Why did a newspaper that lived only for ten and a half years gather 300 people after 28 years of its closure? Was the freedom available in Udayam the main reason for it? Was the character of the persons at the helm of the affairs responsible? What was the role of the hundreds of employees working in various departments in Udayam’s vibration?
Firstly, one should give credit to the founder chairman of the paper Dasari Narayana Rao for giving “freedom sans frontiers” to all the employees from sub-ordinate employees to chief editor to CEO. Dasari encouraged talent and created a congenial atmosphere for creative thinking. He was ably assisted by Ramakrishna Prasad, a close friend of Dasari and grandson of Gottipati Brahmayya, a noted freedom fighter and politician. Vadde Kishor was there at Vijayawada. Magunta Subba Rami Reddy took over from Dasari in June 1989. Veeranarayana Reddy, Chennuri Subba Rao, Mastan Reddy, Balakrishna Reddy, Vijayasena Reddy were part of the management under Subbarami Reddy’s dispensation.
Secondly, stalwarts like ABK, Vasudeva Rao, KYN Pathanjali, K Ramachandra Murthy, Pasam Yadagir, Mohan, Devipriya , Ankababu, Saibaba, Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, Devulapalli Amar, Rapolu Ananda Bhaskar, K Srinivas, V Murali, Khader Mohiuddin, N Sitaramaraju, Vasanthalaxmi, Ambati Surendra Raju, Mrinalini, M Sridhar, Sivaji, Balakrishnacharya, Satavahana, Nimmakayala Sriranganath, SSR Ananeyulu, Bhogadi Venkatarayudu, CR Naidu, Kishore, Chaitanya Prasad, Sujatha, Anjan Babu, Surendra, Narsing, Jonnalagadda Radhakrishna, Annajee Rao, Radhakrishna, Datla Narayana Murthyraju, Mukunda Menon and bureau chiefs, reporters in editorial department with their impeccable character carved out a decent line to Udayam. Prasad, head of computers wing, Ravikant Reddy, BK Ramesh of Camera division, and many others made the show live. All the above persons and others (whose names this report may have missed), who had different styles of functioning, had given enough spirit not only to the editorial department but also other departments and made the institution a vibrant one. These personalities shaped the ‘freedom’ given by Dasari to get a great product.
Senior journalists such as Channamaneni Rajeswasara Rao, Gajjela Malla Reddy, Puranam Subrahmanya Sarma, Raghava Rao came along with Subbarami Reddy into the organisation. The compound had seen some activity almost for one year after the closure with Sathya Sai Prasad of Rayalaseema Paper Mills trying to reopen with former Rajya Sabha Member and present member of AP Legislative Council C Ramachandraiah as Chief Editor, Nanduri Ramamohan Rao as advisory editor, K. Ramachandra Murthy as editor and Subbarayudu as principal of journalism school. Umamaheswara Rao (Sahavasi) was the leading light. After about a year, the operations came to a standstill.
In administration, there were very caapable persons like KRP Reddy, D Ramdas, B Suryanarayana, Tulasi Das, Suryanarayana and many others. Nandigam Krishna Rao was the law officer and Deveswara Rao was the caretaker.
“An employee, who joined Udayam, created wonders in his or her first day itself with such atmosphere”, said Mrinalini. Interestingly, there were journalists of all “isms’ – left-wing extremism, left parties, RSS, Congress, socialist parties, followers of Sigmund Freud, Jiddu Krishna Murthy, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Murarji Desai,Viswanatha Prathapa Singh, Devilal, Charan Singh, what not – in the editorial department. Arguments used to take place on ideologies between them, but nobody took them personally and got hurt. Sankarlal Srivastava used to start such discussions first at the desk. The seniors have taught the tricks of the trade to the newly joined scribes with due respect and honour. No personality clashes were witnessed most of the times during ideological discussions.
Surprisingly, an employee in the circulation or marketing department used to share his ideas with the seniors in the editorial department. They used to discuss the headings that appeared in the paper on a particular day. It means every employee used to think and discuss the matters of other departments in a positive way.
The programme on Sunday was very well organised by five enthusiasts: Gurava Reddy, Saida Reddy, Hemasundar, Pratap Reddy and Arcot Chandrasekhar.
“Because of the above characters, shades, lines inherently made the “Udayam” a vibrant newspaper and it had all shades in 360 degrees”.