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Books by Raja Rao. Image courtesy: Pete Smith
  • Raja Rao, an acclaimed Indian-American author had also received the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award
  • University of Texas has acquired his works for further research on humanities
  • Rao completed his education in Aligarh Muslim University and later moved to France for specialized studies

Globally acclaimed Indian-American author and philosopher Raja Rao had built quite an exquisite collection of his works over the years in the form of novels, poems, short stories, essays and talks, often departing from the generic western novel theme and mixing a dab of indigenous ways of assimilating his material. Today, 10 years after he passed away, University of Texas has acquired his works to advance their research on arts and humanities, said a NDTV report.


A Portrait of Raja Rao. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons


Raja Rao (1908-2006) is well known for his “The Great Indian Way: A Life of Mahatma Gandhi” (1998), which is about Gandhi’s life in Africa. His other notable works include ‘Kanthapura’ (1938), ‘The Serpent and the Rope'(1960) and ‘The Chessmaster and his Moves’ (1988). Apart from these, his works include a few written in Sanskrit, French and native Kannada.

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Raja Rao’s typed manuscript of “The Serpent and the Rope.” Image courtesy: Pete Smith

Raja Rao was honored with India’s highest award in the field of Literature, the Padma Bhushan Award, in 1969, and also the Padma Vibhushan Award in 2007. His genius helped him win the prestigious Indian National Academy of Letters’ Sahitya Akademi Award for Literature in 1964 for the philosophical novel ‘The Serpent and the Rope,’ a novel revolving around the breakdown of his marriage.

The Harry Ransom Center is an archive, museum and humanities research center in the University of Texas in Austin, that specializes in the collection of literary and cultural artifacts across Europe and the USA. While praising Rao, the Ransom Center said to NDTV, “It’s a notable acquisition in part because Rao is widely considered to have been one of India’s most noted authors, having received the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and other honours”.

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Harry Ransom Center. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

Raja Rao completed his primary education in the Muslim schools of Aligarh Muslim University and the University of Madras, after which he moved to France to study at University of Montpellier. Rao is known to have researched about Indian influence on Irish literature in his years of study.

Born on 8 November, 1908 in Mysore, Rao breathed his last in 2006 in Austin, Texas.

-written by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @saurabhbodas96

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