Varavara Rao

Varavara Rao, 81-year-old ailing activist from the state of Telangana, a renowned poet, journalist, literary critic, public speaker, and an acclaimed academic, is well known for his progressive writings. He has been jailed intermittently since 1973, always for standing up for oppressed communities. In the latest instance, he was arrested and jailed, along with 10 other activists, for alleged involvement in organising ‘Elgar Parishad’ and in violence which erupted in Bhima Koregaon in January 2018. Mr. Rao is in custody at a trial stage for 22 months, where the original charge sheet filed by the authorities doesn’t even mention any accusations against Rao. His life is at stake. He has recently tested positive for COVID and on the 19th of July Mr. Rao has been moved to Nanavati hospital for further neurological and urological treatment.