‘Kandukuri had pragmatic approach to social problems’

Telugu scholar Aripirala Narayana Rao , GST Sai, and Hitakarini Samajam Trust Board member Ajjarapu Haribabu paying tributes to Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu at his tomb in Rajahmundry on Tuesday.— Photo: S. Rambabu  

Telugu scholar Aripirala Narayana Rao has said Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu’s principles were based on pragmatism. The social reformer had adopted a realistic approach towards social problems.

Prof. Narayana Rao said it was not easy for Veeresalingam to fight against customs and traditions that were having strong roots in the society he lived in. But he finally won the battle by performing widow marriages and stopped child marriages.

Addressing a meeting on the occasion of the 131st anniversary of the first widow marriage that was performed by Veeresalingam Pantulu on this day at Ananda Gardens (where tombs of Pantulu and his wife Rajyalakshmi were constructed), Prof. Narayana Rao said it was a great honour for Hitakarini Samajam to felicitate Sesha Talpa Sai, grandson of Gogulapati Sriramulu to whom Veeresalingam had performed the first widow marriage on December 11, 1881. He said the contribution of Veeresalingam in bringing social awareness, reforms, and theosophical bent of mind were always an inspiration for youth.

Mr. Sai said it was a great opportunity to be honoured by the Hitakarini Samajam, as his grandfather, who was a contemporary to Veeresalingam Pantulu, was married to a widow despite resistance from his family elders at that time.

Donation for statue

Mr. Sai recalled that his grandfather named his first son (Sai’s father) as Veeresalingam to remember the great man forever. He donated Rs.10,000 for the bronze statue of Veeresalingam proposed at the Y Junction.

VT College lecturer Chaganti Saratbabu spoke on Veeresalingam Pantulu’s contribution to society.

Hitakarini Samajam Trust Board members — Ajjarapu Haribabu, Sooravaraju Rajyalakshmi, and Chandrasekhar, VT Degree College principal P. Nageswara Rao, and lecturers — P.B. Sanjeeva Rao and S.T.P. Krishnamacharyulu participated in the meeting.

The Andhra Kesari Yuvajana Samiti also observed the 131st anniversary of the first widow marriage at the social reformer’s ‘memorial building’ (residence).

Speaking on the occasion, its president Sannidhanam Sastry appealed to the government as well as the municipal corporation to construct a community hall in the building where Veeresalingam spent his entire life.

Vice-president of the samiti Deekshitula Subrahmanyam appealed to the government to bring out a book on Kandukuri’s life for the benefit of the younger generation.