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Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao
నందమూరి తారక రామా రావు


10th Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh
Succeeded by Chandrababu Naidu

Born May 28, 1923(1923-05-28)
Nimmakuru, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died January 18, 1996 (aged 72)
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Political party Telugu Desam Party
Spouse(s) Basava Tarakam (deceased) and Lakshmi Parvathi
Children sons Jayakrishna, Saikrishna, Harikrishna, Mohankrishna, Balakrishna, Ramakrishna, Jayasankarkrishna, and daughters Lokeswari, Purandeshwari, Bhuvaneswari, Umamaheswari

Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (Telugu: నందమూరి తారక రామా రావు) (born Nimmakuru, Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh; 28 May 1923–18 January 1996), also known as NTR, was an actor, director, producer, and politician.After watching the film,Seetharama Kalyanam,directed by NTR, Jagadguru Kanchi Peetadhipati, Sri Paramacharya Chandrasekhara Saraswati Swami blessed NTR with the title 'Vishwa Vikyatha Natasarvabouma'. He is the founder of Telugu Desam Party in 1982 and served as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1968, recognizing his contribution to Telugu cinema. After his career in movies, Rao became a political activist and a political party leader.[1]

Contents

Career as an actor

He started his career playing a police inspector in the movie Mana Desam (1949).The role is offered by the legendary director L V Prasad.He portrayed Lord Krishna in Maya Bazaar, Sri Krishnaarjuna Yuddham, Dana Veera Sura Karna, Lord Rama (Lava Kusa), Bheeshma (Bheeshma), Ravana (Bhookailasa), and Arjuna (Nartanasala).

NTR was referred to by the Telugu Film Industry as "Nata Sarvabhouma" (Emperor of Acting) in Telugu till date.

Though widely recognised for his mythological characters, NTR is considered one of the greatest actors in Telugu film, and in general in South Indian films. His portrayal of Lord Krishna in Maya Bazaar by B. Nagi Reddy, a producer at Vijaya Productions, was a turning point in his life. His portrayal of avatars of Vishnu, especially Rama ravana and Krishna, mesmerised an entire generation who saw the face of NTR when these gods were mentioned.

NTR had a major contribution to what can be considered the golden age of telugu film making, between 1950 and 1965. Analysts believe that the Telugu film industry produced some of the best mythological movies from India, while the Tamil and Hindi movie industry produced better socially oriented films.

NTR was naturally talented and extremely disciplined about various aspects of acting like preparation, punctuality, and dialogue delivery. An important factor that made him a great actor was his ability to deliver extremely lengthy dialogues that were original verses from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata with a fervour and command unmatched by most of his contemporaries, with certain exceptions like S. V. Ranga Rao whom people and industry will consider as best character actor in Telugu film industry. In addition, he generally played multiple roles in the same movie, which increased the number of dialogues and hence the preparation required.

NTR was very versatile. In Tamil Nadu, Shivaji Ganesan was much better known for his acting skill and talent and M. G. Ramachandran was much more known for his commercial movies. NTR struck a balance between both kinds of cinema. He used to perform roles in mythological movies like those only Shivaji could perform and even do commercial Janapadham (where the adventurous prince saves the damsel in distress) films which were Ramachandran's forte.

NTR, in fact, played the role of Lord Krishna not only in Telugu Movies, but also in Tamil and Kannada movies. While the megastars – Ramachandran, Shivaji Ganesan and Kannada Rajkumar vied for the roles of other Mahabharata heroes like Karna, Arjuna and Bhima, there was no denying that NTR would be the only one to play Lord Krishna. This is probably the greatest tribute to Rao's charismatic cine-genius.

One of his greatest janapadams was "Jagadekaveeruni katha" (the story of the universal hero) where he plays the role of Pratap, the prince of Ujjain. He dreams of celestial damsels as his wives, but on revealing the dream to his father, he is banished from the kingdom. The heroic prince then does the impossible - passing the various tests put to him, winning the celestial damsels and bringing them home to his kingdom. Another one of his janapadams was "Gulebakavali katha" (the story of Gulebakavali) where he plays the role of a prince who sets out to the heavens to bring the flower named "Gulebakavali" in order to cure his poisoned father, even wining Indra's daughter in the process.

As time passed by, NTR stopped playing the role of the prince in films. Instead, he played the role of a poor yet heroic young man against the system in his kingdom. To the lakhs of the denizens in Andhra Pradesh, he became 'one of us' -- one who assures the poor that he is there to rescue them from the wicked traitors in the kingdom.

The most notable movies acted by NTR in mythological characters are Maya Bazaar (Sri Krishna), Lava Kusa (Lord Rama), Sri Krishnaarjuna Yuddham (Sri Krishna), Bheeshma (Bheeshma), Bhookailas(Raavana), Nartanasala (Arjuna also as Bruhannala), Panadava-vanavsam (Bheema), Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam (Lord Venkateswara), Maha Mantri Thimmarusu (Sri Krishna Devarayalu) and Dana Veera Sura Karna (Duryodhana, Sri Krishna, Karna). Apart from these he played a variety of roles in folklore characters like Jagadeka Veeruni Katha, Pathala Bhairavi etc. On the social front he played roles in the movies Malliswari, Kanyasulkam, Gundamma Katha, Missamma, Raktha Sambandham, Ramudu Bheemudu, Adavi Ramudu, Vetagadu, Gajadonga, Driver Ramudu, Sardar Paparayudu, Kondaveeti Simham, Justice Chaudhary, Bobbili Puli etc. He acted in over two hundred and eighty movies in the lead role.

He also donned the roles of an elderly teacher (Badi Pantulu) becoming a model to his pupils, as a prince and pauper (Raju-Peda), a down to earth servant dedicated to his master (Aatma Bhanduvu).

He actively campaigned for the construction of a large number of movie theaters in rural locations and was influential in designing and implementing a financial system that funded the production and distribution of movies.[2]

Title

NTR became a director with the film named Seetharama Kalyanam (1961)with him playing the role of Ravanasura and Haranath as Rama. None of the Telugus can forget NTR for his portrayal of Ravana and Galipenchala Narasimha Rao, the great musician, for his composition of the song, 'Sri Seetharamula Kalyanamu Chootamu Rarandi..' - both in the movie 'Seetharama Kalyanam'. Ever fresh, loved by every generation, the song and the tune stand as a symbol of the greatness of the music directors of the olden days.NTR's name doesn't appear in the title credits as a director.Nandamuri Lakshmaiah Chowdary and Venkatravamma, parents of NTR, appeared on screen for the first and last time before the title credits. After watching the film, Jagadguru Kanchi Peetadhipati, Sri Paramacharya Chandrasekhara Saraswati Swami blessed NTR with the title 'Vishwa Vikyatha Natasarvabouma'.[3]

Career in Politics

NTR formed the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on 29 March 1982. While promoting a new film, he was asked a question by a person in the audience "ayya, memu mimmalni devudu laga adarinchamu, kani meeru maku emi chesaru?" meaning "Sir, we have treated you like a God but what have you done for us?".[citation needed] He was so moved by this that he formed TDP, and with a victory in the immediate election, formed the government and ruled the state of AP for a full term. He went into the elections with the slogan "Atma Gauravam" which meant "self-pride".

Like his films, the formation of the party and storming into the assembly was very dramatic. TDP came into power within nine months of its formation. Initially ridiculed by the Congress that state politics is not like movie acting among others, TDP was considered a no match for the faction ridden Congress, with the local representatives unheard of, the complete burden rested on the shoulders of NTR, and true to his charisma he won the elections with a landslide majority winning over 220 seats out 290 odd. Among other reasons why he won the elections was no real alternative to the Congress, lack of development, unemployment etc. He was very well supported by Ramoji Rao who gave wide publicity through the Telugu daily Eenadu. NTR himself contested elections from the constituency of Hindupur in Anantapur District and Gudivada in krishna district.

On Independence day, August 15, 1984, he was removed from office by the Governor of AP in view of a revolt by his aide and 2nd in command Nadella Bhaskar Rao. Due to the public agitation in favor of NTR the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had to dismiss the Nadella Bhaskar Rao government in just one month and hand power back to NTR. Then NTR dissolved the assembly and asked for fresh mandate in 1985.

He was returned to power with even bigger majority; among the most significant changes he made was to abolish the Legislative Council of the State of Andhra Pradesh citing the reason that it was a non-performing body which just a burden on the state exchequer. NTR lost badly in the subsequent election held in 1989 against Marri Chenna Reddy of the Congress party. The TDP could only secure 90 seats in this election. During the same period he gained valuable experience and had people like N. Chandrababu Naidu and Daggubati Venkateswara Rao (both sons-in-law) in his party.

Other contributions of NTR included the educational reforms he brought about in the state, where he overhauled the entire state's education syllabus for schools. He instituted statewide entrance examinations for all disciplines of higher education vis-à-vis Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacy, Law, and MBA to name a few. Students, based on the merit of their ranks obtained in these tests, could join any state college of their choice.

NTR is also a statesman in his deeds. He did not put a contestant opposite former Congress Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, hence made the process smooth for him to get elected. [Citation needed]

It is noteworthy that though he didn't know Hindi, he gave a speech for forty-five minutes in a packed stadium in Haryana. He later revealed that he had memorized the speech phonetically. Devilal, Haryana Leader was shocked to learn this, but NTR was always an electrifying man. [Citation needed]

Even though he lost the 1989 elections, he shot to fame at the national level and was capable of uniting many regional parties. He formed the National Front with parties like Janata Dal , Bharateeya Janata party, CPI and CPM as an alternative to Congress.

NTR stormed back to power in 1994 when he promised he would offer rice at Rs. 2/kg and to make AP an "Alcohol Free" state. True to his word he kept his promises only to burden the state exchequer. He also faced serious problems within his party. N. Chandrababu Naidu led a sudden revolt against Rao and split the TDP into two. Naidu survived NTR's onslaught when Rao approached the public for an opinion. The break-up of the party and the drama that took place on the Tank-Bund near Hotel Viceroy (road connecting Hyderabad and Secunderabad on the banks of Hussain Sagar) were probably the last significant events in Rao's life. Naidu became the chief minister of AP on 29 August 1995.

The loss of power and the subsequent events can be summed up as the start of anti-climax in NTR's life with several people believing that his second wife Lakshmi Parvathi was responsible for happenings, but recent reports suggest she is made a scape goat. NTR died soon after on 18 January 1996. Lakhs of people flooded to pay homage.Even today crore of people remember NTR and mourn for his loss man who left ever lasting image among Indians in general and Telugu people in particular.

NTR is still the most prominent figure in Andhra even 15 years after his death according to a CNN-IBN poll which shows that 70 percent of the people voted and thus selected him as a most prominent Andhrite. [Citation needed] Others coming distant second, all put together securing some 30 percent at the maximum. Such was a legacy that is left by him.

NTR has several grand sons and daughters, the best known amongst them are NTR Jr. Among his sons Nandamuri Balakrishna is a popular film actor in Telugu. Rao's daughter Bhuvaneswari who is also the wife of N. Chandrababu Naidu is the vice chairman of Heritage Foods one of South India's largest dairy company and Purandhreswari,wife of D.Venkateswara Rao is a minister in the current congress federal government.

Controversies

During 1993, there was immense criticism on him from his own party MLAs that he was giving undue importance to Lakshmi Parvathi. This criticism along with rumours that he has an illegitimate relationship with her, forced him to announce that he would marry Lakshmi Parvathi. After he came to power 1994, several party MLAs were upset with her interference in party matters. This led to a revolt against him which was lead by his own son-in-law Nara Chandrababu Naidu and Duggupati venkateswara rao. It is also rumored that Nara Chandrababu Naidu has forced majority of the MLAs to take back their support towards N.T.R.

Filmography

References

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Simple English

Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao
Born May 28, 1923(1923-05-28)
Nimmakuru, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died January 18, 1996 (aged 72)
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Cause of death Heart Attack
Other names NTR
Known for Cinema, Politics
Successor Chandrababu Naidu
Political party Telugu Desam Party
Spouse Basavarama Taraka Rama Rao, Lakshmi Parvathi (Married in 1994)
Children sons Jayakrishna, Saikrishna, Harikrishna, Mohankrishna, Balakrishna, Ramakrishna, Jayasankarkrishna, and daughters Lokeswari, Purandeshwari, Bhuvaneswari, Umamaheswari

Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (Telugu:నందమూరి తారక రామా రావు)(28 May 192318 January 1996), more commonly known as N.T. Rama Rao, NTR by his fans, or Anna garu, was an Indian movie actor, director, producer, and politician.[1][2] He founded the Telugu Desam Party and served three times as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. His movies included mythological, social, and folk themes. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in the 1960s for his work in Telugu cinema. After acting, Rao became a political activist and party leader.

References

  1. "N.T. Rama Rao (1923 - 1995): A messiah of the masses". www.hindu.com. The Hindu. http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2002/12/09/stories/2002120901160200.htm. 
  2. "Profile and Filmography". www.imdb.com. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004417/. 


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