Governance as expatiated in our epics
Ganapathiraju Atchutarama Raju (left) and Kondepudi Subba Rao (right) honouring Vemuri Ramanadham with the `Mahakavi' title.
The five-day fete of discourses, discussions, reviews and get-togethers organised by the Hyderabad based Vemuri Chandravathi Ramanadham Charitable Trust in association with the local literary bodies from January 28 proved to be a bonanza of enlightenment to lovers and connoisseurs of Telugu literature.
Vemuri Ramanadham was the first to obtain a doctoral degree after being the first and only one to secure a first class at the post-graduate level and the first as well as a member on the teaching faculty to have successfully guided research work leading to the PhD and D.Sc. degree awards after the department of commerce came into being in Andhra University. Thanks to the attention he could attract from the then Vice-Chancellor, Cattamanchi Ramalinga Reddy, the creative writer in him coupled with his taste for Telugu literature found excellent expression in the form of musical features and poetic plays. Later, he settled down as a professor and head of the department of commerce at Osmania University after obtaining another doctoral degree in commercial economics from the London University. He founded the Institute of Public Enterprise and was its first director. Later as one of the key advisers to the UN, he shaped the economies several countries with his wise counsel. He published books and organised seminars and conferences on the subject almost all over the globe.
Happily married to Chandravathi, who was herself a noted poet, his pursuits in the literary field also bore fruit. He established this memorial trust, after her demise in 1993.
The renowned litterateur Kavisekhara Kondepudi Subbarao, the founder editor of `Prasanna Bharati' coordinated the fete, which got off with a lecture by Ramanadham himself in the AU Department of Telugu with its Head, P. Subba Rao, in the chair. Its former Head, K. Malayavasini, introducing Ramanadham, gave an exquisite account of his various works in Telugu. Reciting the pertinent poems from the Telugu version of Vyasabharatam, of Nannayya in particular, Ramanadham expounded the norms of governance and management of finance and economy, recruitment policy, peace and war time strategies, safeguard of the downtrodden and the poor, selection of ministers, ambassadors and army chiefs and so on as vividly as described in the epic. He concluded with a critical appraisal of their universal and all-time relevance for the entire civilized mankind, amidst reverberating applause.
Next day evening witnessed a scintillating Kavisammelanam organised in association with Sahridaya Sahithi in which young and veteran poets rendered their poems. Its president, L.R.Swamy, was in the chair, the founder president, Chitrakavi Atreya, moderated the proceedings.
Visakha Saraswatha Vedika on the next day organised a discouse on poesy. In the session with Divakarla Ramamurthy in the chair, Kavisekhara Kondepudi introduced Ramanadham to the audience. Ramanadham, elaborately quoting from the ancient, medieval and modern works in poetry, stressed that mere selection of syllables and their arrangement conforming to the norms of prosody could not be called poetry. "The characteristic attribute lies in the fluidity of expression of the soulful empathy of the poet, whatever may be the subject," he concluded.
The valedictory session on February 1, with a get-together of litterateurs and of lovers of literature on the next day in the premises of the office of Prasanna Bharati, were organised in association with Visakha Sahithi.
Prof. Malayavasini chaired the session. Kavisekhara Kondepudi gave a brief but absorbing account of the poetic works of Ramanadham, `Swaatantrya Siddhi', `Ramayana Smritulu' and `Nandanam' that were to be critically reviewed respectively by Dr. Vedula Sbrahmanya Sastry, Prof. Malayavasini and Kalaprapurna Dr. Ganapathi Raju Atchuta Rama Raju.
Making a scintillating sojourn of all the 25 cantos starting from the 1st which describes the situation at the time of Gandhiji's comeback from South Africa through all the important events before and 50 years after Independence as picturesquely as the graphic revelation of the episodes that radiantly reflect the empathy of the poet. He concluded saying it not only stands as the magnum opus of the author but also a classic among the modern historicals, in prose and poetry.
Dr. Malayavasini gave a picturesque account as to how Ramayana has been retold in Ramayana Smritulu. It stands out as a brilliant transliteration of an imagery of an interaction of the poet with characters like Sabari, Soorpanaka, Urmila, Guha, Hanuman and so on one hand and even the flora and fauna including the soil opn which Rama walked, the stones, rocks, mounds and mountains of the surroundings on the other, she concluded.
An author of more than a score of kavyams, novels, musical plays and features, Prof. Ramanadham was profoundly felicitated and the title `Mahakavi' was conferred on him jointly by the Sahridaya and Visakha Sahithis along with Prasanna Bharathi on the occasion. Muddamsetti Hanumantha Rao, compered the programme. Vemuganti Vasudeva Rao proposed a vote of thanks.
A. RAMALINGA SASTRY
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