People’s Union for Democratic Rights expresses its sincere condolences at the death of Shri. Bojja Tarakam, a tall figure fighting the cause of the Dalits, Minorities and a strong defender of civil liberties movements in the country for the last 50 years. He was a prolific writer, public intellectual, poet, activist and a lawyer who used his profession to help the most marginalised people in their legal struggles. A popular book written by him “What is to be done when Police arrests you?” has become a Handbook for all the activists in AP and Telangana and elsewhere. He was associated with many organizations, the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee, Revolutionary Writers Association (Viplava Rachayitala Sangham-Virasam), Beedi Workers Association, India-China Friendship Association, Ambedkar Youth Associations, and Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP).
After having been jailed during the Emergency for his revolutionary activities, Tarakam was at the forefront of the legal battle for justice in the numerous caste atrocities that happened in Karamchedu, Padirikuppam, Neerukonda, Chundur, Vempenta, Lakshmipet and other places since 1980s. In spite of his failing health he argued the case of Rohith Vemula’s social boycott at University of Hyderabad this year. Apart from the legal domain, he was actively involved in popular Ambedkarite and revolutionary struggles against caste violence through his involvement in the Andhra Pradesh Dalit Mahasabha and the Republican Party of India. He has inspired generations of activists to embark upon the struggle for justice and the annihilation of caste. Today when the atrocities on marginalised people, especially the Dalit and Minorties communities, is growing and there is a simmering resistance from these communities itself, the leading presence of Shri Bojja Tarakam will be sorely missed by democratic people in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and elsewhere in the country. PUDR salutes the memory of this great intellectual and activist and vows to continue the democratic struggle for justice which illuminated his life.
Deepika Tandon, Moushumi Basu