Why Che Guevara is Still Relevant for Telugu Youth

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 :

  1. 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 .


  1. 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.


  1. 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 :

  1. 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%.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 .
  4. 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)