Gaddar’s last rites conducted with state honours, KCR pays last respects
A police contingent offered a gun salute as a mark of respect as the last rites were conducted with state honours at Alwal on the city outskirts
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao paid his last respects to revolutionary balladeer Gaddar who was buried with state honours in Hyderabad on Monday night.
Hundreds of people bid tearful adieu to the people’s singer who passed away on Sunday following a brief illness.
A police contingent offered a gun salute as a mark of respect as the last rites were conducted with state honours at Alwal on the city outskirts.
Family members, friends and a large number of Gaddar’s followers and fans attended the funeral at Mahaboodhi Vidyalaya, a school established by Gaddar at Alwal.
Slogans of 'Gaddar amer rahe', and 'Jai Bheem' rent the air as Gaddar’s son Srikanth participated in the rituals conducted in accordance with the Buddhist faith. Leaders of different political parties, people’s organisations, eminent people from various walks of life, activists, artists and fans paid their last respects to the former Maoist ideologue, who had given up Maoist ideology and turned an Ambedkarite in 2017.
The Chief Minister paid his last respects to Gaddar at his house in Alwal and consoled the family members.
Calling Gaddar a proud son of Telangana who had dedicated his life for people, KCR had decided to conduct his last rites with official honours.
Gaddar’s mortal remains were brought to Alwal from LB Stadium in the heart of the city, where it was kept since Saturday evening to enable people to pay their last respects. Former Chief Justice of India Justice N. V. Ramana, ministers, leaders of various parties, film personalities, poets, writers, those who had participated in Telangana movement with Gaddar and artists paid their last respects.
Union Minister of Tourism and Culture and Telangana BJP President G. Kishan Reddy, Telangana Assembly Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, state ministers A. Indrakaran Reddy, T. Srinivas Yada, E. Dayakar Rao, Sabitha Indra Reddy, Andhra Pradesh minister Botsa Satyanarayana, Congress leader incharge of Telangana Manikrao Thakare, and state Congress chief A. Revanth Reddy were among those who paid their respects.
Veteran actor Mohan Babu, story writer Parachuri Gopalakrishna, actors Niharika, Ali, director N. Shankar and others paid their homage. The funeral procession, which started from LB Stadium, stopped enroute at Telangana Martyrs’ Memorial near the Assembly building for some time. Large number of people participated in the procession. Folk artists were seen leading the procession singing the popular songs of Gaddar. After passing through different parts of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, the procession reached his house in Alwal.
Gaddar passed away here on Sunday, after a brief illness. He was 77. He was a revolutionary singer and a sympathiser of Maoism, right from his days at the Osmania University Engineering College. He actively participated in the Telangana agitation in 1969-70s and lent his voice for many songs in support of the movement. He became popular as a "people’s singer" with his revolutionary songs fighting against exploitation and highlighting the people’s problems.
Known for his soulful, melodious folk songs with simple lyrics, Gaddar attracted people, especially youth, towards Maoist ideology. He also acted in Telugu films "Maa Bhoomi" and "Rangula Kala". In "Maa Bhoomi", he sang "Bandenka Bandi Katti" which has become a popular song. He went underground in the 1980s and founded Jana Natya Mandali, a travelling theatre group. The group later became the cultural wing of the CPI-ML People’s War, which merged with Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) in 2004 to form the CPI-Maoist.
Gaddar had escaped an assassination bid in 1997. Unidentified men had shot him at his residence on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Though he survived the attack, he still had a bullet in his spinal cord. He had blamed police and the then Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government for the assassination attempt.
In the first-ever direct talks between then Andhra Pradesh government and People’s War in 2004, Gaddar along with revolutionary writers and poets Varavara Rao and Kalyan Rao, had acted as emissaries for the Maoists. During his stint with the Maoist party, Gaddar strongly campaigned against electoral politics and called for a boycott of elections. In 2017, he gave up Maoism and declared himself Ambedkarite.
Gaddar subsequently enrolled himself as a voter the same year and for the first time in his life, he cast his vote in 2018.