05 October Thursday

Sold Ploughs To Buy Guns; Struggles Of A Bygone Era

Anilkumar A VUpdated: Thursday Apr 7, 2022

Sketch: Shanavas Chavara

The 23rd Party Congress is being held in the absence of many leaders who were part of the previous one.  In recent years we lost important revolutionaries  who had a strong presence in the decades- long struggle of CPI-M. Prominent among them was Mallu Swarajyam. The loss of Swarajyam created a void in the Communist Movement. She was one of the earlier era women leaders who united and strengthened movements for peoples' cause. A strong voice and a brave  personality. This spirit was forged in the tumultuous and revolutionary days of the early decades of 20th century. Worked tirelessly for the people entire life and was an inspiration to generations.She will remain a guiding light for the coming generation. Swarajyam, hoisted the red flag of the CPI-M 22nd Congress in Hyderabad held in 2018  April.

She was an exceptional Communist revolutionary, fearlessly facing and challenging private armies of the ruthless landlords and mercenary militia of the tyrant Nizam of Hyderabad Razakars'.

New generation isn't aware  much about peasants of Telangana who forced to sell their wooden ploughs for guns. It was in 1946 peasants took arms.Feudal lords seized lands from peasants. People forced to toil on their own lands for lords, without pay. Nizam turned them into slaves. This was the time when freedom movement was going the length and breadth of the country.

The Nizam taxed everything. The peasants had to pay for birth, marriage and death. Women forced to work in fields barely three days after delivery. Hundreds of newborns died of starvation. When struggle continued 4,000  peasants and 40 leaders were killed; more than 10,000 fighters were thrown into detention camps and jails for a long period;half lakh people dragged into police and military camps. The people in the course of oppression by the military and police lost properties worth millions. Thousands of women were  molested. The whole  region suffered  brutal state  terror for five years. Initially by Nizam and Razakars; subsequently by the combined forces of the Central-State Governments. Half lakh armed forces  deployed to suppress the movement against the rulers.

Swarajyam's main work was to organise the villagers and fight against razakars. Created  village dalams. Established libraries in the villages and educated the rural people under the trees. Formed panchayats to solve village issues. More Than  300 women were trained in armed resistance under Jaipal Singh,retired  Major Of Army. Four of Swarajyam's cousins were brutally killed in the struggle. Even if  won freedom for 3,000 villages which were terrorised by the razakars. According to reports, the Government of India spent more resources in Hyderabad than in war with Pakistan.