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Metro cultural round-up


Functioning from 1926, Andhra University stands a name to reckon with as one among the renowned seats of higher learning and research spread all over the globe. The pinnacle of achievement of many an alumnus in various fields of humanities, science, technology and engineering which deservingly won them high esteem for thier original contribution towards development of new methodologies not only at the national level but also on the international arena bear ample testimony justifying the claim.

The 85-year old Vemuri Venkata Ramanatham, a native of Machilipatnam, born on November 1, 1920, may stand considered as just another living example of such an alumnus. Having brought out imperatively an elative bird's view like account of the two decades of his association with men and matters of AU during 1938-58 for the first time in the annals of any institute of higher learning, he could stand acclaimed as a pioneer contemplating and accomplishing the project with a personal touch in book form.

The book, titled `Nenu, Andhra Viswavidyalayam', a resultant of soulful inspiration and all-out encouragement rendered by the US based Ajo-Vibho-Kandaalam Foundation's progenitors and later published by the same cultural body, was released at a function organised by the literary association, Andhra Bhasha Samithi of which the Vice-Chancellor, Y.C. Simhadri, is the honorary president.

The fucntion with the samithi's president, K. Malayavasini in the chair, was held in the seminar hall of the Department of Chemical Engineering in the AU College of Engineering last week. While the AU Law College Principal, R. Venkata Rao, who was the guest of honour, released the book, Balamohan Das of the Department of Commerce and Management Studies analysed its contents and presented its author as well to the audience. The professors, Panduranga Rao, Syama Sundari and Kamalavasini, spoke on the occasion. Faculty members of various departments of all campus colleges and students attended. The samithi secretary, K.V. Rao, presented the welcome address. Its joint secretary, A. Ravi Prasad, proposed a vote of thanks.

Starting with the brief narration of the episode of his getting admitted into the B.Com. (Hons.) by Providence in 1938, Prof. Ramanatham gives a graphic description of the campus life. AU stood considered a temple of education providing a means of search for higher and higher echelons of knowledge and the students, who were pietistic seekers with unstinted and single minded devotion. It reflected a serene and sanctified atmosphere resulting out of hale and hearty interaction, exchange of ideas and a healthy social life.

The empathetic effort comparing the power of contemplation, contribution and consolidation of the first three Vice-Chancellors, C.R. Reddy, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and V.S. Krishna, to that of the Andhra Kavitrayam - Nannaya, Thikkana and Yerrana - who laid an everlasting foundation for an ever extant growth of Telugu literature remains a special attraction in the book.

It is a graphic account analysing the attributes of high ideals and the sagacious zeal for which the stalwart trio stood and achieved development of the university both in terms of quantity and quality. Even the construction of the hostel buildings and naming them Saddharma Sadana, Ashokavardhana, Harshavardhana and so on reveal their exalted vision, Prof. Ramanatham describes in one of the chapters. Not only their visionary attributes but also the missionary zeal with which the then Registrar, K.V. Gopalaswamy, took meticulous care giving a physical form to them, including the ordeal of shifting the university to Guntur in 1942 and so on stand graphically described in the book by the author, who is well known for his plays, short stories, novels, essays, critiques and poetic kavyas.

Notwithstanding the inconsistencies in the diction of Telugu in which it is scripted, the book, no wonder, stands not only as an authentic base but also as a vista of an impetus for putting the history of various hues of the great institution by writers on record in future.

A. RAMALINGA SASTRY

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