Prajakavi is the single title that captures the richness and variety of Kaloji Narayan Rao’ s qualities. A man of the people, a poet of the people. His choice of language, form and subject matter, his very practice of poetry have been integral to his commitment to the cause of ordinary people. His personal integrity and fearless commitment to justice and truth have drawn around him a wide circle of admirers from every walk of life, form part of his unique personality. His abiding sense of humour, his irony and his brutal insistence on honesty. Kaloji’s fierce individualism and his refusal to submit to imposed discplines have kept him out of the membership of political parties. Yet he is deeply political and has been in the vanguard of many a protest and struggle.
Born on 9 september 1914, Kaloji’s life spans the twentieth century and shines as a bright torch inspiring younger generations.
The first modern Telugu poet to write free verse, in this part of the country, Kaloji’s poetry (consisting of ten volumes) is a running commentary on the historical, socio political and cultural aspects of his time. Titled Na Godava it provides profound insights into the myriad issues and contradictions of his time his autobigraphical writing Idee Na Godava is historical and reflective. He claims no copyright and castshis ideas aboard freely for all to use. Kaloji has been at the forefront of all the significant struggles that make up the history of the erstwhile Hyderabad State.He was part of Satyagraha movement, the Osmania University Student Vandemataram movement, Arya Samaj, State Congress, Andhra Mahasabha(Telenagana) and Anti-Razakar movements. He has consistently fought for democratic and responsible government. His commitment to human rights made him an active member of the Tarkunde Committee. Although opposed to power and the trapping of office Kaloji looked upon elections as a democratic exercise. He contested thrice and once got elected as a member of the legeslative council. His most significant contest was in 1977 against Vengal Rao then Chief Minister who symbolised the ’emergency’ rule in Andhra Pradesh.
Honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour in the country, Kaloji brings grace and distinction to the award.
A voracious reader, an ardent cricket fan and an incurable storteller Kaloji delights his listeners young and old alike with his stories and experiences. His face – familiar all across the State, his presence – welcome everywhere and his honesty that brooks no deceit make Kaloji an institution in his lifetime. And he is rooted in Telengana – his conduct, his language, his humour and his taste reflect these roots.
source : kalojifoundation.com