The easy chair creaked and let out mild groans as the 70 year old stretched in. Best part of his morning – easing into his chair with the newspaper.
But he knew that this quiet bliss wouldn’t last long. His grand daughter was around and she would not let him sit still.
She burst in suddenly – ‘Taatha*, I have to read the National Pledge in my school assembly tomorrow, without looking. You must help me prepare’
She started reading from her textbook: ‘India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters, I love my country and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage’
The retired grandfather sat up hearing the lines. His spine was tingling. ‘Where are you reading this from? Show me’. What he saw, stunned him. He called out for his son loudly.
His son had no clue why he was staring at the ‘National Pledge. His father then said: ‘This was the Pledge that I wrote 25 years ago’
It was at that moment in 1987 that Shri Pydimarri Venkata Subba Rao first discovered that the Pledge he had written in telugu while serving as the District Treasury Officer of Visakapatnam in 1962 had achieved a national status.
Since 1963, The Indian National Pledge, translated into all Indian languages is an integral part of the school assemblies and public events.
I thought Tilak wrote it, until today. But how strange it is for Shri PV Subba Rao himself to discover 25 years later, that he is the author of what every Indian was reciting as the National Pledge!
Shri PV Subba Rao was a polyglot, well versed in Sanskrit, Telugu, English and Arabic and had authored many great books in Telugu
*Taatha : Grandfather in Telugu