He was a true charismatic leader. A people’s champion. The name NTR resounds in the hearts of millions of Telugu people even today, long after he left, etching groundbreaking ideals for the state of Andhra Pradesh. The man who ruled the masses right from the silver screen to politics, NTR is reckoned as that never fading enigmatic force.
The 10th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh is fondly remembered for his magnanimous and larger than life persona. Something that stays eternal forever.
Marking the legend’s birth anniversary today, KostaLife presents some of the remarkable snapshots from NTR’s life.
NTR married at a young age of 20. He was married to Basava Tarakam, his cousin. The couple had eight sons and four daughters.
NTR made his humble debut in films as an actor with the movie Mana Desam directed by L V Prasad
The year marked the unfortunate demise of NTR’s eldest son, Nandamuri Ramakrishna Senior. Ramakrishna Film Studios were founded after him.
The three decades saw and marked the rise of Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao as a accomplished versatile actor who could master any kind of role on screen. Some of NTR’s landmark films set a new benchmark for the talent in Telugu Film Industry. His portrayal as Lord Rama, Krishna, Duryodhana, Ravana etc showcased him to be the finest face that ever played mythological roles.
NTR’s film Ummadi Kutumbam was nominated to be aired in the Moscow Film Festival. The same year, NTR was honored with Padma Shri, highest civilian honor bestowed by the Government of India, recognizing his contribution to Indian Cinema.
After a grand scale innings with films, NTR moved up a notch to enter into politics. He founded Telugu Desam Party in 1982. His forceful mission to better the state of Andhra saw fruit and NTR served as the Chief Minister of the state for three terms. NTR was recognized all over the world as a direct cultural identity of the people of Andhra.
NTR helped his close friend from Tamil film industry, MGR who was hospitalized, by campagning on his behalf for All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
NTR’s wife Basava Tarakam passed away after ailing with cancer. He established the Basavatarakam Indo American Cancer Hospital the very next year in her memory.
NT Rama Rao did not stop at the state level. He went ahead to touch the National level by forming the National Front, a simple coalition of all Non Congress Parties in India.
N T Rama Rao remarried at the age of 70. He married Lakshmi Parvathi, a Telugu writer who authored his volume 2 biography. NTR’s family members were not comfortable accepting her, despite his passing later on.
NTR’s Achievements as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
Strong advocacy of women’s rights – Worked extensively to create a bill for inheritance rights for women. The bill was enacted in 1986
Introduced many populist schemes – Mid Day Meal for poor children, 2 Kg Rice scheme, Subsidized electricity, Prohibition of sale of alcohol in other states
Launched EAMCET – Started Engineering, Agricultural and medical Common Entrance Test enabling students to qualify and get a seat in professional colleges on merit
Bridged the gap – Introduced measures that broke the upper class hegemony
Passed Important Public Legislations
Pioneered the Telugu Ganga Project with the support of Government of Tamil Nadu – channeling Krishna water to Rayalaseema and Chennai
Channeled the progression of Telugu Film Industry from Chennai to Hyderabad
Featured Image Design Courtesy – Gowtham Ambati