Prakasham Panthulu: A Leader on the Rise


A fourth-grade student used to walk barefoot to school, 25 miles from his hometown, for three rupees for his exam fees. He is none other than Prakasham Panthulu garu.

The boy walked the 25 miles back home barefoot. Stunned by the situation, his mother sold her wedding saree and paid a fee of three rupees.

After that, he had a hard time with many difficulties and passed the law test of his choice, and with that, he went to England and became a barrister, competing with the Madras Mylapore Tamil intellectuals.

In those days (as of 1917–18).
At Gandhiji’s call, his pleader quit his profession and plunged into the national movement. He devoted his entire life to public service.

As a lawyer, he voluntarily imprisoned himself for the people who brought him out of prison. He founded the magazine “Swarajya” to propagate Gandhiji’s ideas, and he was praised as a true follower of Gandhiji.

The same Gandhiji heard some words, and if he was wrong, he deposed Gandhiji.

Prakasham Panthulu was the Minister of Revenue at the time, as well as the Chief Minister of the joint Madras State. He became the first Telugu Chief Minister when a separate state for Telugus was formed in 1953.

His name was Tanguturi Prakasam Panthulu. When the government collapsed by a single margin of votes due to greed, he went to the governor and submitted his resignation without being heard, even though those who voted against him realized their mistake and begged him to go to the polls again.

In just 13 months of his government, he set up 14 irrigation projects in those days. He founded Sri Venkateswara University. He established a high court for the Telugu people.

prakasham panthulu statue
prakasham panthulu statue

Tirumala Tirupati legislated for the changes required for the management of the temple. He made the Telugu state number one in the field of cooperation. He made it clear that the then-central government could not even pay for the collapse of the Cotton Barrage in Vijayawada but diverted all state funds and repaired the barrage on a war footing.

He corrected the deficit without imposing that burden on the people in the form of taxes. That is why people call the barrage after him the Prakasam Barrage. He released all the prisoners for the first time in the country during the formation of the state.

He experienced poverty at the end of his life. If he honors himself with a shawl, he says, “Why me this shawl? Bringing some bananas would satisfy the hunger. If he says that to his followers, they understood the situation.

All the greats who came to power because of him did not fight for power, even though they backed him for power. At the age of 85, Rohini Karthi went to visit the family members of two old men in Harijanwada, near Ongole.

He had suffered from serious sunstroke. He was admitted to a Hyderabad hospital and died there on May 20, 1957.


Image source: ShareChat, Wikimedia