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Home Cover Features Honouring Telugu

Honouring Telugu

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Honouring Telugu

Nearly 6,000 delegates will descend on the City of Nawabs to take part in the five-day World Telugu Conference to be held at Lal Bahadur Stadium from December 15. President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with eminent writers of Telugu and other languages, who have won Sahitya Academy and Jnanpith Awards, are expected to attend. Dance by Gonds, Kolatam, Perini performances, songs like Kalupu, Naatu and Bathukamma, and many more programmes are part of the Prapancha Telugu Mahasabhalu.

The youngest State of India, Telangana, for the first time is organising, a five-day Prapancha Telugu Mahasabhalu (World Telugu Conference), from December 15-19, 2017 at L B Stadium, in the heart of the city. The three-year-old State, which came into existence after a hard struggle has a lot of ancient History, Literature and Culture to showcase to over 6,000 delegates from across the Globe, Nation and State.

Telangana State Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has sanctioned Rs. 50 crore for organising the mega Conference. The men who are tirelessly working for putting together the World Telugu Conference under the guidance of K Chandrasekha Rao include Advisor to Government K.V.Ramanachary, Sahitya Academy Chairman Nandini Sidha Reddy, CM, OSD and Poet Deshapathi Srinivas, Prof SV Satyanarayana and Chief Secretary SP Singh. Sahitya Academy chairperson Nandini Sidha Reddy said that the World Telugu Conference 2017 will discuss how the Telugu language could be preserved, protected, enriched in the Telangana region. Chief Secretary S.P. Singh made it clear to all officials that the World Telugu Conference should be organised in such a way that it should take the prominence of Telugu Language and Literature to all the corners of the world.

Honouring Telugu

Singh stated that nearly 5,000 people who include teachers, language pundits, professors, Telugu language lovers, would be invited for the Telugu Conference at Lal Bahadur Stadium and 500 persons from various countries and 1,000 littérateurs and language scholars from various States apart from those in the State would be invited to participate in the conference.

Sharing details about the dignitaries to be present, the Chief Secretary said that the President of India Ramnath Kovind would be invited for the inaugural and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu or Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the valedictory of the conference. All eminent writers of Telugu and other languages, who won Sahitya Academy and Jnanpith Awards, would be invited.  He said that the city would be decked up with floral arrangements by the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department and the traffic police would plan smooth flow of traffic.

Director of Culture and Language, Mamidi Harikrishna, said that World Telugu Conference was being organised to promote, protect and propogate Telugu and Telangana culture. He said that the State has produced many talented poets, writers and artists and some of them have not got their due recognition. “The young Telangana government by hosting the conference will showcase its vast and vibrant culture,” he said.  Great poets like Bammera Potnana and Bhakta Ramdasu come from this part of the area.

On the occasion of World Telugu Conference, 80 books will be brought out. Giving details, Harikrishna said that 51 monographics – biography of eminent artists and people from different walks of life. “Sahitya Akademy is bringing out 10 books, the Department of Language and Culture is bringing out eight books, Telugu University is bringing out a special souvenir of 2000 pages, while the I & PR too is  erecting hoardings on great Telangana artists,” Harikrishna said. The publicity department will also bring out pamphlets, flyers and special kits.

As part of the World Telugu Conference, seminars have been organised on all five days at the L B Stadium. “The Telangana Language, History, Literature, Culture, Arts, Food Habits, Films, Folk and Classical art forms will be on display,” he said. As part of cultural events, the department of Culture plans to hold Folk procession, Folk dances, and Classical dances. Cultural programmes will be held in L B Stadium, Classical Dance and Music, Theatre and Film Screening at Ravindra Bharathi, Culture Children’s Festival at Priyadarshini Auditorium, Folk Art & Dances at Lalita Kala Thornam, and Literary sessions at NTR Auditorium. Harikrishna said that they have plans to popularise Telugu in the digital world.

Honouring Telugu

All kinds of exhibitions will also be held coinciding with the Conference. “There will be Photo, Painting, Books on Telangana culture and other English and language books too. The State has been ruled by great kings from Kakatiya dynasty, Qutub Shahi, Asaf Jahi, which will be showcased,” he said. In short, it will be trip down memory lane for many. Even films will be screened about the Telangana life and culture. The director shared that a film competition titled, Yuva Chitrotsav was also being held.

“An elocution and essay competitions would be conducted for school children at the mandal-level on Telangana Culture. The winners from Mandal-level will compete at the District–level and so on. The winners will be presented awards. “There are 30,300 government schools in the state and we are expecting the participation of at least 10,000 students in these competitions. Other events too are on anvil,” he said.

Harikrishna said that poetry writing and research paper writing contests would be held for University students. The Culture official said that many government departments have come together to make this event a grand success.

Telugu Compulsory

On the occasion of conducting World Telugu Conference, beginning from next Academic Year,  the Telangana Government headed by K Chandrasekhar Rao will be making Telugu a compulsory subject in the school curriculum in all schools and colleges across the State. The government has already instructed all educational institutions, private and public, to teach students Telugu from Class 1 to Class 12 as a compulsorily subject from the next academic year.

Honouring Telugu

All schools and colleges affiliated to the State educational board, irrespective of their medium of instruction have to include Telugu as a compulsory subject in their curriculum. It is believed that only schools which teach Telugu would get government recognition and permissions to set up new schools. Telugu Sahitya Academy has been given the job to prepare syllabus and all schools and colleges will have to follow the approved syllabus.

Political overtones were expressed to this decision. Sahitya Academy chairperson Nandini Sidha Reddy, however, brushed aside the allegations. Sidha Reddy said that there was no politics in promoting and protecting the Telugu language, which is on the border of extermination as the present generations, in their fad for English education, are forgetting their mother tongue. The Sahitya Academy chief said that it was compulsory for every official, including Civil Servants, to pass the Telugu language test to be conducted by the Public Service Commission, since they cannot work with the local people, if they do not know the language. He made it clear that only if they pass the test, their jobs would be regularised.

Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Vice Chancellor S.V. Sathyanarayana called upon the parents to think that only if their children studied in English medium schools, they would get lucrative jobs, then it was wrong. He said that people from rural backgrounds and government schools have become IAS officers and senior officials. Sathyanarayana said that he himself had studied in a government school, but now he was the Vice-Chancellor of the university. He said that it was wrong to think that Telugu language doesn’t provide jobs, but many Telugu Varsity students have been placed in high positions which demanded  qualification in Telugu language. According to him some students are working in MNCs.

Honouring Telugu

Osmania University Telugu Department Head Professor Surya Dhananjay said that the Centre had formulated the Three Language Policy in 1964, which advised schools to teach the regional language as the first language, followed by Hindi and English respectively and this should be followed.

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Important Facts

• Telugu is the official language of Andhra Pradesh

and Telangana states

• Telugu is the only language in which every word ends with a vowel

• Renowned explorer Niccolò de’ Conti in Circa 1400-1500 AD after meeting Telugu people had coined the language as ‘Italian of the East’

• Telugu is the fourth most spoken language in the country, according to 2012 census

• One –hour Telugu broadcasts are aired on Mauritius’ radio and television daily

• Telugu is the 15th most spoken language in the world. There are nearly 76 million speakers

• Most of the songs composed in Carnatic music are in Telugu

• Telugu vocabulary is extensively derived from Sanskrit (Indo-Aryan) and Dravidian

• Telugu was declared one of the ‘classical languages’ of India in 2008

• Telugu inscriptions date back to 400 BC

• Historians’ state that the inscription found at Addanki is the oldest Telugu poem which is as per Telugu grammatical rules

• Telugu is the third most widely spoken Indian language in the US, according to American Community Survey data for 2016

Telangana Intellectuals

• Jayappa Senapati

• Bommera Pothana

• Palakurki Somanatha

• Mallinatha

• Quli Qutub Shah

• Maha Laqa Bai Chanda

• Kaloji Narayana Rao

• Dr. C Narayana Reddy

• Dasharathi Krishnamacharyulu

• Maqdhoom Mohiuddin

• P V Narasimha Rao

Honouring Telugu

In government schools, Telugu is the first language, followed by Hindi and English. In our school, medium of instruction is Telugu and English, and we explain to the child in both the languages and more so in Telugu because it is easier for them to understand. I love reading books in Telugu. Among the modern writers, I like Kaloji Narayana Rao. Our school students take part in various competitions like writing songs, stories and plays and win honors too. The government’s decision to hold World Telugu Conference will go a long way in promoting our rich language.

Sharda Ajmeera, Principal

This is the first time that our State is holding the World Telugu Conference. It is matter of honour and pride for us. The Telugu language has sweetness. We have writers and poets dating back to 11th century. We can speak in English, but we can’t emote in English. We must encourage our children to speak Telugu at home. Among the literary writers, Pothana is my favourite, while Sri Sri and Chalam in modern works. Even works of Popuri Lalita Kumari, popularly known as Volga, are interesting. Among fiction it is Yedannipudi Sulochana Rani. I plan to attend some literary seminars. Who can forget the movies made by K Vishwanath and Bapu?

Sanjay Vadapalli, Software Employee

The first World Telugu Conference in the State will help Telangana to exhibit its Literature, Culture,  Art. Citizens across the globe will come to know about the culture and life of people of Telangana. I teach Perini and to promote and popularize, it will help, if the government comes out with an authentic book that this art form has a future and one can make a career out of it. Nataraja Ramakrishna has done a lot for Perini and Kuchipudi. In his memory, on his death anniversary, a programme should be held near his grave near Taramati Baradari. There should be CCRT scholarships in Perini too. It is glad that Telangana festivals like Bonalu, Bathukamma have attained popularity thanks to the efforts of MP K Kavitha garu.

Pavan Kumar, Teacher

World Telugu Conference is nothing but traditional exchange of cultural programme. It would be great if the policies agreed upon at the Conference is translated into practice. There are so many Telugu Abhimanulu across the globe. People abroad are following the language and culture more than those living here as many of them are aping the West. We are ready to promote art in a developed manner. In earlier times, there used to be Sadacharam – developing skills, which is lacking now. My grandmother would sing and depict about Sita Devi or Ram for days together. Their singing reflected the sweetness. We must have authentic information that we can pass on to the next generation about our great culture.

Dr. Linga Srinivas, Telugu University

The World Telugu Conference will help to highlight our State’s rich cultural heritage. By making Telugu compulsory for students from Class 1-12, the chief minister has done a good thing. One must know their mother tongue. People must learn other languages, but also our rich cultural heritage. Even the works of our writers must be translated into English, so that citizens across the world know about our vibrant culture. The Conference will help us to protect and promote our culture and teach our children to respect it. I will be attending the conference on all the five days.  

Percini Rajkumar, Artist


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