Women Martyrs of the Indian Revolution-Comrade Torrem Laxmibai (Padma)

torrem

Martyrdom : 14-10-2006

Comrade Padma’s life history is one of the most inspiring in our revolutionary movement. Perhaps there are very few instances where women came into the movement on account of their husbands and stayed on even after their husbands had deserted the party and revolution. Those who had seen her—frail, physically weak, mild-looking and soft- spoken—during the early 1990s, when she used to come to the guerrilla zone to meet her husband Rajanna who was in the squad, would never have imagined that she would have moulded herself, a few years later, into such a hardcore revolutionary participating in several raids, ambushes and attacks on the enemy. Comrade Padma hails from Somini village of Tiryani mandal in Adilabad district. Comrade Padma developed from a squad member to the member of the district committee.

She joined the movement in 1995 after continuous persuasion by her husband who worked in the guerilla squads in the Adilabad. She was married to one of her relatives in her childhood and was always confined to house work. She refused to leave the house and her son to join her husband. But once she decided to join the squads she remained with them until her martyrdom in October 2006. The transformation of Comrade Padma from a house wife in a backward peasant family into one of the leaders of the revolutionary movement in Adilabad district, from the soft-spoken, sensitive, mild- mannered and gentle girl into a beloved leader and organizer of the people and a terror to the police and reactionaries is really an amazing story which will remain an inspiration to one and all. The growth of political maturity and individuality in Padma made her husband both envious and inferior. She fought back his attempts to dominate her and his exercise of patriarchal authority over her. As the state repression became more and more intense in the later part of the 1990s, Rajanna could not withstand it and decided to desert the movement. He naturally assumed that comrade Padma would also accompany him since they were married for long and also had a son.

But she remained stubborn, steadfast and committed to the revolutionary cause and refused to accompany him. Thus she continued in the revolutionary movement even after her husband surrendered to the enemy. She served as a guard to Com. Lalitha, the then secretary of the Adilabad district committee. Later Padma became a commander and was elected to the DC a few months before her martyrdom. The confidence and courage, determination and tenacity, which comrade Padma had displayed during the most difficult phase of the revolutionary movement in North Telengana, had endeared her to the people. Her self-effort and hard work had played a great role in her development. The life of Padma shows that it is possible to transform millions and millions of backward peasant women suffering under the burden of patriarchal and feudal oppression into great revolutionaries to overturn this exploitative and oppressive social system and build a genuine classless society.

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