Sunday, January 8, 2012

Belli Lalitha

Sridhar :

Com. Belli Lalitha was the co-convenor of Telangana Kala Samithiand the leader of Dol Debba and a very popular people's singer. Shewas murdered in the most gruesome manner by hacking her to 17pieces on May 26, 1999. This was done by the black gangs formedwith full state support to crush the revolutionary movement especially the legal activities of the revolutionary and progressive massorganizations in Andhra Pradesh. Chandrababu Naidu had resortedto one of the most repressive measures for about nine years of hisregime, not only on the Naxalite movement but on any kind ofopposition to his World Bank dictated policies. Lalitha's murder wasthe third murder by the black gang of Nayeem with the full backing ofthe notorious AP intelligence and the Home minister Madhava Reddy not to mention the CMhimself.Lalitha's murder created tremors in all the progressive and democratic sections of AndhraPradesh. Her body was hacked into 17 pieces and all the parts were thrown away in differentwells and lakes around Bhongir. The ruling classes had propagated lies to cover up thismurder by saying that she had gone to meet the PW squads and that the parts did not belongto her body. They had even released a forgery letter in her name which tried to portray thePW leaders in their worst avatars. Finally all the lies were exposed nakedly and there are veryfew instances where the wrath of the people had been directed against the government onsuch a vast scale. People turned out in thousands to pay homage and to express their deepanger and hatred against the government in the funeral of this nightingale of Telangana.When Madhava Reddy was later killed in a mine blast by the PW guerillas in 2000 and thattoo on the eve of March 8, the International Women's Day, the joy of the people knew nobounds. For, he was not only one of the most brutal Home ministers of AP who had killedhundreds of revolutionaries but also was behind Lalitha's murder. The people felt that it was afitting homage to kill him on the eve of March 8 avenging Lalitha's murder.Lalitha belonged to Bhongir area which was the constituency of Madhava Reddy too. Sheworked in the Suryavanshi Cotton Mills in Bhongir as a worker and participated actively inorganizing them. She was the leader of the Golla Kurma caste organization Dol Debba which
fought for their upliftment. She was an extraordinary singer who could mesmerize and rousethe people with her booming voice and lively expressions. She joined the Telangana KalaSamithi which worked in the cultural field for Separate Telangana state. She gaveprogrammes all over South Telangana propagating this demand. The ruling classes areagainst this democratic demand of the people of Telangana and so the popularity of Lalithaand the politics she was propagating for Separate Telangana frightened them. They wereafraid that her popularity would turn into physical force of the people. So they resorted toeliminating the popular leaders and Lalitha was a prime target.The ruling classes thought that they could terrorize the people and disperse them with suchheinous acts, but just the opposite happened. Lalitha's murder had united many sections ofthe people. A struggle committee was formed at the state level for justice in this case andthey took up many protest programmes involving thousands of people.Lalitha's songs will forever reverberate in the Telangana villages giving voice to their agoniesand ecstasies. She had carved a niche in the hearts of the people as one of the most popularpeople's singers this country had ever produced and that too as a female artiste. Her beautifulface and voice will forever remain etched in the collective memory of the AP people