Public domain alone is the knowledge hub

Public domain alone is the knowledge hub

I was taken to the doorsteps of interior forest areas from Yellandu to Bayyaram and Komararam in Khammam district where I could get a chance to see the...

I was taken to the doorsteps of interior forest areas from Yellandu to Bayyaram and Komararam in Khammam district where I could get a chance to see the habitats of the tribes, such as Girijans, Chenchus and Koyas, which looked like A nests hanging from the branches of a tree The teachers of Nalgonda, Warangal and Khammam have turned a new leaf in my life. Confined to the classroom and living a life basing on the view that students are my body and soul; I was shown the face of the society and made a part of the life of common people.A It was the teachers, those who smeared my body with the mud of this great State of India, made me walk with the oppressed there by preaching to me that living for the welfare of these oppressed is the goal of my life, thereby enhancing and widening my thoughts. They taught me that the society in which we live is itself an education. In six years of my membership of the honoured House of Elders, I felt that what I had learnt from the people and society was more than what I had given to them in return. I was taken to the doorsteps of interiors forest areas from Yellandu to Bayyaram and Komararam in Khammam district where I could get a chance to see the habitats of the tribes, such as Girijan, Chenchus and Koyas, which looked like the nests hanging from the branches of a tree.
I met people and spoke to them and read the innocent pages of their life. I was taken to the huts of poor people and to the hostels where poor children are studying. I was also shown the grief-stricken faces of the farmers and the labourers. It was really a great and unforgettable experience. It is a new lesson that I learnt in my life at the age of 80 years. I feel that it is a young chapter in (the history of) my old age. I have learnt a great lesson through the experience that the old age becomes of youth for those who give up everything for the sake of people and this and only this has the power to make one forget old age.Paulo Freire created revolution in Latin American countries through a powerful weapon called literacy. I literally put his words into action that there is an inner meaning to every letter or word we speak and that it influences society faster than the bullet from a gun, and experienced the real meaning of his words. From the teachings of Paulo Freire I could see the annuities of people and also mutually opposite views. I could also see the fears in the people's faces. I could understand their doubts and thus could get a chance to study their aspirations. I could sense from their deformed and dejected faces what they had been dreaming for 60 years of their struggle and how they had been postponing those dreams. Are these not lessons for me? I have seen leaders of various hues. In course of time I have seen leaders who survive by just flattering those in power and also those who really think of the people and their hopes and aspirations. In these six years the so-called civilisation removed its mask and showed its real face to me. I heard and saw different languages. Some conspire to create differences by using very respectable language; on the other hand, I could see the freedom of fragrance behind a rough language. I could see the blossoming chrysanthemums and also experienced what the so-called great pundits of the State knew about the beauty of the jasmine in the forest. I could see the blossoming beauties of their broadmindedness. I could get a chance to study very delicate issues concerning the common man in these years. The people who rule the imperialistic colony are called colonisers. Slave countries and countries which practice imperialism, their evolution, I studied. I saw the oppressors in action. In doing so I could clearly understand the lesson in real life experience. Education is not just changing from one book to another but that education is the solution for all our problems and ailments. I could understand/perceive that the uneducated also could think in a delicate and human manner and they alone are the real patriots and the real protectors of our wealth. The facts of what I have been seeing I could discover. A resilient and great civilization I could see in the forests. You made IIT Ramaiah an MLC Ramaiah. I could understand that would happen if we coordinated what we teach in schools with the real life conditions of the people in general. We can bring about a great transformation in society; I could experience through action that it is as difficult to move an elephant from its place as it is to bring about the smallest change. Telangana people agitated for their land and about 4000 people lost their lives in the course of the agitation. Many were subjected to inhuman killings such as encounters. They finally uprooted the deep-rooted landlords' stranglehold and made them free from their households.The cycle has turned 60 years. I heard casually once in the Legislative Council the Chief Minister say that people of Ibrahimpur village were willing for cooperative farming. I asked another MLC sitting beside me where that Ibrahimpuram was. He told me that it was beside the village of Raghunathapalem in my adopted Warangal district. I was shaken to the soul. "Are the aspirations and hopes of my Telangana people getting evaporated?" I absented from the Council session and went to Ibrahimpuram. The moment I entered that village I saw a middle-aged woman crying. She told me: "Sir, the landlords/Doralu have come again. We are cultivating crops and we are living our lives. Now they are saying that they are in favour of cooperative farming. They are saying that they will share our labour in their ratio. Sir, we have only two kuntas of land. Names are all of Doras aren't they? How is it that we do the work and they enjoy the fruit of our hard labour?" She could explain the economics in two words. Seeing her I remembered the washerwoman Ilamma, who happened to wash our clothes when I was small. I also remembered how she had fought for her grains against the landlord. She asked me whether it was not me who had accepted the proposal of cooperative farming. They took her signatures on white papers. Can there be any human beings who will not be moved when she said that people who had not entered the village for 15 years were now saying that they favoured co-operate farming? I went to the Rachabanda in their village where people told me that their signatures had been taken on white papers saying that some funds were being expected from the government. Then I remembered Paulo Freire. He was the man who initiated the revolution that shook Latin America by eradication of illiteracy. I went from village to village as an ordinary worker of Andhra Mahasabha stressing the importance of adult education long before our armed struggle. Now I can realise how necessary that adult education is. I could see how those adult education centres transformed themselves into battlefields of armed struggles. I witnessed a new hope taking birth and getting arrested in Velidandla near Ibrahimpura. The next day I went to the Legislative Council and told the House that it was not co-operative farming but co-operative cheating. This lesson is not found in textbooks. Those scenes were not shown to me in any universities nor was I told about them. The public domain which is a knowledge hub alone has taught me this lesson. So the teachers' movement has taught me a new lesson and hence they got the chance to brand me as a Telangana protagonist. I feel proud for having been branded as one such.
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