Iconic Telangana Poet and Revolutionary Singer Gaddar Passes Away at 77
Renowned for his powerful revolutionary songs that echoed through the heartlands of Telangana, the beloved folk singer, and poet Gaddar, born Gummadi Vittal Rao in 1949, breathed his last on Sunday. He was a vital voice during the 1980s and a prominent figure in the Telangana statehood movement. Gaddar, whose given name was Gummadi Vittal Rao, gained immense popularity under his pseudonym ‘Gaddar’.
Gaddar’s indomitable spirit and poignant lyrics struck a chord with countless people. His tireless advocacy for social justice and the downtrodden, especially through his stirring songs, earned him the title of a revolutionary balladeer. On Sunday, he succumbed to age-related health issues at Apollo Spectra Hospital in Hyderabad, where he had been admitted for heart-related problems. Despite undergoing a successful bypass surgery on August 3, his advanced age, coupled with historical lung and urinary issues, led to his passing.
The news of his demise sent shockwaves throughout the region, and thousands thronged to the L B Stadium in Hyderabad to pay their final respects. The renowned poet’s funeral is scheduled for Monday.
A myriad of condolences poured in from political leaders, across the spectrum, and common people alike. Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao were among the many who expressed their grief. Gaddar’s contribution was acknowledged by Congress leaders like Rahul Gandhi, AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, as well as TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu.
Rahul Gandhi, in a heartfelt tweet, acknowledged Gaddar’s unwavering commitment to the people of Telangana and his tireless efforts for the marginalized. He highlighted Gaddar’s legacy as an inspiration to all.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy aptly labelled Gaddar as a revolutionary man whose songs were a powerful medium for advocating social justice and uplifting the oppressed. His songs resonated deeply with the masses and became the anthem of Telangana’s achievement movement.
N Chandrababu Naidu, leader of the TDP, shared his sorrow on Twitter, recognizing Gaddar’s significant role in the public movement and human rights campaigns. He praised the late singer for moving the masses through his music and conveyed his condolences to Gaddar’s family.
Gaddar’s contribution to the attainment of Telangana statehood was unparalleled. His iconic song, “Podustunna Poddu Meeda Nadustunna Kaalama Pooru Telanganama,” became the rallying cry for the statehood movement, inspiring millions to voice their aspirations.
Union Minister and Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy hailed Gaddar’s influence in spreading awareness about various issues. His songs played a pivotal role in igniting the Telangana statehood agitation.
The legendary poet had a history of struggle. Emerging from a background as a former Naxalite, Gaddar’s journey was marked by an underground life, including time spent in the forests. He transitioned into the mainstream and even voted for the first time in the 2018 Telangana Legislative Assembly polls.
Notably, Gaddar had survived an assassination attempt in the 1990s, which left a bullet lodged in his spinal cord, symbolizing his undying dedication to his beliefs.
Gaddar’s words, verses, and activism championing social justice will forever inspire the people of Telangana. His legacy will continue to echo through generations, reminding them of his resolute spirit and the transformative power of music in advocating for change.