Thursday, April 25, 2024

Madhava Reddy, man with a mission

A book review

Some politicians live for the day. Some leaders visualise glorious future for the next generation. Cheruku Madhava Reddy (1924-1990) was such a great personality who has been regarded as a staunch Socialist, great thinker, and unwavering democrat in public life.

Mehak Hyderabadi

Reddy, a two-time Member of Parliament from Adilabad in the undivided Andhra Pradesh, was a foremost Socialist of old guard. He got elected to parliament on Socialist party ticket from Adilabad in the very first general elections held in 1952, later represented the same seat in 1984 from Telugu Desam Party. He was also elected to Boath Assembly constituency of Adilabad District in 1962.

Reddy was born in Arepelli of Adilabad District into agricultural family. After finishing M.A. from Osmania University, he plunged into active politics by joining Socialist Party. During his four-decade chequered political career he associated with a number of parties viz Socialist party, Praja Socialist Party, Indian National Congress, Janata Party and finally with Telugu Desam Party.

A staunch advocate for Telangana Statehood, Madhava Reddy categorically rejected the merger of Telugu speaking areas of the then Hyderabad State with the Andhra State to form a linguistic Andhra Pradesh in 1956. During a discussion in Lok Sabha held in 1955 he gave a spirited speech to convince the Centre.

Madhava Reddy rubbed shoulders with Socialist Stalwarts like Jaiprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, Acharya Narendra Deva. He also closely associated with Former Presidents V.V.Giri, Giani Zail Singh, former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh NT Rama Rao.

Depicting developments in the erstwhile Hyderabad State elaborately Madhava Reddy wrote a book entitled “Hyderabad Ki Awami Jang” in Urdu which was published by Lajpat Rai and Sons, Delhi way back in 1948. Mehak Hyderabadi, a prolific translator and retired journalist brought this book in Telugu entitled “Hyderabad Praja Samaram”. Nizam’s Despotic regime strangled free speech, writings and book publication activities and also curtailed independent media thus forcing the writer to publish his work in Delhi press.

This 74-year old work sheds light on the Nizam’s tyranny that followed unabated 13 months in the Hyderabad State after attaining freedom. The then princely state witnessed tumultuous disturbances as Indian National Congress spearheaded peaceful movement for an Accountable, Popular government in the Hyderabad State, which was opposed by the Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen(MIM) tooth and nail. This book depicts heinous atrocities unleashed by Razakars, who were armed and aided by the Nizam Government.

As a true believer of democracy,  Madhava Reddy always preached and followed Swarajya principles to fulfil people’s hopes and aspirations. He categorically rejected continuation Asaf Jahi’s ruling in any form or by installing a puppet-feudal Government supported by a handful Jagirdars in Hyderabad State.

Madhava Reddy likened MIM as a “facist” party and questioned its legitimacy to rule over majority section of the society in the State. He made a painstaking effort to drive his point how democracy is quintessence to march towards path of development in the modern societies, and had not minced words to expose the “diabolical” propaganda of Majlis leadership. He quoted certain parts of original speeches and comments, allegedly made by the Majlis’ chief Kasim Razvi that were provoking in nature, and triggered tensions between Hindus and Muslims.

Madhava Reddy concluded with a sincere appeal to all educated Muslims to be wary of hollow and misleading slogans of the MIM leadership of the day and tread carefully to sustain a peaceful coexistence with majority community in the Hyderabad State.


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