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Konda Laxman Bapuji – The Torchbearer of Telangana

Konda Laxman Bapuji – left indelible footprints on Telangana’s soil

Konda Laxman Bapuji
Konda Laxman Bapuji

History is made by men and women who dare to move beyond their mediocrity and succeed in culling out an extraordinary existence out of their ordinary life. Konda Laxman Bapuji is one such individual. He not only appears in the pages of history as one of its most brilliant stars but can be said to have actually crafted those pages by his life and work.

Born in Wankidi village of the Adilabad district on September 27, 1915, Konda Laxman Bapuji had a long and eventful life ahead of him. He joined the fight for Indian Independence and actively participated in the Quit India movement in 1942.

His passion for the pride of Telangana people led him to his first brush with an armed struggle in the Telangana rebellion in 1947-48 against the Nizams and the Razakars. Also known as the Vetti Chakiri Udyamam, this rebellion began as a peasant uprising against the local feudal lords and eventually acquired a more serious form as it spread to the princely state of Hyderabad. Konda Laxman Bapuji’s role in this rebellion was pivotal in his career graph as it opened the doors for his leadership in the struggle for a demand of a separate Telangana state the seeds of which had already been sown.

In the post independence phase, Konda Laxman Bapuji held several prestigious administrative posts. In 1952, he was elected as MLA from Asifabad constituency in Adilabad district. He later shifted to Nalgonda district to win over the Padmashali vote bank. His association with the Padmashali population led him to form the Akhila Bharat Padmashali Sangam, in Hyderabad which includes country-wide participation of the Padmashali people. In 1957, he won from the Bhongir constitutency (previously known as Chinna Kodur) and served as a speaker for three years from 1957-60. He also served as an MLA and Minister in the Bhongir Assembly Contituency from 1967-69.

In November 2008, Konda Lakshman Bapuji, then member of the Telangana Sadhana Samithi, announced the demand for a separate Telangana state. In the same year, he along with Tulla Devender Goud and several other leaders formed the Nava Telangana Praja Party (NTTP). Their demand was triggered in protest of the Government apathy towards the Telengana people in providing potable water, for drinking and other purposes despite the presence of two major rivers Krishna and Godavari.

At the inauguration ceremony of the NTTP, veterans of the Telangana Rebellion of 1969 like Konda Lakshman Bapuji who had fought and lost their family members in the rebellion were felicitated. The NTTP also contested the assembly elections in 2009 along with like-minded parties with the objective of creating a separate Telangana state.

Bapuji’s passion for his cause was immense. He negated all personal gains in favor of the demand for a separate state. In 1952 he quit his post in the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy cabinet to propagate his cause and joined the nascent Telangana Praja Samithi (TPS). Till his entry, the TPS was being run by students and young intellectuals. Bapuji’s entry instilled fire in the activities of the party and inspired this small youth movement into a state-wide call for a separate existence of the oppressed and neglected Telangana people on the map of India.

Known to be the torchbearer of the TelanganaState, Konda Laxman Bapuji kept the fire burning in him even till the last years of his life. In 2012 at the age of 96, he sat for an indefinite fast demanding that the parliament should pass the Telangana bill. Age never acted as a deterrent for this firebrand veteran activist. He participated in and even summoned round-table meetings, padayatras, sadbhavana yatras and all-party meetings to promote the Telangana cause. He was one individual who believed in fighting till the last breath in his body to achieve what he believes is right and he knows should happen.

Bapuji’s activist heart never stopped beating for the oppressed and neglected class of the society. The Telangana weavers received his sympathy and active support in their cause as well. To protest against the onslaught and unjust practices of mill owners, Bapuji mobilized weavers from across the state and helped them stage a protest for their rights. His was a voice which was heard in every forum. Bapuji’s efforts were hugely instrumental in fructifying the dreams envisioned by every mind in Telangana.

He died on 21st Sep 2012 at his residence in Hyderabad.

Konda Laxman Bapuji is a life well-lived. He has left indelible footprints on Telangana’s soil which acts as appropriate guidelines for its future generations to tread on and craft their destiny the way he did his own.

Born: 27th Sep 1915
Died: 21st Sep 2012
Spouse: Dr.Konda Shakunthala Devi
Children: 2 Sons and 1 Daughter

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