ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Return of Political Killings

Ganti Prasadam

Assassinated by the enemies of the people on 4 July in Nellore, Ganti Prasadam's legacy, which has taken root in the political culture of the Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh, will grow and bear fruit.

Assassinated by the enemies of the people on 4 July in Nellore, Ganti Prasadam’s legacy, which has taken root in the political culture of the Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh, will grow and bear fruit.

With the assassination of Ganti Prasadam, a popular Maoist ideologue, trade unionist, writer and public speaker, on 4 July in Nellore, the state seems to have thought it has succeeded in intimidating those who question its brutalities. The horrifying murder might have been planned as a threat to all those involved in public activity through democratic forums. However, on his deathbed – with two surgeries to remove the three bullets that had pierced his abdomen and spinal cord, and to treat the deep wound on his neck, the result of being hacked with a coconut knife – Prasadam said that the assassins may be able to kill him, but his spirit would not die. Thus, the assassins and those behind them failed. The fact that Prasadam’s persistent spirit lived on in the movement was proved in the massive and spirited funeral procession a day later at Bobbili town, 750 kms away from the place of assassination. Ganti Prasadam’s life stands as an example of human diversity and versatility, and his death, of the violence and viciousness which the state has encouraged and nurtured against its opponents. For more than 45 years of the 64 years of his life, he worked both in legal, open, democratic as well as clandestine organisations. He was implicated in more than a dozen cases (in most of which he was acquitted) and spent about three years in various jails. Beginning his political life as a trade union organiser in Bobbili town in Srikakulam (currently in Vizianagaram) district in 1972, his activities extended to almost all social spheres and spread across the state – among students, youths, writers, workers, relatives and friends of those killed and in the party, the underground alternative press and the democratic rights movement, as also among political prisoners. At the time of his death, he was honorary president of the Amarula Bandhu Mitrula Sangham (ABMS, the Association of Relatives and Friends of Martyrs), Andhra Pradesh (AP), all-India vice president of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and executive member of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP). Born into a middle-class brahmin family of Chakarapalle in Balijapet mandal in 1949, Prasadam had his education in Bobbili. At a young and impressionable age at the time of the Srikakulam struggle, he came under its influence as he finished his graduation in 1970. The town was one of the first industrial centres in the region with thousands of workers in sugar and jute mills and vibrant trading activity. By 1972, Prasadam became an important activist in the town and founded the Kalasi Sangham (porters’ union).

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