Why is Gidugu Venkata Ramamurthy Birth Anniversary Celebrated as Telugu Language Day? History and Significance


Telugu is one the most widely spoken languages in the country. According to the 2011 Census, India has over 81 million Telugu speakers. It is the official language of two states – Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Every year, August 29 is celebrated as Telugu Language Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of Telugu poet, Gidugu Venkata Ramamurthy.

Telugu Language Day: History

Born on August 29, 1863, in the town of Parvathala Peta Srikakulam, Ramamurthy was one of the first contemporary linguists and social visionaries. He was not only adept in Telugu but also dabbled with multiple other languages. Ramamurthy was well-versed in linguistic theory.

Telugu Language Day is pegged to the birth anniversary of Ramamurthy since his efforts were what lead to Telugu being recognized as a standard language. Ramamurthy bridged the differences between the written and the spoken language of Telugu, which made it possible for scholars to grasp it better.

Telugu Language Day: Significance

It is not just India where Telugu is spoken. In fact, the language is the largest member of the Dravidian language family and is spoken in Bahrain, Malaysia, Mauritius, the United States, Fiji, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

The state government of Andhra Pradesh, on this day, organises various cultural programs. In addition to this, the government also allocates funds to bodies that are working towards the development of the language on multiple platforms, be it teaching, literature, or education.

Similar programmed are also expected in the neighbouring state of Telangana where there are a large number of Telugu speakers.

Various writers and literary experts who have worked in this medium are honoured on Telugu Language Day. This year, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to recognise and award 40 such people with a certificate of appreciation and a cash reward of Rs 15,000 each. The celebrations of the day will be launched by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy himself.

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