HYDERABAD: People’s poet Kaloji Narayana Rao, who championed the cause of Telangana dialect, was given a befitting tribute by the people and the government by celebrating his birth anniversary as ‘Telangana Bhasha Dinotsavam’ on Wednesday.
The day, the famous poet’s 101st birth anniversary, marked rendition of Telangana poetry and songs across the state.
The state government held an official function at Ravindra Bharathi here, heralding a new tradition of celebrating Telangana Language Day coinciding with Kaloji’s birth anniversary. Noted poet and writer Dr Ammangi Venugopal was bestowed with the first Kaloji Smaraka Puraskaram, instituted in Kaloji’s honour. But there was no major announcement from the government on measures to promote the Telangana dialect.
Kaloji passed way in November 2002.
Addressing the gathering, deputy chief minister Kadiyam Srihari said designing of the proposed Kaloji Kalaskhetram in Warangal was completed and construction would begin soon.
Recalling his association with Kaloji, Srihari said the former personified fearlessness. “He always made people’s issues his own. His readiness to confront any person or politician with tough questions is an inspiration,” Srihari reminisced.
Finance minister Eatela Rajendar, recalling Kaloji’s love of Telangana dialect, said: “He was far-sighted and vociferous in his support for Telangana throughout his life. The TRS government was fulfilling the dreams of Kaloji by reaching out to people through welfare programmes.
Home minister Nayani Narsimha Reddy described the late poet as a strong revolutionary force who opposed oppression in all forms. Ammangi Venugopal, the recipient of the first Kaloji award, was presented with a cash award of Rs 1,01,116. Hailing from Ranga Reddy district, Venugopal has been writing poetry for five decades.
“Kaloji appreciated the flavour of every dialect of Telugu _ be it coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema or Telangana. He wrote poetry in a simple and colloquial language to enable even the masses understand his writings,” Venugopal remarked.