Maadapaati Hanumantharao (1885-1970) is one of the prominent founding fathers of modern Telugu Nation. He awakened the sleeping Telugu people of Telangana to rise against the autocracy of Nizam rule in the independent state of Hyderabad. He stirred up love and nationalistic feelings for Telugu language and Telugu nation. He played a huge role in the renaissance of Telugu literature and Telugu language. His role in development and spread of movement for libraries and Andhra movement and in the formation of State of Andhra Pradesh is historical. Hanumantharao was born on January 22, 1885 in his maternal grandparents' home in Pokkunuru village of Krishna district. His father was Vekatappayya and mother was Venkatasubbamma. Venkatappayya was karanam (clerk or accountant) of Kasarabad village.
Hanumantharao finished his primary education in Suryapeta and Warangal. After graduating from high school, he joined the Office of Educational Inspector in Warangal and worked for 8 years as a clerk. Then he went to Hyderabad and worked for 5 years as a Telugu translator in the Nizam’s government. Then, he graduated in law in 1917 to become a lawyer. He became one of the prominent lawyers soon after he started his law practice. He retired after 24 years of successful law practice.
His first marriage was with his niece Annpurnamma in 1903. Annapurnamma gave birth to a daughter. After his first wife’s death in 1917, he married Manikyamma in 1918 and had a son, Sukumar.
He founded Andhra Janasangham in 1921 for the benefit of Telugu speaking people in Hyderabad kingdom. He became the secretary of Andhra Janasamgham and spread its branches throughout Telangana. This association became Nizam State Andhra Mahaasabha in 1930 and played a historical role in inspiring Telugu people. Hanumantharao chaired the fourth convention of Nizam State Andhra Mahaasabha.
In addition, Hanumantharao played an important role in establishing Sri Krishnadevaraayaandhra Bhaasha Nilayam, Vemanaandhra Bhaasha Nilayam, Naraayanguda Aandhra Baalikonnatha Paathasala, Mahila Kalaasala etc.
Hanumantharao is also a first rate writer and poet. His writings include Roman Samraajyam, Kshetrakaalapu Hindvaaryulu, Mahabharata Sameeksha, Garibaldi Jeevitacharitra, Mallikaaguccham etc. He wrote several articles in the journals like Sujata, Andhrabharati, Desabandhu, Golaconda etc. He also wrote editorials in Musheer-E-Deccan, an Urdu journal. After Hyderabad kingdom joined the Indian Union in 1948, he was elected as mayor of Hyderabad in 1951. Government of India awarded him “Padma Bhushan,” in 1955 and Osmania University conferred him honorary doctorate in 1956. After the Andhra Pradesh state was formed (in 1956), he served as the first Chairman of Legislative Assembly from 1958 through 1963.