Gunturu Seshendra Sharma (గుంటూరు శేషేంద్ర శర్మ) (October 20, 1927 – May 30, 2007), also known as Yuga Kavi, was a Telugu poet, critic and litterateur. He is well known for his works Naa Desham Naa Prajalu and Kaala Rekha. He wrote over fifty works which have been translated into English, Kannada, Urdu, Bengali, Hindi, Nepali and Greek.
Gunturu Seshendra Sharma spent his childhood in his ancestral home in Totapalli Guduru, Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Seshendra Sharma graduated with a B.A. in Literature from the Andhra University and obtained his Law degree from the Madras University. He joined Andhra Pradesh State Government civil service in 1949 and retired as the Municipal Commissioner of Hyderabad.
When he was 18, Seshendra’s marriage was arranged to Janaki and they had two girls and two boys. Later in 1970 he married Indira Devi Dhanrajgir, an Anglo-Indian poetess. He lived with her at her Gyanbagh Palace in Hyderabad.
Seshendra’s first work in print appeared in 1952. It is the translation of Matthew Arnold’s Sohrab and Rustum, which is based upon the Persian Epic Shahnama. Initially he focused on poetry and occasionally worked on literary criticism. Seshendra’s first collection of prose-poems was entitled Sesha Jyotsna.
His magnum opus Naa Desham Naa Prajalu (My Country My People, Meri Dharti Mere Log) brought Seshendra prominence as one of the outstanding poets of India. It led to his nomination for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004.
Seshendra Sarma is the second person to have been nominated for the Nobel Literature prize for his contribution to literary field from India, the first being Rabindranath Tagore.
Other Awards and Titles conferred on him:
- 1994 Sahitya Akademi Award in Telugu literature for his work Kaala Rekha – won
- 1994 Honorary D.Litt by Telugu University
- 1999 Central Sahitya Akademi fellowship for contribution to Telugu literature
- 2001 Sahitya Ratna by Sri Ram Sahitya Mandal, Himachal Pradesh – won
- Jnanpeeth award for contribution to Telugu literature – nominated
- 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature for My Country, My People – nominated
- 2004-2005 Hamsa Award by Andhra Pradesh State Government for contribution to Telugu literature – won
- Rashtrendu (Moon of the Nation) by West Bengal State Government
- Kalidas Samman by Madhya Pradesh State Government
- Subrahmanya Ekta Award by Hindi Academy – won
- Rashtriya Sanskriti Puraskar – won
- Ugadi Puraskar – won
- Lokamanya Tilak Award – won
- Member of Kendriya Hindi Samiti – nominated by Prime Minister of India
Shodasi, his tantric commentaries on the Ramayana, and Swarna Hamsa, the study of Harsha Naishadhiya Charita, are works of literary criticism. Kaala Rekha, Seshendras’ 1994 book, is a collection of twenty-five essays on various subjects like ancient Sanskrit drama and ancient Greek drama, comparative literature, classical poetry and Aurobindo’s Savitri. The collection of poems Neerai Paaripoyindi (literally, “Melted and floated away”) was brought out in 1976 in bilingual editions.
Mallemala (MS Reddy) wrote in his autobiography (Idi Naa Katha) that Seshendra Sharma helped him get municipal permission for building Sundar Mahal cinema theater in Gudur, when Sarma was serving as Gudur Municipal Commissioner.
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MY FATHER’S STORY OF LIFE
WHO ARE THE HEIRS OF SESHENDRA SHARMA?
The literary world is aware that my father Gunturu Seshendra Sarma, eminent poet, litterateur and scholar-critic, died on 30th may 2007. Ever since he expired, there has been no mention of his parents, family members and other personal details in the news and in the articles about him. Not only this, fictional lies are being spread and using money power one shady lady is being propagated as his wife and so on. This has been causing me, as his son, a great mental agony. That is why, through this article, I am revealing certain fundamental truths to the literary field of this country and the civilized society. I appeal to your conscience to uphold truth, justice and values of our composite culture.
Seshendra Sharma’s family members are: Parents: Subrahmanyam Sharma, Ammaayamma; Wife: Janaki Daughters: Vasundhara, Revathi,Sons: Vanamali, Saatyaki. Only these two are legal heirs of Seshendra Sharma, socially and morally too.
STREET PLAY AND CIRCUS
In 1972, away from the civilized society, without the knowledge of parents and near and dear, in a far flung village called Halebeed in Karnataka a circus, a street play was staged. Let me make it clear that even after this street play my father did not divorce my mother Mrs. G.Janaki legally. He never had even a faint intention of committing such as uncivilized act. On the contrary, in all crucial Government documents he nominated my mother as his legal heir from time to time. During his long career as Municipal Commissioner with the Government of Andhra Pradesh, he retired 3 times. His first retirement came in 1975 by way of compulsory retirement for his anti estrablishment writings during Mrs. Gandhi’s emergency. His second retirement came in 1983 when the then new chief minister N.R. Rama Rao’s government reduced the age of service from 58 to 55 years. The third and final retirement in the year 1985 on attaining 58 years of age. On all these occasions, in all the government documents, my father Seshendra Sharma
Nominated my mother Mrs. Janaki as his legal heir. This is precisely why the self contradictory ‘second marriage’ is a circus enacted away from the society and Laws does not recognize this type of street plays as marriage.
LAKSHMI PARVATHI IN LITERATURE
N.R. Rama Rao, actor turned politicial married Ms. Lakshmi Parvathi in 1994 and subsequently in January 1995 he came to power for the second time. She used to act as an extra constitutional power and run the matters of government and the party. She developed her own coterie of cohorts and started dominating the party. After NTR was toppled by his own son-in-law, most of them parted ways with her. And the remaining touts left her for good the day NTR breathed his last. Ms. Indira Dhanrajgir has been playing the same role in Telugu literature over a period of more than 3 decades. In the guise of literature she developed her own coterie of lumpens with extra literary and money mongering elements – Tangirala Subba Rao, Velichala Kondala Rao (Editor, Jayanthi) Cheekolu Sundarayya (A.G.s Office, Hyderabad et al).
There are a couple of dissimilarities between these two instances. Afther the demise of NTR, L.P’s coterie of cohorts disappeared once and for all. Whereas, in Indira Dhanrajgir’s case new lumpens are entering the field with the passage of time. Squandering her late father’s wealth, she is roping in new touts. Since NTR’s wife Basava Tarakam passed away in 1984 and since he was old and sick NTR’s marriage with LP has ethical basis and is legal completely. Whereas Indira Dhanrajgir’s is neither ethical nor legal. Hence it is a street play. This is the reason why after my father’s death she has been spending money on a larger scale and indulging in false publicity and propaganda. Bh. Krishna Murthy, Sadasiva Sharma (The then Editor of Andhra Prabha: Telugu Daily, presently with Hindi Milap) Chandrasekhara Rao (Telugu lecturer: Methodist Degree College) etc. are indulging in all sorts of heinous acts to propup Indira Dhanrajgir as my father’s wife.
My father passed away on 30 May 2007. When our family was in grief and I was performing the 11 day ritual as per my mother’s wish, the above mentioned Sadasiva Sharma went to Municipal Office on 4th June, created ruckus, played havoc telling them that he is from the Prime Minister’s Office, made some ‘senion officials’ make phone calls to the officials concerned and got my father’s death certificate forcibly issued. When the entire family as mourning the death of the family head, a stranger and a lumpen S.S. – Why did he collect my father’s death certificate forcibly from the municipal authorities? Whom did he collect it for?
THREE NAMES OF THE SAME PERSON IN 3 DECADES
This is perhaps for the first time that the name of a lady appears in 3 forms at a time. Perhaps in 1970, in my father’s collection of poems “PAKSHULU” her name appeared As Rajkumari India Devi Dhanrajgir. In 2006 she published a fake version of Kamaostav (Rewritten by a muffian Called Chandrasekhar Rao). In this book her name appears as Rajkumari India Devi Dhanrajgir Prior to 1970 in Maqdoom Mohiuddeen’s (Renowned Urdu Poet) anthology of poetry ‘bisath-E-Raks’, in Urdu as well as Hindi, at the end of two poems her name appears as Kumari Indira Dhanrajgir. On 15th June 2007 A.P. State cultural affairs department and Telugu University jointly held my father’s memorial meeting. Indira Dhanrajgir hijacked this meeting by issuing her own commercial advertisements in English and Telugu dailies. In these advertisements her name appeared as Smt. Indira Devi Seshendra Sharma and again in the commercial public notices made by her in the month of November 2007 her name appeared as Rajkumari devi etc. Why does her name appear in different forms on different occasions? Will Indira Dhanrajgir explain? Will Sadasiva Sharma clarify, who forcibly took my father’s death certificate after four days of his death? Or will Bh. Krishna Murthy clarify?
If Indira Dhanrajgir has even an iota of regard, respect for or faith in love, or relation, the institution of marriage, immediately after ‘Halebeed Circus’, she would have used my father’s family sir name and her name would have appeared as Gunturu Indira. Since she was conscious of her goal during all times and conditions she did not take such a hasty and mindless step of change of her name.
WHERE DOES THE REAL SECRET LIE?
Her life is totally illegal, anti-social and immoral.
Indira Dhanrajgir’s father performed her marriage with SrikishenSeth, Nephew of the then Prime Minister to Nizam, Maharaja Kishen pershad in 1945. On the day of marriage itself Indira Dhanrajgir beat SrikeshenSeth up and ran away from him. She did not stop at that. She propagated among his friends and relatives and near and dear that he was not enough of a man and unfit for conjugal/marital life. She filed a divorce case against him and dragged it till 1969/70. Lion’s share of her husband’s life got evaporated and was sapped completely by then. His parents used to approach Indira Dhanrajgir’s father and plead with him to preavail upon his daughter, put sense into her head and see that she either lives with their son or dissolves the marriage legally so that they can remarry off their son. But Indira Dhanrajgir did not heed. Raja Dhanrajgir after getting disgusted with her nasty activities stipulated a mandatory condition in his will. He stated that Indira Dhanrajgir would be entitled to get a share of his property only if she is married.
This is the reason why INDIRA DHANRAJGIR who has no respect for the institution of marriage or regard or desire for marital life, in the guise of love and love poetry inflicted indelible blemish on the institution of marriage which is unprecedented in the literary history of the world. After my father’s death she has been indulging in more rigorous false publicity along with her coterie of touts.
KAMOSTAV: STORY OF INDIRA DHANRAJGIR’S SOUL:
With this novel Kamostav, father’s literary life came to an end for good. He did not produce literary works worth mentioning in his later phase of life. During those days he asked for my opinion on that novel. I told him clearly that it lacks the form and content of a novel; it does not have a story line, plot, sequences, characters and eventually a message which every novel gives. Hence it is a trash. Several people went to court and got its publication in a weekly stopped. INDIRA DHANRAJGIR got this very trash rewritten completely by Chandrasekhara Rao and printed it. This kind of heinous development has never taken place in the recorded history of Telugu literature till date. A writing which brought disrepute to my father in the literary field and isolated him in the society, why did she get it rewritten by somebody and publish it claiming copyright to be hers? What is her motive? What is her aim? That is why Kamotsav is INDIRA DHANRAJGIR’s biography, story of her inner soul.
My father gifted away copyrights of his entire works along with their translations to me by way of birth day gift to me on 2.12.1989. Since then I have published several of his works during his lifetime itself. Kamostav, the version that is secretly made available is the dirty work of cheapsters and lumpens under the leadership of INDIRA DHANRAJGIR. It is much worse than violation of copyrights. That is the reason why I have been reluctant to take action so far. If she and her debased henchmen try to violate copyrights of my father’s works bequeathed to me, I shall take exemplary legal action against them.
INDIRA DHANRAJGIR made 2 public notices to the effect that my father cancelled all his earlier transfer of copyrights and retransferred all his rights to her. This is a palace intrigue in the modern era in our civilized society.
WHAT DOES LAW SAY ABOUT COPYRIGHTS?
An author can transfer copyrights of his works to any one as per her/his wish. But the Copyrights Act 1957 and the Supreme Court in its various judgments has clearly stipulated a procedure to revoke earlier assignment and transferring of copyrights to somebody else subsequently. The author has to issue a notice to the 1st assignee, giving 6 months time for reply. Depending on the reply the author can take his next step. Where as in my father’s copyrights matter he did not even inform me orally of any such cancellation. INDIRA DHANRAJGIR claims that she has a typed document of transfer of copyrights signed by my father on 5.1.2006. Between 5.1.2006 and 30.5.2007, leave alone issuing a notice, he did not even inform me orally.
My father who assigned copyrights to me in his own handwriting, when he was relatively young and physically fit did not require to cancel the 1st assignment when he was totally dilapidated, almost bedridden and was counting his days. Another important aspect of the matter is that I have printed the Xerox of my father’s document in his own works as early as 1995 and have been doing so from time to time during his life time. Where as INDIRA DHANRAJGIR claims to possess a document after my father’s death and she has not made it public so far. Indira Dhanrajgir tried to get my father’s complete works published in different languages by Telugu University (Hyderabad: A.P.: India) by paying them Rs. 6 lakhs. I approached Telugu University and apprised them of facts. On the advice of legal experts, they stopped this project and returned Indira Dhanrajgir’s money to her. It is an incontrovertible fact that Indira Dhanrajgir’s document is a forged and fraudulent document which does not stand scrutiny before law. Court shall certainly award her exemplary punishment. In all societies and times literature has been social wealth/public property from time immemorial. It should not be used as a mask to grab share of parental property illegally and unethically. I am committed to this cause/ideal and appeal to the civilized society to strengthen my hands in this endeavor. INDIRA DHANRAJGIR’s younger brother Sri Mahendra Pratapgir is the lone leage heir apparent of that family and keeping him in dark, she is squandering her father’s wealth in Telugu literature for her nasty propaganda.
FATHER PASSED AWAY:
In 1997 when he suffered the 1st heart attack he was half-dead. Dr. Sudhakar Reddy, cardiologist of Medicity Hospitals (Native of Warangal, A.P.) performed angiogram and diagnosed that he had blocks in arteries and one valve was damaged completely. He advised open heart surgery. But INDIRA DHANRAJGIR averted it and got angioplasty performed. His health declined rapidly since then and was leading the life of virtually an invalid till he breathed his last. He suffered inexplicable mental and physical torture for about a decade. During the last leg of his journey he was isolated from his family completely. He was deserted by one and all in the literary field. When his younger brother passed away, his younger sister passed away he did not visit his ancestral home in his village and call on those families. He became target of jealousy and animosity in the society. He became a victim of false impression with the society that he was an aristocrat and rolling in luxuries. Whereas, he was deprived of even his native vegetarian food for decades together. As a silent and helpless witness to these painful happenings, I was subject to untold mental agony.
In the later half of March 2007 on one of my visits to him, I was aghast at his condition. His entire body was swollen. His appearance was like that of a stuffed gunny bag. I told him to get hospitalized. I told INDIRA DHANRAJGIR to rush him to a hospital. But of no avail. On 30th May 2007 at about 11 pm I got a phone call from her “Come soon/Serious” she said. As I entered at 11.15 pm “Go inside/he is no more” she said.
“”One day when swarms of lamps vanish, in the light of a lonely lamp I ask the dumb pillars.
“Can’t you liberate me from the disgust of this existence?
I ask those stand still forest flame trees
Which blossom flowers at that very place year after year” can’t you rescue me?
I ask those high roof tops and this Venetian furniture
Which every one feels are greater than me,
“can’t you rescue me from the disgust of this existence?”
All these answer in a melancholic voice
“We have been languishing since more than 100 years watching the same unchanging scenes we are older prisoners than you are” (Janavamsham: Telugu: Seshendra: Page 80-81:1993: Translated by me)
My father’s first biography (in Hindi) titled “Rashtrendu Seshendra: Ashesh Aayaam” by Dr. Vishranth Vasishth appeared in 1994. Touching upon these very sensitive aspects of my father’s life he commented in that book “SONE KE PINJRE ME PANCHCHI” (A bird in a golden cage). Alarmed and agonized by his rapidly declining health as early as June 2002, in order to bring pressure on INDIRA DHANRAJGIR, I gave a 2 cassettes long interview to Vijayaviharam of Janaharsha group. Later on when I enquired about that interview they said that in the raids conducted on their premises, they got destroyed.
I wanted to rescue my father and bring him back home when he was in good health. Alas! At last, I took him to the burial ground, laid him on the funeral pyre and consigned him to flames and returned home all alone.
S/o Late G.Seshendra Sharma
32, Janata Flats, Kanthi Sikhara Complex,
Punjagutta, Hyderabad – 500 482.
Cell: 094410 70985, 7702964402.
PARDON ME FATHER
I could not rescue him from the clutches of that nymphomaniac and vampire. There may be an exception or two but an average Indian woman desires from the depths of her soul that her husband should live long and she should pass away before him. She performs prayers and fasts on auspicious days for this purpose. She in spite of being 3years elder to him did away with my father in a planned and premeditated manner and I was a silent and helpless witness to it. He suffered 1st Heart attack in November 1997. Cardiologists performed angiogram and advised open heart surgery. Because there were blocks in vessels and one valve was damaged. But she successfully thwarted it and without my knowledge or informing any one got angioplasty done in Mediciti (Hyderabad: AP; India) her plan was to do away with him and live long, and establish herself as his wife through his books. He was succumbing to her blackmail. My overwhelming hunch is that she was threatening him with social insult and humiliation if he parts ways with her. Between 1997-2007, she played football with his body. He used to be hospitalized every now and then with swollen body and heart pain. Because of damaged valve pumping was impaired and water used to accumulate in the system. Every time I used to force her to hospitalize him. He used be in ICCU for a couple of days and recover marginally. After each visit to hospital he was getting debilitated gradually. He was put on wheel chair. He was virtually under house arrest. He was not allowed to speak to friends and family members. Visitors were kept away. He was taking Lasix (Tablet: is a diuretic that is used to treat fluid accumulation, caused by heart failure, cirrhosis, chronic kidney failure, and nephrotic syndrome.) to flush out water accumulated in his body. This creates a painful dilemma in me whether my interference in his health matters was just. As his son it was my moral duty to protect him. But I sometimes feel if I were not to interfere she would have put him to death long ago and thus he would have escaped from physical and mental torture quite early.
Towards perhaps end of the month of March she withdrew medication. He got swollen suddenly and that condition continued till the last day i.e. 30th may 2007. Each time I visited I used to tell that witch to take him to hospital. But after a couple of visits I got convinced that she made up her mind this time to do away with him. I requested a bastard who was feigning to be a friend of mine, who incidentally happens to be a legal luminary of this region to send a doctor friend to that place and ascertain the exact condition of his health. But of no avail.
I kept on telling him to come out of that place and lead a normal and healthy life. Her blackmail gained an upper hand and I lost in my efforts to restore health to him and bring him back to civilized society. O God pardon me for not being able to outmaneuver her machinations. Pardon me father.