'Rishi' and 'Andhra Pori' director Raj Madiraju has penned a scintillating novel telling the story of the flaws of the education system, the pressures exerted on children, and the causes behind student suicides. The book was unveiled on Sunday at an event held in Hyderabad. Acclaimed novelist Yandamuri Veerendranath unveiled it and gave the first copy to Angry Star Dr Rajasekhar and Creative Director Krishna Vamsi. Yandamuri handed over copies of the book to the author's parents as well.
Speaking on the occasion, Krishna Vamsi said, "I am yet to read this book. As such, I can't speak about it. But when Raj Madiraju told me he has penned a book on the education system, I liked it. I think this is the first book on the topic since Chetan Bhagat's 'Three Mistakes Of My Life'. I have known Raj for 1.5 years now and we have become good friends. He is so knowledgeable that he scares me with his knowledge at times. I sincerely wish that his book becomes a big hit. Book-reading as a habit has come down drastically since the advent of the audio-visual mediums. Speaking for myself, I haven't been inclined to reading books after Yandamuri garu. Whatever I have gained in terms of knowledge, it's because of his novels. I wish Raj all the best."
Rajasekhar said, "If children are committing suicides, elders are responsible for it. The blame is on the system and the governments. A student's learning phase is replete with mental stress. I recently happened to watch 'Hindi Medium', which told us how hard parents are working to give the right education to their kids. Exams are eating up a lot of time. And stress is leading to suicides. I sincerely hope that 'Sira' becomes a kind of whistle-blower, prodding the system to rectify itself. I endorse the thought of the AP CM Jagan garu to make English medium compulsory in government schools. It would always be good not to ignore Telugu while we learn English. If I find 'Sira' heart-touching, I am ready to make it into a film."
Yandamuri Veerendranath said, "This is the first time that I have met Raj Madiraju. He is like how I was at his age. If he turned a writer after doing films, I turned to movies after being a novelist. Just as his first film as a director didn't do well, my debut movie, too, was a big flop. He has since grown up in life gradually since his first movie. Those whose right brain is sharp do well in Mathematics, Management, etc. Those whose left brain is sharp do well in Medicine, Philosophy, Literature, Law, etc. When parents don't know this reality, they force a lot of things on their children. I was made to do Bipc but I ended up pursuing B.Com later. There are three kinds of novels. In the first type, nothing socially relevant is found. In the second type, social issues are taken up and solutions skipped. In the third type, solutions too are offered. I don't know in which of the last two categories 'Sira' falls. I only wish that Raj becomes a popular writer."
Actor, lawyer and multi-faceted personality CVL Narasimha Rao said, "Raj Madiraju is my friend. I played a lawyer in his 'Rishi'. 'Sira' presents a legal perspective and reads like a thesis. So, it's more than just a novel. This is the one novel that has enlightened me that 'nyayam' owes its origin to the Vedas. It's amazing."
Senior journalist Rammohan Naidu said, "Education is like a 'tapasya' in the civilized world. In this context, private corporate colleges have become too ruthless. 'Sira' details how these colleges are ruining precious lives. Siddharth in 'Sira' dies in the end by jumping off from a building. Something similar happened two days after I read the novel. Reading this novel is like knowing reality as it's happening in the world. This novel wakes you up. I am happy that Raj has penned such a relevant one."
Writer Lakshmi Bhupal said, "Raj Madiraju has penned 'Sira' like an experienced novelist. I am glad that a great writer like Yandamuri garu, who has inspired many novelists, is here today. After reading up 'Sira', I have gained the confidence that I can go to a court and take up a case as a lawyer. 'Sira' cites shocking facts, facts that will make you want to cry, in a very enlightening manner. I have learned that this one will be made into a film."
Raj Madiraju's father Vijayananad said, "I am an Engineer by profession. But I love literature. I pray that my son reaches newer heights in life. I am happy that I and my wife have been cited in the novel."
Ramesh Prasad said, "Raj Madiraju has been employed with us for so many days. I want to know more about his 'Sira'. It's because it's going to be made into a film."
Raj Madiraju said, "If you are writing a novel, write like Yandamuri garu. If you are making a film, do it like Krishna Vamsi. And if you are acting, perform like Rajasekhar garu. That's the generation we belong to. And all the three are here today with us. I take it as a big blessing. 'Sira' is a deep subject and story detailing the legal system, education system and the mindset of teens. Many children committed suicide after watching a web series. Some children kill themselves because their father scolds them. There are two heroes in 'Sira'. It's a multi-starrer! I have penned the Professor's character keeping Rajasekhar garu in mind. I thank everyone who has come here today."