Boyi Bhimanna

“Hinduism says there are four varnas, Communism says there are two classes, I say there are only three classes- Mine is Tiger-Jackal-Sheep-ism ! How is the psyche of today’s man different from Vedic Man? Here are the same tiger, the same jackal and the same sheep !”


Mahakavi, Kalaa Prapoorna, Padmabhooshan Dr. Boyi Bhimanna (1911-2005)

“Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the Pen is mightier than the Sword”. More than the swords, it is the Pens that have brought about revolutions; brought about change, be it social or political. These Pens have also made a difference to us with words, enriching our lives and creating new worlds. Dr. Boyi Bhimanna possessed such a pen. His literature, especially works like “Paaleru”, “Dharmam kosam poratam” etc. have brought in a social revolution, especially among a generation of Dalits leading them towards upliftment and empowerment.

  • He said “Nagna Satyam Vedantam, Alankrita Satyam Kavitvam” (Truth naked is philosophy; if clothed, poetry.) His literature reflected the Truth, in various forms.
  • Rasaadvaiti… Modern Rishi… A Rebel… that’s how Dr. Bhimanna was known in literary circles. He was not confined to any isms or any schools of thought. He was not bound by any ideological chains. His was a free thought, on one side flowing in the direction of empowerment of Scheduled Castes (he did not like the word Dalit) and at the same time researching into their roots and feeling proud of his glorious heritage. He said all the famous Puranic personalities- Valmiki, Vedavyasa, Arundhati etc.- were either harijans (Scheduled Castes) or girijans (Scheduled Tribes). As per the Puranas, the first known poet was Matanga (again a harijan) and Goddess Saraswati was born as his daughter to learn Veena from him. That’s why Kalidasa hailed her as “Maatangi”. Having such a glorious lineage, he called upon the harijans to hold their heads high. Revival of the Vedic Socialistic Casteless Order was his vision and revitalizing it was his mission. He called his socialism as Siva Socialism.
  • Born in a poor Harijan family in Mamidikuduru, East Godavari District a century ago on 19th September, 1911 he started his literary career at a very young age of 11. Dr. Bhimanna had to his credit about hundred of both published and unpublished literary works in different literary forms. There was no literary form he left untouched be it Poem, Lyric, Play, Ballet, Criticism, Satire, Treatise, Free Verse, Poetic Prose, Letteritts etc.
  • His theory was Rasaadvaita; beauty, love and cosmic union flowing in a sublime manner all through.
  • His national-award winning work “Gudiselu Kaalipotunnai” (Huts are on Fire) raised a myriad of social issues in which he also expounded his theory on the Tiger-Jackal-Sheep psyche of the humans. He said-
    • “Hinduism says there are four varnas,
      Communism says there are two classes,
      I say there are only three classes-
      Mine is Tiger-Jackal-Sheep-ism !
      How is the psyche of today’s man different from Vedic Man?
      Here are the same tiger, the same jackal and the same sheep !”

  • His literature not only comprised of his thoughts about human and social issues, but also demonstrates his versatility. All his literary creation blooms around such theories that are evolved by him and also his political and philosophical thought. He said Salvation (Moksha) is the birthright of every being. He said there is no God with a frame and name. He visualized PARAMAATMA as a Universal Energy which can be shaped by the individual human mind into any form of its liking.
  • Many of his poems are included in different Anthologies compiled by the Central Sahitya Academy and the Jnanpith. Most of his published works have been, prior to getting them in book form, serialized in different Journals, sung in AkashVani and Doordarshan, and were staged widely. Some of them are being prescribed for collegiate studies and Doctorate Researches. He himself has penned two works in English- “The Seventh Season” and the “Paramaatma”.
  • “Paaleru”, a social drama penned by him about 70 years back brought about a social revolution among Harijans. It was staged widely and inspired by the message that every Harijan boy and girl should be educated and empowered, thousands of Paalerus i.e. farm boys working under bonded labour system left their homes to be educated and had become IAS officers, Academicians etc. This Drama still is relevant today.
  • While “Paaleru” made a profound impact on one generation of Scheduled Caste youth, “Janapaduni Jabulu” and “Kooliraju” dwelled on the pathetic situation of wage labourers, advocating their organization into labour groups and fighting for their rights and entitlements. “Dharmam Kosam Poratam” called upon the Malas and Madigas to unite and fight for justice.
  • He penned a series of works on Ambedkar, which even include “Ambedkar Suprabhatam”. His “Gudiselu Kalipotunnai”, “Panchama Swaram”, “Shankharavam” etc. were his take on social issues. Another of his unique works was “Deepa Sabha”, a parliament of lights, in which different lights from different backgrounds, come to the parliament and represent to the Mother of Lights, what all they have seen in human world. They talk about different lives, joys and sorrows of human world. While “Raga Vaisakhi” (which was adjudged as one of the top 100 books of the world) was a romantic kavyam with philosophical undertones, his commentary on Bhagavad Gita, “ Idigo, Idee Bhagavad Gita” was an attempt to bring out the real spirit of Gita. He was of the opinion that Gita, falling in the hands of Sanyasis, had lost its original flavor. This is only a peek into the ocean of his literature, his versatile and holistic personality.
  • His Frankness, speaking out his mind without any hesitation, not getting bounded by any isms or schools of thought, his original and revolutionary thinking were the reasons for his earning name in the literary world as a “rebel”.
  • Apart from his great literary contribution, he was a freedom fighter, actively participated in Quit India Movement and did lot of ground work during freedom struggle. He was a close associate of the great leaders of the State who lead the state during freedom struggle and shaped the state policies.
  • When Dr. Ambedkar had visited Kakinada, Bhimanna was asked to read out his poetry. Dr. Ambedkar was so impressed by rendition of his poetry in English, he published Bhimanna’s poems as an editorial in his “National Herald” published from Calcutta in those days.
  • Bhimanna was a recipient of numerous awards, felicitations and puraskarams which include Padmabhooshan (2000) and Padmasri (1973) from Govt. of India, many State Govt. Puraskarams, D. Litt from Kashi Vidya Peeth, Varanasi, Doctorates from Andhra and Nagarjuna Universities, Life time achievement awards etc. He was also nominated to the AP Legislative Council and was an MLC between 1978-84. His speeches in Council were very popular and he raised lot of issues that affected the poor.
  • Till his last breathe in December, 2005 Bhimanna continued his literary activity with a zeal and enthusiasm that is unsurpassed.
  • The Government of AP has established Boyi Bhimanna Sahitya Peetham in Sri Potti Sriramulu Telugu University in 2006 to disseminate his thoughts and literature. His writings are being reprinted and translated into other languages. 2010-11 is his Centenary Year and the plan is to bring out all his writings during his “Sata Jayanti” Celebrations.
1911 Born in a poor HARIJAN family on 09-09-1911, at Mamidikuduru, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh.
1922 Sang his first poem.
1935 Graduated from P.R. College, Kakinada.
1936 Sub-Editor, Jana Vaani, a Telugu Daily.
1937 Edited Kusuma Dharmanna’s Jaya Bhesri, a Telugu Fortnightly, Rajahmundry  (while Studying B.Ed.)
1938 Sub – Editor, Prajaa Mithra, a telugu weekly, Madras.
1940-45 1. Worked as Teacher, East Godavari District.
2. Member, Senate, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.
3. Activist, Quit India Movement.
1946 1. Provincial Congress Organiser (Harijan Wing).
2. Joint Secretary, State Harijan Sevak Sangh, Madras.
3. Edited Vyavasayakooli of Vemula, Kurmaiah, the then Minister, Madras.
1950-55 1. Sub- Editor, Andhra Prabha, a Telugu Daily, Madras.
2. Contested to the State Legislative Assembly  as Congress Candidate from Razole Double Member Constituency, 1952
3. Honoured by the People with a Gold Anklet (Ganda Penderam) at Cherukupally, Guntur under the president ship of Sri Sanjeevaiah, the then Minister, Madras in 1953.
1955 Appointed as Director, Department of Translation and as Registrar of Books, Government of Andhra Pradesh.
1959 Organised the First All India Telugu Writers Conference as President of Navya Saahiti Samithi.
1960 Continued as a Member, Executive Committee and Fellow of State Sahitya Academy.
1968 Public felicitation at Kakinada with the title of MAHA KAVI.
1971 Award of Honourary Doctorate of KALAA PRAPOORNA by the Andhra University ,
1973 Award of PADMA SRI by the President of  India.
1975 NATIONAL AWARD by the Central Sahitya Academy for the poetry Volume GUDISELU KAALI POTHUNNAI (the Huts are on Fire).
1975 1. Honoured by the First Telugu Conferene for outstanding contribution to Telugu Literature.
2. Represented Telugu Language in the Republic Day Poets Symposium, New Delhi.
1975-76 Member, A.P. Film Awards Committee (for two terms).
1976 Award of Honourary Doctorate of D.Litt by the KASI VIDYA PEETH. Varanasi.
1978 1. Nominated by the Governor of Andhra Pradesh to the  A.P Legislative Council (1978-84).
2. Nominated by the Govt. of A.P to the Governing Board of International Telugu Institute.
1983 Member, Syndicate, Sri Krishna Deva Raya University, Ananthapur.
1985 Chairman, Reception Committee, All India Dalit Writers Conference.
1988 KANAKAABHISHEKAM (Felicitation with Gold Flowers) at Vijayawada.
1989 PUSHPAABHISHEKAM at Hyderabad.
1990 KANAK PUSHPAABHISHEKAM at Visakhapatrnam.
1991 1. Tikkavarapu Rami Reddy  Centenary Award by Dr.Bejawada.Gopal Reddy at Nellore.
2. Felicitation by Dalit Open University of India, Guntur.
3. Raja- Lakshmi Literary Award.
1991-92 Member, State Committee, Ambedkar Centenary Celebration.
1992 Telugu University Prathama Visishta Puraskaaram.
1993 Honourary  Doctorate by Nagarjuna University, Guntur.
1995 Member, Programme Committee, South Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur.
1997 1. Member, State Committee on Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Indian Independence.
2. Member, State Cultural Council, Govt. of A.P
2000 NAVAYUGA KAVI SARVABHOUMA Title Conferred by Vijaya Bhavana, Vizianagaram on Ugaadi Day Celebrations.
2001 PADMA BHOOSHAN by the President of India.
2002 HAMSA AWARD by AP.Govt.
2002 MAHATMA GANDHI Harmony award by JayBharath
2003 JASHUVA PURSKAR by Jashuva foundation.
2004 NTR Life Time Achievement Award
2005 Ramineni Foundation Award
2005 Sanatana Dharma Trust Eminent   citizen Award 
2005 Lok Nayak Foundation Award.
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