Hyderabad: The life story of prominent Osmania University student leader Geroge Reddy is finally seeing the light of the day. The young student rebel, George, who fought against fascist forces on the campus, was cut short in his prime when he was murdered at Osmania hostel on April 14, 1972, by hired goons from Dhoolpet. The later part of the decade saw a sea change in the Andhra Pradesh politics as the incident gave a fillip to Naxalite movement in the State.
Although George was born to a Telugu father, Challa Raghunath Reddy and Malayali mother Leela Varghese, he struggled during his childhood as his mother was constantly transferred for employment. After a few years of schooling in Don Bosco Chennai, George joined St Gabriels High School in Kazipet, where his mother worked as a teacher. Hardly a year later, his family shifted him to St Paul’s in Hyderabad where he had completed his Class 9 and 10.
An alumni of Nizam College, George was first drawn to the rebel cause after he was denied a medical seat at Osmania University, despite topping the entrance examination for that academic year. Since he was a non-mulki (non-resident) he had to give up his medical aspirations and went on to do M.Sc Physics instead. He was featured in the documentary ‘Crisis On The Campus’, directed by Fali Bilimoria after George founded the Post Democratic Student Union (PDSU). The short but detailed biography of George titled ‘Jeena Hai To Marna Seekho: The Life and Times of George Reddy’ was penned by George’s sister-in-law, his late brother Cyrill Reddy’s wife.
The Telugu movie Alajadi starring Bhanu Chander was directed by prominent director Tammareddy Bharadwaj, who was also a contemporary of George’s in OU in 1972. The story of Alajadi was loosely inspired by George’s heroics and bravery.
Later, several directors in Telugu cinema also attempted to bring the story into visual form but none succeeded. Another popular opinion is that since the story is a sensitive one, entwined with political overtones, directors who make such attempts have been threatened if they were to screen a movie on George.
With the movie Mahanati, it showcased how audiences could instantly connect with a biopic. The applause and impact Mahanati made was after its release was endearing. After Mahanti, a biopic on the legendary NTR did not have the same effect and turned out to be a disappointment. The biopic of student rebel George Reddy is yet again raising expectations. Directed by Jeevan Reddy, it features young actor Sandeep in the role of George.