Today, 10th of July, 2013, democratic and revolutionary voices from across Delhi came together to condemn the brutal attack and murder of Ganti Prasadam in a protest demonstration at Jantar Mantar. A dastardly murder of a popular trade union leader with a long-standing history of leading the workers’ movement in his home district, Vijiyanaram, a revolutionary leader who stood the ground for the poor – the dalits, adivasis, workers, and all the oppressed and destitute, and a prolific poet and writer who stood tall amongst the people as a tireless voice for the genuine demands of the people, Ganti Prasadam was killed by state sponsored goons on the 4th of July.
Ganti Prasadam was serving as the All India Vice-President of Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and was an Executive Member of the Committee for the Relatives and Friends of Martyrs at the time of his assassination in Nellore. Ganti Prasadam was a post-graduate from Banaras Hindu University in 1960’s, and has ever since remained devoted to the revolutionary movement and its culture as a poet, a writer and a political analyst, besides being a public intellectual. On the 4th of July, a three-member state sponsored vigilante group with pistols and knives attacked him at 3:40 pm in front of a government hospital in Nellore.
He was there to address the annual meeting of the Committee of the Relatives and Friends of Martyrs, which is held every year to commemorate revolutionaries, activists and ordinary people who have lost their lives at the hands of the state in fake encounters or in police custody and missing peoples in the state of Andhra Pradesh as part of people’s movement and revolutionary struggle over the years. After the meeting, he went to the local hospital to meet a family member of a martyr who was hospitalized.
While coming out of this hospital, he was brutally attacked by the three-member assassins’ team of the Andhra Pradesh State Intelligence Bureau with knives and then shot thrice with a pistol at close range. Though he was operated on for hours, the wounds proved fatal and in the early hours of the 5th of July, Prasadam’s life came to an end. The targeting of mass revolutionary leaders in Andhra Pradesh and the criminalizing of people’s activists through fabricated cases and extended incarceration has been common practice of the state government. Over the years, Ganti Prasadam repeatedly faced arrest for upholding genuine people’s movements.
He fought incessantly for the rights of the oppressed masses and political prisoners, particularly adivasis in Odisha and Andhra. Despite the repression he faced, he continued to lead and participate in people’s movement. He also wrote prolifically engaging in contemporary political and literary debates. In the protest demonstration held in Delhi, many democratic and revolutionary organisations and individuals condemned the murder. In this demonstration, Revolutionary Democratic Front’s President Rajkishore exposed the preplanned nature of the assault on him. He reiterated that Ganti Prasadam was not a lone voice but the voice of thousands of people fighting for their genuine demands for jal, jangal, jameen in all parts of the country.
Thousands of people in the past have been attacked in this way over the years and the lives that have been silenced are testimony to the brutality of the Indian State. Banojyotsna of Democratic Students’ Union drew attention to the civil war waged by the Indian State on its own people in the name of Operation Green Hunt. This killing of Ganti Prasadam is an extension of this war on people and reflects the desperation of the Indian State to violently repress all voices of dissent. Mrigank from Naujawan Bharat Sabha stated that the way in which Ganti Prasadam was killed once again reveals the fear of the ruling classes of the power of the revolutionary struggle.
Ever since the emergence of the revolutionary struggle, such incidents as this one have continued unabated. P K Shahi of AIFTU appealed to the revolutionary and democratic forces of the country to unite and answer back this murder on Ganti Prasadam. Arjun Prasad of PDFI saw this murder of Ganti Prasadam as an extension of the larger agenda of the state reflected in Operation Green Hunt. Leaders from People’s Front- Delhi, Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra, Viplava Sanskritik Manch, Mehanatkash Mazdoor Morcha, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan, Krantikari Naujawan Sabha and others spoke in this demonstration. It is clear to us that this attack was to eliminate a revolutionary mass leader who could reach out to the vast sections of society and successfully lead the revolutionary masses against the military campaign launched by the Indian state on its own people.
This campaign codenamed Operation Green Hunt has resulted in the death and destruction of thousands of lives and livelihood in the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. These organisations have come together to stand united in demanding the constitution of a high-level judicial inquiry with a sitting Supreme Court or High Court judge into this cold-blooded murder of Ganti Prasadam and identify its perpetrators and subsequently, the punishment of those officials, politicians and goons responsible for this brutal killing of a revolutionary leader.
The Home Minister of this country should break his silence act. The Central Government must answer for the death of a people’s leader. At the end of the demonstration, a memorandum was submitted to the Union Home Minister demanding a judicial inquiry on the brutal murder of Ganti Prasadam.
The Organizations participated in the Demonstration.
All India Federation of Trade Unions [AIFTU (New)],
All India Students’ Association [AISA],
Bigul Mazdoor Dasta,
Campus Front of India [CFI],
Communist Part of India Marxist-Leninist (New Democracy) [CPIML (ND)],
Committee for Release of Political Prisoners [CRPP],
Democratic Students’ Union [DSU],
Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra [IMK],
Krantikari Lok Adhikar Sangathan,
Krantikari Naujawan Sabha [KNS],
Krantikari Yuva Sangathan [KYS],
Mehnatkash Mazdoor Morcha [MMM],
National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations [NCHRO],
Nawjawan Bharat Sabha,
New Democratic Party of India [NDPI],
People’s Democratic Front of India [PDFI],
People’s Front- Delhi [PF (Delhi)],
Revolutionary Democratic Front [RDF],
Students Islamic Organisation [SIO],
Viplava Sanskritik Manch, and individuals.
— G N SAIBABA Asst. Professor Department of English Ram Lal Anand College University of Delhi