The BJP government is moving positively towards the long pending demand to accord India’s highest civilian award Bharata Ratna to Telugu Matinee Idol and TDP founder NT Rama Rao.
Union minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said the letter forwarded by Srikakulam MP K Ramamohan Naidu to the centre requesting to announce the award to NTR has been taken into consideration.
He said the Prime Minister’s Office is examining the issue and Prime minister Narendra Modi will take a decision soon. After finalising the decision, PM will forward the same to President for his final nod.
Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, or better known as NTR, is one of the best known personalities of Andhra Pradesh. Born on 28 May 1923, his accomplishments in his 72 years of life, range from acting to running the state government. Along with 33 years of a career in films, NTR served his state as a Chief Minister three times. He was praised for his many populist and socialist decisions. He was also an actor who was literally worshiped by people, especially since he was renowned for his roles as a God.
NTR hailed from an ordinary farming family from Nimmakuru, a tiny village in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. His parents, mother Laxmaiah and father Venkataramamma gave him up for adoption to his mother’s brother, Ramaiah and his wife, as they were childless. NTR started his education from home with the help of a tutor, and later continued his studies in the village school till the 5th standard, since a school for further education was not available in the village.
Thereafter, his adoptive parents shifted to Vijaywada so that their son could get a proper education. NTR studied further, first in a municipal school till matriculation, and then in the SRR & CVR Government College to pursue his Intermediate course. It was in college that he caught the acting bug, while playing the female character in a stage play named Rachamalluni Dautyam. This was also the first time he won a prize for his acting. He went on to do a number of stage plays in college and kept winning prizes for them.
Owing to his marriage at the age of 20, NTR temporarily lost interest in his studies, which resulted in his failing the Intermediate examination twice. Later, NTR got admission into the B.A. program in the Andhra Christian College, in Guntur. During his under graduation, he continued with his passion for acting by starting a drama club, named National Art Theater. After college, he qualified the Madras Service Commission examination for a sub-registrar’s position. But while working here, he was disillusioned by the corrupt nature of the people in the job. He resigned after three weeks.
NTR’s acting career could have begun in college, if he would have chosen to accept the offers he got. He however, first completed his studies and then started giving screen tests. The first role he received was small, in L V Prasad’s Mana Desam. With ambitions of becoming the main hero of a film, NTR initially declined the offer.
However, after he accepted a hero’s role in B A Subba Rao’s Palleturi Pilla, who approached him after seeing his photo with L V Prasad, he went back and accepted the small role in Mana Desam as well. Thus, began NTR’s celebrated career in films. His entire acting repertoire consisted of a total of 292 films, of which “274 were in Telugu, 15 in Tamil and three in Hindi.”
The films that brought NTR name, fame, and a ‘devoted following’ were those where he played the character of Lord Rama or Lord Krishna or other heroic Gods, and mythological characters. The first of the many blockbuster hits he gave playing a God was P Pullaiah’s Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam in 1960, where he played the character of the deity presiding in the Tirupati temple. This created a major buzz, following which devotees of Tirupati, in fact, started visiting him in Madras after their trip to the temple!
NTR’s film career spans across almost 33 years, during which he not only acted, he also directed, produced and screen-wrote some of them. A number of his movies garnered prestigious film awards like Filmfare and National Awards.