Called the Vidyasagar of the south by Ranade, he was the creator of modern Andhra consciousness. A tireless social reformer, he took upon himself the task of spreading women.s education and started girls. schools. He championed the cause of inter-caste dining and widow remarriage and fought against child marriage and untouchability. He also ran schools for the untouchables.
A fearless journalist, he used his journal Vivekavardhini to expose corruption and bribery in public life. He educated generations in new western values, popularised science and stressed the need to be vigilant against authoritarian tendencies.
He was the first novelist in Telugu, the first to write an autobiography, the first to counter the influence of self-called religious leaders, the first to widely propagate the ideals of the Brahmo Samaj in Andhra.