Kaloji Narayana Rao: A defiant figure and hero who will always be associated with Telangana’s history

Every year Telangana celebrates Rao's birth anniversary on 9 September as Telangana Language Day.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Sep 09, 2022 | 8:12 AM Updated Sep 09, 2022 | 11:34 AM

CM KCR inaugurating the Kaloji Narayana Rao statue at Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences in Warangal district. (Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences/Website)

Telangana is all set to celebrate the 108th birth anniversary of noted poet, freedom fighter, and political activist Kaloji Narayana Rao on Friday, 9 September. The State government recognises his birthday as Telangana Language Day and awards the Prajakavi Padma Vibhushan Kaloji Narayana Rao award.

Along with the award, the Department of Language and Culture, Telangana government, also rewards the recipient with a cash prize of ₹ 1,01,116, a memento, and a shawl.

The State government, on Wednesday announced that renowned Telangana poet and historian Sriramoju Haragopal will be facilitated with the award this year.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on called Narayana a symbol of Telangana dialect, language, and expression.

Kaloji Narayana: a brave personality

Born on 9 September 1914, in the Bijapur district of Karnataka, Narayana was deeply influenced by the Indian freedom movement.

Narayana was part of several agitations like the Satyagraha movement, the Osmania University Student Vandemataram movement, Arya Samaj, State Congress, Andhra Mahasabha (Telangana), and Anti-Razakar protests.

While agitating against the Nizam — erstwhile ruler of Hyderabad State — the 1992 Padma Vibhushan recipient also went behind bars.

A polyglot since an early age, Narayana wrote poetry in Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, and Hindi, apart from Telugu.

Locally known as Kaloji or Kalanna, he also contested against the fifth Andhra Pradesh chief minister Vengal Rao, who symbolised “Emergency” rule in Andhra Pradesh.

In 2014, the Telangana government renamed as medical University as Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences after the bifurcation of the state. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate by Kakatiya University in the Warangal district in 1992.

Narayana, however, was also elected as a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) and struggled for the emancipation of the masses throughout his life.

KCR pays tribute

While remembering the noted litterateur, Chief Minister KCR said that Kaloji’s services as a freedom fighter, social activist, and poet were commendable.

The TRS leader said that the state government celebrates Kaloji’s Birthday as “Telangana Language Day” in honour of his efforts to promote Telangana’s language and literature.

In keeping with Kaloji’s spirit and the slogan of “puttuka needi, chaavu needi, brathukanta deshanidi (birth is yours, death is yours, the entire life is for the country ), KCR said that Telangana moves forward for nationwide development.

The chief minister also congratulated Haragopal for receiving the Kaloji award for this year.