Pratapareddy Suravaram (1896-1953) was one of the pioneers of Telangana literature. He enlightened the people of Telangana who were struggling under the darkness of Nizam rule through his literature. Pratapareddy was born on May 28, 1896 in Boravelli village in Gadwal estate of erstwhile Hyderabad State. His mother was Rangamma and father was Narayanareddy. Their native village was Itikalapadu in the district of Mahabubnagar. Pratapareddy completed his primary education at his uncle Ramakrishnareddy's residence in Karnool. He studied Sanskrit literature and grammar under the guidance of Vellala Sankarasastri. Later he finished his FA at Nizam College, Hyderabad. Then he obtained BA and BL degrees from Presidency College, Madras and became a lawyer for a short while.
He was moved by the sad plight and illiteracy of Telangana people. He was disturbed by the fact that Urdu was the ruling language and Telugu had no respect. There were no facilities for Telangana Telugus to study in their mother tongue. Raja Bahaddur Pingali Venkatramareddy, the police commissioner of Nizam State, employed him as the secretary of Reddy Hostel in Hyderabad. Pratapareddy set up a very good library in the hostel and brought activity and discipline among the students.
He quit his job at Reddy Hostel to launch a Telugu language journal "Golconda" for the benefit of Telangana people. Golconda was published twice a week. In one of the editorials of Golconda he wrote that the purpose of the journal was two fold: 1) to serve Telugu language in Telangana and 2) to help develop everybody in Telangana without any tribal/caste prejudices.
Pratapaareddy was a scholar in Sanskrit, Telugu, Urdu and English languages. He had tremendous admiration for Telangana Telugu. He is famous for his research articles, novels, poetry, story writer, and literary critic. He used to say, "British Andhrulu Brownvandhram (English-Telugu) matlaadite memu tarakyandhram (Urdu-Telugu) matladutamu. (British Andhras speak Tenglish (Telugu-English) and we speak Turdu (Telugu-Urdu)."
He compiled a list of 354 Telangana poets under the title "Golconda Kavulu" to prove that Telangana also had literature and poetry. Pratapareddy wrote approximately 40 books, including Nizamrashtra Palanam, Mogalayi kathalu, Sanghoddharana, Ucchala Vishadamu, Grandhalayamu, Hinduvula Pandugalu, Haindava Dharmaveerulu, Yuvajana Vignyanam etc. Most prominent among his writings was Andhrula Sanghikacharitra (Social History of Andhras), which won him prestigious "Kendra Sahitya Academy Award," a federal Indian government award for literature. In this book he described a thousand years of Telugu cultural and social history. Some of the interesting points in this book were:
Men used to wear mattelu (toe rings) during Nannaya period (~1000 AD).
Telugu script is called "onamalu" derived from Om Namah Sivaya of Saivism.
Reddys and Velamas were not Telugus. They were immigrants. Rashtrakutas from north became Reddys and Vellalu from Tamil country became Velamas. Velamas were social reformers and Reddys were orthodox and hence there was always rivalry between these two tribes. During the period of Srinadha (~15th century) they were considered equal in the society.
He served many Telugu organizations, including the Legislative Assembly. In 1952, he was elected to the Assembly from Vanaparti constituency. He was a selfless servant of Telangana and Telugu literature.