Meet Andesri, who penned T-anthem

Meet Andesri, who penned T-anthem

Meet Andesri, who penned T-anthem. ‘Jaya Jayahe Telangana, Janani Jayaketanam…’ the song was first sung in 2003 at a Telangana Writers’ Forum...

Illiterate & unlettered Andesri, who penned the lyrics of the Telangana state song, ‘Jaya Jayahe Telangana, Janani Jayaketanam’ speaks about the inspiration behind the song and more.

‘Jaya Jayahe Telangana, Janani Jayaketanam…’ the song was first sung in 2003 at a Telangana Writers’ Forum convention in Adilabad. It floored the ideologue of Telangana, Prof. Jayashankar, and KCR. Ever since, the song has been a constant source of inspiration for the ‘T’-movement. Many schools in Telangana started observing it as the unofficial state song since 2009. It’s no wonder that the song has been aptly declared the state song by the new government.

The man Andesri who penned the song humbly credits everyone who took part in the ‘T’-movement for its glory. He took seven years to pen the lyrics for the song.

“I was musing about it since 1995. The idea was to write a song that encapsulates the heritage, culture and glory of Telangana. It took me seven years to come up with the original draft which has 12 stanzas; a stanza each on 10 districts of Telangana,” said Andesri. However, a few changes were made to the original draft and four stanzas now form the state song.

Ande Yellana, who goes by his pen name Andesri, is a prolific writer who penned nearly 3,000 poems and numerous songs. It would startle anyone to know that Andesri is illiterate and unlettered. When asked about how he was able to write, “That’s a mystery. I wish I could understand that to explain.”

Andesri was an orphan and was a shepherd as a kid. He was raised by Jakkareddy Mallareddy, whom he describes as his guru. The 53-year-old is elated that his song, which speaks of the pride of Telangana people, has the honour to be state song.

“This honour goes to the martyrs, revolutionaries of the Telangana struggle and over one crore children who have been singing this song every day in school and kept it alive,” added Andesri.

People who knew the Rebarti born poet describe him as ‘Eka Santhagrahi’- one who has unique ability to grasp anything immediately. A follower of ‘Vedic Dharma’, nature forms the main theme of his compositions. He is lauded by the literati for his ability to recite a poem on any subject without preparation.

Andesri credits Basara and the rver Godavari for his journey as a poet. “I gave up my work as a construction labourer the moment I dipped my hands in the Godavari at Basara, which I visited during my son’s illness. The river had a profound impact on me,” he recalled.

Another of his popular songs, ‘Maayamai Pothundamma Manishannavadu’, which was penned for the film ‘Erra Samudram’ has inspired Andhra University syllabus committee to include it in the Telugu second year graduation textbooks from 2009. This is the third song to feature in Telugu syllabus after ‘Maa Telugu Talliki’ and ‘Telugu Jathi Manadi’.

Kakatiya University conferred on him a doctorate for his work in literature and his literary prowess. The humble poet asserts that the poem is no longer his but is owned by millions of Telangana people. “I don’t want eternal glory for the song. The glory belongs to all,” Andesri signs off.

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