Folk singer Gaddar exercised his right to vote for the very first time during the Telangana Assembly Elections on Friday. Gummadi Vittal popularly known as Gaddar, who earlier was of the belief that India's democracy is a farce and voting is a futile exercise, has changed his tune and political stance.
Severing ties with Maoists, he announced the joining of mainstream polity. Two months ago, he met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and supported the People's Front coalition and campaigned for them.
After casting his vote in Venkatapuram, Malkajgiri constituency, Gaddar said, "After 70 years, I am voting for the first time. A voting revolution should begin. Vote is the foundation of a state. There should be a change with votes."
The 70-year-old was the founder of Jana Natya Mandali, a cultural wing of CPI (Marxist Leninist). However, over the past few years, he started visiting various temples in Telangana and participating in religious rituals against the community ideology.
Gaddar took his stage name from the famous pre-independence Gadar Party of Punjab. He was involved in the Maoist movement and his songs were popular highlighting the state’s alleged exploitation of marginalised communities.
In 1997, he was shot by five unknown assailants at his residence in Venkayapuram. He survived the attack, however, there's a bullet still lodged in his spinal cord.
The counting of votes will be held on December 11.