Wednesday, December 9, 2009
SECOND WORLD TELUGU CONFERENCE-KUALA LUMPUR 1981-REVISITED
The Second World Telugu Conference-1981
By Appanna Naidu Edited by Dr.C.A.Rao
The last Millennium’s largest Telugu gathering in Malaysia is undoubtedly the Second World Telugu Conference (SWTC), held on a grand scale in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya from the 11th to 14th of April, 1981. This World Telugu Conference which witnessed the gathering of Telugus from various nations, is the follow-up Conference of the First World Telugu Conference, held at Hyderabad, in 1975.\\
The SWTC was organized under the patronage of the Telugu Association of Malaysia and with the full support of its Executive Committee and its branches. The chairmanship of this mammoth task was given to the then president of TAM and academician Dr Chandriah Apparao and he executed the task with the help of highly professional and well selected Organising Committee comprising of professionals, academicians, senior Government Servants and TAM officials.
The SWTC which was launched by the then Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was attended by more than 2000 Telugu political figures, academicians, artists, poets and Telugu enthusiasts from many parts of the world namely from Malaysia, India, Singapore, Fiji, Mauritius, South Africa, United Kingdom and USA. Amongst the prominent foreign Telugus who graced the function were: the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Anjayya, Education Minister Sri Krishna Rao, Cultural Minister, Sri Battam Sree Rama Murthy, Bejawada Gopala Reddy, Vavilala Gopala Krishnayya, Vempati Chinna Satyam, poets Dr.Dasarathi, Dr.C.Narayana reddy, Dr.Bapu Reddy, Ambassodor N.V.Rao, movie ace producer U.Visweswara Rao, cine artists Satyanarayana, Prabakar Reddy, Sharath Babu, Jamuna, Kanchana, Jayachitra and many others. The SWTC also witnessed the support and attendance of prominent Malaysian leaders including Works Minister Dato Seri Samy Velu, Deputy Ministers Dato K.Padmanaban, Dato S.Subramaniam, P.P. Narayanan,Toh Puan Uma Sambandhan and Tan Sri Ubaidullah. The event also witnessed the release of a souvenir program consisting of messages of the deputy Prime Minister, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Articles on Telugus, Program schedules and wishes of well-wishers. The Prime Minister of India at that time, Srmati Indira Gandhi, also sent her good wishes for the conference.
The four day function had a number of activities such as the Malaysian Night, a Telugu exhibition, Academic sessions, cultural activities and a Telugu Film Festival. A 10 day exhibition of Andhra culture, arts and crafts and history was held at the National Musuim. All art effects and material for the exhibition was brought in to Malyasia with the help of Andhra Government. The exhibition educated the thousands of visitors to the museum on the rich Telugu history, culture and its arts. The well executed exhibition was organized under the chairmanship of Mr.V.N.Ramachandran with help obtained from the then National Museum Director Mr. Sharom Yeop and Prof. Khoo Kay Kim of University Malaya. As part of the exhibition a massive structure of Kakathiya heritage depicting Telugu history was also erected at the entrance of the PJ Civic Centre, the main venue of the conference.
The Malaysian night which exhibited Malay cultural performances, Boria in Telugu by Koathala Ramunaidu and group, ‘Burra Katha’ on the history of Malaysian Telugus written by Beesetty Nokiah and performed by Apparao, Gangaraju and Maniam, Chiratalu by South Perak Telugus and other cultural performances were a welcome treat especially for foreign Telugus.
• Numerous academic sessions were held to discuss on the various aspects of Telugu language, culture, arts, history and future. These sessions were well planned and executed by the Academic Committee Chairman Dr.Ganagadaram with the help from fellow academicians Dr.Dhandayutham, Dr.Subrahmanaiam and Mr. Sharma and Mr.B.A.Dhemudu.
The evenings were filled with cultural activities mainly brought under the guidance and co-ordination of AP Ministry of Culture and its Minister Mr. Battam Sri Rama Murthy. Amongst the prominent cultural performances and crowd pullers during the SWTC were the Dr.Bala Murali Krishna’s melodious Keerthanas, Dr.Chitti Babu’s Veena recital, Vempati Chinna Satyams.s Disciples Kuchipudi dance performances, Raja Reddy Kuchipudi Dance performances and Drama and Comedy performances by movie artist. These performances were held simultaneously at PJ Civic Centre and at Jaya Puri Hotel, PJ.
The evenings also witnessed the Telugu Film Festival with the screening of award and highly acclaimed Telugu movies such as Alloori Seetha Rama Raju, Shankarabaranam, Muthyala Muggu and Bakhtha Kanappa.
During the period of the conference, Foreign Telugus had the opportunity of visiting Kuala Perak Estate, an estate filled with 100 % Telugus, to see how Telugus in Malaysia lived and how they have maintained their culture and language. Lower Perak Telugus must be appreciated for transporting them and providing them the warmth and remarkable hospitality.
The atmosphere every evening was lively with Telugu food, Telugu culture, Telugu movies and thousands of happy Telugu faces seen everywhere. That was the atmosphere unprecedented in the history of Malaysian Telugus. Will we see such an atmosphere again? I will assume this may be possible for the Golden Jubilee at Gentings.
It is also appropriate to acknowledge the efforts of numerous Telugus who have contributed to the success of the SWTC in 1981. Amongst the prominent were Dr.C.Apparao, Dr.Vijayan, Dr.Dayananda, Dr.Krishnamoorthy, Mr.Sundram, Dr.Gangadharam, Dr.Subrahmanyam, Mr.B,A,Dhemudu, Mr.Netheti Duragiah, Mr.Madhini Somu Naidu, Mr.Dhadi Sree Ramulu, Mr.Beesetti Nokiah, Mr.Parasa Ramulu, Mr.V.N.Ramachandran, Mr.Balakrishnan, Mr.R.Lechumana, Mr.Narayanasamy Reddiar, Mr.Soorinarayana, Mr.N.B.Ledchumama, Mr.Appalasamy, Mr.Ali Khan, Mr.J.S.Maniam, Mr.Konathala Ramu Naidu, Mr. Yellapu Krishnamurthy, Mr.Monday Laxmana, Mr.Gummadi Appala Naidu and the secretariat staff Miss Mallika, Miss Anjali Devi and Miss Brinda, Miss Viji, Miss Latha, Miss Siva Kumari and Miss Saro. The efforts of all the branches, their leaders and members are also to be acknowledged for making the event a great success.
One of the important objectives of the conference was to correct the prevailing misconception existing among members of the other Indian communities at that time that the Telugus were less advanced and accomplished then them. This objective was well achieved. Even after all these years, members of the other communities remember and talk about our conference with pride. We also proved to every one that although we are a very small community we can accomplish great things. We have great determination, endurance and unity. It is hoped that the golden jubilee celebration will outdo this event and reinforce once more the high quality of Telugu culture and language.
Jai Thellugu thalli.