Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Unsung Heroes Detail

Unsung Heroes Detail

Panapakam Anandacharyulu

Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh

June 30, 2022

Panapakam Anandacharyulu was born in 1843 to a Vaishnava Brahmin family in Cuttamanchi village in the Chittoor district. His father was a district court Sheristadar. He lost his father at the age of twelve. Matriculated in 1863 with the help of his father’s friend C.V. Ranganadha Sastry. Having to pass F.A. from Pachiappa College at Madras in 1865, he joined as a teacher in the same institution and continued as such till 1869. During this time he studied privately and obtained a B.L. degree. He joined Kavali Venkatapathi Rao, a prominent lawyer in the High Court, as a practitioner He became known as a good lawyer in a short period of time. He was the Founder of the Advocates Association at madras in 1889. During the practice period, a Telugu magazine called Vaijayanti should be established and many critical articles should be printed in it. For some time he was president of the Triplicane Literary Association. In 1880 he became the Secretary of the Madras Native Association and served as Secretary of the Madras Mahajana Sabha in 1884. He also wrote articles for magazines such as Hindu and the Madras Native Public Opinion.

Anandacharyulu was one of the 72 delegates at the first session of the Indian national congress held at Bombay in 1885, and as such, some people hail him as one of the founders of the Congress. He was the first person from Andhra and also the first South Indian to preside over the Seventh Annual Session of the Congress in 1891 at Nagpur. It was not until 57 years later that a Telugu celebrity – Dr. Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya - occupied the post again.

Anandacharyulu was a vociferous critic of British policies. As a social reformer, he fought for women’s rights in education and property. He worked as a lawyer and supported widow remarriages. As a constructive nationalist, he served as a member of the Imperial Legislative Council in Calcutta for eight years. He died on 28 November 1908 at the age of 65. Rash Behari Ghose, in his presidential address to the 23rd congress at Madras in December 1908, condoled the death of Anandachayulu and described him as one of the pioneers of the congress movement. 

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