Srirangam Srinivasarao, popularly known as Sri Sri, needed no introduction in Telugu households until a generation ago. His call to march towards another world’, an egalitarian world free of exploitation and deprivation, inspired young men and women swept by a wave of communism.
మరో ప్రపంచం పిలిచింది.
పోదాం పై పైకి
Rejecting the Bhava Kavitha (romanticism) movement in 1930s, progressive Telugu poetry took its definitive form in the hands of Sri Sri. Freeing the language from the pre-existing classicism prevalent in Telugu literature, Sri Sri led the wave of abhyudaya (progressive) poets who wrote about the downtrodden and the working class.
Sri Sri wrote his magnum opus, Maha Prasthanam (The Great Journey), between 1930 and 1940, during what was called the Hungry Thirties, when the Great Depression in America was spreading to other parts of the world except the USSR. While his writing was a reaction to the struggles he saw around him in the society, he identified as a Marxist in his writing and a moderate in politics. Not only was he a revolutionary in his writing about the struggles of the workers and peasants, but he also shook the complacent bourgeois as he freed the language from the shackles of prosodic rules writing “Jayabheri” in 1933.
He declared “నేను సైతం ప్రపంచాగ్నికి సమిధనొక్కటి ఆహుతిచ్చానూ!”
He took to the cause of the class struggle and his writings were deeply charged with social concern.”యేవో, ఏవేవో, ఏవేవో ఘోషలు వినబడుతున్నాయి”, Interestingly, though his poetry gave voice to the nationalist movement in an early Independent India, Sri Sri saw the people’s movement as an international phenomenon as evident from his references to “చీనా లో రిక్షావాలా, చెక్ దేశపు గని పనిమనిషీ ఐర్లాండున ఓడ కళాసీ, అణగారిన ఆర్తులందరూ” in Desa Charitralu.
Sri Sri cautioned that while the ideas of ‘my house and my country’ were fair in developing countries, these ideas should not lead to nonsensical rage where one destroys the neighbor’s house or loots another country.His writings are as relevant and inspirational as they were before.
And here, me, paying the littlest tribute to the man who changed the minds of people towards progressiveness just with his pen.