Kondapalli Koteswaramma

Kondapalli Koteswaramma (August 5, 1918 – September 19, 2018)[1] was an Indian communist leader, feminist, revolutionary, and writer born in 1918 in Pamarru, Andhra Pradesh.[2]

Kondapalli Koteswaramma
Kondapalli Koteswaramma.jpg
Kondapalli Koteswaramma at her residence in Visakhapatnam.
Born(1918-08-05)August 5, 1918
DiedSeptember 19, 2018(2018-09-19) (aged 100)
Years active1930–2018
Known forProminent communist

Childhood and early lifeEdit

She was married at the age of 4 years to her uncle. He died within two years leaving her a child widow. She did her schooling from her hometown besides getting trained in music. At the age of 10 years, she took active part in the freedom struggle by singing patriotic songs in various meetings and congregations. She got remarried at the age of 18 to Kondapalli Seetaramaiah. Initially, she faced many social constraints as widow remarriage was not accepted by the society back then. After marriage, she stayed along with her husband in Jonnapadu for few years. During this time, she worked for the Communist Party in Gudivada. After moving to Vijayawada, she attended various conferences and worked for Women's association.[3]

Work and later lifeEdit

She worked actively for the Communist Party of India along with her husband and the likes of Puchapalli Sundaraiah. She contributed actively to the Telangana Rebellion. She worked for the party for few years staying underground (In Bandar, Eluru, Puri, Raichur), away from her family and children. Shortly after the rebellion, the communist party divided into two. Her husband deserted her and she was left to fend for herself and her children. At the age of 35, she came to Hyderabad to study matriculation. She sustained during those years through the little money earned from writing stories and performing for the radio. Even while sustaining with such meagre earnings, she used to send ten rupees each to the party (CPI and CPI(M))funds every month. After completing her matriculation, she joined Polytechnic college in Kakinada as a matron. She started participating in the literary events in Kakinada. Later, she worked in various colleges across the state. She had a daughter Karuna and a son Chandrasekhar. Karuna was a doctor and Chandrasekhar studied at Regional Engineering College, Warangal. Both of them died under unforeseen circumstances. During these years, her husband established the People's war party in India and worked actively towards it. But he got ousted later on from his own party and was jailed. He suffered mental illness and died at the age of 87 in his grand daughter's (daughter of Karuna) place. Koteswaramma lived in Vijayawada for few years and later on moved to Chandra Rajewsara Rao Old age home in Hyderabad.

Literary worksEdit

Koteswaramma penned various books, essays and songs to date. The notable ones include Amma Cheppina Aidu Geyalu (1972), Ashru Sameekshanam (1991), Sanghamitra Kathalu (1991). Her autobiography Nirjana Vaaradhi (2012) was published by the Hyderabad Book Trust. It was translated to English as "The Sharp Knife of Memory" [4] and into other Indian languages.


She was actively involved in Communist, Naxalbari, Feminist, Freedom and Reformist movements throughout her life. Recently, she lived in Visakhapatnam along with her granddaughter. She died on September 19, 2018, presumably at the age of 100.[5]


  1. ^ "Revolutionary Communist leader Kondapalli Koteswaramma passes away". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  2. ^ "తొలితరం కమ్యూనిస్ట్ నేత, కొండపల్లి సీతారామయ్య సతీమణి కన్నుమూత". telugu.samayam.com (in Telugu). Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Woman extraordinaire".
  4. ^ Sowmya, V.B. "The sharp knife of memory, a memoir". UCP.
  5. ^ "Koteswaramma's life was like her writings, honest and balanced".

Nirjana Vaaradhi (lit. Deserted Bridge), Autobiographical memoir of Kondapalli Koteswaramma.