Veteran communist revolutionary leader, former member of AP State Committee of CPI(ML)-New Democracy and former secretary of the party’s Prakasam District Committee, Com. Pandu Ranga Rao, breathed his last on May 30th, 2014 at his residence in Palukuru village in Prakasam district after a prolonged illness. Central Committee and APPC of CPI(ML)-New Democracy expressed condolences at the death of Com. Pandu Ranga Rao and paid homage to his revolutionary legacy, his untiring efforts throughout his active life for New Democratic Revolution in India.
Com. Pandu Ranga Rao was born on 25.9.1940 in Rajampeta village in Kadapa district to Shri Ramdas and Ms. Mangamma. He was 7th among 12 children of the couple. His father was a indigenous village doctor and was unable to support his family with his meagre income. Com. Pandu studied SSLC at Rajampet village. His family shifted to Nellore for livelihood. Com. Pandu did some small works to earn some money and in the process he came in contact with CPI. He was influenced by communist ideas and became a wholetimer. CPI entrusted him with the responsibility of working among rickshaw workers, beedi workers and among youth. Later he became a town committee member. In this initial period he was much influenced by Dr. P. Ramachandra Reddy (brother of P. Sundarayya).
When after death of Com. Stalin, Khrushchev came out with his revisionist politics, differences developed in the communist movement. Like others, Com. Pandu opposed Khrushchev’s revisionist politics and in 1964 split in CPI, Com. Pandu sided with CPI(M).
With the Naxalbari armed peasant struggle, revolutionary garb of CPI(M) was torn and it was exposed as a revisionist party. Communist Revolutionaries opposed CPI(M) leadership’s neo-revisionist politics, revolted against it and formed revolutionary communist party, CPI(ML).
At this time, Srikakulam Girijan Peasant Armed Struggle burst forth. Party leadership which was leading Srikakulam movement gave a call to participate in armed struggle. Responding to this call, Com. Pandu and Com. Puliramakrishnaiah joined the Srikakulam girijan movement in January 1969. He worked as a squad commander in Gangannadoravalasa and Neelakanthapuram areas. He was taken into Girijan Agency Committee.
Because of left adventurist line, this movement was progressively becoming weak. Com. Pandu concluded that the movement will not advance with that line. He left agency area after a year. For various reasons some more comrades working in agency area from Nellore and Guntur left the agency area and reached Nellore. By 1970 differences had developed in CPI(ML). Comrades who had worked in agency area discussed their experiences. They opposed left adventurist line particularly the line of individual annihilation of class enemies. They also concluded that to draw the people into mass struggles, mass organizations should be formed. They at the same time favoured formation and continuation of squads in the forest areas. They formed a squad with militants and sent it to Nellamala forest but that squad did not sustain for long.
To implement the tasks decided upon by them, these comrades formed Rayalaseema Regional Committee. They conducted unity discussions with Kondapalli Seetharamaiah and Rawoof but did not agree with their assessment then that Sirkakulam movement had suffered setbacks because line of individual annihilation was not fully implemented. Later these comrades held unity discussions with Com. Pyla Vasudev Rao. After discussions on ideological, political and tactical issues, they reached broad unity and joined the organization led by Com. PV. Com. Pandu Ranga Rao also participated in unity discussions between Com. S.N. Singh and Com. C.P. Reddy.
In 1974 Com. Pandu Ranga Rao was arrested from Palukuru village and kept in Vishakhapatnam Central Jail. He was one of the accused in Parvatipuram conspiracy case. He was convicted by lower court and sentenced to life imprisonment but the High Court acquitted him. After acquittal he was released in 1979. After his release, Com. Pandu Ranga Rao married a dalit widow who had two children.
On his release, Com. Pandu was co-opted in PC and was elected as a PCM in 1980 State Conference of the Party. He worked as Prakasam district secretary for some time. Com. Pandu was disheartened with splits in the organization and the kind of propaganda accompanying these. His health also declined. His activities got limited to his village and nearby villages.
Com. Pandu Ranga Rao was elected AP state president of IFTU in 3rd state conference held in Nizamabad in 1985. He also worked as a member of IFTU National Committee for several years. In the 4th state conference of IFTU in Eluru, he was relieved from IFTU.
Com. Pandu Ranga Rao throughout his life worked for the victory of new democratic revolution. He was steadfast in his opposition to revisionism, right deviation and left adventurism and upheld revolutionary mass line. He led a simple life and followed communist ideals. He always gave prime importance to people’s interests and party’s interests rather than individual or family interests.
After the death of his wife, Narasamma, his health declined. In 2006 he suffered from kidney problems. He suffered a stroke in 2012 but gradually recovered. Despite such serious health problems, he never deviated from revolutionary orientation or working for people’s issues. After prolonged illness Com. Pandu Ranga Rao passed away at 4:30 AM on 30th May, 2014.
Red Salute to Com. Pandu Ranga Rao!