Tribute to Guntur's true Gandhian
Mysterious are the decrees of fate, as it was written in heavens that he should serve his motherland. A Kameshwar Rao was born in 1902. He was educated at the Guntur High School. His checkered career is full of infinite interest. As a lad he quarreled with his uncle and ran away from the house. He studied at Karnool with the aid of charities and in 1917 he left for Bombay and stayed there for a year.
For a period of four years he joined the army and served in many capacities. When the great War broke out he joined the fighting columns at Mesopotamia in Iraq. For two years, he lived in trenches and smelt the powder. He was court-martialed as he was organising groups of patriotic officers, and was ordered to be shot but was later released and repatriated to India.
On August 1921 he landed at Karachi. He piled up his foreign clothes and lit a bonfire. Here, in India he contacted the leaders of Gadar party viz Baba Prithvi Singh Azad, Pt Jagat Ram, Arjun Singh and others then in jail with him in 1922, and later Sawarkar brothers.
In consultation with them he started forming bands of patriotic young men under the guise of physical culture clubs and 'Akharas' and on this machine when he went to train Congress volunteers for Kanpur Congress session he happened to meet Surendra Pandy, Butukeshwar Dutt, Vijaya Kumar Sinha and later on Bhagat Singh and Chandra Sekhar Azad who were reorganising the revolutionary party in northern India after the Kakori case arrests.
Here he joined the Hindustan republican association later renamed as Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, the famous HSRA and participated in several militant actions.
He was arrested and sentenced to one year's imprisonment. Immediately after his release he attended the Gaya Congress. Since then he has evinced particular interest in the constructive work of the Congress. In 1925 he received physical culture education in Manikrao's Akhada in Baroda, also organised the Aryakumar Scouts in Gujarat. While studying at Baroda he fell in love with Sarla Devi. His romance serves the themes of a novel. He had to sweat much to marry his sweetheart. In the year 1929 he came accompanied by his wife to Guntur and organised the Youth Guards.
After he participated in the Salt Satyagraha he was sentenced to one year's imprisonment again. After his release he again courted arrest and lathi blows. His wife and child were brutally assaulted.
When the Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed he was released. In 1931 he sailed off for East Africa. He stayed there for two years. Then he traveled on the continent and was imbued with the political philosophy and Military science of Russian University. He returned back to his native land as an avowed Marxist. He apprenticed his time to the labour cause. While working in a labor colony with Gulzari Lal Nanda at Ahmedabad he fell down form a bridge and sustained severe injuries.
In 1936 he was elected a member of the AICC. He organised the Summer School of Politics and Economics at Kottapattam. The Dummy Ministry banned the school. The order was disobeyed. There was a lathi charge and Rao was severely beaten. The case launched against him was withdrawn by the Congress Government. He was consumed with one passionate desire – a Social Revolution.
The 1st conference was presided by Jogesh C Chatterji-MP, in Delhi 1958. He Presided over the 2nd Conference of Indian Revolutioaries in 1966 in Dehradun, which was also attended by Indira Gandhi and also 3rd Conference in 1971 in Kanpur. Rao, the first MLA from Guntur, died in Pune on January 30,1985, as a true Gandhian.