Lakshminarasimham Chilakamarti (1867-1946)

Lakshminarasimham Chilakamarti was born into a Brahmin family in Khandavalli village in Godavari district in 1867. His father was Venkanna and mother was Ratnamma.  He had his primary education in Veervasam and Narasapuram towns.  He graduated from the high school in Rajamandri in 1889.  He took up a teaching position in 1889 and taught Telugu in Rajamandri Aryan School. Later he worked as an assistant teacher at Innispet School and then as a teacher at a municipal high school.  Later he worked as a sub-editor in the journal Saraswati for one year.  After quitting this job he started the Hindu Lower Secondary School in 1899 and administered it for 9 years. In 1907,  he handed over the school to Viresalingam Kandukuri.  Later, the school was upgraded and renamed as Viresalingam High School.
Lakshminarasimham wrote many dramas and novels. His first drama was "Keechaka Vadha." Later he wrote Droupadi Parinayamu, Gayopakhyanamu, Sri Rama Jananamu, Sitakalyanamu, Parijaatapaharanamu and Navanaatakamu.  Apart from these dramas he also wrote several novels.  Ramachandra Vijayam, Hemalata, Ahalyabai, and Sudha Saratchandramu are some of his reputed novels.  While working for Saraswati journal he wrote "Soundarya Tilaka and Parvathi Parinayamu". In the year 1908 he started a press.  He made remarkable contribution to telugu literature and his repertoire includes dramas like Prasanna Yadava and Chandrahasa and books like Rajastana Kathavali, Karpuramanjari, Mahapurushula Jeevita Chritralu, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Charitra and  Kalidasa Charitra.  In 1916 he started a journal Manorama. Through this journal he published Ganapathi, Rajaratnamu, Raghukula Charitra (translation of Raghuvams) and Siddartha Charitra.

Apart from being a writer he was also a great social reformer. He started a school for socially backward people in the year 1909 and administered it for 13 years. He also campaigned for widow remarriages, a social problem and a taboo at that time. He participated in social reformation activities as a member of Brahmo Samaj and Hitakarani, reputed organizations for social work. He also started a weekly called ‘Desamaata’ and used to write articles criticizing British policies.

Though he was night-blind and had other eyesight problems, he overcame these obstacles with his dedication and made a huge contribution to Telugu literature. Most of his wrings were compiled and published in 10 volumes. He was honored with Kalaprapurna award by Andhra University in the year 1943.

Chilakamarti Lakshminarasimham was a great literateur, dramatist, a journalist, and a social reformer who immensely contributed to the renaissance of Telugu people.

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