You might recognise these lines – “India is my country / All Indians are my brothers and sisters…
” It’s the National Pledge, the oath of allegiance to the Republic of India, adopted by the Government of India in 1965.But did you know that the National Pledge was originally composed in Telugu, by author and bureaucrat P V Subba Rao?
He wrote it in 1962, when nationalist sentiments were running high during the Indo-China War. Subba Rao composed the pledge while he was District Treasury Officer in Visakhapatnam, in Andhra Pradesh.
He showed it to his friend, nationalist leader Tenneti Viswanadham, who along with state Education Minister, PVG Raju, helped popularise it.
The pledge was read out for the first time in district schools in Visakhapatnam, in 1963. The Government of India had it translated it into various Indian languages and adopted it as the National Pledge on 26th January 1965. Sadly, for more than 20 years, Subba Rao had no idea that his composition had been adopted as the National Pledge.
He discovered this when he spotted it in his granddaughter’s textbook a year before he died in 1988.