Eight years after launching his campaign for the establishment of a Gandhian University here, 72-year-old Yenisetty Sambasiva Rao, a retired professor of Telugu, who had been an ardent follower of the Gandhian ideology since his college days, still runs from pillar to post to get his dream realised, but to no avail.
There was no VVIP whom this septuagenarian teacher had not met with pleas for setting up the university that would spread Gandhian ideology and economic thought.
Prominent academicians, industrialists, politicians, and celebrities have pledged their support to this noble mission, which has not progressed beyond the slew of appeals made by him in person and in written form over the last one decade.
Those who backed the proposal included Sonia Gandhi, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy, Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, and K. Chiranjeevi. Mr. Chiranjeevi, who is now Union Minister for Tourism (independent charge), had even expressed his resolve to get a Gandhian University established in Andhra Pradesh, in the erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party’s manifesto for the 2009 elections.
Mr. Kasu Krishna Reddy is the honorary president of ‘Mahatma Gandhi Tatva Viswavidyalayam Akanksha Samiti’ that was floated by Mr. Sambasiva Rao to give a fillip to the movement.
Mr. Sambasiva Rao had done painstaking work on the project, comprising a good amount of research into life and deeds of the Mahatma.
He qualified in written part of a Ph.D on the topic ‘Impact of Mahatma Gandhi on Andhra literature’, but failed in submitting the thesis for evaluation due to personal reasons.
Speaking to The Hindu, he expressed regret that his proposal remained on paper in spite of vocal support that came forth over the years. He pointed out that Mahatma Gandhi was revered around the world. His influence was so profound that China had, a few years ago, got lessons on the Mahatma incorporated in the syllabus in its schools up to the university level.
Back home, appeals to set up the university in Guntur, which was favoured as the appropriate place by none other than the former President, Giani Zail Singh, have remained as a cry in the wilderness.
“If the proposal does not start taking a tangible shape by 2014, I will donate my house property (situated on Kugler Hospital Road) to the Government of China as my contribution to the propagation of Gandhian ideology there, Mr. Sambasiva Rao added, with sadness writ large on his face.