People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
July 16, 2006
‘United Movements, Real Homage
To Comrade Koratala’
M Venugopala Rao
B V Raghavulu and other leaders paying homage to Comrade Koratala at a commemoration meeting
LEADERS of the Left parties asserted that building united movements of the Left parties and continuing to work for the realisation of the ideal for which Comrade Koratala Satyanarayana, former member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), struggled throughout his political life is the real homage that can be paid to him. Addressing a commemoration meeting organised by the state committee of the CPI(M) on July 9 at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram in Hyderabad, they recollected the immense contribution made by Comrade Koratala to the Communist movement and movements of the mass organisations. They garlanded the portrait of Comrade Koratala and paid him homage amidst resounding slogans. The meeting observed one minute silence paying respect to the departed leader. Sarampally Mallareddy, state secretariat member of the CPI (M), presided over the meeting.
B V Raghavulu, state secretary and Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M), said Comrade Koratala had refused to record his life, narrate his reminiscences and experiences for the benefit of the present generation and posterity even when requested, after it was detected that he was suffering from cancer. A feeling used to be there among the Communist leaders of the older generation that it would not be proper to talk about their individual role, except about the society and collectivity. Even when they had written about their reminiscences, it would be more like a political and historical book of their time. Raghavulu said it would take some time to compile the life of Comrade Koratala from all angles and requested all those who knew him, his friends and members of his family to contribute articles on Comrade Koratala to enable the Party to bring out a commemoration issue. The life of the first generation Communists was a rainbow of experiences derived from various movements. Participating in the national movement with the spirit of overthrowing the foreign rulers from the country, the first generation leaders had become patriots and imbibed finer values, he explained. Comrade Koratala was one of the leaders who had worked with the same spirit and determination till the end of his life, undergoing difficulties in the Communist movement even in the post-independence period. Comrade Koratala was jailed, had spent underground life and was even kidnapped once and subjected to a lot of hardships.
Comrade Koratala had totally identified himself with the movements of the farmers and handloom weavers. He had a flair for learning till the end of his life. Raghavulu said any movement would go forward, with a combination of experience and the youth. Comrade Koratala was most flexible in his thinking, inclined to learn new things in ideology and used to encourage new experimentation. “If something good had emerged, it should be continued. If something had gone wrong, it should not be repeated. Comrade Koratala used to advocate such a spirit”, Raghavulu said. A great characteristic of Comrade Koratala was his intimacy with the cadres of the Party whom he used to treat with affection. Wherever people’s issues used to crop up, Comrade Koratala used to be in the forefront responding spontaneously to participate in the movements. He was a great asset and inspiration for the movement to move forward even when difficulties had arisen, Raghavulu explained. Comrade Koratala had never compromised on his views, which used to be pointed and clear. He used to stick to collective decisions and give respect for the same. Comrade Koratala had a strong desire to start an alternative medical set-up and wanted the Party to select and train the tribal and dalit youth for providing preventive medical services, Raghavulu said.
Hailing from a landlord family, Comrade Koratala never depended on the Party for money. On the contrary, he had spent his income for the Party. He used to tell that the money of the Party should be spent carefully and with sincerity. He led a simple life till the end. So are the members of his family. Comrade Koratala moulded his family in such a way as to serve the Party. His wife Sitaratnam, though suffering from paralysis, treated the Party and the movement with a helping hand. “The life of Comrade Koratala would give excellent inspiration to all those who try to make a contribution that can be remembered by history and the society”, Raghavulu said. On behalf of the state committee of the Party, Raghavulu conveyed his condolences to the family of Comrade Koratala and paid revolutionary homage to him.
Mallareddy said Comrade Koratala’s contribution to the farming community was great, though he had worked in a number of mass organisations. Whenever the people suffered due to any problem, be it the struggles for the surplus lands of Challapalli Raja, island lands or market prices for agricultural produce, Comrade Koratala used to respond immediately. “Comrade Koratala was a great leader who used to point out the defects in the policies of the government and show alternative ways”, Mallareddy said.
K Narayana, state secretary of the CPI, said Comrade Koratala’s life was intertwined with the struggles of the people for island lands, of the weavers and of the workers. He was one of the leaders who had continued his struggles till the end, believing in pious politics. Comrade Koratala used to take the initiative to solve differences cropped up if any, in the united struggles of the nine Left parties, Narayana said. On many occasions, Comrade Koratala had taken the initiative for consultations and gave valuable advice. His identification with the movement of the handloom weavers was so strong that Comrade Koratala, though bed-ridden at that time, had attended a convention on the problems of the weavers, Narayana recollected.
MCPI leader Bhimireddy Narasimha Redddy recollected his association with Comrade Koratala during the 16-month jail life and in the CPI(M) and termed his death painful. SUCI leader Murahari recollected the concern and love shown by Comrade Koratala in ensuring that proper medicare was provided to the people injured in the police lathicharge and firing during the struggle against hike in power tariff in the state. The kind of values, militancy and path shown by Comrade Koratala should be taken forward, he said. Sriramulu, leader of the CPI(ML), recollected his association with Comrade Koratala till 1968 and the initiative taken by him in bringing together leaders of various political parties on the issues of the farmers. “Comrade Koratala's life and rare character are inspiration to the younger generation”, Subhash, leader of the CPI(ML) Liberation said. K Venkateswara Rao, leader of ML Committee, said Comrade Koratala used to stress on united struggles. He said those in the ML used to treat Comrade Koratala as their leader. Veteran leader of the CPI(M), Parsa Satyanarayana, said there were many things to be told about the experiences he shared with Comrade Koratala during the last fifty years but he was unable to explain the same. Paying revolutionary homage to Comrade Koratala, Parsa said that Communist values should be upheld till the end. Industrialist K Seshagiri Rao said he had learnt a lot from the experiences of Comrade Koratala. Hymavathy, state secretary of AIDWA, explained how Comrade Koratala used to guide the movement of AIDWA and guided it to forge ahead in the state. In the death of Comrade Koratala, the women’s movement had lost a father figure, she said.
Ravindra, son of Comrade Koratala, announced a donation of Rs 5 lakh to the Party on behalf of their family. Thanking him, Raghavulu announced that the amount would be spent in a befitting manner to uphold the efforts of leaders like Comrade Koratala permanently. V Krishnaiah, general manager of Prajasakti, C Sambi Reddy, secretary of Sundarayya Vignana Kendram, Radhakrishna, son, Girija, daughter, and Satyavathi, daughter-in-law, of Comrade Koratala were on the dias.