Popular folk singer and activist Rama Rao passed away while undergoing treatment for a heart related ailment in Hyderabad's Durgabai Deshmukh Hospital on Sunday. He was 66.
The funeral took place on Monday amidst the presence of his comrades and activists from the different civil society groups. Rama Rao is survived by his wife Arunakka, a former Maoist, and sons Rahul and Chaitanya. Rama Rao is a founding member of Arunodaya Cultural Association and currently heading the Andhra Pradesh wing. Arunodaya is a sister organisation of CPI(ML) New Democracy.
Rama Rao born to a Dalit family on July 1, 1955 in Kurnool's Mulagavelli of Allor mandal, he learnt to weave songs from the struggles and sufferings of landless labourers and rural folks. He is popularly known as Arunodaya Rama Rao for his countless cultural contribution to Dalit -Adivasi and working class struggles. He made his debut performance as a folk artist in 1975.
According to several Left intellectuals, Rama Rao also faced the wrath of the government during 1977 Emergency. He is known for composing his own tunes and presenting in a very local format to the rural folks.
While expressing grief over the demise of Rama Rao, CPI(ML) New Democracy, the state committee said that his demise is a blow to people’s movement.
Rama Rao's songs like "Annaa Amarudura" (Brother is martyr) and, "Varthaharulamandi memu ae varganiki chendamu memu" (We are reporters, we don’t belong to any class) are very popular. He sung most of the songs written by Arunodaya Cultural Association founder Kanuri Venkateshwara Rao.
CPI(M) secretary T Veerabhadram, CPI leader Narayana, ex Rajya Sabha MP Ajeej Pasha, MRPS leader Manda Krishna Madiga , Poets Deshpati Srinivas, Suddala Ashok Teja, Prof Kasim, Prof Rama Melkote and PWO activist Sandhya, Jeevan Kumar (HRF) have participated in the funeral at Amberpet of Hyderabad along with several peoples from different civil society groups.
Several activists hailed his contribution to the revolutionary movement on Telugu land while stating that his demise a blow to the people’s movement