Wednesday, 11 April 2012

George Reddy -- Unsung Hero of the Nation

George Reddy Amar Rahe !! It's pathetic that people know who played the role of Michael's character (Surya/ Ajay Devagan) in Manirathnam's Yuva movie, but very few know that it is inspired from his life story. George is the most unsung hero of the nation and many of us don't even heard his name. It's our responsibility to make sure that George does not remain unsung, if not unwept and unhonoured -- April 14th 2012 marks his 40th anniversary.

He is the inspiration for student revolutions across India, especially in Telangana and the founder of PDSU. It is almost forty years since we lost the hero of India, son of the Hyderabad soil and a true revolutionary. I salute George, who laid down his life in the movement to inspire the young India.

Some of his professors, peers, colleagues, and friends (some are now IAS, IPS etc.) were of the opinion that had he continued his researches in Theoretical Physics, he would surely have gone on to win a Nobel Prize. But he chose instead, another, truly arduous path, stemming from his convictions and sustained by something akin to ‘missionary zeal’.

Although graduated from IIT, I give much more respect for the Osmania University/OU (a holy place for me). It stems from the fact that, IITs might have produced the best technocrats among the world, while the OU has produced many statesmen, leaders and revolutionaries who influenced the Indian society for the past 60 years and it is still producing. One among them is George Reddy: in the mechanized world, students were simply becoming lured by materialistic opportunities, while George wanted to become a messenger for the future generations.

The context and the setting in the late sixties and the first half of the seventies were markedly distinct, and individual personalities played such a crucial role that their imprint on the history of the 'movement' can never be blotted out. George was one such personality. He was influenced, like many others, by the events and happenings of those times, from peasant resurgence in parts of the country, unrest in Telangana, and the unemployment problem, to the 1968 student revolt in France, the Vietnam War, and of course, Che the revolutionary.

In Satyajit Ray's film “Pratitbandi”, the protagonist - an educated unemployed youth - goes for an interview. The interviewers ask what he thinks is the significant event of the decade. He answers: 'The Vietnam War'. The interviewers ask if he is a Commie, and the protagonist gets up angrily and walks out. That is the true picture of those times. George grew up in this milieu, and become an extraordinary personality who made his own mark on the movement, and shaped its growth in those times.

"Death at age 25"

On the evening of 14th April 1972, George died from multiple stab wounds (32) inflicted in broad daylight, near the OU Engg. College hostel, by a gang of armed students from an opposing faction, who had buttressed their forces with hired killers from the bootlegging underworld. Going there to assist a college student who was being intimidated, threatened, and roughed up, George was surrounded pounced upon, and furiously battered by the fully armed gang, and repeatedly stabbed by multiple persons. He died on the spot. Though he fought them off bravely, it would have been a miracle had he came out of there alive.

All this took place in full view of the police posse posted just outside the college hostel to prevent just such an incident. If one could pinpoint a weakness in George, ironically, it would be his utter contempt for danger. It appeared almost as if he had ‘transcended fear’. It is said that Fidel Castro, while describing Guevara as an intelligent, daring, and exemplary leader who "had great moral authority over his troops”, further remarked that Guevara took too many risks, even having a "tendency toward foolhardiness”.

This is particularly important to underscore, as in the years after his death, the Revolutionary movement in Andhra Pradesh welled up strongly and many organizations claimed his legacy. It was commonplace to see him being praised as a hero and martyr, in gatherings of rival organizations. Anyway, as a result, George Reddy was transformed into a powerful symbol of the democratic, progressive and radical student protest in the state, and a memorial debates, anniversaries and related gatherings in his remembrance continued to be held regularly. Many students, youth, activists and others, who went on to play key leadership roles, proudly acknowledge the influence George Reddy had on them.

"I will banish from the earth your narrow, bigoted creed
I will uproot the bane; destroy its source & seed
My hopes will surge ahead poised on honest pride
Brushing aside on the way the blight of communal spite"
[Josh Malihabadi]


  1. Elanti verulu Telangana muddu bidalu
    Na telagana koti verula gadda
    jai telangana

    1. ee telangana muddu bidina chapindi kuda moro telangana muddu biddale..

      bjp leader indrasena reddy and others played a key role in killing george reddy

  2. The name of the Satyajit Ray's movie which you have mentioned above is Pratidwandi (The Adversary) and not Pratitbandi as you have written . I have checked it from the source imdb and wikipedia . Requesting you rectify it.