchedu made Gaddar's revolutionary songs more popular and he became the voice of the masses.
Six years later, on August 6, 1991, a massacre committed by the Reddy landlords in Tsunduru in Guntur district and this time the community which faced the brutality was the Malas, the biggest and assertive Dalit community in Andhra Pradesh. About 22 Dalits were brutally killed by the Reddy terrorists. This shook the nation and for the first time a special court was formed to hear the witness with in the village. There was lots of pressure on them. It took a lot of time for the local court to give its judgement but finally the High Court absolved them. In the Karmchedu case, one person got life imprisonment and thirty others three years imprisonment.
I visited Tsunduru when the case was at the village and complaints were coming there witness were being threatened. I was shocked to listen the tales of horror by the Reddys. Interestingly, both Reddys and Khammas are two biggest power communities of Andhra Telangana and Malas and Madigas two most assertive Dalit communities who became victim of the the Reddy Khamma terror.
After the Tsunduru visit, I visited Gaddar Anna at his house. It was difficult to meet because attempt were made on his life. I had heard stories of Gaddar's influence on masses, his poetry and ideological clarity. I thought, I would ask him a few questions whether he had any question with his party's high command. He was the most popular face of People's War yet never ever considered to be its main ideologue. Was it because the top domain of the left forces were still in the hands of the power communities of Andhra Telangana.
Some how, I was disappointed with my meeting. Gaddar, that point of time, was not keen to speak up or open up on the issue of caste but he had started putting Ambedkar and Buddha portraits. The problem that time was that most of his songs spoke of discrimination but mostly on state impunity and 'feudalism' but the root cause of it ? The root cause of feudalism is our caste structure and unless you speak up against the social tyranny, merely, suggesting the state impunity for everything wont work.
Whether the left parties were able to use his iconic status or he himself ever had the courage to use it was not the question. I had felt the suffocation in him during our talks but he was not ready to take his party head on. We dont know why as he grew up in the party and had known the party politics more than anybody else.
In the Talangana movement, he again flourished. His songs were the voice of the people. He traverse the state and people thronged to listen his magic words. He realised then power of politics and how people still have faith in constitutionalism. In 2010, he completely dissociated with the Maoist groups and decided to plunge in the electoral politics but alas that was quite late. There were also fluidity of ideology in him. Off late, he started speaking about Baba Saheb Ambedkar and Buddha. Suddenly, we also found him speaking about spirituality, Vedanta and Vivekananda too. Anyway, like every one of us suffer from changes, so was Gaddar too but in his heart was the welfare of his people.
Recently, we saw Gaddar on the stage when Rahul Gandhi visited Telangana where he kissed Rahul. He also said that his party will contest upcoming elections.
Gaddar remained a cultural icon of Telangana and I can say it, that outsiders like us, listened about Telagana's heroic struggle to his heroics, through his iconic style on thev stage where millions will just come to watch him speak and perform. We dont have any one like him in the North India. The only one who inspire and is stunning is
Shambaji Bhagat in Maharashtra whose poetry and performance look similar like Gaddar.
The passing away of #Gaddar is a huge loss to people's movement and revolutionary poetry who inspired an entire generation of activists using art and culture as form of resistance against oppression and exploitation.
A big salute to #Gaddar
*Human rights defender



हिंदी आलोचना जैसे पिछड़ चुके अनुशासन की जगह हिंदी वैचारिकी का विकास जरूरी

- प्रमोद रंजन*   भारतीय राजनीति में सांप्रदायिक व प्रतिक्रियावादी ताकतों को सत्ता तक पहुंचाने में हिंदी पट्टी का सबसे बड़ा योगदान है। इसका मुख्य कारण हिंदी-पट्टी में कार्यरत समाजवादी व जनपक्षधर हिरावल दस्ते का विचारहीन, अनैतिक और  प्रतिक्रियावादी होते जाना है। अगर हम उपरोक्त बातों को स्वीकार करते हैं, तो कुछ रोचक निष्कर्ष निकलते हैं। हिंदी-जनता और उसके हिरावल दस्ते को विचारहीन और प्रतिक्रियावादी बनने से रोकने की मुख्य ज़िम्मेदारी किसकी थी?

साहित्य बोध में परिवर्तन: सत्तर के दशक में विचारधारा का महत्व बहुत अधिक था

- अजय तिवारी   सत्तर के बाद वाले दशक में जब हम लोग साहित्य में प्रवेश कर रहे थे तब दाढ़ी रखने, बेतरतीबी से कपड़े पहनने और फक्कड़पन का जीवन जीने वाले लोग बेहतर लेखक हुआ करते थे या बेहतर समझे जाते थे। नयी सदी में चिकने-चुपड़े, बने-ठने और खर्चीला जीवन बिताने वाले सम्मान के हक़दार हो चले हैं। यह फ़र्क़ जनवादी उभार और भूमण्डलीय उदारीकरण के बीच का सांस्कृतिक अंतर उजागर करता है। 

How Mahakavi Sri Sri defined political and cultural metamorphosis of Telugu society

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Laxmanpur Bathe massacre: Perfect example of proto-fascist Brahmanical social order

By Harsh Thakor  The massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad in Bihar on the night of 1 December in 1997 was a landmark event with distinguishing features .The genocide rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence. The scale of the carnage was unparalleled in any caste massacre. It was a perfect manifestation of how in essence the so called neo-liberal state was in essence most autocratic. 

एनडीए सरकार में हिन्दू राष्ट्रवाद की दिशा: मुसलमानों का हाशियाकरण जारी रहेगा

- राम पुनियानी*  लोकसभा आमचुनाव में भाजपा के 272 सीटें हासिल करने में विफल रहने के बाद एनडीए एक बार फिर नेपथ्य से मंच के केंद्र में आ गया है. सन 1998 में अटलबिहारी वाजपेई एनडीए सरकार के प्रधानमंत्री बने थे. उस सरकार के कार्यकलापों पर भी भाजपा की राजनीति का ठप्पा था. उस सरकार ने हिंदुत्व के एजेंडे के अनुरूप संविधान की समीक्षा के लिए वेंकटचलैया आयोग नियुक्त किया, पाठ्यपुस्तकों का भगवाकरण किया और ज्योतिषशास्त्र व पौरोहित्य को विषय के रूप में पाठ्यक्रम में जोड़ा. सन 2014 और 2019 में बनी मोदी सरकारें तकनीकी दृष्टि से भले ही एनडीए की सरकारें रही हों मगर चूँकि भाजपा को अपने दम पर बहुमत हासिल था इसलिए अन्य घटक दल साइलेंट मोड में बने रहे और भाजपा ने बिना रोकटोक अपना आक्रामक हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी एजेंडा लागू किया. इसमें शामिल था राममंदिर का निर्माण और अनुच्छेद 370 का कश्मीर से हटाया जाना. इसके अलावा सरकार की मौन सहमति से गाय और बीफ के नाम पर मुसलमानों की लिंचिंग की गयी और लव जिहाद और न जाने कितने अन्य किस्मों के जिहादों की बातें की गईं.

सदन की सबसे उंची गद्दी पर बैठे यह शख्स मर्यादाओं को अनदेखा कर मुंह फेरता रहा

- मनीष सिंह*   ओम बिड़ला को जब याद किया जाएगा, तो लोगों के जेहन मे भावहीन सूरत उभरेगी। सदन के सबसे उंची गद्दी पर बैठा शख्स, जो संसदीय मर्यादाओं को तार तार होते सदन मे अनजान बनकर  मुंह फेरता रहा।  मावलंकर, आयंगर, सोमनाथ चटर्जी और रवि राय ने जिस कुर्सी की शोभा बढाई, उसे उंचा मयार दिया.. वहीं ओम बिड़ला इस सदन की गरिमा की रक्षा मे अक्षम स्पीकर के रूप मे याद किये जाऐंगे। 

नरेन्द्र मोदी देवत्व की ओर? 1923 में हिटलर ने अपनी तुलना भी ईसा मसीह से की थी

- राम पुनियानी*  समाज के संचालन की प्रजातान्त्रिक प्रणाली को मानव जाति ने एक लम्बे और कठिन संघर्ष के बाद हासिल किया. प्रजातंत्र के आगाज़ के पूर्व के समाजों में राजशाही थी. राजशाही में राजा-सामंतों और पुरोहित वर्ग का गठबंधन हुआ करता था. पुरोहित वर्ग, धर्म की ताकत का प्रतिनिधित्व करता था. राजा को ईश्वर का प्रतिरूप बताया जाता था और उसकी कथनी-करनी को पुरोहित वर्ग हमेशा उचित, न्यायपूर्ण और सही ठहराता था. पुरोहित वर्ग ने बड़ी चतुराई से स्वर्ग (हैवन, जन्नत) और नर्क (हैल, जहन्नुम) के मिथक रचे. राजा-पुरोहित कॉम्बो के आदेशों को सिर-आँखों पर रखने वाला पुण्य (सबाब) करता है और इससे उसे पॉजिटिव पॉइंट मिलते हैं. दूसरी ओर, जो इनके आदेशों का उल्लंघन करता है वह पाप (गुनाह) करता है और उसे नेगेटिव पॉइंट मिलते हैं. व्यक्ति की मृत्यु के बाद नेगेटिव और पॉजिटिव पॉइंटों को जोड़ कर यह तय किया जाता है कि वह नर्क में सड़ेगा या स्वर्ग में आनंद करेगा.