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Rejoinder

In response to “Irresponsible death of an activist!?”

I. Mallikarjuna Sharma

A completely irresponsible mudslinging article and I don't know why they sent it for publication in English, that too in Frontier, some 4 years after his death and after the article is said to have appeared in Telugu first. I consider myself fortunate to have not seen this article at that time which is nothing but unwarranted criticisms and self-complacent statements far from any truth, that too in the guise of Marxism. But I am pained by seeing it in English here and I would suggest that Ranganayakamma refrain from writing such slanderous or insinuating pieces. I was informed that Balagopal looked emaciated and was taken with some fever which he did not consider acute and did some self-medication, as normally many of us do for minor ailments, and that had complicated things, he fainted and then none could save him. Only two to three days before that, I had an occasion to meet and say hello to him in the High Court premises. I came to know about his demise only on the next day of his death or so and so rushed to his house and had some condoling and sympathetic talk with his wife and son. I was suspecting whether he had a heart attack but then I was told that was not the cause but due to some unforeseen reaction from normally self-administered medicines or so. We all very much grieve over his death. 

It is not that communists alone should be appreciated or they alone are 'turrum khans' in society. Society comprises of so many diverse parties and personalities and first of all we are human beings. So communist or not, the death of a good person will be grieved and condoled by persons and parties cutting across all classes and denominations even. With her minuscule knowledge and practice of Marxism and in a 'more royal than the king' manner Ranganayakamma has the temerity to write: "If Balagopal were a communist, his death would not have received a lot of sympathy. His death made bourgeois persons too feel sorry since he concluded Communism was useless." As if the deaths of a Sundarayya, a Chandra Rajeswara Rao, a Kondapalli Sitharamaiah - all avowed and reputed communist leaders of various streams - have not received a lot of sympathy and mourning from persons/parties cutting across all classes, sections and parties. As for Balagopal's transformation into a non-Marxist but leftist civil libertarian and human rights leader from his earlier rigid Marxist stand, that was nothing new nor is it so degrading either. He never hid his views and has openly argued and put in writing his dissensions and with all the acrimony of ideological differences, and even verbal clashes, it is remarkable that even all sections of communists from their hearts mourned his death and praised his yeoman service to the cause of civil liberties and human rights in the country, and in AP in particular. I am not going into other objectionable aspects of this article of Ranganayakmma but once again express my wish that she would at least in future refrain from such baseless analyses and criticisms.


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