Sunday, 1 April 2012

Scholars for revision of Telugu history

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Eminent scholars from around the world will meet
in London for two days this July at the first-ever World Congress of
Telugu History to dig out many hidden facets of history and culture of
the Telugu land, its people, and language.

They will also deliberate on different issues to fill the “gaps and
voids” in the long line of Telugu history to strengthen the case of
Telugu as a classical language, and for better understanding of the
history and culture of the Telugus.

A few weeks prior to the World Congress of Telugu History, scheduled
for July 14 and 15, a small group of scholars from Andhra Pradesh will
study ancient palm leaflets (talapatralu) more than 1000 years old,
and Telugu literary works of the early 19th century, preserved at the
British Library, London. The findings of this group of scholars will
be debated and discussed by a larger group comprising 350 experts at
the Congress. They will prepare a final report, which will be
submitted to the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

The palm leaflet and books are unique as they are not available
anywhere else. They hold several “missing links” which will throw
light on the hitherto unknown aspects of the history of the Telugu
people, the evolution of their language, their contribution to human
intellectual growth, their kingdoms and civil societies , arts and
crafts, coins and trade, costumes and traditions, and their living
standards. The literary works preserved at the British Museum in
London include palm leaflets on the Adiparvam of Mahabharata, and
those penned by Nannayya, the first Telugu poet, dating back to 1120 CE.

Prabhakar Kaza, president of the organizing committee of the World
Telugu History Congress, told this correspondent that the
participating scholars would prepare an “action plan to review and
revise the existing history of the Telugu people. “There are many gaps
and voids in the long line of Telugu history. We need to fill them up
for continuity,” he added. Many of the rare books and palm leaves on
Telugu history were moved out of the country for preservation at the
British Library.

As part of the World Telugu Congress, there will be special workshops
on the contribution of British scholars to Telugu language and
culture. Focus will be on scholars like Francis White Ellis, Colonel
Colin Mackenzie, Fergusson, Robert Bruce Forte, HB Foote, Longhurst,
Alexander Rea, FR Allchin, Boswell, Robert Sewell, Meadows Taylor,
Edgor Thurston, Alexander Campbell, William Carry, Caldwell, Prof
Halden, Will Durant, Sir Arthur Cotton, and CP Brown.

Prabhakar said the Telugu Congress would catalogue rare books on
Telugu culture, exclusively available in London.

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