sickle_s.gif (30476 bytes) People's Democracy

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

Vol. XXV

No. 49

December 09,2001

Rich Tributes Paid To Comrade Nanduri Prasada Rao

M Venugopala Rao

COMRADE Nanduri Prasada Rao, popularly called NPR, ceaselessly worked for the communist cause till his last. With a record of over 67 years of dedicated work, he was a truly tireless fighter and contributed a lot to building the kisan and working class movement in the country.

Comrade Nanduri Prasada Rao passed away at about 8.30 p m on November 29, at a private hospital in Hyderabad.

After his body was brought to M B Bhavan, the CPI(M)’s state committee office, leaders and hundreds of workers and sympathisers in the city and those coming from several districts paid homage to NPR, amidst reverberating slogans. Leaders of the CPI(M), several leaders of other Left parties, the Congress, TDP, other parties and of a number of mass organisations laid wreaths on NPR’s body at the M B Bhavan, and paid homage to the departed leader. CPI(M) leaders Prakash Karat, Koratala Satyanarayana, L B Gangadhara Rao and B V Raghavulu, CPI leaders D Nagabhushana Rao and S Sudhakar Reddy, MCPI leaders B N Reddy and M Omkar, TDP general secretary S M Lal Jan Basha and minister K Vijayarama Rao, and Congress leader P Janardhan Reddy were among the large number of leaders who paid homage to NPR.

Rich tributes were paid to Comrade NPR at a condolence meeting also, held in M B Bhavan on November 29. It was attended by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat, among others. Hundreds of party workers, sympathisers and admirers gathered for the meeting that was presided over by the CPI(M) Central Committee member Koratala Satyanarayana.

In the death of Comrade NPR, one of the builders of communist movement in the country, the entire Indian communist movement has suffered a loss, said Prakash Karat. He said Comrade NPR was one of the team of Andhra leaders who did not confine themselves to building the movement within their state but contributed to the efforts to build an all-India movement.

"Many people of the present generation know Comrade NPR as a veteran trade union leader alone. But he also worked as general secretary of All India Kisan Sabha," reminded Karat.

Recollecting NPR’s relentless struggles and sacrifices for nearly seven decades in building the communist movement, leaders who spoke at the condolence meeting held in the afternoon asked the present generation to draw inspiration from NPR’s life and carry forward his work. Prakash Karat said the death of Prasada Rao, one of the builders of the communist movement in the country, was a loss to the entire movement and there was a deep sense of grief all over. Participating in the heroic Telangana armed struggle, NPR spent underground life during 1947-53. Communist leaders from Andhra Pradesh did not confine themselves to building the movement in the state but endeavoured to build it throughout the country. Prasada Rao was one of them, Karat added. Though NPR came from a rich family, he lived a simple life and moulded himself into an ideal communist. Even in his late eighties, he used to attend to the Central Committee meetings and actively participate in the deliberations, expressing his views.

Prasada Rao used to study the party reports thoroughly. Karat said only two months back Prasada Rao had written him a letter stressing the need for ideological thrust in a document prepared by the Central Committee. Recollecting his first acquaintance with NPR when both of them attended a meeting of the Central Committee, Karat revealed that by the time he woke up Prasada Rao had swept the room and washed clothes of both of them. To avoid a similar embarrassing situation, Karat was forced to wake up early thereafter. NPR treated the party as a family and other comrades not as colleagues working for the movement but as members of a family. NPR tried to identify and rectify in time whenever parliamentary deviation cropped up in Kerala, West Bengal, northern India and anywhere else in the party, Karat said. Drawing inspiration from NPR’s life and carrying on his work of building the movement for social transformation would be the real homage to him, Karat reminded. On behalf of the CPI(M) Central Committee and Polit Bureau, Karat conveyed deep sorrow and heartfelt condolences to the NPR’s family and the Andhra comrades.

As one of the founders and builders of the communist movement along with P Sundarayya, Chandra Rajeswara Rao and others, NPR led struggles of the peasants, agricultural labourers and industrial workers, CPI National Council secretary D Nagabhushana Rao said. NPR was a versatile genius. His great role and multifarious activities in the communist movement were an ideal example to the youth. Nagabhushana Rao suggested about bringing out a book on the life of NPR and building a permanent memorial to him.

L B Gangadhara Rao, member of the CPI(M) state secretariat, recalled how NPR worked as a wholetimer of the party with a monthly allowance of Rs 14 and faced innumerable difficulties during the Telangana armed struggle. NPR was a leader who withstood all the trials and tribulations, and sacrificed everything for the sake of the party, Gangadhara Rao said. He asked the youth to draw lessons from the life of NPR and work for the development of the party.

As a member of parliament and also of the erstwhile legislative council of the state, NPR very effectively raised the voice of the toiling masses, S Sudhakar Reddy, secretary of the CPI’s AP state council, said. Totally dedicated to the cause of the toiling masses, NPR never retired from active politics and was always optimistic, he said.

MCPI leader M Omkar recalled how NPR faced hardships during the Telangana armed struggle. NPR was a mine of knowledge, a selfless worker and a great intellectual, and his death is a loss to the entire communist movement, he said.

Veteran CITU leader Parsa Satyanarayana recalled how he and NPR worked together as president and general secretary of the state unit of CITU for 25 years since its inception in 1970, and explained the growth of the working class movement under its banner. NPR imparted him ideological education, Parsa said.

Recollecting the struggles led by NPR against the zamindari system, veteran CPI leader Y V Krishna Rao said NPR was a tireless commander and fighter. MCPI leader B N Reddy said he was astonished at the way NPR used to actively lead the dalams (fighting squads) in the Telangana armed struggle; even now every peasant in Munagala area remembers his name. Paturu Ramayya, president of All India Agricultural Workers Union, said NPR was a genius in many fields, including literature and arts, and spending time with him was like learning lessons in a school. NPR used to say that the life of a communist is a political, ideological and revolutionary life intended to change the society and must be led for the sake of the people, he recollected.

Mallu Swarajyam, vice president of the All India Democratic Women’s Association, recalled how NPR taught class ideology to the illiterate during the Telangana armed struggle, and how the people affectionately used to call him Sastry Garu.

When struggles of the working class and other toiling people are being conducted on a large scale, NPR’s death is a great loss to the movements of the people and the Left parties in the state, SUCI leader Sridhar said.

K Vijayarama Rao, minister in the state government and a former director of the CBI, paid tributes to NPR on behalf of the state government and the TDP. He said NPR was a communist, both in words and deeds, and was a guide to one and all. His spirit of sacrifice and his contribution to the Indian communist movement would be remembered forever. He was confident that the present-day youth would follow the path charted out by NPR and provide leadership to the movement.

Koratala Satyanarayana, member of the CPI(M)’s state secretariat, presided over the meeting. He said that, with the inspiration drawn from M Basavapunnaiah, P Sundarayya and NPR, and on the strength of the ideology they believed in, we should proceed to achieve their aim and that will be the real homage to NPR.

The body of Comrade NPR, draped with the party’s red flag, was taken in a procession from M B Bhavan to the electric crematorium at Bansilalpet. Prakash Karat, Koratala Satyanarayana, B V Raghavulu and several other leaders accompanied the body in the open vehicle decorated with red flags, with resounding slogans in homage to NPR and the artists of Andhra Praja Natya Mandali singing songs in honour of the departed leader. Hundreds of leaders, workers and sympathisers took part in the procession. After the mortal remains of NPR were consigned to flames, all of them stood in silence in respect of the departed leader.

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