TRIBUTES have flooded in for the late Gaddar, a renowned Indian folk singer and rebel who died at the age of 77.
The campaigner had been in poor condition in recent months and died in hospital on Sunday, shocking his fans.He was hospitalized to the Apollo Spectra Hospital in Hyderabad, Telangana, before succumbing of lung and urinary issues.
The musician, known for his rebel songs from the 1980s, was suffering from severe heart illness and was taken into surgery on July 20.
He had a bypass on Thursday and recovered well, but difficulties arose as a result of his other health conditions.
Gaddar died on Sunday due to a history of lung and urinary difficulties, as well as his age, according to the hospital.
The death of the beloved poet who became the face of the Telangana statehood campaign has shocked India.
He coupled his love of politics with his singing abilities to bring attention to the cause and the Naxalite-Maoist struggle.
Gaddar found his destiny as a social warrior against the ruling Communist Party after playing in a series of blockbuster Telugu films.
In 1969, he employed indigenous art forms to criticize the Srikakulam armed rebellion by tribals in north coastal Andhra.
After his unusual approach captivated the audience, the former bank employee swiftly became a symbol of hope across the country.
Gaddar, born Gummadi Vittal Rao, wrote his first song, Aapara Rickshaw, in 1971 and quickly released an album.
His music was seen as an unstoppable messenger for his social justice crusades, assisting the causes in gaining traction.
Gaddar became synonymous with revolutionary anthems that effectively effected social change.
After hearing his music and poems, thousands of young people joined the Naxalite struggle.
The iconic singer was shot at his house in 1997 by five unknown assailants, causing him to go underground in the 1980s.
Despite the removal of four bullets from his body, one lingered in Gaddar’s spinal cord because it was too risky to remove.
But he was unfazed and continued his crusade until 2010, when he resigned from the Maoist party.
His music and poems rose to prominence again during the Telangana movement’s second phase.
The state was officially declared distinct from the pre-existing Andhra Pradesh in 2014, a success that many attributed to Gaddar.
On July 2, the revolutionary was last seen in public while attending a public assembly in Khammam, Telangana.
Gaddar’s body has been taken to the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium for people to pay their respects before his funeral on Monday.
Telangana Congress said in a Twitter post: “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.”
Politician Rahul Gandhi wrote: “Saddened to hear about the demise of Shri Gummadi Vittal Rao, Telangana’s iconic poet, balladeer and fiery activist.
His love for the people of Telangana drove him to fight tirelessly for the marginalised. May his legacy continue to inspire us all.”
BJP leader Etala Rajender added: “His struggle for Telangana is unforgettable. Even if he is not physically present, his song will live on forever.”
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy said in tribute: “He was the voice of the downtrodden and fought for social justice through his inspiring songs.”
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said Gaddar’s “unwavering dedication to social causes and the fight for Telangana’s statehood was truly inspiring.”