Three years back, on May 5, 2019, we lost a bright star of the revolutionary cultural movement of India and a dear comrade, Com. Rama Rao, then President of AP Arunodaya and Co-convenor of All India cultural organizations’ co-ordination. He was a member of the AP Provincial Committee of CPI (ML)-New Democracy.
On his death anniversary while we recall his revolutionary legacy and his contribution to revolutionary cultural movement, his absence is acutely felt especially in view of all round cultural attacks launched by ruling Hindutva forces on the people’s culture especially its composite nature and progressive aspects.
He contributed much to people’s cultural movement especially struggle against class exploitation and social oppression. When ruling Hindutva forces i.e. RSS-BJP are mounting heinous attacks against minorities especially Muslims and against Dalits, there is urgent need to strengthen resistance to ruling fascists. Cultural resistance is an extremely important aspect of this resistance. Ruling fascists have embarked on erasing all symbols and suppressing all resistance to their anti-people fascist rule in the service of imperialists and domestic reactionaries. Com. Rama Rao contributed much to this resistance. Let us strengthen this resistance in cultural field. That is a meaningful homage to one who devoted all his life to building such a resistance.
We are giving here homage paid to him by Central Committee on CPI(ML)-New Democracy.
Homage to Com. Rama Rao, a Pillar of the Revolutionary Cultural Movement
On May 5, 2019 at about 2 PM, a leading figure of the Revolutionary Cultural Movement in the country breathed his last in Hyderabad. He had suffered a stroke on May 4 and was rushed to a hospital. However, the next day, while in hospital, he suffered another attack and collapsed. Com. Rama Rao was President of Arunodaya Andhra Pradesh and Co-convenor of the All India Co-ordination Committee of Cultural Organizations. Com. Rama Rao was a member of the Andhra Pradesh Provincial Committee of CPI(ML)-New Democracy.
Central Committee of CPI(ML)-New Democracy pays its homage to the revolutionary memory of Com. Rama Rao. His untimely death is a big loss to the communist revolutionary movement, particularly to the revolutionary cultural movement.
Com. Rama Rao was born on July 1, 1955 in Mulgavali village in Kurnool District. From early life he became active in the revolutionary movement. Cultural work attracted him since childhood. Gifted with a melodious voice and developing the art of modulating with ease, grace and on a wide scale, Com. Rama Rao was easily one of the best singers of revolutionary songs. He also penned a number of revolutionary songs and plays.
Com. Rama Rao from his childhood, sensitive as he was, reacted to the class and caste oppression in his village and the area. He was among the first educated in his community. He belonged to an oppressed section.
Drawn to the revolutionary movement he got involved in the state wide revolutionary cultural work when he came in contact with Com. Kanuri Venkateshwar Rao. His grooming in performing art though predates his involvement in revolutionary culture and he was known in the area for his rendering of traditional songs.
Since 1974, he started singing and writing revolutionary songs, artfully depicting the reality of oppression and will to struggle. Com. Rama Rao was one of the founders of Arunodaya Cultural Federation when it was formed.
Com. Rama Rao remained, throughout his life, steadfast in his commitment to the revolutionary movement and committed to leading people’s struggles while mainly serving the movement through his contribution to cultural work.
Despite ups and downs in the revolutionary movement, his resolve and determination knew no wavering. He was among the few well known revolutionary cultural figures who were neither attracted by lure of lucre nor of power though ruling class parties and establishment had embarked on drawing a number of good and known artists from the revolutionary cultural movement into the commercial world. Revolutionaries in AP, Telengana and rest of the country salute his consistency, resolve and steadfastness.
Com. Rama Rao had a lifelong commitment to revolutionary mass line. He never wavered from this and remained resolute against both revisionism and right and ‘left’ deviations. He waged continuous battle against deviations from revolutionary mass line both in cultural and political fields. Like true revolutionary he always kept his commitment to revolution above every other relation.
Com. Rama Rao’s life partner, Com. Aruna is a professional revolutionary. She is an organizer of working class and has worked specially among bidi workers. She is a member of the IFTU Telengana State Committee. Com. Aruna is a member of Hyderabad DC of the Party.
Com. Rama Rao’s untimely death is an irreparable loss to the revolutionary cultural movement particularly at a time when ruling classes’ Hindutva fascist offensive is doing everything to attack people’s culture. This offensive has a very strong cultural aspect as Hindutva forces camouflage their fascist offensive under ‘cultural nationalism’. At this time revolutionary forces have a very important and urgent task of confronting this reactionary, fascist offensive in culture.
Com. Rama Rao had much to contribute and his absence will be sorely felt. When some revolutionary cultural organizations set up an All India Co-ordination, he was chosen its Co-convenor. Though he mainly worked in Telengana and Andhra (parts of erstwhile AP), he rendered help in training cultural activists in a number of states, Odisha and UP in recent past, where comrades fondly remember him not only as an outstanding performer but also as a patient and helpful teacher.
The true homage to this departed comrade would be to strengthen the revolutionary movement, particularly revolutionary cultural movement, for which he lived and worked, he sang and wrote. It was in his life, in his every breath. Let us rise to the occasion, convert sadness into commitment and strength.
Com. Rama Rao, Lal, Lal, Laal Salam!
Central Committee, CPI(ML)-New Democracy
May 6, 2019