HYDERABAD: Even as the Mangala Vayidyam (the auspicious clarinet) was being blown, amid Vedic chants, two Telugu Biddas — M Venkaiah Naidu and K Chandrasekhar Rao, who made their mark in the contemporary political history of Telugus with the gift of the gab and ability to mesmerize masses by hurling power-packed dialogues, enthralled the audience at Raj Bhavan here with their silver-tongue.
While Vice President Venkaiah Naidu preferred Hyderabad for embarking on his first official tour, given his 40-year-old association with the City of Pearls as a politico, CM Rao captivated Naidu by hosting a rousing ‘civic reception’ on Monday for the veteran leader with Telugu flavour that too in Telangana style.Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the Governor ESL Narasimhan, reverberated with the reciting of ancient Telugu poems, whose syntax is unique for the language, known as ‘Italian of the East’.
None other than CM Rao, a postgraduate in Telugu literature, chanted some of the finest poems in the language to explain how oratorical prowess will help any demagogue in striking a chord with the plebeian.Rao, who is considered as an eloquent and persuasive orator in Telugu after TDP founder NT Rama Rao, took the opportunity to explain the crowd how good Venkaiah Naidu is in delivering pun-filled dialogues not only in Telugu but also in Hindi and English. “We all should be proud that our Telugu Bidda has attained a second highest constitutional position in the country,” Rao said and recalled how NTR had brought recognition for Telugus at national level earlier.
KCR further added, “At a time when there was a feeling among the North Indians that South Indians could not speak Hindi, Naidu mastered the language and scaled new heights. A Telugu man becoming the national president of a national party is not a child’s play.” Later, while thanking KCR for organising a grand reception for him, Vice President Naidu said, “I am extremely delighted that the felicitation is organised in Telugu tradition. Further more, this occasion provided me an opportunity to hear Telugu poems, which are being forgotten by the younger generation.”
“Telangana land is a symbol of Telugu literature and continuous struggles. CM KCR is a good orator and I am a fan of his speeches, which are laced with native Telugu words,” Naidu said.
The veteran leader made an appeal to the CMs of the two Telugu-speaking states — KCR and N Chandrababu Naidu, to take steps to protect the Telugu language. “Telugu is on the verge of extinction as English is eating into it. I don’t say that Telugu should be made the medium of instruction in education. But, it should be made compulsory at all levels of education. Governments of the two states should take measures to conduct all transactions in the administration in Telugu language,” he suggested.
The felicitation, organised in the presence of Governor Narasmihan, Union Labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya, other dignitaries and film personalities, experienced the Telugu flavour on every front, even as Vedic verses were recited by pandits.Rao, clad in spick-and-span white attire, felicitated the Vice President, who was in his trademark white lungi and white shirt, by wrapping a silk shawl around the Veepee’s shoulders. Later, Rao hosted lunch to Venkaiah with Telangana cuisine.
New position, new problems!
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said he was feeling a little uncomfortable in his new position as he could no longer interact with people as he had done as a politico. “My post is a big one. Likewise, there are many restrictions on me. Due to protocol issues, I can’t mingle with people,” he remarked. He said he had asked his officers to study the rules to find out ways to overcome these ‘protocol problems’.
Piece of advice for two CMs
Vice president Naidu suggested Chief Ministers of TS and AP — K Chandrasekhar Rao and N Chandrababu Naidu, to bury their hatchet and work together for the prosperity of the two Telugu-speaking states.
Congress skips felicitation
Leaders of the main Opposition party (Congress), did not attend the reception hosted for the VP as they were in Delhi on Monday to attend the dharna organised by TJAC in Delhi. TDP leaders alleged that they too could not attend as they were not invited by the government.