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

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Gaddar (1949–2023)

A Cultural Revolutionary in the Struggle for Social Transformation

Gaddar was a remarkable artist who used his music and literature to transform society and raise awareness about people’s rights. His social background gave him a deep insight into oppression of all kinds and how to challenge them effectively. By combining art with a revolutionary ideology, the impact of his life and work will continue to resonate for generations in the Telugu-speaking regions and beyond.

In the capacity of a Dalit female activist, I am compelled to write this piece having closely observed Gaddar’s involvement in the Telangana movement since 2009. Gaddar, with his remarkable artistic talents, has significantly contributed to social transformation, enlightening individuals about their rights through his music and literature. His work has stirred both the literate and illiterate alike, motivating them to advocate for their rights. While he faced criticism for shifting his stance from advocating armed struggle to supporting the Telangana movement and engaging with issues related to caste, it is my personal belief that constructive criticism should not overshadow one’s societal contributions. I hold the viewpoint that Gaddar confronted discrimination stemming from his untouchable caste background. However, I would argue that precisely because of his caste background and first-hand experience with discrimination, he possessed a deep understanding of oppression and was able to communicate and address it effectively.

Presently, the reality is not confined to theoretical critiques, but rather the tangible impact of Gaddar’s influence as people mobilise and organise in every corner of the Telugu-speaking regions and across India where his reach extends. The perspective through which I view Gaddar’s role is not solely that of a great singer but as an individual who harmoniously combines artistry with a profound ideology. He serves as a connecting force, allowing the message of revolution to resonate with the masses. A revolution remains incomplete unless there exists a medium through which it can engage and be understood by the people.

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Updated On : 10th Oct, 2023
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