The World Telugu Conference (WTC) began on a colourful note in Hyderabad on Friday as Telugus from across the world gathered to discuss preservation and promotion of the language.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu formally inaugurated the five-day event at a glittering ceremony at Lal Bahadur Stadium.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan and Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao addressed the inaugural session.
The inaugural also saw classical dance by 30 artistes, highlighting the rich Telugu culture. There was also a laser show and fireworks to mark the beginning of mega literary and cultural event.
More than 8,000 delegates from both the Telugu-speaking states, other parts of India and 42 other countries are attending the WTC being organized by the Telangana government. The participants include well-known Telugu poets, writers, literary figures and artistes.
This is the first World Telugu Conference after Telangana State was formed in 2014.
In his inaugural address, Venkaiah Naidu spoke about the greatness of Telugu language. He said after his mother, the mother tongue had given him the maximum happiness.
He said that one who forgets his mother, his mother tongue and place of birth is not a human being.
Underlining the need to respect teachers, he remarked that Google can never replace a teacher. Chandrasekhar Rao felicitated his teacher on the occasion.
Police had made elaborate security arrangements with the deployment of 3,000 personnel in and around the stadium.
The conference and celebrations are being done under the supervision of the Telangana Sahitya Academy.
In May this year, while forming the Sahitya Academy, KCR also decided to constitute the Telangana Lalitha Kala Academy, Sangeet Nataka Academy and Folk Arts Academy.
Stating that the best Telugu dialect and best poetry is available in Telangana, he said that the academies should become platforms to spread the literary flavour of Telangana to the world.
He wanted well-known and prominent literary personalities as well as followers of the Telugu language living within the country and abroad to be invited for the conference.