Constitution of the A.P.State Sahitya Academy is yet another instance of negligence and denial of adequate representation to Rayalaseema.
My close friend and Chairman, Dr.Kolakaluri Enoch, a writer of National repute was born, brought up and pursued his academic career in Guntur and Andhra University.
He did his P.H.d from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati and had served the P.G. Centre and later Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Ananthapur for more than three decades.
He was V.Chancellor of Sri Venkateswara University. Chairman represents the whole State. Yet let us consider Enoch represents Ananthapur. Yet, Kurnool and Kadapa go unrepresented. I hasten to add that, I do not suspect the stature, competency and credibility of each of one of the governing body namely vice chairman and ten other members. I do not also attribute political motive or favoritism in the nominations.
There are equally meritorious literary celebrities and champions of the cause of the language and culture in Kadapa and Kurnool Districts. In fact the language movement is more active in the region. Literature is created only when the language has firm existence. Telugu is one of the languages identified by the UNESCO as susceptible for extinction.
In passing, peeping into the past, Golden Age of the Telugu flourished in Hampi, (at present in Ballari Dist) in Rayalaseema Region. It is a known fact that till 1953 Ballari was part of Rayalaseema. Geographically it is more akin to Rayalaseema than N.Karnataka.
Telugu speaking people are almost equal to Kannadigas. After the collapse of the Vijayanagara Empire, Cruel local chieftains, known as Palegars, dominated the region. After their elimination, the legacy was inherited by the local factionalism for about a century.
That is now totally extinct. Vandalism and misbehavior by the local leaders, political or otherwise is not exclusive to Rayalaseema. Drought and Famine is the other enemy of Rayalaseema. That has to be overcome by providing irrigation facilities by the Govt. It is a separate subject to be dealt with.
The Scholarly Poet from Konaseema, Late Nanduri Ramakrishnamacharya, formerly Chairman of the Official Languages Commission, had lamented: “Owing to repeated famines, History records the death of thousands of men and animals. Any number of famines, there is no death for talent. Creativity is not dead in Rayalaseema.”
క్షామము దాపురించి పలుమారులు చచ్చెను జంతుసంతతుల్ వేమురు జచ్చినారు ప్రజలు వేనకువేలు చరిత్ర లోపలన్ క్షామము లెన్ని వచ్చినా రసజ్ఞత మాత్రము చావలేదు జ్ఞానామృత పుష్టికిన్ కొరత నందని రాయలసీమలోపలన్
State Sahitya Academies are formed on the model of the Kendra Sahitya Academy, a permanent body. It is not dissolved. Like the Upper Chambers in the State and Centre, it is an eternal body, members elected by rotation for fixed term, from all the languages in the VIII Schedule, 24 at present.
Nehru, with much reluctance accepted to be the first Chairman, in his capacity as a renowned writer. Philosopher, Statesman, Dr.Radhakrishnan succeeded him. Such renowned statesmen and men of letters as Rajaji, Dr.Radhakrishnan, Munshi, Azad, Zakir Hussain were among the members.
Romantic poet and a leader of the Telugu Renaissance Movement, Rayaprolu Subba Rao, was a member of the Second Committee. Until it got a building of its own, it used to meet in the Parliament’s Lobby; though unbelievable. Members and Fellows are nominated and the Chairman elected by the Academy itself. The prestigious Annual Awards are presented by the Chairman himself. Hence there has not been much criticism against the Academy of political interference, either regarding the membership or Awards.
However there cannot be a democratic institution without ‘dissent.’ Hope the AP government will set a record example, if necessary by amending the statutes and absolve itself of partisan attitude.
-Kuradi Chandrasekhara Kalkura