It's official: First Telugu inscription disappears - The New Indian Express

It's official: First Telugu inscription disappears

Published: 07th April 2013 07:56 AM

Last Updated: 07th April 2013 07:56 AM

In a rude shock to the Telugu community, the famous Kalamalla inscription, considered to be the first in Telugu on the basis of which the Official Language status was accorded to Telugu, has disappeared.

The efforts of the Central Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar awardee Vempalli Gangadhar,  who strove for bringing back the first Telugu inscription dating back to 575 AD found in Kalamalla in Kadapa district, from the Egmore Museum in Chennai to Andhra Pradesh, proved futile with the officials of the museum as well as the Indian Archaeological Department in Hyderabad making it clear that they do not have any such evidence with them.

In a reply to a letter by Gangadhar, who invoked the Right to Information Act, both the bodies admitted that Kalamalla is the first Telugu inscription. However, they made it clear that the inscription is not with them.

It may be recalled that a study team on inscriptions from the then Madras found the inscription by Chola King Dhanunjaya Varma belonging to the period 575 AD on the premises of Sri Chennakesava Swamy temple in Kalamalla village of Kadapa district in 1904 AD and preserved at Egmore Museum.

After learning about the issue, Gangadhar sought to know from the museum authorities whether the inscription was being kept for public viewing and asked them to furnish details of steps taken to protect the historical evidence under the RTI.

Replying to his letter, museum assistant director Tiru S Selva Arasu said that the inscription was not present in the museum.

Later, Gangadhar wrote to the Indian Archaeological Department in Hyderabad where the officials admitted that it was the first Telugu inscription.

However, they said it was not in their possession.

Saying that some research was conducted by historians Mutluri Venkataramaiah and K Nilakanta Sastry in 1947-48 on the Kalamalla inscription, officials of the Archaeological Department maintained that there was no additional information on the inscription.

Gangadhar said that he was already informed by the office of the Indian Archaeological Department at Mysore that they were not in possession of the Kalamalla inscription.

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