Kaloji Narayana Rao
Born(1914-09-09)9 September 1914
Died13 November 2002(2002-11-13) (aged 88)
Other namesKalanna, Praja Kavi[1]
Known forPolitical activist, poet

Kaloji Narayana Rao[1] (9 September 1914 – 13 November 2002) was an Indian poet, freedom fighter, anti-fascist and political activist of Telangana. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1992. The Telangana government honored Kaloji's birthday as Telangana Language Day.[2]

Education and activism

Kaloji was born on 9 September 1914 in Rattihalli village in Bijapur district, Karnataka. His mother Ramabayamma hailing from Karnataka. Father Kaloji Rangarao is from Maharashtra,[3] his elder brother, Kaloji Rameshwar Rao, an Urdu poet, played a vital role in shaping his personality.[4] Kaloji completed his primary education from Madikonda and higher education in Warangal and Hyderabad.Kaloji is a polyglot. Although he studied Telugu from an early age, he also wrote poetry in Marathi, Kannada, Hindi and Urdu.Kaloji married Rukmini Bai in 1940.

During his student days, he was deeply influenced by and participated in popular movements of the time. like the Arya Samaj Movement, especially in the domain of civil rights. He has also involved in Andhra Maha Sabha activities since its formation in 1934, and part of the Satyagraha, Osmania University Vandemataram, State Congress, Andhra Mahasabha (Telangana) and Library movements. Considered by many to be a freedom fighter,[according to whom?] he was part of the freedom movement of Hyderabad State and underwent imprisonment under the Nizam.[5]

His commitment to human rights[citation needed] made him an active member of the Tarkunde Committee. Although opposed to power and the trapping of office Kaloji looked upon elections as a democratic exercise. He contested thrice and got elected once as a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council. His most significant dispute was against Jalagam Vengal Rao, then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, in 1977.


In September 2014, the Government of Telangana in his honour, named the Medical University, Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences after him.

Literary works

Kaloji wrote poetry in Telugu, Urdu, Hindi and Marathi languages.[6] In 1992, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Kakatiya University.[7]

Published writings

Documentary film

In 2014 filmmaker Amarnath Sandipamu made a documentary film called Mana Kaloji. [8] Sculpting the narrative with existing footage, he says, "Treating like a character study, exploring Kaloji through his personal life and ideas of resistance, this film has been shaped with the archival interviews of his wife - Rukmini Bai, grandson – Santosh and Kaloji himself. Kaloji’s life, narrated as memories by his wife and grandson, has been juxtaposed with his own interview where he counters with his own ideas of life and resistance. This juxtaposition forms a conversation-like intimate encounter with him capturing perspectives for a better world and the human essence demystifying the legendary personality."[9]


Kaloji died on 13 November 2002. He donated his body for research to Kakatiya Medical College in Warangal.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Telangana Poet: Kaloji Narayana Rao History". TSO. Hyderabad. 8 September 2017. Archived from the original on 10 September 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Telangana Language Day Declared by CM Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao". TSO. Hyderabad, India. 8 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Kaloji Narayana Rao: Remembering the poet's birthday on Sep 9 as "Telangana Language Day"". Inspire Telangana. 9 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  4. ^ Rao, K. Damodar (12 March 2010). "Remembering Kaloji". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  5. ^ Rao, Vanam Jwala Narasimha (30 May 2021). "Brahmins as reformers". thehansindia.com. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Governor, CM condole death". The Hindu. 14 November 2002. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  7. ^ Chandrakanth, W. (14 November 2002). "Kaloji won't cry any more!". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2 January 2003. Retrieved 6 May 2013.((cite news)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ "Mana Kaloji". IMDb.
  9. ^ "Mana Kaloji by Amarnath Sandipamu | Documentary film".
  10. ^ articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2002-11-14/hyderabad/27320200_1_freedom-fighter-telangana-region-telangana-rashtra-samithi-president