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Metro cultural round-up



A bust of the former Registrar of Andhra University , K.V. Gopalaswamy. --Photo: C.V.Subrahmanyam

Quoting an obscure observation that "Style is the person", Ayyagari Prasanna Kumar wonders how truly it holds good in the case of the late Dr.K.V. Gopalawamy, who reigned all affairs of Andhra University for a little over two decades as its Registrar till 1963.

Prof. Prasanna Kumar has made this observation in his article, `A towering personality' published in the souvenir brought out to mark the year of Gopalaswamy's birth centenary.

The year-long celebrations, organised by a committee headed by the AU Vice-Chanceller, Y.C. Simhadri, was inaugurated on December 19, 2003, and concluded with the valedictory on January 29, 2004. Prof. Simhadri inaugurated the event and also presided over the valedictory.

Overall, it turned out the most befitting tribute that could be paid to Gopalaswamy, 40 years after he laid down the office of Registrar and 20 years after his demise. The way almost all the present and past teaching and non-teaching staff, including the studens involved in the celebration all through, spoke volumes of the calibre and the humane attitude of KVG, when he dealt with all campus affairs including the extra-curricular activities, especially the cultural side.

Thanks to the zeal of U. Tataji and K.V. Rao, who were the conveners, unlike many a programme of centenary celebration, KVG's included ardent conduct of lectures, symposia and seminars, besides the staging of plays in the AU Open-Air Theatre all through the year.

The souvenir is bereft of even a single advertisement and replete with half a dozen messages and about a score of tributary articles by very eminent persons like the Jnanpeeth awardee, C. Narayana Reddy, professors like B. Sarveswara Rao, M. Gopalakrishna Reddy, P. Venugopala Rao (Emory University, Atlanta), B.S Murty, K. Hanumantha Rao and K. Laksmi Devi, the cine actors, K. Jaggaiah, Akkineni Nageswara Rao and K. Satyanarayana and other friends of KVG.

Prof. Prasanna Kumar observes: "'Born with a silver spoon in his mouth' is never more true than in the case of Sri K.V. Gopalaswamy. He was also born with a heart of gold and endowed with a razor sharp intellect. His education abroad embellished his academic credentials. It was AU's good fortune that he chose to serve it for 22 years as its Registrar. Gopalaswamy was more than a Registrar. He was the backbone of the university administration and a source of inspiration for students, teachers and administrative staff and it is not easy to adequately express the university community's gratitude to this stalwart administrator.

"As Bar-at-Law, he could have joined the bar and made a fortune or even risen to a high position on the bench. As the son of Sri K.V. Reddy Naidu, the then Governor of Madras Presidency, he could have secured for himself a high post either in Government or in private industry or business. All such things were within his grasp. But Gopalaswamy opted for academic work out of sheer love for it. The University was the gainer in the process. He brought dignity to the office of the Registrar and discipline to the university administration. The examination system of AU, thanks to his stewardship, has remained efficient and foolproof. In fact, it became a role model for many universities as the AU's examination system was never involved in any scandals or irregularities.

"If the University Law College is among the best of its kind in the country because of its high traditions of teaching and research, it must also be borne in mind that KVG was the first professor of Law in AU. He did yeoman service to the stage and amateur theatre and AU became a trend-setter when the Department of Theatre Arts was established under his guidance. The Andhra Week celebrations which became famous all over the State were ably organised because of the personal interest evinced by the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar. Gopalaswamy used to take special care in the conduct of the week-long celebrations. His presence was enough to instil discipline at any function. As the president of the Students Union, I had the privilege of receiving his guidance almost every day during the celebrations."

All kudos to Prof.K.V. Rao of Department of Chemical Engineering, who was the convener, and Prof. Chandu Subba Rao who was the co-convener of the celebrations committee, who organised the event with great zeal and respect for Gopalaswamy.

A. RAMALINGA SASTRY

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