Comrade Madhu may be gone but his spirit is not dead and buried and should be resurrected like a lotus blooming to extinguish the poison of Neo-fascism. A crusader for liberation till his last breath.
It is matter of great regret that member of the Central Commitee of the C.P.I.(M.L),Comrade Madhu ,has left us. I or members of streams of the left may have disagreed with his line but unanimously we cherish his great contribution to shaping the Communist revolutionary movement and till the last breath investing every ounce of energy to shimmer the torch of Marxism Leninism Mao thought. It is remarkable how Comrade Madhu sprouted into revolutionary work, being entrapped by poverty. He is an example of a comrade who at every different juncture adapts himself to the given situations and revolves his work accordingly. The fact that he was part of a collective cause as editor of journal ‘Class Struggle’ knitting comrades to overcome obstacles of a splintered party speaks for itself. As member of the central Commitee of the C.P.I.(M.L.) he played a pivotal role in formulating it’s policies and integrating it’s work into the day to day lives of the people. He was editor of journal Class Struggle, at the time of dying.
Madhu was born in poor family in Mahboobnagar and lost his mother at an early age.Madhu studied in high school in Rangapuram in primary school days and in Kalvakori in high school. Undergoing grave economic hardships he served as a government employee, steering his way through completing graduation and joined the law college. He left his law studies to join the revolutionary movement.As a member of the Hyderabad unit of C.P.I(M) he began to study the Marxist classics.Madhu became a leader in the team that published magazine Jeeva Naadi.
Madhu gained his baptism in Communist revolutionary politics as a member of the Communist Party of India(Marxist) in Osmania University when he participated in the revolutionary student agitations. With great enthusiasm he participated in the agitation protesting the Visakha Steel Plant .He composed a set of songs called “Gaddi Pooru’ which meant Hay of Flowers which touched the very core of the soul of masses.
Comrade Madhu was one of the comrades who strived most to sprinkle the seeds of the mass line of Comrade Tarimela Nagi Reddy and DV Rao.After the formation of the Andhra Pradesh Co-ordination Commitee in 1968 he was inducted into the very core combating left adventurist trend. Till 1975 he waged a crusade to confront the opression of the ruling classes and displayed tacit organizational skill in open work.
Madhu formulated a document which combated left sectarian trends in 1972 in the Cultural front.Madhu wrote the document Navodaya Sanskritka Samakhaya which exposed the wrong trends prevailing in Virasam in the pen name of Prakash Rao in Tiraga badu Kakulu published in Warangal. .His work was backed by writer Jwalamukhi,who endorsed Madhu’s concept of broadening the united front and not restricting a mass organization to people adhering ‘Mao thought.’Madhu’s work paved the path of the formation of the People’s Literary and Cultural Federation.
After emergency and the death of Nagi Reddy he courageously carried the baton of the massline being one of the architects of the massline practice of the Unity Center of Communist Revolutionaries of India. Perhaps never in post-naxalbari history was massline practiced at such a magnitude as in 1975-79 or practice of democratic rights movement so correct. In 1979 after the split with comrades like Viswam ,Jaswantha Rao and Anand he launched a tirade against the deviations of DV Rao who upheld China as a socialist Country.After DV’s expulsion Madhu played an important role in guiding the mass organisations which was reflected in the consolidation of the Organization for Protection of democratic Rights and formation of the All India federation of Democratic Rights in Guntur in 1982.In important way sit still challenged wrong trends within civil liberties movement which allowed it as a platform for propagating politics of armed struggle or political ideology.I can’t forget the fact finding reports of OPDR and the regularity of it’s conferences. The formation of Democratic Student’s Organisation in 194 and later Peoples literary Cultural forum and role in shaping massline owe largely to work of Comrades like Madhu.Earlier even comrades from Punjab admired the practice of Democratic Students Organisation and OPDR.
After 1988 sadly Comrade Madhu even with most sincere objectives was critical of the Formation of the Centre of Communist Revolutionaries of India and supported the Comrades who condemned the stream of Comrade Anand within the UCCRI(ML) merging into it with comrades like late Harbhajan Sohi..Nevertheless from 1989-91 Madhu was one of the most vocal comrades in defending the legacy of Socialism and Mao thought steering many a hall meeting exposing the conspiracy of the Western media to project post 1956 Russia as Socialist. or East European countries. He fostered the spirit of unity to develop relations with the K Ramchandran Group supporting Chandra Pulla Reddy line and sections like Pyla Vasudeva Rao and Khonkan Mazumdar.Madhu was one of the prime architects of the C,.P.I.(M.L.) Janshakti in 1992.The aims were no doubt virtuous but ultimately it emerged into a hotch potch ,reflecting a most opportunist unity. Ironically it splinted into many groups from the mid 1990’s .
Comrade Madhu with great conviction thwarted the Chandra Pulla Reddy line fostered by Ramchandran group .Later he established relations with the legendary Kanu Sanyal,who in his view was still one of the most dedicated comrades. In 1998 Madhu’s organisation merged into the C.P.I.(M.L)Unity Initiative with Comrade Arvind Sinha.The merging of the Viswam led UCCRI(ML) into the COI(ML) led by Kanu Sanyal took place in 2001 in which Madhu was major architect. In 2007 it went onto merge with the C.P.I.(M.L.) Red Star group led by K.N.Ramchandran,which like Janashakti was one of the most Opportunist mergers ever. It spilt in 2010.
Towards the end his work managed to establish unity of the C.P.I(M.L) Class Struggle group with the C.P.I(M.L) Janashakti led by Aloke Mukherjee ,inspite of differences on aspect of formation of C.P.I(M.L) in 1969.It was a tribute to Madhu’s non –sectarian nature.
In the last decade the C.P.I.(M.L) has spread out to many areas be it Bihar,Orissa,,Jharkhand,,West Bengal.It’s most notable work has been in the Adivasi front in Orissa ,making major. inroad sin region s like Koraput.At one time a sad phenomena occurred of Maoist squads attacking cadre of the C.P.I.(M.L),around a decade ago. Most consistently the C.P.I.(M.L) has held seminars and rallies confronting saffron Communalism and in recent years on Problems and Challenges of the Communist Movement. I was most impressed with their all India seminar in Hyderabad in 2018, where they fostered spirit of open debate inviting sections from various revolutionary streams. An all India rally was held commemorating Centenary of the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the C.P.I.(M.) was a major participant in the Commemoration of the 50th year of Naxalbari in Silguri in 2017.In recent times it has also made concerted efforts to congruent the threat posed by the NRC-NPR ,with a series of protests all around the country. In all these events Madhu was the equivalent of the main cast of a movie.
It is a tribute that inspite of the loss of former editor Jaswantha Rao last year,four more issues have been published of C.P.I.(M.L) Central organ ‘Class Struggle’. It displayed the relentless spirit of Comrade Madhu.
Throughout his life Madhu played a major role in formulating the path of International line and Internal line, playing the virtual role of a citadel.Madhu had an inborn quality of guiding or moulding cadre and knitting them together.
It is comrades like Madhu who teach us that Ideology of Communism is not extinct, inspite of the victory of Capitalism. With capitalism facing it’s worst crisis when you asess world unemployment ,retrenchment wage-cuts or even Covid situation, one understands the truth of Marxism.Madhu is an ideal illustration that a person is not frustrated pursuing the tortuous road of revolution and inner development is even more crystallised .Madhu’s striving to re-organise or knit the scattered party forces must be admired.However it is a travesty that he could not carry on the journey of the very mass line of which comrades like him sowed the seeds. It is reflection on the inherent weaknesses within the Communist Movement. In a way it is sad that such comrades could not be won over to streams like the Center for Communist Revolutionaries of India and later the Commmunist Party Re-Organization Centre of India (Marxist-Leninist) -who were the main practitioners of the proletarian revolutionary trend. It is major weakness today that a re-organized revolutionary Communist party does not exist and there is no current from below galvanising the forces to knit a splintered party. Whatever rightist deviations we must credit Comrades like Madhu and his organization the C.P.I.(M.L) for being flag bearers of the Communist Revolutionary Contingent. In the obituary almost every section of the Communist revolutionary camp paid Madhu a tribute, ironically apart from the C.P.I.(Maoist and the CPRCI(ML).It is heart touching to read Comrade Viswam’s homage note to Madhu,which reflects the spiritual essence of him as a revolutionary.
Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist. Toured India, particularly Punjab .Written on Mass movements ,,Massline,Maoism on blogs like Democracy and Class Struggle and frontierweekly .An avid cricket lover too who has posted writings on blogs like Pakpassion Indian Cricket Fans and Sulekha.com. Email- email@example.com