The 100th birthday celebrations of legendary actor, founder of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh NT Rama Rao (NTR) have started on a grand note, across Andhra Pradesh and beyond, Saturday.
The celebrations will continue next year in Andhra Pradesh and beyond.
NTR is credited with promoting Telugu identity and self-respect at a time when all South Indians were bludgeoned as “Madrasis”.
His children include Telugu actor Balakrishna and former Union minister Daggubati Puranderswari. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is a son-in-law of NTR.
Balakrishna had earlier announced that the family members would travel around the world to take part in the celebrations which will continue until May 23, 2023.
In Hyderabad, several members of the NTR clan, including his grandson and movie star Jr NTR, headed to NTR Ghat, the patriarch’s final resting place, to pay their respects.
As Balakrishna kicks off the celebrations from NTR’s birthplace, the TDP has organized a massive public meeting at Ongole where the Mahanadu or organizing meeting is held.
Born on May 28, 1923 in Nandikooru in Andhra Pradesh, Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR) cemented his position as the doyen of the Telugu film industry. He was famous and revered for his on-screen portrayal of Lord Rama, Krishna and a myriad of Hindu gods, mythological and historical figures. He also effortlessly portrayed modern characters. Apart from acting, NTR has also dabbled in film directing and producing.
But it was as a politician that NTR made his mark. A single-handed founder of the Telugu Desam party, he hit the record books when he campaigned for nine months, won assembly elections and became Andhra’s first non-Congress Chief Minister. Pradesh in 1983. He became Chief Minister for the third and final time in December 1994.
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He was a leading member of the National Front alliance that formed the Center government in 1989.
NTR died on January 18, 1996 in Hyderabad.