Martyrdom : July 2010
Comrade Venkayamma was known as Communist Venkayamma in the revolutionary camp in AP, particularly in Prakasam and Guntur districts. Not for nothing did she get this name. It was the way this veteran comrade associated herself with the communist politics that she got this name. She was 90 years old when she died but she was always young at heart. It is no exaggeration to say that anybody who had anything to do with pro-people politics knew her personally or at least her name in those districts.
She was ‘the mother’ to many generations of revolutionaries who got recruited from there or who came from other areas and worked there. There is not a single struggle or movement in which she had not participated in Chirala, Bapatla, Vetapalem and Pandillapalli areas. Venkayamma was born in a backward caste family in Vetapalem village in Prakasam district and she was known as Vetapalem Venkayamma also. From the days of the glorious Telangana armed struggle of the 1940s Venkayamma’s care of address was people’s movements. Very rarely do we find such gem of a comrade who never for a minute flinched from her aims or politics for such a long period.
Till her last days she used to go all the meetings conducted by the revolutionary mass organizations in the nearby areas, gave speeches and released books when invited. In 1984 she was arrested along with 30 RSU women students when they were campaigning for APRSU conference in Rajahmundry and spent a month in jail along with them. She taught those young students many revolutionary songs while in jail and kept up their spirits even in enemy custody.
She encouraged women comrades to advance in their work and gave them the confidence that they could achieve the impossible. She believed that no movement can be built without women’s participation. She herself proved this by participating in many struggles and movements. She participated actively in the anti-arrack struggle which shook the whole AP state in 1992. With the death of Venkayamma it looks as if one of the best representatives of a whole generation has passed away.
She represented that generation of old communists from the days of the glorious Telangana armed struggle who had not continued with the revisionist parties CPI and later CPM but chose to walk along with the new generation of Naxalbari struggle.