Home Breaking News Voice of Telangana: Renowned Folk Singer Gaddar’s Lyrical Journey Ends at 77

Voice of Telangana: Renowned Folk Singer Gaddar’s Lyrical Journey Ends at 77


A voice of the poor and oppressed, Gaddar fought for Telangana’s rights through song and rebellion. His immense impact in folk culture and the political landscape of Telangana will be revered for generations to come.

Gaddar: A Revolutionary Beginning

Born as Gummadi Vittal Rao in Toopran, Medak district, Gaddar’s humble beginnings within a poor Dalit family shaped his identity and social perspective. His father, having encountered the influential Babasaheb Ambedkar, fostered Gaddar’s education.

Gaddar enrolled in an engineering course in Hyderabad, only to be swayed by the revolutionary ideologies of the Dalit Panthers and the Naxalbari movement. His life took a dramatic turn in the 1980s, as he chose an underground life, remaining loyal to his ideologies as a cultural activist. 

Despite his underground activity, Gaddar could not be silenced. His return to the mainstream was emboldened by his experiences from living amid the downtrodden and oppressed. Dressed in his iconic dhoti, red shawl, and carrying a wooden staff, Gaddar began to use his voice and his pen as his primary tools of rebellion.

Folk songs penned by Gaddar, like ‘Bandenaka bandi katti’ in the 1979 film ‘Maa Bhoomi’, resonated with the masses. These songs were not mere entertainment; they were calls for unity and change, symbolic of the statehood movement that was beginning to gain momentum.

Gaddar’s ‘praja yuddha nouka’ (warship of people’s agitations) propelled the Telangana movement, echoing the vision of statehood across the region. His song ‘Podustunna Poddu Meeda Nadustunna Kaalama Poru Telanganama’ was instrumental in aligning the masses towards the cause.

Gaddar’s Final Chapter

Gaddar’s final years were marked by his distinctive clean-shaven look and western clothes, a stark contrast to his earlier appearance. He retained his activism, expressing his viewpoints at various political events. He attended a public Congress meeting addressed by Rahul Gandhi in July, from which he did not shy away from expressing his views.

Despite launching his own political party, ‘Gaddar Praja Party’, illness prevented him from advancing in his political career. His last appearance was marked by his affectionate exchange with Rahul Gandhi, where he warmly hugged and kissed the Congress stalwart.

At the age of 77, Gaddar passed away due to a heart-related ailment. His death was a great loss to Telangana, leaving a gaping hole that no one can fill. Condolences poured in from dignitaries across India, including V. Naidu, M. Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, and various leaders from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Top film personalities like mega-star Chiranjeevi expressed their grief and paid their respects. Chiranjeevi aptly said, “The vacuum caused by the demise of Gaddar in people’s literature and people’s struggles would never be filled.”


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