Prof. Keshav Rao Jadhav: A Man of Courage, Conviction and Commitment

Prof. Keshav Rao Jadhav

Prof. Keshav Rao Jadhav, a prominent socialist thinker and leader, passed away on 16 June 2018 at a hospital in Hyderabad at the age of 86. Prof. Jadhav was running ill for a long time. His funeral took place the same day in Hyderabad in the presence of several leaders and activists associated with the Telangana movement and the socialist movement. His last rites were performed by his elder daughter according to Arya Samaj method. Senior socialist leader (now in Congress) Jaipal Reddy, former Supreme Court judge and one of the trustees of ‘Ram Manohar Lohia Trust’ Sudershan Reddy, revolutionary poet Varavara Rao, senior Congress leader K. Jana Reddy, Telangana Jana Samithi president Prof. M. Kodandaram, along with other leaders, writers, journalists and artists, were present at the time of the funeral.

A teacher by profession, Prof. Jadhav served as a professor of English in Osmania University till his retirement. Prof. Jadhav was a man of dreams and ideas who joined the socialist movement in his student days. He was deeply inspired by the philosophy of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia. He was elected to the post of president of Socialist Yuvjan Sabha (SYS), the youth wing of the Socialist Party. He became a close associate of Dr. Lohia in the course of time and worked with him in Mankind and Jan. He published a series of booklets under the title Lohia in his Words A Collection of Quotations from the Writings of Dr. Lohia. Comrade Ravela Somayya is planning to compile these booklets into a book. Prof. Jadhav also brought out a magazine namely New Mankind, on the pattern of Mankind, which he kept publishing for 45 years. He also published another magazine named Olympus for almost for a decade. He kept himself engaged in holding and attending discussions/dialogues/workshops/seminars through various forums on issues/topics of social significance. He formed Lohia Vichar Manch with Kishan Patnayak. He was one of the trustees of ‘Ram Manohar Lohia Trust’. He thus enriched the legacy of socialist philosophy and movement.

He played a major role in the movement for a separate Telangana state from late sixties to early seventies. He was arrested 17 times during the first phase of the movement and was jailed for two years. He led the Telangana Jana Samithi in order to achieve this goal. This was perhaps the reason that the Chief Minister of Telangana Mr. K. Chandrasekhar Rao condoled his demise.

Prof. Jadhav was a constant fighter for the rights of the marginalised sections. Simultaneously, he was a champion of civil liberties. He led the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in Andhra Pradesh and later in Telangana. Prof. Jadhav, a true democrat, was against violent methods to be used either by the state or by the ultra left groups called Maoists. He, however, was always in favour of a dialogue with the Maoists. He also constantly fought against the communal forces and worked for peace, harmony and relief during spells of communal riots in the city of Hyderabad. Prof. Jadhav was jailed under MISA during the Emergency.

Prof. Jadhav took an active part in the political activities of Janata Party and then the Lok Dal. He contested the Lok Sabha election from Medak constituency against Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Subsequently he became disillusioned with mainstream politics and got associated with Samajwadi Jan Parishad (SJP) that was formed in 1995 by Kishan Patnayak and other senior and young socialists to counter the New Economic Policies imposed in 1991. He held the responsibility of vice president in SJP. But his mind was ever on a quest. He played a major role in the re-establishment of the original Socialist Party in 2011 in Hyderabad as Socialist Party (India). He remained associated with this new party till the end.

Prof. Jadhav will be remembered as a man of courage, conviction and commitment. The Socialist Party (India) has lost three of its stalwartsBhai Viadya, Justice Rajindar Sachar and now Prof. Jadhavwithin the last three months. The demise of Prof. Jadhav is indeed a big loss to the socialist movement in general and to Socialist Party (India) in particular.

We pay our humble tributes to him with a pledge that the fight for socialism will go on uninterrupted.