Kandukuri Viresalingam

Viresalingam, Kandukuri

 

Born Apr. 16, 1848, in Rajahmundry; died May 27, 1919. Indian writer.

The founder of modern Telugu literature, Viresalingam wrote the first Telugu novel, The Life ofRajasekhara, which is on the theme of the English novel The Vicar of Wakefield by Goldsmith. Viresalingam wrote comedies and farces. His translation of Sakuntala by Kalidasa is recognized as the best. His History of Telugu Poetry and other works of literary criticism laid the foundations for Telugu literary criticism, and his autobiography was the first memoir in Indian literature. Viresalingam published the first Telugu journals, including Vivekavardhani (The Blossoming of Knowledge) and Hasuasanjivini (The Elixir of Humor, 1876). An active participant in the national movement in Andhra, he established an educational society and was the first president of the Society of Lovers of Literature (1919). Viresalingam favored the implementation of social reforms and opposed caste inequality and lack of civil rights for women.

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While Hindu reformers such as Kandukuri Viresalingam had encouraged Hindu widows to escape from their in-laws and remarry, Hindu conservatives had reacted by exercising increased vigilance over their women.
Leonard, Kandukuri Viresalingam, 1848-1919: A Biography of an Indian Social Reformer (Hyderabad: Telugu Univ.