People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 50

December 12, 2004

Comrade VN & Telangana Armed Struggle


COMRADE Mallu Venkata Narasimha Reddy, central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), passed away at CARE hospital in Hyderabad at 8 am on December 5, 2004. He was ailing for some time and suffered from heart and spinal cord problems due to infection.


Comrade Narasimha Reddy was one of the heroes of the Telangana peasants armed struggle and one of the prominent leaders of the Communist movement in Nalgonda district. As a member of the central committee and state secretariat of the Party, Comrade VN, as he was affectionately called, discharged his responsibilities with commitment and perseverance. He was always in the forefront in fighting against separatist movements whenever they cropped up to divide the united Andhra Pradesh.

Comrade VN played a crucial role in safeguarding the purity of the CPI(M), firmly opposing the rightist and Left adventurist tendencies whenever they arose in Nalgonda district. He also played a very important role in uniting the Party cadres, foiling the attempts of the disruptive elements to affect the movement in the district who were expelled from the Party.


Comrade VN directly participated in the  Telangana armed struggle and led some of the armed squads in that struggle waged against the tyrannical rule of the Nizam and for land and livelihood. He led underground life for nearly nine years during the Telangana armed struggle, when the Party was subjected to repression and during the Emergency period.

Comrade Narasimha Reddy was born on May 18, 1930 in a rich peasant family at Mamillamaduva village. His father Gopala Reddy worked as a village munsif of that village. When he was 8, his mother Ramanarsamma passed away. Studying at the Suryapet middle school up to 7th class, Comrade VN actively participated in the successful struggle that was conducted at that time,  demanding upgradation of that school as a high school. At Suryapet, Comrade VN joined a hotel run by Dharma Bhiksham on behalf of the Communist Party and he used to attend the general body meetings. It was the period when the second world war was coming to an end and the victories of the Soviet Red army had a great impact on the student movement and Comrade VN. At that time conferences of farmers and Andhra Mahasabha were held at Vijayawada. Comrade VN was in the team led by Dharma Bhiksham which went from Suryapet to Khammam on foot as a procession.


In the initial days of the Telangana armed struggle and when repression was severe, Comrade Narasimha Reddy, while continuing to stay in the Suryapet hostel, used to hand over couriers clandestinely to other leaders. Once a task of handing over some letters to the comrades concerned was entrusted to Comrade VN. That day at about 7 pm he left for Chandupatla from Suryapet and he was directed to go to Timmepuram from where he was again directed to go to a rocky area 4 km away from Suryapet to hand over the letters to the comrades concerned staying at a secret place. After handing over the letters at that secret place, the 16 year old Comrade VN had to return to Suryapet alone during the night. It was a period when the police repression was very severe and when police resorted to firing at Mallareddy Gudem, Balem and old Suryapet. When the army on night patrol was approaching Suryapet that night, Comrade VN reached a house where students were staying and spent that night there and reached the hostel next day morning. It was his first experience of secret life. During his student days, Comrade Narasimha Reddy used to attend to the school during the day time and work as a courier in the night, facing many difficulties.

With a view to keeping him away from the student movements and other agitations intensively organised by the Communist Party, his father admitted Comrade VN in the high school at Khammam. Comrade VN also readily agreed, as there were experienced teachers and opportunities for maintaining contacts with the Communist movement.

When an international delegation came to examine the repression on the armed struggle and police firing at Balem and old Suryapet, Comrade VN and other hostel students carefully took the members of the delegation to the place of struggle. When Dharma Bhiksham, Dr M Rajireddy, T Lakshmayya and T Durgayya, all workers of Andhra Mahasabha and important leaders in Nalgonda district, were arrested by the police and kept in the Suryapet jail, Comrade Narasimha Reddy and some other students played several tricks and ultimately facilitated their escape from the jail. However, the police chased them and got hold of three leaders, while Rajireddy could escape.

Comrade Narasimha Reddy played a very active role in the ‘Quit Colleges’ movement organised in protest against the refusal of the Nizam to join the independent India. Though his family was close to the Jonnareddy landlords, Comrade VN conducted uncompromising struggle against that landlord. When the Telangana armed struggle was gaining momentum in 1947, Comrade Narasimha Reddy gave up his education and plunged into the battlefield. After working in Suryapet for sometime, Comrade VN went to Mankot area as decided by the Party to organise the movement there. He worked as organiser of Jayyaram area. By that time the leadership in that area was affected seriously and the squads without leaders were in an aimless condition. Later, they had to face severe repression. To protect themselves, the squads reached Neelayagutta forest area
where political classes were conducted and Comrade Nanduri Prasada Rao took classes. After that the Party gave a call to the organisers to go to the plain areas again. With police raids continuing and contacts among squads and state centre severed, Comrade VN had to spend time alone for six months. In a situation of severe repression when several comrades were killed by the police, Comrade Narasimha Reddy and Chandupatla Sitaramarao took up the responsibilities of the Garla area committee.


Later, as decided by the Party, Comrade Narasimha Reddy was sent to Manthani area in Karimnagar district to spread the movement. Comrades Mallu Swarajyam and Mukunda Rao were with him in the Manthani sub area committee. For the first time, Comrade
Narasimha Reddy took up military responsibilities and led three squads.


Getting hold of the secretary of the area committee, the police could get information about those squads. Comrade Narasimha Reddy could successfully implement a plan to protect the leadership of the area committee by shifting them that night itself to a distant area. In those days, Comrade Narasimha Reddy played a very important role in organising attacks on the police and confiscating weapons and ammunition from them. He played a crucial role in fighting back the police attacks at Bellampalli and Mancheryal areas and taking the struggle forward.

After the elections in February 1952, the police arrested Narasimha Reddy and others and filed a case against them on the charge of attacking the police and taking away their weapons. However, the court struck down the charges and they were released. Later, Comrade Narasimha Reddy came back to Suryapet and became Suryapet secretary of the Party. That year he married Comrade Swarajyam.


In 1964 when split took place in the undivided Communist Party, Comrade Narasimha Reddy strongly opposed revisionism and stood by the CPI(M). Similarly, when the Naxalites split away from the CPI(M), he took an equally strong stand against Left adventurism. He acted as the district secretary of the Party for one year when B N Reddy was arrested in 1965. During the emergency period, he organised struggles of the agricultural workers on a large scale and that had helped to boost the morale of the cadres and organise them.


Later when B N Reddy and his supporters separated from the Party, Comrade VN played a very important role in protecting the cadres in the Nalgonda district.

Comrade Narasimha Reddy contested the assembly elections in 1972 from Tungathurthy constituency and lost by a slender margin of 3000 votes. He became the district secretary of the Party in 1968 and continued in that capacity till 1996. He was elected to the state committee in 1968, to the state secretariat in 1972 and to the central committee in 1985. He also worked as the assistant secretary and president of Andhra Pradesh Agricultural Workers Union and president of Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangham. As a member of the delegations of the CPI(M), Comrade Narasimha Reddy visited Russia and China. He had written articles on movements of the farmers and on special occasions. He is survived by his wife, Mallu Swarajyam, central committee member of the CPI(M) and leader of AIDWA, two sons and a daughter.