People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 20, 2006
CPI(M) Moves For Preserving History
Of Telangana Armed Struggle
60th Anniversary Of The Struggle Celebrated
CPI(M) state secretary B V Raghavulu addressing the gathering at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram, Hyderabad
M Venugopala Rao
GIVING a call for preserving the history of the glorious Telangana Armed Struggle, B V Raghavulu, secretary of the state committee of the CPI(M) and a member of its Polit Bureau, announced that the Party had started efforts for collecting materials and sources of that period to set up a museum with a view to preserving the history and spirit of that heroic struggle and carrying forward its legacy to posterity.
Addressing a meeting organised to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the struggle on July 23, 2006 at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram in Hyderabad, Raghavulu emphasised that the Telangana armed struggle would continue to be a guide and immense source of inspiration to the future generations. Though the elections to the panchayat raj bodies were in full swing, the CPI(M) organised this meeting as it felt that efforts for preserving the history of the Telangana armed struggle were important, he said. The kind of self-governance of the villages that had prevailed during the period of the Telangana struggle – when efforts were made for self-sufficiency through village self-rule – is not in existence in the state even today, he said. Though elections were held later, and though several Acts have been brought about, decentralisation of powers has not taken place, Raghavulu said. Out of 29 powers, as enunciated through the 73rd and the 74th Constitutional amendments, not even a single item was transferred to the local bodies and the dominance of the ministers, members of parliament and MLAs has been continuing, he criticised.
While the Telangana armed struggle had brought to the fore the importance of land reforms and Tenancy Acts, the World Bank has been saying that land should not be given to the poor and weaker sections and that there was no need for land reforms, Raghavulu said. The state government is moving in the direction of repealing the Urban Land Ceiling Act. Raghavulu found fault with the government for selling away lands through auction, instead of distributing the same to the poor, and referred to the recent actions of the government in that direction in the outskirts of the capital city. He expressed concern that a new definition was being given to land reforms and that a conspiracy to hand over lands to the rich was being hatched. We have to understand these conditions and everyone should ponder over whether we are moving forward in the path shown by that struggle or drifting in a different direction, Raghavulu said. While the Telangana armed struggle had paved the way for formation of linguistic states in the country, some people are trying to misinterpret that history, he cautioned.
Raghavulu lashed out at the BJP, which has been supporting the king of Nepal, for its perverted attempts to distort the Telangana armed struggle as a rebellion of the Hindus against the Muslim Nawab and to pocket the prestige of that struggle for itself. He reminded the BJP that there were Hindu zamindars and deshmukhs who had cheated the people with the support of the Nizam Nawab at that time. As long as there is exploitation and injustice, there will be struggles. Announcing that the future is going to be one of struggles, Raghavulu asked the people to imbibe the spirit of the heroic Telangana armed struggle.
Inaugurating the meeting, eminent educationist and a participant in the Telangana armed struggle, Chukka Ramayya, said one of the lessons of the struggle was that one should not live on the mercy of anybody else. He explained that, under the leadership of the Andhra Mahasabha and the Communist Party, great leaders like P Sundarayya, Chandra Rajeswara Rao and Ravi Narayana Reddy had given life to the Telangana armed struggle and several great people had taken it forward. The Telangana armed struggle had ignited the consciousness of the people, elevating them from a state of fearing the landlords to that of unshackling the chains of slavery, Ramayya said. Reminding that every village had a history of its own in the Telangana armed struggle, Ramayya asked the Left parties to take up special programmes to make them memorable forever. “Anywhere, a struggle starts on a social problem, turns into an economic struggle and finally leads to a political struggle. Nowhere in the world, a struggle of the kind of Telangana armed struggle can be seen”, Ramayya said. He advised the bourgeoisie parties not to suppress the people’s struggles with political conspiracies and the police. “Specific plans should be formulated to remove the dissatisfaction among the people. If the rulers use the police and the armed forces to suppress the struggles of the people, the latter will become more conscious. It would not be possible to suppress their struggles”, he said. Terming the campaign that the Telangana was backward as conspiratorial, Ramayya asserted that the area was not lagging behind in any field.
Editor of Prajasakti Book House, Telakapally Ravi, who presided over the meeting, said but for the Telangana armed struggle of the peasants, the shape of India would not have been what it has been. The armed struggle, started as it was with the martyrdom of Doddi Komarayya, had a permanent place in history, he said. Till date the villages in Telangana fondly recount the tales of the struggle. Poets have described Nalgonda as a holy place of three thousand martyrs of the Telangana struggle, Ravi said.
Several veterans of the Telangana armed struggle narrated their experiences in the heroic struggle. Parsa Satyanarayana expressed anguish that the rulers are trying to auction the Telangana soil soaked with the blood of the martyrs of the armed struggle. He gave a call to the people of the state to wage struggles to see to it that the land for which the Telangana armed struggle was waged would not go to the bigwigs. Guruvareddy said the anniversaries of the struggle should be celebrated with the spirit of that struggle. Veteran journalist V Hanumantha Rao suggested that the present-day Maoists in the state should draw lessons from the Telangana armed struggle and understand that armed movements would be successful only if the people are mobilised and armed. Prominent writer Suddala Ashok Teja pointed out that songs and poets had emerged from the movement and many illiterate people had sung their own songs in the Telangana armed struggle. Bhimireddy Narasimha Reddy complimented publication of the experiences of the people who participated in the Telangana armed struggle.
Books published on the occasion by Prajasakti Book House were released. A book titled Bandenka Bandi Katti, a famous song of the Telangana armed struggle, was released by Ashok Teja. Another book titled Veera Telangana Maadi, a compendium of hitherto unknown experiences of 122 people who participated in the Telangana armed struggle, was released by Parsa Satyanarayana. Veteran leader of the CPI(M), Narra Raghava Reddy, released a biography of the hero of the Telangana armed struggle, M V Narasimhareddy titled Venkata Narasimhareddy Jeevitha Charitra. Several veterans of the struggle – Gautham, Padma, Sangappa, Lalithamma, Priyamvada, Suseela Devi, Challa Sitaramreddy, Anantha Reddy, Nandyala Srinivasareddy, Rajanna and Madasu Ramulu – also participated in the programme. All the veterans of the struggle were felicitated with a shawl by Raghavulu. Another veteran of the struggle, Rajbahadur Gour, inaugurated an exhibition of photographs of the Telangana armed struggle. Songs, dances and palle suddulu were rendered by the artists of Praja Natya Mandali, narrating several instances of the struggle, sacrifices, trials and tribulations of the people who participated in the struggle, for nearly one and a half hours inspiring the audience.