CK passes away
Challa Krishna Narayana Reddy, popularly known as CK, is no more. Aged 88, he died at NIMS on the midnight of September 5. He is survived by wife and two daughters.CK, who was living at Sangareddy for the last about a decade, had a fall and was admitted to NIMS two days ago. His body was donated to Gandhi Medical College as per his wish.
Hyderabad: Challa Krishna Narayana Reddy, popularly known as CK, is no more. Aged 88, he died at NIMS on the midnight of September 5. He is survived by wife and two daughters.CK, who was living at Sangareddy for the last about a decade, had a fall and was admitted to NIMS two days ago. His body was donated to Gandhi Medical College as per his wish.
CK was born in 1925 in a remote village near Piler of Chittoor district. In his long career he started as a Gandhian and freedom fighter in his student days; later on travelling from Socialism to Communism to finally revolutionary politics with which he remained till the end. He was elected to the State Legislature in 1962 on behalf of the then united Communist Party. An ardent lover of literature he founded Hyderabad Book Trust
From Gandhian to revolutionary
CK Narayana Reddy, popularly known as CK, was born on August 1, 1925, at Challavaripalle near Piler of Chittoor district. He did his schooling and college studies in Theosophical School and College of Madanapalli. Hailing from a well to do family he started a hostel for poor boys when he was in his second year of graduation at the age of 20, a trait which kept till the very last. Coming under the spell of freedom movement and Gandhiji he quit studies in his final year of graduation to join the Quit India movement. The young Narayana Reddy, as he was known then, was active in the Socialist party led by the Jayaprakash Narayan. He went on to become an executive member of the provincial Socialist Party and its district secretary.
Later Narayana Reddy became active in the Communist movement, where apart from organizing the poor on wage, land and other entitlement issues, he was famous both for setting up gruel centres during the famine and for massive educational efforts of Dalit boys. CK ran hostels at Yerravaripalem, Nelabailu, Piler, Madanapalle, and supported hostels in Bakaraopet and Vayalpad. Some of the students are Munivenkatappa and Abbanna, both IAS officers and Ram Naik, a Sugali. He also established a library at Rompicherla. CK was elected from Pileru to the AP Assembly on the Communist Party ticket in 1962, but was immediately arrested after the India-China war.
He joined the Charu Mazumdar led CPI (ML) after 1967, and was arrested in 1970. He was arrested again during the Emergency and was in jail for two years. On release from prison in 1977, Challa Krishna Narayana Reddy, fondly called CK by one and all, began Janata Prachuranalu and Anupama Prachuranalu a little later. He published transformative literature, among which are The Scalpel, The Sword (Richard Allen, Ted Gordon), Fanshen (William Hinton), My Years in an Indian Prison (Mary Tyler), Red Star over China (Edgar Snow) and some others. Very affable with a ready smile all the time, CK was soft spoken yet quite firm in his beliefs. He also worked in that direction tirelessly. Wearing a simple kurta pyjama, the tall man was always on the move.
Despite being grown in stature and highly regarded he never thought others should go and meet him. Instead he himself used to travel by bus, on foot or any other simple means to wherever necessary. And his was a sure presence at any meeting, from political to literary and social, that had something to do progressive activities. CK, together with a few others like Geeta Ramaswamy, founded the Hyderabad Book Trust in 1980 and worked tirelessly for it till the early nineties when his health began failing.
The Book Trust made many an innovation in book publishing as well as taking the publications to common people in towns and villages, not confining itself to a few established shops. Thus within a short time the HBT became synonymous with people’s literature.
Publishing books and booklets for people and activists had been a central concern as he felt that Books are a part of a massive ideological campaign to win the minds and hearts of people. He was always engaged with various other issues as well. For instance he was active on the issue of dog bites and was agitated when the intervention of powerful animal rights activists like Amala resulted in the growth of dog population and subsequent misery through increased cases of dog bites to poor people. He focused his energies on fluorosis, pollution, admissions of SC boys in educational institutions and other such issue too.
He was in the forefront of the fight against extension of privileges to MLAs and ex-MLAs (though he was one himself), like the fierce Independent MP A K Roy of Dhanbad. CK, the reputedly humane and gentle person, is survived by his widow Jayaprada, a former school headmistress, daughters Dr Aruna and advocate C.Sailaja and four grandchildren. He is nephew of George Reddy, the legendary student leader of Osmania University.