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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


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