Telangana folk singer, activist Gummadi Vittal Rao aka Gaddar passes away at 77
The Indian poet and activist, Gaddar, died on Sunday, August 6. He was 77. Gummadi Vittal Rao was popular by his stage name Gaddar. He was referred to as the 'People's Singer' by many.
The Indian poet and activist, Gaddar, died on Sunday, August 6. He was 77. Gummadi Vittal Rao was popular by his stage name Gaddar. He had been suffering from severe heart disease and had been admitted to Apollo Hospital for treatment.
Gaddar, a well-known figure in the two Telugu states, was born in 1949 as Gummadi Vithal Rao in Toopran in the Medak district and is well known for his songs about revolution. During the height of the Naxal rebellion, his support of grassroots movements in the merged Andhra Pradesh earned him cult status among Telugu-speakers.
The poet worked for the Communist Party of India's (Marxist-Leninist) People's War throughout his formative years in the 1980s. However, he came out of hibernation when the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Marri Chenna Reddy lifted ban on the People’s War group. He escaped an assassination attempt in 1997 at his home.
He was recently spotted at the Telangana Congress conference in Khammam, which also included Rahul Gandhi. He was spotted giving Rahul Gandhi a hug and wishing him well. He declared the start of a new party a few months ago, but he passed away before it could get off the ground.
The official Twitter handle of Telangana Congress wrote, "We express our profound grief over the untimely demise of Sri Gummadi Vittal Rao alias Gaddar. A great poet, a revolutionary balladeer, his voice echoed the soul of Telangana. Our deepest condolences to his family. May God give them strength."