"Jeena Hai Toh Marna Seekho": George Reddy's ideas alive even after 50 years of his death

George Reddy was a Ph.D. Scholar at Osmania University. Born in 1947 and in Palakkad, he was a revolutionary student leader who opposed right-wing ideologies.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  14 April 2022 8:25 AM GMT
Jeena Hai Toh Marna Seekho: George Reddys ideas alive even after 50 years of his death

"Jeena Hai Toh Marna Seekho. Kadam Kadam pe Ladna Seekho- when Georgy Reddy said this he was 25 or perhaps a year or two younger," said Gita Ramaswamy, George Reddy's sister-in-law, and an author during a walk organized by Progressive Democratic Student's Union (PDSU). The walk was organized to commemorate the 50th death anniversary of revolutionary leader George Reddy.




"It has been 50 years since his death but his ideas continue to stay relevant even today," she said pointing towards a dimly lit staircase at Kinnera Hostel in Osmania University where George was stabbed to death.


Gita Ramaswamy, George Reddy's sister-in-law


George Reddy was a Ph.D. Scholar at Osmania University. Born in 1947 and in Palakkad, he was a revolutionary student leader who opposed right-wing ideologies. He was stabbed during a students' fight on-campus on April 14, 1972. His untimely death eventually led to the formation of the Progressive Democratic Student's Union (PDSU) at Osmania University.



The walk began at Arts College in OU and continued to go on to the College of Science, Physics Department, OU Library, and ended at Kinnera Hostel. Almost 50 people participated in the walk. In addition to the current PDSU members, George's friends, and acquaintances at OU were present at the walk. A small exhibition with George's pictures and poems he wrote for the Nizam College Magazine and more was set up near the Arts College.



According to Gita, his parent's inter-religious marriage was always scorned by society. He rebelled against various issues on campuses such as corruption in universities' management, sexual harassment, casteism, and more.




"Not only was George a revolutionary, but he was also a brilliant student. He won the gold medal in M.Sc Physics," she said. "However, he never took the medal. He ensured that his sister would take the medal on his behalf."




She said George would spend hours in OU's library. "He was such a voracious reader that if any one of his friends were to come and sit beside him or call for him, he wouldn't respond immediately," recalled B Pradeep, a member of a Trade Union in Hyderabad and George's friend.

Pradeep was pursuing B.Sc in Physics when George Reddy was killed.



After the library, George would come to Banda Canteen beside the College of Science. "And if George was there, then the Canteen would transform into a debate room instantly," Pradeep said "Here, George would speak at great length about various topics- Marxism, Philosophy, Politics, the Vietnam war, and more. "I would look forward to these discussions, dearly. This is where I first learned about Marxism and several other things."

When George Reddy was killed, Pradeep said everyone wanted to take revenge. "But that would have been against George's ideologies and everything he stood for. He was my Hero. I was in my B.Sc second year when he died. I was shattered. But his ideas of freedom and equality still drive me," Pradeep said.




Gita said George's revolutionary ideas still mean a lot to her. "One should fight against all forms of injustice. He pushed everyone to fight for what was right. He was a true leader and a revolutionary," she said.

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