Bapiraju Adivi (1895-1952)

Bapiraju was born to Krishnayya and Subbamma, a Niyogi Brahmin family, on October 8, 1895 in Bhimavaram City. He graduated from a high school in Bhimavaram.  Later after graduating from law school, he practiced law for a while in Bhimavaram.  However, he gave up law practice for teaching and other interests such as journalism, painting and poetry.

He was interested in writing poetry from his childhood.  He became famous with his “Narayanarao” novel which got him Andhra Viswwakala Parishattu Award. He was also interested in painting. His popular oil paintings are samudraguptudu and tikkana. He also drew pictures for Viswanadha Satyanarayana’s famous lyrics, kinnerasani patalu.

In 1922, Bapiraju participated in Non-cooperation Movement and was jailed for one year.  He wrote “tolakari” after his jail experience. Later he wrote toophan, gona gannareddy, konangi and himabindu. His radio dramas like dukkiteddulu, uhasundari, bhogiraloya etc. and stories like tulikanrityam, hampi sidhilalu, silpabala, veena etc. were very popular. He also directed several movies, e.g., meerabai, anasuya, dhruv vijayam etc.  He also several short stories and songs. Some of his writings were translated into Kannada language.

After a short stint as a lawyer, Bapiraju worked at Bandar National College as a professor from 1934 through 1939. In 1944, he worked for meejan, a Telugu daily published from Hyderabad, as an editor.  Later, he joined Vijayawada Radio as an advisor. He was a founding member of Navya Sahitya Parishattu. He also established an art foundation in Guntur to teach painting.

Bapiraju was a multifaceted personality with a range of interests that included poetry, story writing, drama, journalism, painting, sculpture, music, and dance. He carved out himself a special place in Telugu literature and art by his contributions. He died in 1952.

Source: Nooruguru Telugu Pramukhulu, by M. L. Narasimharao.

Sreenivasarao Vepachedu, March 2002.

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