51 years ago on October 9, 1967 in Bolivia in South America ,Che Guevara died fighting the Bolivian army . It maybe be relevant to remember Che Guevara , as Jana Sena Party’s leader Pawan Kalyan has shown admiration of the great revolutionary . Guevara is originally an Argentinean doctor who was drawn to the Cuban revolution and successfully fought against the Cuban dictator Battista and became a world-famous figure.
Journalists across the world voted the photo below of Che Guevara as the most famous photo in the world . Che Guevara became even more iconic than Fidel Castro ,Lenin ,Marx or Ho Chi Minh .
After Cuba overthrew the dictatorship of Baptista in January, 1959 , Che Guevara was appointed the Finance minister of Cuba . Eventually, Che Guevara got tired of the routine administrative jobs . He also felt that the Cuban revolution was stagnating and that it should be exported around the world . First Che Guevara tried to foment revolution in Africa, but the situation was not suitable for a foreign revolutionary there. Then Che selected Bolivia in South America ,the most backward of South American and landed there.
After Che Guevara left his government offices in Cuba in November ,1966, he secretly landed in Bolivia in South America . Che’s gathered some rebels and started fighting the Bolivian army. For a few weeks, Che was able to fight and the Bolivian army was beaten back. But slowly the Bolivian army regrouped and started defeating Che .The difference between Cuba and Bolivia was that Cuba was only 90 miles away from the USA and Cuban people were more aware and alert and had a large middle class. In Bolivia, on the contrary, the entire population were native Indians and were not aware of revolution and change .
On October , 1967, the Bolivian army with American help surrounded Che Guevara. They captured Che as prisoner on October 8, 1967 and the Bolivian President ordered him shot immediately . Che was shot dead on October 9, 1967 about 51 years ago. Che Guevara was only 39 years of age.
After Che’s death, millions of youth across the world were inspired to fight for change . In fact, Che Guevara’s reach was so great that students started riots in 1968 in Paris, using Che as inspiration , which overthrew the government of General de Gaulle . Across Europe, Che Guevara became the most famous inspiring rebel.
When you die at the age of 39, at the height of your fame, people do not forget how you look. That is why the photo of Che Guevara became the most famous photo in the world and has etched itself in t he minds of youth..
Lessons to be drawn from Che Guevara :
- Ambition and sacrifice: Che Guevara decided to fight with the Cuban rebels against the Cuban dictator , when there was very little chance of defeating him. Though Che became a doctor in Argentina and could have led a very comfortable life, he left that life for total uncertainty in Cuba. Fighting in a revolution is not a picnic and the risks were death .
- Discipline: Che showed that he had immense discipline. He followed leaders and always tried for a consensus in his battle plans. From the time , Che joined the Cuban rebels till the time he left the Cuban government, there was not a single instance of him getting into problems with his colleagues.
- Magnanimity and lack of greed: Magnanimity and lack of corruption or greed were his major qualities . In fact, when compared to Che Guevara, Fidel Castro was a self-centered Though Fidel Castro ruled Cuba for 50 long years and died recently, he never achieved the mythical stature of Che Guevara .
Though Jana Sena has charismatic and dedicated leadership , efforts must be made to make it a unique political party , where a fight for the good is the aim . Right now, Jana Sena faces political parties which are loaded with MLAs, MPs , billionaires and other office-holders or ex-MLAs, ex-Ministers and others planning all kinds of election-tricks to get back some office. They seem to be spending a lot of money getting advisers and ‘election-experts’ on how to buy votes and also which voters to buy.
Similarities between present-day Andhra Pradesh and Cuba of 1959 :
- In Cuba, 3% of the people controlled everything in 1959 as they do today in Andhra Pradesh . A small minority runs the show and owns Like in Cuba in 1959, the 3% who rule Andhra also live in the same colonies , attend the same weddings and parties and they divide and exploit the 97%.
- In 1959, when the Cuban dictatorship was brought down, the main business was real estate and hotels. Now in Andhra Pradesh, the main business is real estate and how to grab land and how to use government funds to make the land valuable. Very similar to Cuba in 1959.
- In 1959, the Cuba dictator was very corrupt and hence the people got fed up. In Andhra Pradesh too , corruption is everywhere and the only way to get rich is through corruption . Corruption is the biggest business in Andhra . The corrupt in Andhra have collected hundreds of crores to buy votes and steal elections .
- The Cuban media never reported Che Guevara and his Cuban fighting. Only the international media did it. Similarly , in Telugu states, sections of the media have become allied with corrupt politicians .
In Andhra Pradesh, instead of stereotyped Cuban dictatorship , we face “Dictators of elections “ . In Andhra, people want change but we face very clever politicians who buy votes, divide castes and frighten people. That is where Che Guevara can be an inspiring figure. The 3% who control Andhra Pradesh must be fought with un-expected tactics that Che used in Cuba.
The main lesson from Che Guevara is fearlessness, sacrifice and readiness to challenge giants. As Che has shown, giants are usually paper tigers and can be defeated .
The people of the world are increasingly honoring 2 great people. One is the greatest saint Mahatma Gandhi and the other is Che Guevara . Millions across the world are increasingly admiring Mahatma Gandhi and Che Guevara and both have become immortalized in different ways . These 2 icons are enough for Jana Sena !
(feature photo credits: Ism creations, Youtube)
(Dr Pullarao is a New Delhi based noted economist and political commentator)