Telugu at centre stage once again

Telugu at centre stage once again

Telugu, the second largest spoken language in the country, has remained the soul and spirit of about nine crore people of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

- Telangana is set to host the fifth World Telugu Congress from Dec 15

Hyderabad: Telugu, the second largest spoken language in the country, has remained the soul and spirit of about nine crore people of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Telangana, the youngest and the Telugu state in the country, is all set to organise the fifth WTC from December 15, 2017, in the post-bifurcation scenario. Once again, Telugu taking the centre stage in the lives of people to cherish the ages of the living spirit of their language.

Be it in classical, traditional and modern times, Telugu has retained its uniqueness and originality. Telugu people were the first to moot the notion of linguistic States in the country. But, they had to experience uncomfortable phases in the formation of the Visalandhra, with discontent further expressed in the form of Telangana and Jain Andhra movements in 1969 and 1972, respectively.

It was against this backdrop that recognising the god-sent role which Telugu had played in the lives of people here, for the first time, a stage had been set to organise the first ‘Prapancha Telugu Mahasabhalu’ or the World Telugu Congress (WTC) in 1975. The main objective of the first WTC was to bring together the Telugu people spread across the world on to one common platform.

The first WTC was held on a grand scale at the Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad, on an auspicious Ugadi day, from April 12-18, 1975.

The venue of the Congress was christened as Kakatiya Nagar and the event has remained a cherished memory for many Telugus from within the country and abroad. About a lakh people registered attending the conference, including the foreign delegates.

The Nagarjuna Peetam of the Kakatiya Nagar was where the conferences were held. On the other hand, the people had the unique spectacle of experiencing the panorama of the arts and culture from all parts of three regions of the State. It was such a hit that the cultural programmes held at the KrishnadevarayaDarbar from 6 pm in the evening till the wee hours of the next day had pulled 2 lakh people on all the days of the event.

The success of the first WTC was attributed to the Telugu pride. The Centre besides providing a paltry grant had also given concession in train tickets for those attending the first WTC and also released a postal stamp.

The second and third conferences were also held with the inspiration of the first conference. They reflected the ardent desire of the Telugus of Malaysia and Mauritius. A large number of poets, artistes, intellectuals, educationists, officials, non-officials, statesmen and others attended these conferences.

Opening new vistas in the journey of WTC, the second conference was held from April 14-18, 1981 at Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysia’s national capital. It was the first joint efforts by the erstwhile AP government, International Telugu Organisation and Telugu Association in Malaysia. Former Chief Minister TanguturiAnjaiah presided over the conference for which the then Malaysian Prime Minister DrMahathiBin Mohammed attended as the chief guest. Besides, it highlighted the love and affection of the Telugu people who migrated and settled in Malaysia over many generations. The then President of India, Dr Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, observed that, “We need to respond to the love and affection showed by the Telugu people living abroad.”

Teams of delegates from Mauritius, Fiji, South Africa, and Sri Lanka attended the conference spreading the greatness of the language around the world.

Taking the spirit forward, the third WTC had been held in Mauritius in 1990, organised by PottiSreeramulu Telugu University and International Telugu Center and Mauritius Telugu Mahasabha from December 10-13. The then Mauritius President Anirudh Jagannath, who attended the event as the chief guest, lauded the contribution of Telugu people to Mauritius’s overall development. Mandali Venkata Krishna Rao, the architect of the WTC, was felicitated during the event. The four-day conference discussed teaching, literature, history, culture and poetry. The conference thickened the bond between Telugu people migrated to Mauritius some 200 years ago.

The fourth WTC was held at Tirupathi for three days from December 27 to 29, 2012. Despite the weather playing a spoilsport, it did not dampen the spirits of Telugu people who came from various regions of the country and aboard. About 15,000 delegates, 3,000 artistes, exhibitions and cultural programmes were organised. While the then Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy presided, former President Pranab Mukherjee was the chief guest for the conference.

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