– Vidya Bhushan Rawat
Covid 19 has taken another toll and this time a very important Ambedkarite activist in Telangana. It is extremely shocking to hear the sudden demise of dear friend Charles Wesley Meesa yesterday due to Covid 19 yesterday. One of the very few Ambedkarite who could speak for hours on Economic policies and land reforms, Chalrse was based in Hyderabad and was a proud Telanganite. I know his tremendous passion for Telangana and the issue of Dalits-Adivasis in the state. Covid 19 continue to snatch friends from us and this is really becoming extremely painful. We dont know what is happening and how long will this go. Each one of us is actually in a potential threat zone. At the time when there is deep depression everywhere, Covid has aggravated situation further. It has isolated people and can create a lot of psychological issues if things dont get resolved in near future.
For me it is a personal loss as I had the time and opportunity to be with him, stayed at his place in Tarnaka and addressed many gatherings together and participated in so many programmes. Our relationship was over 15 years old and I got introduced to him through my dear friend Sujatha Surepally who has been persistently and passionately working on people’s issues in Telangana. He got associated with a numerous like minded people speaking about Economic issues too and was pragmatic to the core which resulted in his association with like minded people not necessarily Ambedkarites but also of Marxists and Gandhians too because for the cause of economic justice he was ready to walk along with the like minded people.
Charlse was basically an activist whose first love was people. Among the activist, he was a reader who would acquaint himself with latest on the issue of globalization and agrarian question.
What more can one write except that these are extremely painful moments. Covid has really made us look vulnerable and attacking people who might be living alone or more. I know these are difficult times but I can only request friends to protect themselves. Please dont compete as this is not the season of showing ‘bravery’. Important for each one of us to get in touch. The crisis of social activists or those who work on public life and most of them are highly alone, absolutely isolated in their family locations. Because of their ideological positions, we remain cut off from rest of the so called relatives and friends and Covid is attacking that and making people more vulnerable.
My dear friends, please do take care of yourself. Your life is precious and at the time when good people in short supply, it is important that you take care of yourself atleast those who have issues of hyper tensions, high BPs etc. The current situation is not going to resolve in near future and important for all of us to strengthen each other and share our ideas not merely through social media but also through phone calls. Dont hesitate to speak to friends and definitely can discuss issues other than ‘national’ and ‘international issues’. We cant afford to lose such friends like Charlse who was an important pillar of Ambedkarite movement in Telangana and had enormous wealth of knowledge and understanding of people’s issue which are rare these days. The passing away of Charlses is a big loss for the social movements particularly those Ambedkarites who are working on land rights issues. My sincere condolences.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat
October 3rd, 2020