శుక్రవారం, ఫిబ్రవరి 08, 2013
The Telugu film industry turned 82 on this February 6th, Wednesday. The day commemorates the release of first rull length Telugu feature film ‘Bhakta Prahlada’. Ending years of quandary over the release date of first Telugu talkie feature film ‘Bhakta Prahlada’, noted film journalist, researcher and Nandi award winning critic Rentala Jayadeva has proved the exact date by providing appropriate evidences.
Earlier, September 15, 1931, was considered as the release date of the film by many that was later disproved by Jayadeva making it a way for the fact that it was released on February 6, 1932. Directed by doyen HM Reddy, the movie was made in 18 days with a budget of Rs 18,000 and it was censored on January 22, 1932, in Mumbai (then Bombay) which released on February 6 in Krishna Theatre in Bombay.
The film was moved to Sri Maruti theatre in Vijayawada and Sri Krishna theatre in Rajahmundry after having two-week successful run in Bombay.
Starring Krishna Rao, Munipalle Subbaiah, Surabhi Kamala Bai and Sindhoori Krishna Rao in significant roles, veteran director-producer LV Prasad was seen as a dimwit in the film. The movie was later released in Madras on April 2, 1932, and received well by audiences.
(This article was Published in 'The Hans India' English daily, dated 7th February 2013, Thursday, Page No. 10)
ఆదివారం, సెప్టెంబర్ 09, 2012This article was published in 'The Hindu' daily dated Sept. 9, 2012 - Sunday in its Cinema Plus supplement. Photo Caption – Who’s the first? File photos of ‘Bhakta Prahlada’ (1932) considered the first talkie film in any South Indian language; ‘Sita Kalyanam’ (1934); ‘Lava Kusa’ (1934). Issue – While the debate about the ‘first south Indian talkie’, is on, there’s a need to archive works of the Telugu film industry for posterity. Though the 80th year celebrations of Telugu talkie were held on a low key last year, to mark the completion of 75 years since the first Telugu talkie, Bhaktha Prahlada hit the screen, it was celebrated with great pomp and show in 2007 at the Mecca of Telugu cinema, Hyderabad. So, when was the Telugu talkie first made? According to popular belief the first Telugu talkie was released on September 15, 1931 and so the function should have been held some time in 2006, but, by sheer coincidence, the three-day fete was inaugurated on January 26, 2007, just four days away from the 75th anniversary of the first Telugu talkie. The film was censored on January 22, 1932. Last September, when senior journalist and film researcher, Dr. Rentala Jayadeva, published his findings on the exact release date of ‘Bhaktha Prahlada,’ doubts were raised by some film critics about the veracity of his claim. According to Rentala’s research, ‘Bhaktha Prahlada’ was released first in Bombay on February 6, 1932 and later in the Andhra region and on April 2, 1932 in Madras. How could a film censored on January 22, 1932 be released on September 15, 1931? A valid question indeed. Rentala says that it was the heckle of a veteran Tamil film chronicler that made him undertake the arduous task of finding the exact date about the release of the first Telugu talkie. There are newspaper reviews and advertisements to prove that the first Tamil talkie, ‘Kalidas,’ was released on October 31, 1931, but there is no such proof about the first Telugu talkie. The veteran Telugu film-maker, H.M. Reddy, was commissioned by Ardeshir Irani to direct the first Tamil talkie, and this fact might have led some inventive Telugu film personality to presume that he (H.M.Reddy) must have made the Telugu talkie first and then the Tamil movie, ‘Kalidas.’ This presumption led to the belief that ‘Bhaktha Prahlada’ was released on September 15, 1931. Critics’ questions whether he had any proof for his claim prompted Rentala to do some research on the issue. “After scouting for evidence in libraries in Chennai, Andhra Pradesh and Mumbai, I finally stumbled upon 'The Bombay Government Gazette - Part I' (Page no.:313) dated February 4, 1932 at the National Films Archives, Pune, which had the dates of films produced and censored in Bombay. The censor date of ‘Bhaktha Prahlada’ was given in it as January 22, 1932. The Bombay Chornicle carried an advertisement on January 31, 1932 that the film would be released soon. And it was released on February 6, 1932 at Krishna Cinema on New Charlie Road, Bombay. The Times of India carried a review of the film on the same day of its release as preview show was held before its release. Subsequently, it was released in Andhra and then on April 2, 1932 at the National Picture Palace (later renamed as Broadway Talkies), Madras. All this clearly proves that ‘Bhaktha Prahlada’ was released only in 1932.” Though ‘Kalidas’ was hailed as the first Tamil talkie, in which the film’s hero (Srinivasa Rao) speaks and sings in Telugu and the heroine (T.P. Rajalakshmi) delivers her dialogue in Tamil and rendered Thyagaraya krithis in Telugu and L.V. Prasad who played a cameo spoke in Hindi, it was not considered a true Tamil talkie by some diehard Tamil film critics. They consider ‘Sampoorna Harischandra’, released on April 9, 1932, as the first full- length Tamil talkie. Even The Hindu, a day before the film’s release, reviewed it as the “first Tamil talkie. And funnily the advertisement of Kalidas carried that it is the first Tamil – Telugu talkie.” “On this point, we can still feel proud of the fact that ‘Bhaktha Prahlada’ was the first talkie film in any of the South Indian languages as it was released a couple of months before the full-length Tamil talkie, ‘Harischandra,’ ” states Jayadeva. Though the Telugu film industry is one of the largest movie producers in the country, unfortunately there is no proper archive to keep track of these facts. Is it not high time for the industry to take note of this and captured its history for posterity? -- M L Narasimham
శనివారం, జనవరి 22, 2011
(Photo caption - Journalist sri Sivalenka Sambhu Prasad 1911 - 1972)
‘Andhra Patrika’ is one daily that has enriched Telugu journalism. It is this publication, which has been the front-runner in the freedom struggle of people of Telugu-speaking areas in the 1900s. Though it was initially published as a weekly from Bombay on 1908 September 9th, it was in Madras the publication was turned into daily. From 1914 April 1st, ‘Andhra Patrika’ played a crucial role in journalism from Madras. Apart from the daily and the weekly, it brought out a literary and cultural monthly in Telugu called ‘Bharathi’. All these publications and the famous ‘Amruthanjan’ company were started and run by none other than that great freedom fighter and philanthropist “Desoddhaaraka” Kasinathuni Nageswara Rao Panthulu himself. (In fact, his name is identified with the road and the park at Mylapore, near Luz corner). After his demise on 1938 April 11th, his nephew and son-in-law Sivalenka Sambhu Prasad took over the management of all the publications and ‘Amrutanjan’.
In a rare tribute, the building of the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists at Hyderabad is named Desodhharaka Bhavan, after Kasinathuni Nageswara Rao Panthulu.
Trained under Nageswara Rao Panthulu himself, Sambhu Prasad (1911 – 1972) turned out to be a good journalist in Telugu. He efficiently ran ‘Andhra Patrika’ and other sister concerns for 34 years successfully. It was he, who brought a name, fame and the economic strength to the newspaper and made it into an inseparable part of Telugus in those days.
This is his birth centenary year. Sambhu Prasad was born in Elakuru on January 26th 1911 in the subsequent Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district, Gudivada taluq. He studied at Theosophical high school and later at National College, Machilipatnam. After that he went Santhi Niketan of Rabindra Nath Tagore and became a graduate there. Initiated into journalism by Kasinathuni Nageswara Rao Panthulu, he first worked in ‘Andhra Patrika’ weekly. After the demise of Nageswara Rao Panthulu, Sambhu Prasad took the organization out of debts and made it self-sufficient with the help of stalwarts, including Ramnath Goenka. His interest and aptitude towards Telugu literature made the publications under him the finest of those times in terms of Andhra literature, culture and politics. He strove hard for the development of Telugus till his death and achieved success in fulfilling the dreams of his father-in-law.
He also started ‘Andhra Patrika’ editions at Vijayawada (from January 23rd 1965) and Hyderabad. Sambhu Prasad’s writings used to be enjoyed by readers. His editorials used to be thought-provoking. His satirical column ‘Padaka Kurchi Bhaavaalu’ (easy- chair musings) was a rage among the readers.
Sambhu Prasad was a member of the Rajya Sabha. At the time of his demise, he was a member of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council. He served as a director of the leading news agency ‘Press Trust of India’ (PTI) and was associated with the ‘All India Editors Guild’. He died on June 8th 1972 in Madras. His mantle of journalism and ‘Amrutanjan’ was carried forward by his son Radhakrishna. Now his grandson, also named Sambhu Prasad, is looking after the ‘Amruthanjan’ company.
Though the publications from ‘Andhra Patrika’ group are no more, the spirit that they kindled and their pioneers Nageswara Rao Panthulu and Sambhu Prasad are ever-inspiring. They are assured of a niche in the socio-cultural history of Madras down from the Raj era.
శనివారం, డిసెంబర్ 25, 2010
The monitoring from the Supreme Court has led the CBI to take up this quizzing. CBI sources said that the former minister and a close aide of the DMK supremo and Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi was very co-operative throughout the interrogation. After the questioning session, Raja gave his reaction to the waiting media very briefly. “I have given full co-operation to the investigating agency” said Raja.
Though there was wide speculation for the past few days, that Raja would be arrested at any time, neither CBI nor the police is confirming it, even off-record. In fact, it is interesting to note that just a few days before this CBI questioning only, Income Tax raids have been conducted at Raja’s several places and his various business partners’ houses and offices around the country simultaneously. Even though nothing has been established proving Raja’s wrong-doings, it is only a question of time that culprits get booked. So, let us be patient and stay tuned to know the ramifications of Rs.1,76,000-crore 2G spectrum scam.