Siddipet: The World Telugu Conference (WTC) in Hyderabad from December 15 has provided the right opportunity for all to learn about prominent writers and associations that have taken Telugu literature to the masses.
Though many associations comprising writers were founded across Telangana State, perhaps the Manjira Rachayithala Sangham (Marasam) has had a greater impact on the people of erstwhile Medak district.
Marasam was founded by well-known writer from Siddipet, Nandini Siddha Reddy, in 1986 and quickly became a platform for many budding poets, writers and artists in erstwhile Medak district besides becoming a source of inspiration for various contemporary movements.
The role and participation of Marasam in second phase of Telangana movement is unquestionable. Writers led by Nandini Siddha Reddy, first chairman of Telangana Sahithya Academy, and his disciple Desapathi Srinivas, OSD to Chief Minister, K Chandrashekar Rao, took part actively in the movement besides writing many songs to motivate people to continue their fight for Statehood.
There is an interesting parallel between the rise of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao as a politician and Marasam. Chandrashekhar Rao was elected to State Assembly in 1985, a year before Marasam was founded. The founder of Marasam, Nandini Siddha Reddy and the Chief Minister were college mates at Government Degree College, Siddipet.
Not only in Telangana movement, Marasam spearheaded many social movements across erstwhile Medak district in the past three decades. The writers association has led a movement seeking ban on liquor and organising beauty pageants through plays and encouraged child writers hosting a number of programmes exclusively for children.
Speaking to Telangana Today, former president of Marasam, Thota Ashok said that Siddha Reddy had founded it to bring all the writers of modern era onto a single platform in Medak district. Ashok, who was the president of Marasam for five long years, further said that a number of new generation writers came to light using Marasam as platform.
Stating that they organised competitions to encourage young writers and conducted training sessions to help them fine tune their skills in the presence of prominent writers, Ashok said Marasam also fought against social evils like dowry and other practices by organising stage marriages to encourage simple marriages.
Incumbent MLA of Dubbak, Solipet Ramalinga Reddy’s was the first stage marriage performed in Siddipet in 1980s in the presence of Kaloji Narayana Rao and then MLA of Sididipet, Chandrashekar Rao.
Ramalinga Reddy, MLA, Rasamai Balakishan and several other prominent persons from erstwhile Medak district were members of Marasam. Named after river Manjira, the organisation had seven branches like the river divides into seven streams at Edupayala near Medak district. Marasam had also played a vital role in founding Telangana Rachyithalal Sangam.
Marasam had brought out several books on the works of its members in addition to conducting several prorgrammes even after the formation of Telangana State. Members of Marasam have been conducting preparatory meetings of World Telugu Conference actively in Siddipet successfully.