Vedam Venkataraya Sastry

21 Dec 1853
18 Jun 1929
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Vedam Venkataraya Sastry (December 21, 1853 – June 18, 1929) was a Sanskrit and Telugu language poet, critic and dramatist. He is respected for providing authoritative editions of Sanskrit and Telugu classics.

He was born to Venkataramana Sastry and Lakshmamma in Madras in 1853. He was graduated (B.A.) in 1887. He had worked as a Sanskrit pandit in Madras Christian College for 25 years.

He wrote original drama and translated Sanskrit dramas of Kalidasa and Harsha. He established a dramatic association named Andhra Bhashabhimani Nataka Samajam in 1899. His original works include Prataparudriya natakam (Prataparudra’s Play) in 1897 and Usha natakam (Usha’s Play) in 1901. The former won a great reputation as a historical drama for introducing a Chanakyan-type character in Yugandhara, minister of the Kakatiya king Prataparudra, and for its patrochita bhasha. It recreated Prataparudra’s grandeur and created other memorable roles like Vidyanatha the poet, Chekumuki Sastry the courtier, and the simple Perigadu and Yelli, who became synonymous in Telugu theatre with rustic humour.

He worked as Chief editor of Suryarayandhra Nighantuvu in 1916.

He died in 1929 in Madras.

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