People's Democracy

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

Vol. XXX

No. 22

May 28, 2006

Comrade Sundarayya's Book Released In Delhi



THE enduring legacy left behind by Comrade Putchalapally Sundarayya was recalled by speakers at a function organised in Delhi to release the English reprint of Sundarayya's book 'Telangana People's Struggle and Its Lessons' on May 19, 2006, commemorating the 20th death anniversary of Comrade PS.


The book, published by Foundation Books, was released by renowned economist, Utsa Patnaik and the first copy was received by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury.

Speaking on the occasion, Sitaram Yechury said the Telangana people's armed struggle brought the land question to the fore in the freedom struggle. However the historic importance of the Telangana armed struggle lay in its significant contribution to the shaping of modern India apart from it being a heroic struggle against feudalism. The Telangana people's struggle against Nizam rule gave a fillip to the struggles against princely states and finally led to the integration of these states into modern India, said Yechury. Similarly Comrade Sundarayya's pamphlet 'Vishalandhra' arguing for a united state of Telugu-speaking people and the movement for formation of Andhra Pradesh gave a momentum to the linguistic reorganisation of states in various parts of the country.


Utsa Patnaik said a fit way of commemorating Comrade PS work and life would be by carrying forward his pioneering work on land question and agrarian relations. "There is a need for thoroughly investigating the agrarian situation in the country today. A re-survey of the same two villages which were surveyed by Comrade PS for his work 'On Land Question' would be appropriate", she felt. Patnaik threw light on the prevailing agrarian distress in the country.


Referring to the achievements of the Telangana armed struggle, Patnaik said it not only resulted in the abolishment of the hated jagirdari system but also gave protected tenancy rights to the poor farmers. The militant struggle raised the consciousness of the people to such a level that unlike in other areas, there were very few instances of forcible eviction of tenants by landlords in Telangana. She underlined that even today unless consciousness of the people is raised and they are made aware of the progressive legislation, the rural elite would nullify the effects of such legislation.


Utsa Patnaik recalled how she wrote to Comrade PS raising some questions regarding rent after reading his pamphlet 'On Land Question' and how meticulously he answered her questions. She also recalled how Rajendra Prasad arranged a meeting with Comrade PS in Delhi during Emergency when he was underground to further discuss these issues.  




Mallu Swarajyam at the meeting


Among others who spoke included veteran Telangana armed struggle participant and CPI(M) central committee member Mallu Swarajyam and CPI secretariat member S Sudhakar Reddy. P M S Grewal, CPI(M) Delhi state secretary and Dr M Babu Rao, CPI(M) Lok Sabha member from Andhra Pradesh were seated on the dais. The meeting was chaired by V Sreenivasa Rao, CPI(M) central secretariat member. Jan Natya Manch group artistes later staged a play.