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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chilakamarthy Lakshmi Narasimham (1867 - 1946)




Chilakamarthi Lakshmi Narasimham was born on September 26, 1867, at Khandavalli West Godavari Dt., Andhra Pradesh, to Shri Chilakamarthi Venkanna and Smt. Venkataratnamma. 

Narasimham was visually impaired since his youth, and became blind after his graduation. Yet, his contribution to Telugu literature was monumental—he wrote verses, plays (26), Prahasanas (more than a dozen), novels (more than a dozen), stories, and biographies.  Chilakamarthi Lakshmi Narasimham also started and ran three magazines — SaraswathiManorama and Desamatha.

His best-known plays are probably Gayopakhyanam (1909) and Ganapathi  (1920).  His play, Gayopakhyanam, is the only Telugu book to have sold more than 1 lakh copies. It also enjoys the record for the highest number of performances.

He was an active participant of the Indian independence struggle. He eschewed "foreign cloth" and wore Khaadi shirt, coat and turban. Much before Gandhiji, he took up Harijan cause: started Rammohana Pathasala in 1909 for Harijans.

His poems vividly reflect the then prevailing social and political circumstances. Driven by nationalistic fervor, he wrote the poem “Bharata Khandambu Chakkani Paadi Aavu”.  

At the age of 75, he wrote his autobiography, purely from his prodigious memory. His autobiography does not speak merely of his life. It also depicts the upheavals that the country passed through during his time. What he wrote in it rings true even today and is relevant for all times: “Hindus and Muslims, Brahmins and non-Brahmins, lower classes—since time immemorial they were born here; they breathed this air, they drank this water; they grew here. So mutual hatred destroys, and is not conducive to general welfare.”





- GRK Murty

2 comments:

Dr.A.Jagadeesh said...

Inspiring article on the great reformist Shri Chilakamarthi Lakshmi Narasimham

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India



karpuramanjari said...

Thanks a lot Dr. Jagadeesh garu...

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