National Pledge writer left unrecognised

Subramanyam Son of Pydimarri Venkatasubba Rao, National Pledge Writer. Going through a book written on his fathers works at his home in Nalgonda on Sunday. Photo: Singam Venkataramana   | Photo Credit: Singam Venkataramana

Just like the National Anthem and the National Song that’s engraved on our memory, our National Pledge is taken by students in schools across the country, but the writer who penned it is hardly known to people.

Since the introduction of the Pledge in school textbooks in the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh in 1964, it continues to serve the same purpose as our National Anthem and is quite well-known. But its author Pydimarri Venkata Subba Rao, who hails from Nalgonda district, has remained inconspicuous for some reason and has not got the due recognition that he so deserves.

The successive governments in united Andhra Pradesh made no efforts to popularise him, neither did they give him credit for his work by mentioning his name in the textbooks that had the Pledge.

Questioning this, poets and writers from the district and the family members of Venkata Subba Rao have made an appeal to the Chief Minister, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, to acknowledge his work by including his name in the textbooks by issuing a government order. Also, they have urged the government to recommend his name for Padma award.

Born on June 10, 1916 at Anneparthi village near Nalgonda town, Subba Rao had a flair for writing and one of his poems appeared in Suravaram Prathapa Reddy’s book on Telangana poets Golkonda Kavulu published in 1934, when he was only 18 years old, said noted poet Venu Sankoju.

Subba Rao was an employee in the State Treasury Department and worked in various capacities in Nizamabad, Khammam, Nellore, Visakhapatnam and Nalgonda and retired in 1971. While he was in Visakhapatnam between 1962-64, India was in war with China during which time Subba Rao wrote a story to inculcate patriotism among people.

His elder son P.V. Subramanyam, recalling those memories, said that his father showed his song to senior Congress leader from Visakhapatnam Tenneti Viswanadham, who forwarded it to the then Education Minister P.V.G. Raju, father of current Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju. Due to the efforts of the then Education Minister, the Pledge was included in school textbooks which was later translated to English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarathi and many other regional languages.

Shockingly, the then State government did not even inform Subba Rao about the inclusion of the song in textbooks, allege his family members. He only came to know about it when his granddaughter was reading it aloud in his 70s, after his retirement.

But Subba Rao’s contribution to writing has been recognised in books of other writers like Elikatte Shankar Rao, who had authored Prathigna Padashilpi- Pydimarri comprising articles written by Telangana writers on Subba Rao. Mr. Shankar Rao has written another book Prathigna-50 Years of Discrimination highlighting the failure of successive governments in recognising the contribution of a legendary figure like Subba Rao.

“Union Ministry of Human Resource Development records, however, show Subba Rao as the author of the Pledge,” claims his family members and writers.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 8:59:08 AM |

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