Hyderabad: Popular Telangana folk singer, poet, and activist Gaddar died here on Sunday due to ill health. He was 77.
Gaddar, whose real name is Gummadi Vittal Rao, was referred to as ‘people’s singer’ by many. He died at Apollo Spectra Hospital here due to lung and urinary problems and advanced age.
He was suffering from severe heart disease and got admitted on July 20. He underwent a bypass surgery on August 3 and recovered from it, the hospital said in a statement.
However, he had a history of lung and urinary problems, which along with advanced age aggravated and led to his passing, it said.
An obituary in The Hindu stated that Gaddar’s contribution to people’s movements in the combined Andhra Pradesh during the peak of the Naxal movement “fetched him a cult status among the Telugu-speaking population”.
Gaddar spent his youth underground as a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War in the 80s. When Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Marri Chenna Reddy lifted the ban on the People’s War group, he came out of his underground life.
He escaped an assassination attempt in 1997 at his home.
The revolutionary leader was recently seen with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at a meeting held by Telangana Congress.
The official Twitter handle of Telangana Congress wrote after his passing, “We express our profound grief over the untimely demise of Sri Gummadi Vittal Rao alias Gaddar. A great poet, a revolutionary balladeer, his voice echoed the soul of Telangana. Our deepest condolences to his family. May God give them strength.”