The Gem of Journalism
Among the journalists from the Telugu country, who have reached international reputation in recent times are Khasa Subba Rau, M Chalapathi Rau...
Among the journalists from the Telugu country, who have reached international reputation in recent times are Khasa Subba Rau, M Chalapathi Rau Kolavennu Rama Koteshwara Rao and Kotamraju Rama Rao. Among them, Khasa (January 23, 1896 - June 16, 1961) stood supreme for his uniqueness in every respect In the field of journalism, Khasa made a great mark and his impact on the present generation of journalists was very powerful. If one thinks in terms of independence, magnanimity, dignity and powerful expression of the journalistic profession, Khasa was a charming combination of all these qualities. He had with him the element of simple narration as from a teacher, the analytical presentation of the subject as from a lawyer and extremely noble sentiments as from any champion of human cause and its prosperity and dignity. Khasa was a teacher for sometime, and later a lawyer too. On the initiative of Prakasam. Khasa stepped into journalism, by associating himself with 'Swarajya'. He was on the editorial staff of 'Free Press Journal' of Bombay, and later as Joint Editor of 'Indian Express' of which he became the Editor. When the Management of 'Indian Express' contemplated a Telugu Daily as 'Andhra Prabha', he was declared as its first Editor. Later, it was he who drew into the paper Narla Venkateswara Rao who was later to establish himself as a great writer, poet and Editor. Khasa was always sure of his aims. He could never be influenced by the capitalists simply because he took service under them. He could not submit to the dictates of any management and fought for the freeing himself from being an employee, which restricted the unfettered freedom he desired in his writings, he started his own Weeklies 'Swatantra' in English and Telugu, which he successfully ran for ten years. The impact of these journals on the readers of the times was so powerful that it was no wonder that a common reader was attracted to them more than any other Journal. The thought, the policy the outlook and the matter presented by Khasa in his magazines became the basis of public opinion of the day. He was able to guide the public to the right path and mould them to have a new and right perspective of the social and political life. Khasa as he grew old and shouldered heavy responsibilities of the establishment, had to seek financial support which made him combine with the late HD Rajah. When he felt that Journals were being used for self advertisement, he could not compromise and parted company. Undeterred, Khasa started a new weekly 'Swarajya' which bore the same name as the famous daily edited by Prakasam in which he started his journalistic career and priced it low. During the days, when journalism was the sole monopoly of capitalists, Khasa dared to start his own journal to protect the interests of journalists and show the country the need for supreme caliber and impartial outlook. The pun, the satire and a touch of serious humour from the pen of Khasa had its own special characteristics which none can imitate. He encouraged new writers and many journalists today who adorn great newspapers or hold big journalistic jobs, owe them to Khasa. Always clad in a simple half- shirt and a dhoti in the Tamilians style, Khasa was a lovable personality and source of inspiration for the younger generation. No wonder that many wanted to follow him in the manner of his expression. For many not known to him direct he was a "Dronacharya" in Journalism. , and supporting and helping nature in him endeared him to many. Countless were his admirers, known and unknown. The government of Andhra Pradesh instituted committees to celebrate the centenary of great stalwarts in the fields of politics, literature and arts. Khasa is a name that deserves all recognition and respect in the field of journalism and the Government ought to do something to perpetuate his memory, which remains fresh in the minds and hearts of millions of his readers and friends. (The AP Government instituted Khasa Memorial Prize for the best rural journalist when Sri Chandrababu Naidu was the Chief Minister) - Pothukuchi Sambasiva Rao