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Kaloji Narayana Rao: Remembering the poet’s birthday on Sep 9 as “Telangana Language Day”

Kaloji Narayana Rao




It was during Nizam’s period, an ordinance of prohibition passed by the Nizam rulers to prevent the gatherings of people in the city of Warangal, to subdue the Razakar movement of the people of Telangana who are protesting against the tyrannic Nizam rulers. A teenage student named Narayana Rao started celebrating “Ganesh Chathurthi” on the streets of Warangal which made the people gather and participate irrespective of Nizam government’s orders. There were so many such brave attempts made by Kaloji Narayana Rao in his entire life and people call him as “Praja Kavi (People’s poet)“.

Kaloji Narayana Rao born on 9th September 1914 in Karnataka state but immediately after his birth his family moved and settled at Madikonda village of Warangal district A.P.  Popularly known as Kaloji or Kalanna, he is a well known freedom fighter of India and a political activist of Telangana. After his primary education, he moved to Hyderabad old city where he went to Chowmallah school for few years followed by City College. Later he finished his matriculation in Hanamkonda. In 1939, he pursued his law degree from an affiliated law college of Hyderabad high court.

Role of Kaloji in Telangana movement:

During his student days and later, he was deeply influenced by the popular movements of the time like the Arya Samaj Movement, especially the civil rights part of it, the Library Movement and the Andhra Maha Sabha Movement.

The fraternal care and affection of his elder brother Kaloji Rameshwar Rao, a noted Urdu poet, has also played a vital role in shaping the personality of Kaloji.

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  • Kaloji participated in Andhra MahaSabha activities since its formation in 1934.
  • He was also associated with the Arya Samaj.
  • He actively participated in the freedom movement of the erstwhile Hyderabad State and underwent imprisonment under the Nizam.
  • He has also participated in various social, political and literary activities in Andhra Pradesh.
  • His active involvement with the masses and their problems and his tireless struggle for their emancipation have naturally earned him in equal measure the love of the people and the wrath of the powers that be.
  • He is one of those select freedom fighters of our country who were imprisoned by the feudal lords and the alien rulers before the attainment of Indian Independence and by the native leaders thereafter.




Literary works of Kaloji: 

Kaloji is popularly known as Praja Kavi, meaning people’s poet. Among all titles and honors he had, Praja Kavi was closest to his heart, as it took him closer to the people.

He started writing poetry right from his early school days. He composed his first poem in 1931 while still in his teens, reacting emotionally to the execution of Bhagat Singh and very soon became a prominent writer and voracious reader.

His writings are varied as they are numerous. They include Na Godava, a compilation of his poems in eight volumes, short stories and translations.

Kaloji’s Na Godava is unique both in its style and content. The great Telugu poet Sri Dasaradhi called it “a running commentary on contemporary history”. It is essentially the poetry of dissent and an eloquent testimony to his concern for reform and courage to revolt.

His other notable literary works are ‘Kaloji Kathalu’, ‘Thudi Vijayam Manadi Jayam’, ‘Parthiva Vyavam’ and ‘Telangana Udyama Kavithalu’, and translations entitled ‘Na Bharata Desha Yatra’ and ‘Jeevana Geetha’. He also wrote extensively in Marathi, English, Urdu and Hindi. He also translated many literary works from other languages to Telugu.

Awards and honors :
  • Kaloji was conferred the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest award given by the Government of India, for his excellent service in the literary and social fields.
  • He is a recipient of Tamrapatra in 1972.
  • He received the best translation award of the Andhra Pradesh Government for his work ‘Jeevana Geetha’ in 1968 and Burgula Ramakrishna Rao memorial first award.
  • He was felicitated by the Andhra Pradesh Government in 1981. He was honored with the title ‘Praja Kavi’ and has been felicitated by various literary associations of Andhra Pradesh.
  • He was conferred the Honorary Doctorate by the Kakatiya University, Warangal in 1992 for his contributions in the field of literature.
Unknown Facts about Kaloji:

Kaloji had said in his inimitable way that even in death his body should serve a purpose. “It should not go waste in flames,” said the great poet, who was a close friend of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao. He wanted medical students to use his body for practical classes and for experiments to discover new drugs.

Popular Quotes of Kaloji:




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Ashok Kumar

Dr. Ashok Kumar is Chemistry Professor, Blogger, Film maker, Writer and Traveler.

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