HYDERABAD: An English translation of the autobiography of renowned freedom fighter and journalist Madala Veerabhadra Rao, ‘My Story’ is compiled by his maternal grandson and granddaughter-in-law Dr Balemarthy Kasyapa and Balemarthy Aruna. Narrated in chronological order, ‘My Story’ details Veerabhadra Rao’s birth (in 1919), schooling, student life, thread ceremony, marriage, joining the Communist Party of India, entry into social service, among other topics.
Notable instances include – making the Harijans enter into temples, which resulted in increased awareness among their communities; administering medicines to cholera-affected patients; organising youth mahasabhas in various villages in the capacity of the youth wing president of Guntur district (in 1940s); protesting against the rationing of grain by the British during Second World War, undertaking a financial and social survey in the villages of Sattenapalle taluka, helping in development programmes in his maternal grandparents’ village of Balemarru, and many more.
In 1946, the Communist Party was banned by then government of Madras Presidency. Veerabhadra Rao and other members of the Party went into hiding. Subsequently, they were caught by the police, who took him and others into custody. There, Veerabhadra Rao grasped the futility of armed struggle and gave it up. After his release, the Communist Party dismissed him in 1953. Devastated by the dismissal, he vowed not to join any political party ever.
In 1967, the author joined the editorial team of ‘Andhra Prabha’ in Bengaluru. In 1981, he moved to Hyderabad and was instrumental in helping build houses for Harijans in Balemarru, getting electricity connection in the village, renovating Anjaneyaswamy temple, etc.
Replete with inspirational and uplifting quotes from literary giants, verses from Sumati Satakam and a short summary of his life’s experiences, ‘My Story’ of Madala Veerabhadra Rao, launched during his birth centenary celebrations held recently, is a tale of a life well-lived.
(Copies are available at: 405, Landmark Residency,