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|Number of Pages||488 Pages|
Kandala Balagopal (1952?2009) did not start out as a writer or commentator on contemporary politics. Like that other great modern Indian thinker, D.D. Kosambi, whom he read avidly, admired and wrote about, his training was in mathematics, a subject he taught at Kakatiya University, Warangal, ...View More
Kandala Balagopal (1952?2009) did not start out as a writer or commentator on contemporary politics. Like that other great modern Indian thinker, D.D. Kosambi, whom he read avidly, admired and wrote about, his training was in mathematics, a subject he taught at Kakatiya University, Warangal, from 1981 to 1985. The political culture of Warangal?home to the naxalite left and resonant with debates around questions of class, justice and revolution?proved decisive in Balagopal turning away from an introspective life of the mind. Instead, he came to train his acute intellect to identify, comprehend and critically examine key political and social concerns. He joined the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee in 1981, and became active in civil rights work centred at that time around extra-judicial killings of militant left cadres. Arrested under TADA in 1985 on trumped-up charges relating to the murder of a police sub-inspector, he spent three months in Warangal prison. In 1989, Balagopal was kidnapped by a vigilante group called ?Praja Bandhu??believed to be a front of the police, and in 1992 was beaten up badly by the police in Kothagudem.
\n\nBalagopal trained to be a lawyer late in his life and enrolled in the Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh in 1998, representing a wide variety of litigants whose lives, lands, status and employment were threatened. In fellow-traveller K.G. Kannabiran?s words, ?Balagopal showed himself as the only lawyer of the poor of his generation with a reputation for competence.? Owing to differences of opinion on the use of violence by naxalites, Balagopal left APCLC in 1998. He was one of the founder-members of Human Rights Forum in which he was active till his death.
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