Sri Kandukuri Viresalingam Pantulugaru was born in 1848 in
Rajamahendravaram (Rajahmundry). He was a scholar and a versatile genius. His
command over Telugu, English, and Sanskrit were extraordinary and there is no
one parallel to him in this. Sri Viresalingam worked as a Telugu pandit
(lecturer) in the Rajahmundry college. He concentrated all his efforts and
enerrgies on the social reforms viz. widow marriages and abolition of child
marriages. He was a strong advocate of women education which was forbidden
those days. Sri Viresalingam used his intellectual treasure as the weapon and
battled for women's equal rights. He was instrumental for a number of widow
(re)marriages. Sri Viresalingam was a social reformer and above all was a
Sri Viresalingam strongly believed that the existence of castes
in the Hindu society degraded the social infrastructure and he launched the
anti-caste movement. He criticized misconceptions, religious misbeliefs, and
orthodoxy in his writings. He was the founder of the BRAHMA SAMAJ in Andhra
(reformed form of Hinduism).
Sri Viresalingam criticized and opposed the itching palms and
bribery among the Government employees and was responsible in getting some of
those parasites prosecuted and punished. He also opposed prostitution.
For all his efforts in bringing out social reformism, Sri
Viresalingam used the Telugu language as an effective weapon. He was the author
of over 100 volumes in Telugu such as plays, novels, scientific writings, and
history. He is called the "GADYA TIKKANA" of the ANDHRA DESA. In his last days
he admired the vernacular Telugu (Vyavahara Bhasha) and the then independence
movement organized by the Congress. He published the "ANDHRA KAVULA CHARITRA"
(History of Andhra Poets), which is the basis for the history of Andhra and
He dedicated his entire life to social service, social reforms,
and the advancement (progress) of Telugu language. The money (1 lakh rupees)
that he earned by writing books was donated by him to the "HITAKARANI
SAMAJAMU", a social welfare establishment (He actually donated his estate. That
was the greatest sacrifice no one can make - unforgettable!
tana dEhamu tana gEhamu
tana ka'lamu tana dhanambu tana vidya jaga
Ganu Dii viirEsalingakavi janula'ra'!
That was the respect he commanded! He is regarded as the FATHER
OF THE MODERN ANDHRA SOCIETY.
Sri Viresalingam started the revolution to reform the then
existing Telugu language usage which led to the birth of "Vyavaharaika Bhasha".
This revolution was later successfully handled by Sri Gidugu Ramamurty of
Parlakimedi and Sri Gurajada Apparao of Vizianagaram. Every common and ordinary
Telugite should be grateful to Sri Kandukuri Viresalingam, Sri Gidugu
Ramamurty, and Sri Gurajada Apparao for the fruits of their indifatiguable
battle - the culture and creation of "Vyavaharika Telugu".
Contributed by PALANA (firstname.lastname@example.org)