Martyrdom : 29-06-2010
Madaavi Ramakka (Sarada) was one of the first generation women leaders of DK revolutionary movement. She died on the night of June 29, 2010 due to serious illness. Due to the various difficulties in leading a long-drawn revolutionary life, Sarada became ill and was suffering since a long time. But she did not bother much and continued to do her duties as a senior ACM. The Party tried to get her treated and she got better too.
But since a few months before her death, she was suffering from severe ill health. Finally she succumbed on the night of June 29. All the efforts of the comrades turned futile and she breathed her last. All the people, guerillas, Janathana Sarkar leaders turned out for the funeral and conducted the last rites in the revolutionary tradition. Hundreds of voices rented the air with the slogan ‘Saradakka Amar Rahe’. A memorial meeting was conducted on July 1 and many party leaders and cadres gave speeches remembering contributions of her 25 year long revolutionary life. Sarada was born in a poor peasant family in Gaddigudem of Aheri tehsil, Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra. She became a part of the DK revolutionary movement since its beginning years and participated in the activities of KAMS.
She was one of the pioneer activists of the women’s movement who strove to bring it to its present stage. Revolutionary movement entered DK in 1980 and she came into its contact by end 1980. She began working actively in the women’s organization from 1988. Within a few days she was elected to the Kamlapur Range Committee of KAMS. She went to the villages along with the KAMS organizer and helped develop the revolutionary women’s movement. She began working as a full timer from 1990 and worked as KAMS organizer, Party ACM and AC secretary. She is a senior comrade who worked in Gadchiroli (MHR), Maad (CG), Srikakulam (AP) and Malkangiri (Odisha) i.e. in four states among different people. At first she worked in KAMS and strove for its development.
Her effort in attracting women into the revolutionary fold through various propaganda campaigns was very great. In 1980 the ruling classes dreamt that they could stop the advent of the revolutionary movement by killing Comrade Peddi Sankar but the deluge of people’s struggles in Gadchiroli shattered their dreams. Ramakka was part of the campaigns conducted in the villages to propagate Peddi Sankar’s and other martyrs’ lofty aims. She was in the forefront in the struggles against the exploitation and oppression of the forest department, against the exploitation of the paper mill owners, against sexual exploitation of women and organized people into these struggles. Gadchiroli people had won many successes in the struggles for wage increases with the paper mill owners. Raamakka was one of those cadres who had established the tradition of ‘work day’ whereby people worked day long and gave the wages to the party as fund. She was in the forefront in many other struggles for wage increases of the labourers.
The Aheri Maharaja Viswesvara Rao schemed a lot not to let the revolutionary movement to take root among the people as that would gnaw away at his feudal authority in the villages. Raamakka was part of all the struggles waged against his feudal authority and in defeating his conspiracies. She became a party member and worked in a party cell when at home. She was instrumental in recruiting many women into the party. From 1990 she worked in the squad in the name of Anita. Due to poverty she was undernourished and weak. But she was strong in her conviction towards revolution. She learnt to read and write in the party. In 1990 she married a comrade who was a CC member. Within a few days she was transferred to Maad.
She worked in the SZC squad and then was transferred to organizational field. Till 1996 she worked there organizing the Maadia people, particularly the women. She worked and built the movement among the Maad people who lived miles away from ‘civilization’. She was in the forefront in raising the consciousness of the people against forced marriages which was a problem faced by Maadia women. She organized women against the oppressive customs in the tribe. Anita had put in lot of efforts in laying foundations for KAMS in Maad. She worked hard to make success the party programmes held in Maad. From 1996 to 1999 she worked as an ACM in Kondagaon area of the present East Bastar. She participated actively in the people’s struggles against the hinduization programes of Baba Bihari Das who was trying to destroy the adivasi culture and was ensnaring adivasis into the Hindu religious fold through various deceptive schemes.
The people dragged Bihar Das into a people’s court in Nahkanar and punished him as he had lured innocent women in the name of ‘Bhakti’ and sexually exploited them. Sarada was part of this struggle. She led the people in distributing 150 acres of land belonging to a landlord named Sukdaal and in the struggle against him. In the struggles against sexual exploitation of adivasi women by tehsildar Srimali and BJP leader Balsai Vadde in Vedamakot and in organizing people, particularly women into these struggles Anita fulfilled her responsibilities as an ACM. She strove to organize people into tendu leaf struggles and in other struggles for wage increases.
She mobilized people against forest officers who were smuggling teak in Naria village. In 1999, Anita was transferred to Srikakulam division of present AOB. There she worked in the Uddanam area and tried earnestly to learn the local dialect. She worked as the deputy commander and won the affection of the people. She worked there till end 2000 and participated in the East Region party conference as a delegate. Later she was transferred to the Pappulur area in Malkangiti division. She worked as the commander there and had greatly won the affection of the Kondareddy people there, which was not such an easy task. She mingled with them and mobilized them into struggles. Later she was transferred to Motu area and worked as the secretary of the AC.
Thus she carved a niche for herself in the hearts of the AOB people forever. In mid-2006 she came back to DK and worked in the Maad division. She worked as the ACM responsible for Aded area under Indravati AC. By this time, the Maad movement had developed a lot and many new structures had come to the fore like Janathana Sarkars, GPCs and People’s Militia. She worked very hard in making these function properly. Her efforts in conducting development works under Janathana Sarkars in the villages are unforgettable.
She had always fought against patriarchy in the villages and the party. We must also make special mention of Sarada’s life as a guerilla. She participated very enthusiastically in the special military camp for women comrades. She won prizes at the end for her military skills. Sarada looked frail and weak but she tried to bring out all her energies to learn military skills. She participated in the regional level military camp in 2000 in East division. She was the commander of a team in the Kalimela raid conducted in 2001 as part of the party’s first TCOC campaign and her team had the responsibility of stopping the additional forces.
This was a successful raid and 42 weapons were seized here. Sarada fulfilled her responsibility with determination. She fought valiantly in some of the encounters with the enemy forces. The untimely death of Sarada had filled the Maad people and the party cadres with great grief. People, revolutionary activists and party vowed to rededicate themselves for the fulfillment of her aims. Let us take her hard-working nature, determination, confidence in revolution as ideals to emulate.