New Delhi: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday expressed grief over demise of former Maoist ideologue and revolutionary balladeer Gummadi Vittal Rao, popularly known as Gaddar.
Congress President in a tweet wrote, “Gummadi Vittal Rao will remain a hope for the aspirations of the weakest sections.
“His poetry, passionate songs and activism espousing the cause of social justice shall always be a source of inspiration for Telangana and its people.
“We express our deepest condolences on his passing away, and our thoughts are with his family and followers,” Kharge said.
Rahul Gandhi in his tweet wrote: “Saddened to hear about the demise of Gummadi Vittal Rao, Telangana’s iconic poet, balladeer and fiery activist.
“His love for the people of Telangana drove him to fight tirelessly for the marginalised. May his legacy continue to inspire us all,” he said.
Expressing grief, Priyanka in a tweet wrote, “Saddened to hear about the passing of Gummadi Vittal Rao garu, the iconic poet and relentless activist.”
She said his unwavering dedication to social causes and the fight for Telangana’s statehood was truly inspiring.
“Gaddar ji’s powerful verses echoed the aspirations of millions, leaving an indelible mark on our hearts. May his legacy continue to ignite the flames of change. Rest in peace, Gaddar garu,” Vadra added.
Congress MP and party’s Communications in-charge, Jairam Ramesh in a tweet wrote, “The one and only Gaddar —revolutionary poet, balladeer, folk singer and activist who electrified audiences in Telangana especially, has just passed away. His fiercely passionate commitment to social justice was legendary.
“I recall my many interactions with him and would always be struck by his charisma and moved by the saga of his struggles,” he said.
The former Maoist ideologue passed away in Hyderabad on Sunday after a brief illness. He was 74.
Gaddar breathed his last at a private hospital, where he was admitted 10 days ago after suffering a cardiac arrest. He is survived by his wife Vimala and a son and a daughter. His another son Chandrudu had passed away in 2003.
Born in a Dalit family at Toopran in Medak district in 1949, Gaddar’s original name was Gummadi Vittal Rao but he became popular with his stage name Gaddar.
He was a revolutionary singer and a sympathiser of Naxalism, right from his days at the Osmania University Engineering College. He actively participated in the Telangana agitation in 1969-70s and lent his voice to many songs in support of the movement.
He became popular as a ‘people’s singer’ with his revolutionary songs, highlighting people’s problems. He also acted in Telugu films ‘Maa Bhoomi’ and ‘Rangula Kala’. In ‘Maa Bhoomi’, he sang ‘Bandenka Bandi Katti’, which became a popular song.
He went underground in the 1980s and founded Jana Natya Mandali, a travelling theatre group. Known for his soulful, melodious folk songs with simple lyrics, Gaddar attracted people, especially the youth, towards Maoist ideology.