Sri Sri aka Sri Rangam Srinivasa Rao, the most sensational poet who heralded the Marxist aesthetic thought in Telugu literature, has made indelible impression among the modern Telugu writers. But, interestingly, very few modern writers have tried to project the Sri Sri legacy in contemporary main stream media.
In this work, I have tried to explain Sri Sri Ideology on some contemporary social issues and the controversies.
Sri Sri, unlike Chalam, could not try to project the problems of Indian women in his articles and books. Some literary experts opine, Sri Sri has made some derogatory remarks on women in his autobiography. Interestingly, Chalam, a women lover, made a great impact on feminist writers and dalit writers than Sri Sri works.
But, Chalam, another great social revolutionary writer who fought against male chauvinism, casteism and religious fundamentalism, later found solace in the companionship of great mystic Ramana Maharshi. He gave up revolutionary writing and settled in Tiruvannamalai, abode of Ramana Maharshi spiritual empire. His later life irked some feminists and communist writers who used to treat Chalam as a great revolutionary writer on par with Sri Sri. Chalam retirement from revolutionary writing and baptism of spirituality made Sri Sri as the only champion of modern Telugu revolutionary writing. But, still, Telugu feminist writers have no qualms to hail the contribution of Chalam who projected the true picture of women and societal hypocrisy.
Sri Sri was the founder president of Virasam (viplava rachayithala sangham), a revolutionary poets organization which split from Arasam ( abyudaya rachayithala sangam) due to the great debate among revolutionary progressive writers. Arasam supports communistic socialism while Virasam supports the revolutionary communism. Though Sri Sri was actively participated in Virasam, he could not upheld Virasam stand of supporting ‘Telangana’ and ‘Jai Andhra movements’. Some Telangana poets allege, Sri Sri was timid to injustice done to the Telangana people.
Another criticism on Sri Sri is his staunch support to the emergency rule of Indira gandhi. He wrote several articles in praise of Indira Gandhi and Jalagam Vengala Rao for their brutal stands to curb people social democratic movements. Some scholars opine, Sri Sri acted as a traditional Indian communist but not as a universal communist of Marx legacy. Like typical Indian communist parties, Sri Sri may have done historical blunders. But, his stand on emergency is a blot on his marathon revolutionary poetic career, which cannot be deleted in history. But, we should remember, later Sri Sri regretted for his blunder.
Sri Sri, who is said to be inspired from western communistic literature but not from Indian experiences of socialism, hardly described the essence of dalit and women empowerment in his bulk of works. Some revolutionary poets, particularly of Telangana and Dalit origin, criticize Sri Sri writings by claiming they are for bourgeoisie, above middle class and elite rich people but not for common people.
Sri Sri had also committed mistakes by supporting emergency in 1975, but later he had regretted this,”