Kaloji Narayana Rao
(1914 – 2002) – (Telangana)
Kaloji (Aged 88) born on 9 September 1914, Madikonda, Warangal, Telangana, India. He was widely known as Praja Kavi or people’s poet. He was deeply influenced by popular movements of the time such as the civil rights part of the Arya Samaj Movement, the Library Movement, and the Andhra MahaSabha Movement during his student days and beyond. Kaloji Rameshwar Rao, his elder brother, who was a noted Urdu poet, also played a vital role in shaping his personality.
Since its formation in 1934, Kaloji participated in Andhra Maha Sabha activities and was associated with the Arya Samaj. He also actively participated in the freedom movement of the erstwhile Hyderabad State and was imprisoned under the Nizam. Additionally, Kaloji participated in various social, political, and literary activities in Andhra Pradesh. His active involvement with the masses and their problems and tireless struggle for their emancipation earned him the love of the people and the wrath of the powers that be. He was one of the select freedom fighters of India who were imprisoned by the feudal lords and the alien rulers before the attainment of Indian Independence and by the native leaders thereafter.
Kaloji wrote poetry from his early school days and is known for his work Na Godava, a compilation of his poems in eight volumes, short stories, and translations. Na Godava is unique in both style and content, and it has been called a running commentary on contemporary history by the great Telugu poet Sri Dasaradhi. His other notable literary works are Kaloji Kathalu, Thudi Vijayam Manadi Jayam, Parthiva Vyavam, Telangana Udyama Kavithalu, and translations entitled Na Bharata Desha Yatra and Jeevana Geetha. He also wrote extensively in Marathi, English, Urdu, and Hindi, and he translated many literary works from other languages into Telugu.
Politically, Kaloji was a member of the AP Legislative Council from 1958 to 1960, a founder member of Andhra Saraswatha Parishathu, a member of Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Academy, the president of Telangana Rachayitala Sangham, and a member of the Glossary Committee during the period 1957-1961.
In 1992, Kaloji was awarded the Padma Vibhushan. In honor of Kaloji’s birthday, which falls on September 9th, the Telangana government celebrates Telangana Language Day. He passed away by 13 November 2002, Warangal, Telangana, India. Kaloji donated his body to Kakatiya Medical College after his death, which inspired thousands of people to engage in selfless service.