Literature is his first love

He believes writing in tune with the current trends, especially on issues related to deprivation of women

His belief in Benjamin Franklin's saying, "If you should not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing," brought the former Member of Rajya Sabha, Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad thus far.

Born in a lower middle class family in Gudivada he rose to the heights that only a few could dream. After his post-graduation in Hindi he went on to complete his Ph.Ds in Hindi and Telugu from Andhra University.

Literary pursuits

According to Mr. Lakshmi Prasad, the seeds of literature, especially of Hindi and Telugu, were sown in his mind in childhood itself. "Both my parents were teachers in the village school. And my father being a nationalist, Hindi literature was part of the culture at home. Moreover, the grooming at home was nourished at the village temple, where in the evenings the regular discourse of puranas and performace of harikathas used to take place. The rhythmic chanting of slokas in the temple and the recitation of verses from the books of Hindi poets like Harivanshrai Bachchan and Premchand by my father at home inspired me to take up Hindi literature later in my academic career. At every point of my academic career I was motivated by my professors to write something worthwhile and from my PG days I started to write and since then had never looked back."

So far Mr. Lakshmi Prasad has written over 32 books in Telugu and Hindi and over 100 articles in various newspapers. In Hindi his books comprise biographies of noted poets like Bhairagi,  C.Narayana Reddy and Tripuraneni Ramaswamy Chowdary and translation of works of Bezwada Gopala Reddy and C.Narasimha Rao. In Telugu he penned the biography of Jayaprakash Narayan and translated the biography of Harivanshrai Bachchan and works of many other authors. But the highlight was the Telugu translation of Bisham Sahani's novel 'Tamas' - and he did it in 22 days!

A recipient of Padmasri and Central Sahitya Akademi award, Mr. Lakshmi Prasad says that the appreciation he got from people like Amitabh Bachchan and P.V. Narasimha Rao is much more than the awards. "I could see tears welling up the eyes of Mr. Bachchan when I presented him a copy of his father's biography, and Narasimha Rao wrote a preface comprising 29 pages appreciating my Telugu book on Hindi Sahitya Charitra. What else could one ask for?"

Into politics
His entry on the political arena dates back to the Mulki agitation days. "Being the union leader of my college I took active part in the agitation along with M. Venkaiah Naidu and K. Haribabu. I was also arrested under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during Emergency."

He later took active part in JP's movement for purity in public life and was the district unit president of the Chhatra Sangarsh Committee.

"Immediately after the Emergency I found myself at the crossroads. I had to decide whether to continue my academic goals or plunge into full-time politics. Being the eldest son of a large middle class family I decided to put politics in the backseat and joined as lecturer in Nandigama. The political phase resurfaced when I came in touch with the Telugu Desam Party founder, N.T. Rama Rao. I became his Hindi instructor, and NTR's eldest son Harikrishna catapulted me to the Rajya Sabha in 1996."

It was Hindi that got him a job and, it was Hindi that put him in close contact with NTR and it was again that language that earned him a good name in Parliament. He earned the appreciation of scholarly political leaders like Narashimha Rao, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Karan Singh and L.K. Advani for his command over the language.

Parliament tenure
As a parliamentarian Mr. Lakshmi Prasad not only introduced a number of bills but also earned the sobriquet, the 'Hindi man from South'. Basing on his language prowess he was made the Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Official Language. During his six-year tenure he introduced a number of private bills like Hindu Marriage (Amendment) Bill to benefit women affected with epilepsy; Bill for Establishment of Permanent High Court Bench at Visakhapatnam to speed up justice to commoners; Marketing and other Facilities Bill to benefit farmers, especially mango growers in the districts of Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram; and Prohibition of Extravagant Expenditure in Marriages Bill.

On many an occasion, he raised the issues related to Hindustan Shipyard, Alamatti, cotton growers' plight and capital restructuring for Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. He received accolades from all quarters when he brought to light the plight of the family members of Defence personnel, especially the womenfolk who were being harassed by goondas in New Delhi, as their husbands were busy serving on the borders.

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