Eminent Telugu novelist, short story writer, poet and critic Ravuri Bharadwaja selected for the prestigious Jnanpith award for the year 2012 for his contribution to Telugu literature.
Bharadwaja passed through all sorts of vicissitudes of life but continued his service to Telugu literature with perseverance. His greatest attribute is his flair for story-telling. His works proved that a writer has social awareness and his work a human purpose.
Odiya novelist Pratibha Ray was also selected for the same award.
Mr. Bharadwaja is the third Telugu to be chosen for the honour, after the late Viswanatha Satyanarayana for ‘Ramayana Kalpavruksham’ (1970) and C. Narayana Reddy for ‘Viswambara’ (1988). The 86-year-old writer has to his credit 37 collections of short stories, 17 novels, six short novels for children and eight plays.
Topping the galaxy of writers of post-Gopichand era, he was first reckoned as a successor to Chalam. But Bharadwaja made a mark of his own by embellishing his writings with distinct characteristics in his inimitable style, diction, portrayal and narration. If “Paakuduraallu” is a masterpiece that presents a graphic account of life behind the screen in the film industry and came to be known for its originality and craftsmanship, another novel, “Kadambari”, is equally acclaimed as an outstanding work. His other notable works are “Jeevana Samaram”, “Inupu Tera Venuka” and “Koumudi”.
Born to Ravuri Mallikamba and Kotaiah on July 5, 1927 in Moguluru village of Paritala Jagir under the former Hyderabad State, Mr. Bharadwaja later moved to Tadikonda village in Guntur district. His formal education lasted only till Class VIII, but his literary prowess got him honorary doctorates from Andhra, Nagarjuna and the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University.
He started work as technician during World War II, doing odd jobs as a field worker in factories before joining the editorial staff of ‘Zamin Rytu’, in 1946 and then ‘Deena Bandhu’, in 1948. Later, he worked in several publications including in ‘Jyothi’, ‘Samiksha’, ‘Abhisarika’, ‘Chitraseema’, ‘Cinema’ and ‘Yuva’ till 1959, when he joined the All India Radio, Hyderabad as a Junior Script Writer.
Starting his writing career at the age of 17, he has the distinction of receiving the State Sahitya Academy Award for Literature twice in 1968 and 1983 and Central Sahitya Academy Award in 1983. He was the first recipient of the Gopichand Literary Award in 1968 and Rajalakshmi Award for Literature in 1987.