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Updated: April 15, 2010 20:52 IST

Bridging the language divide

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HYDERABAD 11/06/2009: N.D.Tiwari Governor of Andhra Pradesh presenting the prestigious award
The Hindu HYDERABAD 11/06/2009: N.D.Tiwari Governor of Andhra Pradesh presenting the prestigious award "Telugu Bharati Puraskaramu"-2009 instituted by CP Brown Academy, to Dr.Biruduraju Ramaraju in Hyderabad on Thursday. ------.Photo:G_Krishnaswamy

Tribute Biruduraju Ramaraju has left a rich legacy.

Not many a scholar in contemporary culture scene could claim authority over the pan-Indian, Sanskritic tradition and the , local, folk tradition with equal felicity and competence. This is the accomplishment of Biruduraju Rama Raju who passed away last month at the age of 84. The Telugu Department of Kakatiya University, Warangal organised a meeting in his memory recently and the speakers paid rich tributes to the scholar-researcher-critic . Rama Rau was born at Devanoor village in Warangal. He completed primary education at Devanoor and Madikonda, on the outskirts of Hanamkonda. For his higher education he had to walk 14 km to and from Hanamkonda for about eight years. He used to regularly Rajarajanarendra Andhra Bhasha Nilayam, a library established in 1904 at Hanamkonda. He took part in the meetings organised by youth leaders of the time like Kaloji Narayana Rao, P.V. Narasimha Rao, T. Hayagreeva Chari and M. S. Rajalingam. He came into contact with leaders of the Arya Samaj, Andhra Mahasabha in Warangal and under their influence he was actively involved in politics for a while.

Prof Rama Raju completed his graduation from Nizam College and postgraduation in Telugu from Osmania University in 1951. Dr. C. Narayana Reddy and Rama Raju were known as the duo of ‘Rama Naryana poets.' His was the first thesis on Folk Literature in South India that was awarded a doctorate in 1956. He joined the Osmania University in 1952. Journeying through the length and breadth of the country he collected innumerable Sanskrit and Telugu palm leaf manuscripts. The hitherto unpublished manuscripts were brought to light with elaborate prefaces by him. In his pioneering work, Contribution of Andhras to Sanskrit Literature, he re-wrote the literary history of Sanskrit bringing into focus the many neglected writers and their poetic works. The contribution of 34 hitherto unknown poets was recorded by him in his significant work, Charitrakekkani Charitatarthulu .

He also wrote about twelve works concerning the lore and legends of important places.

A scholar well versed with Urdu, Hindi, and English, Rama Raju translated Guru Gobind Singh's History and Jataka Tales from Hindi into Telugu. He also compiled an Urdu-Telugu Dictionary. In English too he gave many lectures in different parts of the country and wrote many books, notable ones being Folk Tales of Andhra Pradesh, South Indian Folk Songs, Glimpses into Telugu Folklore.


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