A philosopher – cum – thinker – cum – Indo-Angalian writer , RAJA RAO , was born on 8th November 1908 in Hassan , the Princely State of Mysore ( now in Karnataka ) in a Kannada speaking Brahmin family . His father H.V. Krishnaswami was a Professor of Kannada at Nizam College , Hyderabad. And his mother Gauramma was a housewife , who had responsibilities to take care of nine siblings-two sons and seven daughters . RAJA RAO was the eldest one . His mother died when he was only four years old . So he spent his childhood with his grandfather at Hassan and Harihali ( now in Karnataka ) .
RAJA RAO did his schooling from a Madarsa called Madarsa-e-Aliya in Hyderabad . He passed his matriculation in 1927 , joined Nizam College at Osmania University and did Itermediate from there . He , later , joined Madras University and received his graduation degree from there . In the year 1929 he got Asiatic Scholarship from the Government of Hyderabad and went to France for higher education . He studied French literature at University of Montpellier ( France ) . He had thrust for philosophy and literature . Of course , he participated in the Indian National Movement coming in the influence of MAHATMA GANDHI . He , later , joined University of Texas at Austin , United States of America as a professor of philosophy and remained there from 1966 to 1986 . He received Sahitya Academy Award in 1964 , Padma Bhushan in 1969 , Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1988 and Padma Vibhushan in 2007 . He did three marriages and his last wife’s name was Susan Vaugat .
KANTHAPURA , is his first novel written in 1938 . Impact of Gandhian thought can be perceived from his novel called KANTHAPURA where the main character of the novel Moorthy , a young Brahmin of the village went to the city for studies and coming in the influence of of the Gandhian philosophy there , adopted a Gandhian lifestyle . He discarded his foreign clothes and started wearing home-spun Khadi clothes like Gandhi . He became vocal against caste system which resulted in his excommunication from his caste by the village priest . Listening to this news , Moorthy’s mother died of shock and sorrow . Heartbroken Moorthy , later , started living with an educated widow named as Rangamma , a freedom fighter. To spread awareness about Gandhian thought among the Pariah Coolie , he was invited by a Brahmin clerk of the Skeffinton Coffee State . While spreading Gandhian thought there , he was beaten by a police man called Bade Khan . But by that time he had brought many of the Pariah Coolie , working in the Coffee State , under his influence who , in turn , beaten Bade Khan who ultimately was thrown out of the Coffee State . Moorthy took up three days fast realizing his fault in spreading violence in the Coffee State which again exalted his personality . An Independence Committee under the leadership of Moorthy was formed in KANTHAPURA and massages for the National Movement went on from there . He got three months imprisonment for provoking the people of KANTHAPURA to inflict violence as such and he did not take interest in his bail at all despite persuaded for the same by the people . On his behalf , the movement went on under the leadership of Rangamma . Thus,the novel completely, showed the impact of the Gandhian philosophy on his writings .
THE SERPENT AND THE ROAP is his second novel published in1960 . RAJA RAO has discussed in this novel the concept of existence and reality as such . Perhaps coming under the influence of Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre , a French philosopher of Existentialism , he started searching for the theory of existence through this novel . The novel also see the influence of VADIC philosophy and the philosophy of non-dualism of Sankaracharya . The hero of the novel, Ramaswami , while studying in France , married Medelien , a French woman . An autobiographical novel , THE SERPENT AND THE ROAP , deals with how his relationship with his wife deteriorated to the extent of divorce or likely to be so and he couldn’t gave her the ring her LITTLE MOTHER ( step mother ) had given to him for her while his coming back to France after the funeral of his father and returning from the pilgrimage of holi places . Instead he found pleasure in giving that ring to Savitri , a Cambridge University student , who looked after him during his lungs operation in London , establishing a theory that the true love is rejoicing in each other happiness and sorrow.
RAJA RAO wrote novels / fiction like THE CAT AND SHAKESPEARE : A TALE OF INDIA in 1965 , COMRADE KIRILLOV in 1976 and THE CHESSMASTER AND HIS MOVES in 1988 . Apart from novels, he wrote many short stories and non-fictions as well . THE GREAT INDIAN WAY : A LIFE OF MAHATMA GANDHI written in 1998 is a biography of the great saint . Thus , throughout his life he remained Gandhian from the core of his heart . He promoted Gandhian values through his writings and died peacefully on 8th July 2006 in Austin, Texas ( U.S. ) at the age of 97 …..etc .
NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG IS TEXT BOOKS AND SOME OF THE OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON RAJA RAO …..ARBIND KUMAR , THE BLOGGER .