12 May, 2021

Songs Of A Revolution

Gummuda Gaddar is suspended for bringing a commercial note to a Naxalite movement

Songs Of A Revolution

IF the Naxal movement in Central India ever had a Bob Dylan, then this must be he. The phenomenon that is Gummuda Gaddar combines the attributes of poet, folk singer, revolutionary and underground activist. Gaddar, the "commercialised Naxalite", has not lost his sparkle despite having been served a six-month suspension by the People's War Group (PWG) for straying from the Naxal way of life.

Gaddar's poems are written from his den at his unpretentious house in Venkatapuram, Secundarabad. On his shelf, cassettes of Amjad Ali Khan share space with Phil Collins, SNAP and Dance club hits from the UK—as well as tomes of Mao TseTung. The room reflects Gaddar's approach to songwriting. "I listen to all kinds of music. I take my ideas from different cultures. But finally my songs have a political consciousness. It always reflects the struggle of the people, their concerns, their problems."

Gaddar comes across as surprisingly casual and collected for someone who has been slapped with a string of charges by the PWG, an organisation that he has...

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