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Posted by on Apr 11, 2010 in Culture, History, Podcasts, Specials, Telugu Nadu, TG Roundup

Your Telugu Roots are Just Fine, but Your Branch is Rotten

Recall my interview with Nalamotu Chakravarthy about our ‘glorious Telugu roots?’ Well, this is a follow-up to that.

Chakravarthy Nalamotu’s recent post, “Why I sell my book?” got my attention. Two noteworthy things that speak a lot about the title of his post:

  1. Some people have the gall to ask him that question;
  2. What speaks volumes about this is the pathetic lack of interest in such an important topic which shows in the volume of sales

I will get back to Chakravarthy’s rant about ‘free-markets’ later. In the mean time, I have a lot to say about this utter lack of interest in facts and figures, from a well researched source. Contrast that to how many talking heads are spewing garbage on TV and websites purely with emotions; hate-filled free literature; and gossip as their sole basis.

As soon as I read his note, I posted a comment with some disgust. I had so much to say that it took me nearly one day to compile, write, record, write more and edit this, what I call, an passionate and organic outburst.  It was quite a challenge to condense my thoughts to a 15 min ‘speech,’ which some might call ‘a lecture.’ Whatever you want to call it, I promise you – it will not be boring.

Fair warning: some of my comments may hit a lot of people personally. But the comments were aimed at everybody who is a Telugu. The title of this post gives you a good summary of what’s in the podcast: Your Telugu Roots are Just Fine. But, Your Branch is Rotten.

తెలుగులో చెప్పాలంటే, మీ తాతలు నేతులు తాగారు సరే. మీ మూతులు మాత్రం కంపు కొడుతున్నాయి.

Take a listen. If I sounded a bit disgusted, that’ s because I was!

Originally broadcast on TeluguOne Radio: 2010-04-09;

Soundbite Updated on: 2010-04-10

Audio language: Telugu


  1. I just ordered the book, to learn something about my own identity. I have been away for a while from all of this, but looks like Mohan gariki ekkado chivukkumandi. anyway, keep doing the good work. It really inspires me.

  2. Mohan Garu,

    I can understand your excitement on this topic, but the examples you gave were not reasonable. Especially the words you used on your show. A husband and wife would have grown up in different environments and it takes time for them to understand each other. Even though you have right to express your opinion on things you crossed the line when you use inappropriate words on your show. I just think that you need to use words that are appropriate to be published publicly. Instead of the example of husband and wife you could have use an example of two siblings who have trouble understanding each other. “Even though I was born in a higher cast, I played with the kids of lower cast”…R u trying to say that the people of a lower cast don’t have any respect or decency ? The Asthma sympathy touch at the end was “AMOGHAM’.

    • Sudha garu,

      First of all, your criticism is well taken. Thanks for letting me know how you felt about it.

      Since I talk so much on the show it is inevitable that I will say something stupid and I am sure I have said something stupid from time to time. If I am misunderstood, I will try to explain myself better. Whatever I say, if I offended wrong people, I will apologize and move on. Either way, spoken words cannot be taken back. I just have to live with the consequences and try to do better next time.

      It was not my intent to say, “Look at me! I am so great, I played with low-cast people.” If it came across that way, my unconditional apologies to everyone – not just the ones I offended. I was trying to say that the social structure in the 70s was segregated by caste and my family was not influenced by it. In a way, I am saying, “My parents are great for rising me like that.”

      Asthma was not a sympathy touch. I have intense seasonal allergies. I was really struggling to breathe when I did that bit. Could you not hear that in the recording?

  3. Mohan garu,
    This part of the audio is very good and I can understand your feelings. Hope at least 50% of the listeners’ passions get uplifted and make them buy and read this book. I have already emailed you this morning about my views and feeling s on this book after reading 60% of it.

    But I want to mention some thing here; not only Nizam Telangana people are pushing these hate talks. I have a friend who is from the Rayalaseema region and he wrote a letter to Sri Krishna Committe on why the Untited Andhra Pradesh is not separated. His intention is good but his views are wrong. For example, he wrote in a paragraph to the Sri Krishan Committe saying that, “Telangana people were cultureless before the merger with Kosta and Rayalaseema people. They (Nizam Telangana) people learnt many things from the Kosta and Seema people after the merger”.

    I am a strong supporter for the state of Andhra Pradesh; but when I read some thing like that definitely I get irritated. I get irritated but not change my opinion about the state of AP. In one word, I want to say that the politicians and other ignorant T-people who wants a separate state may use abusive language against people of other regions, but I request the intellectuals to keep their anger to a bare down.

    • You mentioned some idiot said:
      “Telangana people were cultureless before the merger with Kosta and Rayalaseema people. They (Nizam Telangana) people learnt many things from the Kosta and Seema people after the merger”.

      This despicable attitude by some Kosta and Rayalaseema people is one of the emotional cases made in favor of a separate Telangana. I personally scolded a few of these ‘holier than thou’ kosta people for spewing such garbage. I think all rational people should stand up and put a stop to this kind of trash talk.

  4. Wow,
    Mohan garu, you got little emotional.

    • Call it emotional or pissed off. This is not an isolated case. I do have strong enough concerns about the wrong focus of the youth, which makes them climb a steeper ladder if they want to succeed in the global economy. Not everything I have can be publicly mentioned. Check your e-mail.

  5. Prasad garu,

    Thanks for the comment. It is likely that I got carried away. I can assure you that when I mentioned about lack of professionalism by our people, I had more than one isolated incident in the last weeks. In fact, those experiences may have contributed additionally to saying these things. A few years ago we had a lot of Telugu students on campus. Their behavior fit the pattern I described. I have seen several parents bargaining for lower or no entry fee for Telugu cultural gatherings locally.

    It is not my intent to stereotype us. I generalize things to avoid identifying people.

    • Prasad garu,

      I posted above comment while I was on road and could not post more than that. I have more recent ‘runs’ with our lack of discipline and/or lack of professionalism.

      Were you ever in a situation where you identified a pattern with some people and you need to take an action, but at the same time, you felt apologetic about your own people for doing the same? I was in such situations.

      Recently, at school I was a participant in a discussion on cheating. I cannot talk about the details, but in that Indians were essentially ‘stereotyped’ as the second worst ethnic group in cheating. Given the experiences I had over several years, unfortunately, I could not dismiss that as stereotyping.

      And then I stumbled on to a YouTube video. It was a video about the launch of new film. It had over 100,000 hits and some 200 comments. Most of them were pacchi boothulu

      They all added-up. My reaction was more like a teacher trying to discipline the kids.

  6. Mohan Garu, overall in 15 minutes audio best message was a) Avoid caste based division, b) Learn about your family, learn something about something. Best part I like is the telugu language importance. I think some of excerpts or points mentioned as below shows you are carried away by mass of people around you a) Sound bytes b) ‘Kapata Samaikyavadam kuthakapai kathi’ c) 63 freaking copies d) freaking 11 dollars. something reminded of me “Sensationalism of news by tv channels”

    Coming to buying of book, i dont want to buy this book, the claims for justice or injustices are too complex to reach conclusions by individual like me. I believe division of state should be studied & in hands of trusted experts (not politicians) under sensible rationale and an individual can only contribute his opinion.

    Current scenario is worse raking sentiments among people with incomplete and false claims.