Kalluru Subbarao’s contribution to the Indian freedom struggle, right from the year Mahatma Gandhi called for the movementin 1918, is unforgettable and inspirational for generations. Subbarao joined the Indian National Congress Party as its member during the freedom movement,and remained with the partyuntilhis last breathe. Subbarao had his key presence in almost every key political and cultural meets (related to music, art and literature)that took placein the Rayalaseema region, during his period.Subbarao’s public discourses were considered to be efficient &inspirational, and were said to have been exceptionalat their bestfor audience, for almost five decades, until then.
Literary expert and famous scientist, Tirumala Rao, compares Kalluru Subbarao’sdiscourses with those of great orators, Satyamurthy(in English), Sivagnaana Graamani (in Tamil) and MajaburRehman (in Bengali) and Atal Bihari Vajpayee (in Hindi).He is often compared to legends, such as Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu and Govind Vallabha Pantulu, among others.
Many of those, who received training and followed the path of Kalluru Subbarao, reached greater heights in political arena, to become Ministers, Chief Ministers, Prime Ministers and even Presidents of India.Under the esteemed encouragement and support of Kalluru Subbarao, many literary works, including poetry, books and novels, among many others, gained wide reputation, and many structures and centers of architectural significance (Silpa Kala) witnessed true glory and full-fledged development.He also led various agitations and movements, such asVayojana Vidha Granthaalayodhyamam, Harijanoddarana, KhadiU dyamam and abolition of alcohol, among others.
Kalluru Subbarao was born on May 25, 1987, as the only male child to Soorappa and Puttamma, in a small village of the Lepakshimandal, Hindupur, Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh. Having got primary education at his birth place and upto third forum at Hindupur town, Subbarao moved on to Theosophical School, inspired by Annie Besant, for further studies. However, due to ill-health, he had to return from that school and continued his further studies at Bengaluru mission school.During his education at the mission school, Subbarao gained wide exposure about various things through various literary works and papers at the Seshadri Memorial Hall of the mission.
In 1918, during Mahatma Gandhi and Ali Brothers’ visit to Bengaluru, Subbarao terminated his English education and joined them for the Swadeshi movement. Under the Congress leadership, Subbarao actively participated in freedom struggle during 1921-22, 1930-32 and 1940-42, and had to spend almost ten and half years in jails.While in Bellary,Kadaluru, Tiruvaapalli, Amrotiand Coimbatore jails, Subbarao developed friendship with co-fighters. Tenneti Vishwanatham, one of Subbarao’s close companions in Amaravati Jail, in his writings, shares his experiences about Subbarao’s literature-related expertise and bold approach towards critical consequences during that period. He mainly speaks about Subbarao’s command over reading and understanding of poetic essence in ‘Yuddha Panchakam’ partof the Mahabharatha epic.
Kalluru Subbarao holds hisunique markin attracting audience through his discourses. Lauding Subbarao’s expertise in delivering discourses, Dr. Pattabli Seetharamayya, in his unique style, says, “Subbarao’s discourses have no limits. They can travel miles together, echoing all the way, in a high and inspiring pitch.” He recalls Subbarao’s aggressive discourses,as a freedom fighter during freedom struggle, as a chairperson of state-level political meeting at Tungabhadra and Mandal-level youth meets in Anantapur, on radio, among various other instances.
Many instances speak about boldness and straight-forwardness of Kalluru Subbarao. One such instance can be seen, when Subbarao happened to meet the then Anantapur Distrcit Collector, Rutherford, at the District Collectorate office.In response to the Collector’s improper attitude, Subbarao was said to have taught him a lesson then and there,following which, the Collector respectfully welcomed and offered seat to Subbarao at the office.
On the other side, Subbarao is also known for his helping attitude, like offering financial aid to students, among others, who reach out to him for help.These helping activities of Subbarao, such as offering financial aid, encouraging artists, poets and other experts in various fields by means of felicitating and awards, among others, were despite the financial challenges he had,even when he was a politician. This portrays the simplicity and ground-level attitude of the erstwhile political legends like Kalluri Subbarao.
Dr. Ponangi Srirama Apparao (for Natya sastra Vaadam), Sree yuta Uppala Venkata Sastry (for Kiraata arjuna), Dr. Sreepaada Gopalakrishna (for Lepakshi Mandapa) and Ramachandra Rao (for Pichchi paapa Kekalu) were among others who have offered their literary works to Kalluru Subbarao, in respect towards him.In response to their offerings, Subbarao had given them due respect, by felicitating them in cultural meets. Some of the literary works published and launched by Kalluru Subbarao include: Neela kantaVijayam (translated version by Roopa avataram NarayamSarma),Ashoka Saamrat (by Kalluru Venkata Narayana Rao), KhandaKaavyam Mahodayam (by Jamadagni Sarma) and Kaavya kusumaalu (by Boyi Bheemanna).
Recognizing the spiritual and architectural significance of Lepakshi Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, Lepakshi, Kalluru Subbarao made sincere efforts for the overall development of rich heritage and historical structures of great architectural value in the temple. These revival efforts by Subbarao,aimed at bringing the deteriorating temple into lime light, gained huge and wide appreciation from all sections of society. Subbarao also moved LKP to publish an art and literary work, comprised of descriptive pictures about the Lepakshi Temple and its rich architectural value.
After the formation of separate Andhra Pradesh State with Kurnool as the State capital, Kalluru Subbarao served in key positions, as vice-speaker in State Assembly under the leadership of Gopal Reddy and as the Indian National Congress’ chief whip under the leadership of Sanjeevaiah.From Madras Assembly,Kalluru Subbarao went on become a member of the Indian Constitution Forming Committee and marked his significance by signing on the new Constitution. Subbarao was also as a senate member of the Andhra University, for almost seven years.
Kalluru Subbarao had special love for literature and art. In 1923-24, Subbarao established a monthly magazine, Lokamaanya and was also Editor for that. He also conducted and organized many literary conferences and meets under his own organization, Raayala Kala Parishath.
Kalluru Subbarao took ahead the true spirit of Telugu saying, ‘Raayalaseema Ratanaala Seema’. It was during Subbarao’s period, the region regained its original name, ‘Rayalseema’, until which, it was called “Datta Mandalaalu” by the British-India Government.Subbarao contributed majorly to the development of Rayalaseema region, by taking ahead the construction of Tungabhadra, Pennar, Kumudvati and Bhairavaanitippa projects.
Subbarao founded the Kesava educational institute in Anantapur, while BabuRajendra Prasad inaugurated the school. It is noteworthy that the erstwhile Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Sanjeevaiah, was a student of the Kesava institute. In 1942, Subbarao also founded a service organization near Hindupur, with key focus on literacy development in the region and offering political training for young aspirants. Subbarao also made key contribution to the development of libraries, where, he made efforts for construction of new libraries in Lepakshi, Kalluru, Maanepalli and Cholasamudram, among other villages of HindupurTaluk.