Burgula Ramakrishna Rao played a crucial role in all contemporary movements and laid a firm foundation for cultural development and political spirit in Telangana people who were oppressed under the reign of Nizam. He was a prime witness to Telangana freedom struggle, library movements, Telangana farmers’struggle and Vishalandhra movements. He deserted the areas of work where the atmosphere was polluted.
He received famous “Allies” scholarship and graduated in law in Mumbai and took up the legal profession in Hyderabad but continued for a few days only. After meeting Madapati Hanumantha Rao, Burgula dedicated his life for public service and to popularize science and literature. He was imprisoned twice for participating in public movements. He gave up law portfolio given by Mirza Ismail, the Prime Minister of Hyderabad State.
Burgula was a great humanist, stood against injustice, and declared war on the dictatorship of Nizam in order to support the public. A litterateur, social reformer, statesman, linguist, he laid the foundation for cultural development of and political spirit in the Telangana region which was oppressed under the Nizam.
Burgula organized many literary discourses and celebrations to bring out the best in literature. He presided over the second Andhra Maha Sabha held at Devarakonda and gave direction for Telangana society. He also worked as a secretary for Hyderabad Swadesi League and Nizam Subjects League.
Burgula played a crucial role for stability in Telangana which was crushed under the Razakar movement and worked as a Revenue Minister in the cabinet of Vellodi government (1950) which was formed after police action. He got unexpected victory from Shadnagar constituency in the first sovereign elections held in 1952, and became the first Chief Minister of Hyderabad. After the termination of Nizam rule, in a short period he formed a stable democratic system with his administrative skill. He eradicated the system of jagirdar and mukthedar in Telangana and introduced the law of tenancy and became the first Indian land reformer. Until then education was in Urdu medium in Telangana and for the first time he gave importance for teaching in native language.
The services of Burgula spread not only in Telangana but also to neighbouring areas. After the formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956, as a Governor of Kerala state, he showed his statesmanship and got acclaim from many top politicians. When he was Governor of Uttar Pradesh, he was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha in 1962 and gave up politics in1967.
Burgula was an eloquent speaker of English, Farsi, Urdu, Sanskrit, Marathi, Kannada and Telugu. Despite being a lawyer by profession, his love for language and literature was ever lasting. He wrote poems, essays and translated books.
Burgula established “Young Man Union” with the support of friends and relatives when he was studying Inter. Under the control of this Union, he established a library and brought the spirit of reading and speaking in public by giving speeches on different societal issues. In 1921, to form a responsible government and to bring political reforms in Hyderabad, he prepared a statement with the help of Madapati Hanumantha Rao and Ranga Rao on reforms (State Reform Association). He published many essays in English newspapers against the social evil dowry.
Burgula went to jail in 1942 and 1947 for the violation of Nizam orders. He led the movement by giving support to Telangana society. When K M Munshi visited Hyderabad in January 1948 as Agent General on behalf of the Central government, Burgula met him against Nizam orders, inviting the wrath of the ruler. In the same year he became the leader of Congress in Hyderabad and took the responsibility of leading the public movement. It is noteworthy that he had put in all his efforts to merge the Hyderabad State with the Indian Union.
Burgula’s services were distinctive in politics and social culture. He had been the president of Khadi Board Enquiry Association, Madhya Pradesh Subject Research Association, and Andhra Pradesh Bharath Sevak Society. He imparted great cultural services while being the president of Prashanth Vidvath Parishath, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, History of Science, Telugu and Urdu Academy. While being Vice-President of Sanskrit Parishath, South Indian Hindi Campaign Conference, and as a member of Classical Language Commission, Burgula’s services to languages were commendable.
(The writer is Lecturer in Telugu, Mahabubnagar Vidya Samithi College, Mahabubnagar Dist)