Contributed by PALANA (
(sources many including the Kanyasulkam)

Sri Gurajada Apparao was a social reformer, poet, writer, philosopher, and a friend. He was born in 1863 in Rayavaram of Visakhapatnam distt.. He graduated from the Maharaja's College (MR COLLEGE) of Vizianagaram, the so called VIDYANAGARAM of ANDHRA where he synthesized de novo the greatest of his writings which are superb, unforgettable, and immortal. "dESamanTE maTTika'dOy - dESamanTE manushulOy" has had been shacking the hearts of every Telugu soul, whether literate or illiterate.

The style of Gurajada's poetry, neither pedantic nor enigmatic, but was the purest, crystal clear, lucid, and vivaceous. His poems awaken the weeklings even and energize them. Gurajada's intellectual creativity gave us a keepsake, historical landmark, and a precious literary diamond - "KANYASULKAM" play.

It is one and the only book in Telugu in which dedication and preface were written in English (there may be others in existence, but they mushroomed afterwards). On the 13th of August, 1992, "Kanyasulkam" celebrated its 100th birthday, eversince it was staged for the first time.

"Kanyasulkam" centenary celebrations were held at Gurajada's residence in Vizianagaram. Poets and writers from various places in Andhra held literary discourses on Gurajada's works. On the 76th death anniversary of Sri Gurajada, Sri Jonnalagadda Somayajulu and his party performed the "Kanyasulkam" play. Sri Jonnalagadda Ramanamurty, well known for his Girisam role in the play, was honored.

Sri Gurajada wrote the "Kanyasulkam" in 1869 for an excellent cause - social reformism. Girls at ten years of age were married to men of 65 years of age or older in return the girls' parents used to receive a sum of Rs 1000/- or more. This unfortunate act of selling young girls who did not either attain mental maturity or puberty to men (ready to be buried under 6 feet of mud) performed by their ignorant parents can be envisioned in this play, even now. No where in this entire world, a play like this or similar to this, was ever written.

One will be surprised to know that the era of Modern Telugu Literature was born from Gurajada's pen and his "Kanyasulkam". "Kanyasulkam" was performed for the first time by the "Jagannadha Vilasini Sabha" of Vizianagaram in 1892.

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