Hyderabad: Renowned Telugu poet who is one among the six revolutionary ‘Digambara’ poets, Kumbham Yadava Reddy, popularly known by his pen name Nikhileshwar was conferred the prestigious Kendra Sahitya Akademi award, the Akademi secretary K Sreenivasa Reddy said on Friday.
In a statement released, 82-year-old Nikhileshwar was chosen for the award in Telugu for his anthology of poems ‘Agniswaasa’, written in 2017. These poems are his response to contemporary political, social and economic issues, he noted in the preface of the book.
Born as Kumbham Yadava Reddy in Veeravelly village of erstwhile Nalgonda district, Nikhileshwar completed B.A, B.Ed and Hindi Bhushan courses at Osmania University, Hyderabad. For three decades, he served as a teacher at Keshav Memorial High School. He even worked as the sub-editor of Golconda Patrika, a Telugu-language journal.
Besides, Nikhileswar was the founder-secretary of Viplava Rachayithala Sangham or Virasam (Revolutionary Writers’ Association) and was jailed under Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) in 1971 for his revolutionary writings and also participating in civil rights movement.
After parting ways with Virasam, he became the founder-member of Jana Sahithi Samskrutika Samakhya and was associated with various organizations like Andhra Pradesh Teachers’ Federation and others.
Among Nikhileshwar’s noted works are: ‘Mandutunna Taram’, ‘Yugaswaram’, ‘Kalaanni Adhigaminchi’, ‘Naalugu Shatabdaala Sakshiga Naa Mahanagaram’, ‘Gnapakala Konda’ in Telugu, ‘Life: The Edge of the Knife’ (English), ‘Itihas Ke Mod Par’ (Hindi) and several others.
Sahitya Akademi also conferred Bala Puraskar upon Kanneganti Anasuya for her collection of short stories titled ‘Snehitulu’ (friends) and Yuva Puraskar upon Endluri Manas for her short story collection ‘Milinda’, both in Telugu sections.