Visakhapatnam: Saga of struggle continues

Ch. Narasinga Rao
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Ch. Narasinga Rao

Highlights

  • Visakha Ukku Mahodhyamam, authored by Ch Narasinga Rao, which narrates diverse facets of ‘Ukku movement’ has been translated in English
  • The author says the translation is to reach out to non-Telugu people and make them understand the perspectives of the movement, the toil involved in setting up the steel plant

Visakhapatnam: In 1966, the slogan 'Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku' resonated across the united Andhra Pradesh. Protests, rallies and 'rasta roko' erupted across Adilabad, Warangal, Khammam, Vijayawada, Ongole, Bhimavaram, Tadepalligudem, Srikakulam, Anakapalle and Visakhapatnam as Telugu people came together to put up a concerted fight for the establishment of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant in the port city.

However, even after 55 years, the saga of struggle continues, albeit in a different form. Chronicling various aspects of Ukku stir then and now, chairman of Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee chairman Ch Narasinga Rao brought out the translation of 'Visakha Ukku Mahodhyamam' which he authored in Telugu a year back.

From chapters of people's sacrifice to the Anglo-American consortium proposed Visakhapatnam as the best location for the establishment of the steel plant, the police firing at the agitators that took place in One Town Area near Mehdi Armed Stores on November 1, 1966 to the sacrifice of 32 people and the launch of the hunger strike initiated by Guntur-based T Amrutha Rao, the book narrates diverse facets of 'Ukku movement' that grew fiercer in the State. "However, the struggle that started 55 years ago continues till now. The only difference is that the fight is meant for a different purpose which is totally uncalled for," says the author of the book.

The concept of bringing in translation, Narasinga Rao says, is to reach out to non-Telugu people and make the younger generation understand the perspectives of the movement, the toil involved in setting up the steel plant. "We witnessed the Ukku stir then and now. That's the reason we could share the pain through the book," reasons Narasinga Rao. 'Visakha Ukku Mahodhyamam' highlighted the spirit of 'Ukku Udhyamam' then. With the translation part contributed by M Kameshwari, Narasinga Rao says the 'Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku—saga of struggle continues' is a tribute to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the establishment of the VSP.

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