Skip to main content

This Maoist justified US, western Europe's anti-Soviet stance, even Bhindranwale

By Harsh Thakor* 

A glaring example of the extent to which those seeking to identify themselves as revolutionaries can go in making odd compromises with those normally considered as “class enemies” in Marxist jargon is late Kondapalli Seetharamiah. Few know that this Maoist organiser two decades ago was so enamoured by the Chinese three worlds theory that he called for a united front with the United States and other western countries against what he considered Soviet social imperialism!
This wasn’t the only “compromise” Seetharamiah made during his career as a revolutionary. On Punjab he took a most eclectical stand of supporting Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, thus soft-pedalling the terrorist Khalistani movement. Among his other opportunist alliances, about which few are aware of, include support to the Akalis in Punjab, on one hand, and the NTR Telugu Desam regime in Andhra Pradesh, on the other – all part of his anti-Congress thrust.
Also known as KS, this Maoist started his career as a leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI), switched over CPI (Marxist-Leninist), and became a leader of the CPI (ML)’s People’s War Group (PWG) in 1980, which tried to spark armed struggle in Andhra Pradesh. He was expelled from PWG in 1992, and died on April 12, 2002 after suffering from Parkinson's disease.
Born in a middle class family in Linguwaram village, Guduvada Taluk, KS initially fought feudal oppression in Krishna district, organizing the youth and rural peasants. One who took part in the Telengana armed struggle, he also organized cultural units to enact plays like “Moa Bhoomi” (My land) and :Mundadugu” (Move Forward). An intensive campaigner, he withstood the police, which tried to implicate him in conspiracy cases.
A top supporter of CPI (ML) leader Charu Mazumdar, KS wrote extensively on agrarian revolution, how to work in urban areas, how to form united front, and the caste question etc. He tried to apply the Chinese experience on the Indian terrain, and said that unlike China, the Indian state had a centraIised character, which made it far more difficult to create base areas in the countryside. He believed that there was a need to build not one but several guerilla zones in villages with the aim of creating a countryside upsurge.
According Dr V Sreenivas, a scholar who has studied various streams of Communist movement, during the Emergency KS “boldly launched a crusade confronting fascism. He gave a definitive guideline on how to construct a wide mass base by integrating with the masses and on maintaining strict technical precautions.”
After the Maoist suffered major setbacks in Srikakulam and Naxalbari, KS lived underground, trying to educate the cadre on the need to build a guerilla zone to take the struggle to a higher level. Rearrested in Hyderabad, he escaped from the Osmania hospital and tried to organise struggles in Warangal and Nizamabad districts.
KS was formed several mass organisations like the the Radical Youth League, the Radical Students Union and the Jana Natya Mandali. In Jagtiyal, in 1978, he was instrumental in launching struggles to boycott landlords. The main issues he addressed included abolition of paid labour and increase of agricultural wages. 
KS was instrumental in establishing Praja Panchayats or people’s courts, where landlords were sought to e tried in public gatherings and peasants would displayred flags on occupied waste and government lands under the landlords’ occupation. As many as 30,000 people from 152 villages attended one such demonstration in Jagtiyal, which invited unprecedented police repression.
The Andhra Pradesh Radical Students Union under KS’ guidance tried to illuminate the Maoist political line of Naxalbari as well as the Chinese revolution, organised Go To Villages campaigns between 1978 and 1985, sought to pursue the ideology of agrarian revolution.
KS organised miners of Singakeri, where he countered economism. They went on strike in April 18, 1981, opposing a British time law which entailed reduction of eight day wages for one day strike. It spread like wildfire to other mines of the neighbouring areas. Firing took place in Indravelli, where workers foiled the police bid by staging a mammoth public meeting following an agitation for 56 days.
Late filmmaker Sagar Sarhadi, late student activist Kartik Pannalal, Punjabi revolutionary cultural leader Amolak Singh, journalist Bernard De Mello, veteran revolutionary Sunder Navalkar from Mumbai and Professor Amit Bhattacharya, among others, have spoken volumes about the contribution of the PWG under KS.
*Freelance journalist


S Deman said…
Quite educational chronolgyvand analysis


Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

Stagnating wages since 2014-15: Economists explain Modi legacy for informal workers

By Our Representative  Real wages have barely risen in India since 2014-15, despite rapid GDP growth. The country’s social security system has also stagnated in this period. The lives of informal workers remain extremely precarious, especially in states like Jharkhand where casual employment is the main source of livelihood for millions. These are some of the findings presented by economists Jean Drèze and Reetika Khera at a press conference convened by the Loktantra Bachao 2024 campaign. 

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Joblessness, saffronisation, corporatisation of education: BJP 'squarely responsible'

Counterview Desk  In an open appeal to youth and students across India, several student and youth organizations from across India have said that the ruling party is squarely accountable for the issues concerning the students and the youth, including expensive education and extensive joblessness.

Following the 3000-year old Pharaoh legacy? Poll-eve Surya tilak on Ram Lalla statue

By Sukla Sen  Located at a site called Abu Simbel in Nubia, Upper Egypt, the eponymous rock temples were created in 1244 BCE, under the orders of Pharaoh Ramesses II (1303-1213 BC)... Ramesses II was fond of showcasing his achievements. It was this desire to brag about his victory that led to the planning and eventual construction of the temples (interestingly, historians say that the Battle of Qadesh actually ended in a draw based on the depicted story -- not quite the definitive victory Ramesses II was making it out to be).

India's "welcome" proposal to impose sin tax on aerated drinks is part of to fight growing sugar consumption

By Amit Srivastava* A proposal to tax sugar sweetened beverages like tobacco in India has been welcomed by public health advocates. The proposal to increase sin taxes on aerated drinks is part of the recommendations made by India’s Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian on the upcoming Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the parliament of India.