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Telugu samiti honours Yesudas, Susheela

By Our Special Correspondent

Bangalore March 22. The Telugu Vignana Samithi, here, celebrated its golden jubilee on Saturday by honouring five eminent persons for their achievements in different fields of activity.

K.J. Yesudas, who has distinguished himself in both classical and film music, described the award as one of the greatest moments in his life.

P. Susheela, whose hit songs in Telugu and Kannada are still hot favourites, felt that musicians should be honoured in their lifetime and not after they were dead. "I belong to the entire South, not just Andhra Pradesh, and want to live on in the hearts of listeners, like the late Ghantasala.''

Kota Harinarayana, scientist and Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Hyderabad, felt the honour was for the entire team which worked with him on the Light Combat Aircraft project. "Air power makes a nation supreme in any war as the ongoing events in Iraq show; the LCA we designed is the lightest supersonic fighter, and some of the technology developed for it is being used in the new-generation Airbus and other passenger aircraft,'' Dr. Harinarayana said.

Turlapati Kutumba Rao, veteran journalist and author, referred to the absence of the Karnataka and the Andhra Pradesh Chief Ministers, who were expected to attend the programme, and remarked: "I can perhaps take the time allotted to them.'' Telugus and Kannadigas had more in common with each other than any other linguistic group, and one reason was that they once had common rulers and a common literature, he said.

Film-maker G. Nandakumar, three of whose movies have won national awards, was so moved that he could only express his thanks for the honour.

The Karnataka Minister for Social Welfare, A. Krishnappa, said the concept of a common script for Kannada and Telugu should come true soon, and it would further strengthen the bond between the people speaking the two languages.

The Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister, Y. Ramakrishnudu, said the peace and prosperity of Telugus living in Karnataka showed the affection between the people of the two neighbouring States.

The samithi president, A. Radhakrishna Raju, recalled how the organisation was founded in 1952 with the blessings of eminent persons such as Tenneti Viswanatham, and how it had grown to represent the cultural identity of the Telugus living in Bangalore and other parts of Karnataka.

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