Bringing the Telugu fraternity together – World Telugu Conference ‘17.
The World Telugu Conference, popularly known as Prapancha Telugu Mahasabhalu, was held this year in Lal Bahadur Stadium, Hyderabad from the 15th of December till the 20th. The city was filled with so much energy, portraying love and patriotism towards this beautiful language. All the politicians, actors and other eminent figures from these two states witnessed this grand summit. Also, there were people from all over the world who attended this conference, which made it a jury of 7,000 delegates. This is the first World Telugu Conference after the language was given the ‘classical’ status by the Union Government, and the first conference held by the Telangana government. It was a great start, with a laser show, fireworks display, and some powerful speeches.
K Chandrashekhar Rao, the current and the first Chief Minister of the newly formed Telangana, had given a speech about the contribution of Telangana to Telugu literature and culture. In his 30 minute speech he quoted, “In my native village of Dubbaka, I used to stay in the house of a teacher, the late Raghava Reddy to pursue my education. When I was in class VIII, my class teacher and guru Mrityunjaya Sharma taught us a tough poem from Uttara Gograhanam. He promised a notebook as a prize to whoever could recite the poem flawlessly. I got up and told him that I could recite the poem if I was allowed to memorize it. He said no initially, but then reconsidered. Bowing to Saraswati ammavaru in my mind, I read the poem five times, memorized it and recited it without a hitch.
He was very pleased and took me to the headmaster and got him to gift me the notebook. Not only that, he accompanied me to the place I was staying. Those days we used to stay at a Kapuvada —where the pastoral Kapu community lived. I had the responsibility of delivering milk to the homes of a few of our gurus early in the morning. But Sharma garu met Raghava Reddy garu and told him, ‘this boy has the blessings of Goddess Saraswati. From tomorrow, send him to me every morning at 5.30 so that I can teach him’. Raghava Reddy sir was overwhelmed and complimented me saying that I had justified my parents’ faith in placing me under his care. Since that day, I came under the tutelage of Mrityunjaya Sharma. I had no tuition fees to pay; he was not my relative or family friend. And yet, he took a ‘stone’ like me and polished me, because he saw a spark in me. I don’t know if I’ve turned into a diamond yet, but he did such a fine job that in class 9 itself I started penning my first ‘vrutha padhyalu’ (verses) sitting on the banks of Ramasamudram in Dubbaka. He taught without expecting anything in return, only because of his love for the Telugu language. It is because of such teachers that the Telugu language has flourished and will continue to flourish.”
Also Chiranjeevi, former actor and politician, quoted, “I feel happy to be a part of an event of this stature. That we have politicians who share an equal love for literature is a gift to the Telugu community. If I were to define what’s the meaning of a mother tongue, it’s the first response in our mind, what we think and speak as we’re sleep. It’s unfortunate that Telugus often speak in English when they meet, I almost did that during KTR’s invitation for this event. He cheekily reminded of speaking in ‘Telugu’ then,” portraying his love for the language and the trends that have come of late.
Nyandeep Reddy, an NRI based in Texas, USA having his roots from Karimnagar said, “I love Telugu language immensely; but hitherto, the contribution of Telangana to Telugu language and culture was always given short shrift. This time though, I have traveled all the way from the US for the conference as I know that my region would get its due prominence,” who was a delegate for this conference as well.
Getting together the Telugu fraternity from all over the world under one roof, reciting poetry, recollecting classic films and music, it was a pleasure for all the delegates to have witnessed the World Telugu Conference.