Thursday, November 24, 2005

Kotamraju Rama Rao

Shri Kotamraju Rama Rao was born in the Coastal town of Chirala on 9 November 1897 and graduated in English from Madras University, before joning as a lecturer in Pachiappa college, Madras.He started his career in journalism in Karachi's nationalist English daily the Sind Observer in 1919.Later Rama Rao worked for the Times of India and the free Press Journal in Bombay, the People of Lala Lajpat Rai in Lahore, the eastern Economist in Calcutta, and the Hindustan Times in New Delhi.He was editor of Searchlight in Patna and the daily Indian Republic in Madras.The pinnacle of Rama Rao's Career was when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru appointed him as the founder-Editor of Lucknow's National Herald in June 1938. Rama Rao was jailed by the British Government in 1942 for his editorial Jail or Jungle in which he had exposed the police repression on the Satyagraphis in the Lucknow Central Jail.When the British Government closed down the National Herald in 1942, Gandhiji called Rama Rao to his Ashram in Sevagram from where Rama Rao syndicated his reports to over two dozen Indian and foreign journals.Rama Rao was a founder of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ) and gave evidence before the first Press Commission on the status of newspaper industry in India.

An eminent freedom-fighter, parliamentarian and journalist, late Shri Kotamaraju Rama Rao was admited by many national leaders as a patriot of impeccable integrity and great courage.Mahatma Gandhi described rama Rao as a 'Fighting Editor', Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and C. Rajagopalchari also hailed him as an outstanding editor.Kotamaraju Rama Rao was elected to India's First Rajya Sabha (1952) from undivided Madras State and he was the First-ever Advisor on Plan Publicity to the Nehru Government in 1956.He also authored several books.Rama Rao died on 9th March 1961.

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