wiki: Arakalagudu Narasinga Rao Krishnarao

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Arakalagudu Narasinga Rao Krishnarao (1908-71)

Aka A.Na.Kru; scenarist and prolific Kannada novelist, playwright and essayist with c.250 published titles. A major regional chauvinist ideologue in Karnataka. Initially associated with the professional Company Natak. After books like Udayaraga (1924), a thinly disguised fictional biography of Bengal School painter Nandalal Bose, and several others featuring anxiety-ridden artists as central protagonists, he tended more towards the ‘modern’ within the anglophile Amateur Dramatic Association and the literary Pragatisila movement derived from the PWA. Used influential cultural platforms such as the Madhol conference (1945) of the Kannada Ekikaran Parishat (the Kannada unification movement) to deflect most debates about progressivism and modernism towards discussions of Karnatakatva (‘Kannada-ness’), usually by appealing to ‘the masses’ whose ‘point of view’ was said to be ignored by writers speaking about and addressing an urban middle class (Krishnarao, 1944). This equation of political regionalism with cultural populism was later developed most notably by the films of Rajkumar. Wrote a major Veeranna film, Jeevana Nataka (1942), the original book on which the Kannada film Sandhya Raga (1966) is based, and the script of B.R. Panthulu’s historical Shri Krishnadevaraya (1970). Wrote a novel about his experiences in the film industry, Chitra Vichitra (1952) and a critical study of Ravi Varma (1932). Also scripted Stree Ratna for K. Subramanyam (1955).