New twist to CP Brown photo row

Staff Reporter

The photo is being sent to London library for crosscheck with a group photograph

TIRUPATI: The controversy surrounding the chance finding of a rare photograph of the legendary British Collector of Kadapa, Charles Phillip Brown, appears unlikely to die down.

It may be recalled that a team of TTD officials, led by SV Digital Library director Bhuman, stumbled upon what was believed to be the first-known photograph of Brown, a patron of Telugu language, at Ellutla of Gurramkonda mandal in the district.It was believed that the Collector, during a visit to Ellutla to solve a land dispute, had posed for the photograph in deference to the wish of the village Karanam.

Doubt raised

No sooner did the report appear in the media that a section of historians and litterateurs raised doubt that the British `dora' in the photograph might not be that of Brown. It was even stated that the science of photography did not evolve at the time the photo in question was taken.

`Major breakthrough'

Addressing mediapersons here on Tuesday, Mr. Bhuman called the `discovery' a major breakthrough in the field of Telugu literature and history. Quoting World Wide Web sources, he maintained that the origin of photography dated back to 1826 AD and the Brown photo had been taken somewhere around 1850 AD. Also, the imaginary portrait of Brown, drawn by Mynampati Subramanyam, was based on the photograph of his father David Brown. "When photography was very much there during the time of his father, how does this question arise?" Mr. Bhuman explained that the photo was being sent to a library in London to cross-check with a group photograph of officers, including Brown. To find out the period in which the photo was taken, it would be sent for carbon testing, he added.

Muddaraju Subba Rao,of Ellutla village who was instrumental in bringing the photo to light, said that his great grandmother Buchamma (who is no more) had told him that the Britisher in the photograph was CP Brown.

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