THE REVOLUTIONARY

Idealism ruled his life: The Methodist School, where Dr. Channa Reddy studied played a significant role in the shaping of his mind. It was here that the revolutionary in him emerged. When he was in the fourth form, he went to school wearing khadi, which was considered as an affront by the British. Despite being reprimanded, he boldly continued this act and followed other nationalistic practices introduced by the leaders of the freedom movement. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, he passionately engaged himself in India’s freedom struggle. As a member of the National Congress party, he campaigned tirelessly against imperial rule employing nonviolent methods.

Stirring the masses into activism: He was unrelenting in his opposition to the Nizam’s autocratic rule in Hyderabad state. He strongly believed that Hyderabad was an integral part of India and that the Nizam was a representative of the British Empire. Dr. Reddy campaigned briskly for the eviction of the British and the Nizam from India, travelling all the way to Delhi to meet Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel to seek their support to the people’s fight against the Nizam who wanted Hyderabad to be an independent state. He was amongst the top leaders to be imprisoned by the Nizam. After being let off, he remained unperturbed and intensified the fight against the Nizam. Dr. Reddy published ‘Hyderabad’ - a Telugu weekly from Vijayawada and smuggled its copies into the state which yielded rich dividends as the explosive writings of Dr. Reddy stirred people against the Nizam. His efforts were instrumental in forcing the Government of India to launch an attack on the Nizam of Hyderabad in September 1948. It heralded a new era as Hyderabad state was merged and became part of the Indian Union.

The key architect of Telangana: Importantly, as the founding ideologue of Telangana state, it was his seminal exercise in statehood that established the foundations and breathed life into the Telangana movement. He envisioned a free Telangana for the greater good its people. It was his view that a state should have ideal population and resources to enable it to grow and prosper. In a turbulent period spanning over two decades, Dr. Reddy, fiercely protective of Telangana, shaped the evolution of the state and altered its destiny. He famously challenged the centre and spearheaded the movement for a separate state way back in 1955 when he opposed the Fazal Ali recommendations of a larger state of Andhra Pradesh. He drafted the Gentleman’s Agreement as part of a three member team constituted to

From hard talk with the Fazal Committee which was appointed to look into the demands of the Telangana state, to thrashing out the Gentleman’s Agreement, and the Six-Point Formula, Dr. Reddy was in the thick of action, battling vested interests and challenging the centre to secure the state’s interest even as he pushed hard for a separate state. The failure of the Gentleman’s Agreement leading to the unprecedented ‘Telangana agitation’ and the formation of the Telengana Praja Samithi, the leadership of which fell on Dr. Reddy’s shoulders, and the consequent parliamentary elections of 1971 which resulted in a landslide victory with the TPS bagging of 11 out of the 14 lok sabha seats in Telengana region point to the tenacity with which Dr. Reddy espoused the cause of Telengana. That the six-point formula was evolved as a legitimate solution to the Telengana issue only after consultation with and approval of Dr. Reddy marked his arrival as an iconic, larger than life mass leader.

Having passionately espoused the cause of statehood, he remains the key architect of Telangana. Posterity remembers him as the faithful apostle who laid the foundations of a new Telangana state.