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Samaikyandhra stir through an artist’s eyes

P. Sujatha Varma
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R. Mallikarjun Rao’s painting on Samaikyandhra struggle.
R. Mallikarjun Rao’s painting on Samaikyandhra struggle.

Needless to say that Samaikyandhra is the flavour of the season. Besides the agitating groups which have been spending every ounce of their energy to motivate people for the cause of a united Andhra Pradesh, individuals emotionally associated with the cause jostle with too many apprehensions that clutter their mind. R. Mallikarjun Rao, Joint Director, Social Welfare Department, in West Godavari, is one such restless individual who has found a novel way to de-clutter his mind full of myriad thoughts.

Sharing his thoughts here on Thursday with The Hindu , he detailed his efforts.

The tragedy of war

Gifted with an innate ability to give a tangible shape to his ideas through illustrations/painting, Mr. Rao has depicted a panoramic view of the Samaikyandhra struggle, the issues that are at stake and the different purposes that propelled the two sides, Seemandhra and Telangana, towards a tussle.

Mr.Rao was inspired by Pablo Picasso’s famous work Guernica , a painting created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a basque country village in northern Spain by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces on April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War.

Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly the civilians.

“The issue of separate State also evoked images of suffering in my mind,” he says.

Symbolic depiction

In a symbolic depiction, his painting shows the ‘Telugu Thalli’ in a sitting posture. Of her two offspring -- Telangana and Seemandhra -- one is clinging on to her back while the other is trying to let go off her bosom.

“The one trying to leave and go its own way is Telangana,” he explains. The scene encompasses the Charminar, the flyovers and highrises which are the status symbols of Hyderabad city.

Images of legendary poets like Gurajada and others, who contributed a great deal to the enrichment of the Telugu language and culture, lie strewn across the floor.

“It is tragic that people of both regions are hankering for tangible wealth of buildings, flyovers and monuments at the cost of our rich language and culture that have served as a binding force for ages,” he bemoaned.

R. Mallikarjun Rao, Social Welfare Joint Director, depicts a view of the struggle, the issues at stake, and the purposes that propelled the two sides towards a tussle


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