BA Raju, the Telugu film publicity manager, journalist, and film producer, died after suffering a cardiac arrest at his residence in Hyderabad late on Friday.
His son, B Shiva Kumar confirmed Raju’s death on social media on Saturday and said that Raju’s death was caused due to “sudden fluctuations of diabetes and cardiac arrest”.
Raju was in his early 60s.
His last tweet was posted at 7.36 pm on Friday, celebrating 17 years of actor Prabhas’ 2004 romantic action film Adavi Ramudu.
According to his Twitter handle, Raju was associated with over 1,500 films. He was hailed as one of the senior publicity managers in the Telugu film industry. Besides serving as publicity manager for actors like Nandamuri Balakrishna, Nagarjuna, and Mahesh Babu, he was also handling public relations for upcoming films such as Sarkaru Vaari Paata and Akhanda.
He maintained warm relationships with actors and shared a good rapport with film journalists. When Silverscreen India contacted him regarding the films he had been handling, Raju had promptly replied. Silverscreen India had contacted him for the films he was working on, including Samantha Akkineni starrer- Shakuntalam, and the upcoming Ram Pothineni film with filmmaker Lingusamy, tentatively titled RAPO 19.
Woke up to the news that #BARaju garu passed away last night 🙁 I will miss your kindness…and the warmth you exuded every time we met at events. But what I will miss the most are your stories and anecdotes about TFI’s past… May your soul rest in peace Raju garu 💔 pic.twitter.com/MdmqlgX7MD
— Hemanth Kumar C R (@crhemanth) May 22, 2021
Totally shocked to hear this :((
He spoke to me 2 days bak..Such a Lovely affectionate Human..
Always had been a great support since the beginning of my career🙏🏻🎶❤️
— DEVI SRI PRASAD (@ThisIsDSP) May 21, 2021
Raju also ventured into production and produced the Telugu film Premalo Pavani Kalyan in 2002. He went on to produce Premikulu (2005) and Lovely (2012), which were directed by his wife and filmmaker B Jaya, who died in 2018.
A person who showed us how unconditional love can change a professional relationship into personal bonding! Shocked and pained to know BA Raju is no more! Deepest condolences to the family! #RipBaRajuGaru pic.twitter.com/F8R3piPHuc
— Suriya Sivakumar (@Suriya_offl) May 22, 2021
#BARajuGaru Such a Positive Soul always Given Me the Right Advice & So Much of Confidence Right for the Start of My Career
Always been that Strong Shoulders.
— thaman S (@MusicThaman) May 22, 2021
Speaking to Silverscreen India, publicity manager Dileep Lekkala said, “He was a legendary person. He was active on social media until yesterday evening. But, today morning, when I saw the news, it was shocking. He was a very senior PRO. He has been around since the time of Chiranjeevi gaaru and has been handling the PR for senior actors. He personally knows Mahesh Babu gaaru family.”
Raju had been the publicity manager for Mahesh Babu’s father, Krishna.
Dileep confirmed that Raju was not infected with Covid-19.
Calling Raju a pioneer of publicity managing in Telugu cinema, Dileep said: “Initially, all the PR teams were based out of Chennai. In Telugu cinema, we did not have such kinds of positions for PRs, so BA Raju gaaru went to Chennai and Mumbai. He observed how the process of PR works and how they promote films. He followed the same in Telugu and he started in the 80s.”
“I have met him only once. He is the founder of the Telugu film magazine SuperHit, which is why he is fondly called Superhit Raju. He was very passionate about films and been in this industry for over three decades,” Dileep recalled.
As a mark respect, publicity manager Vamsi Kaka announced that all the publicity managers working in Telugu cinema will not post any film-related updates on Saturday.
Members of the Telugu and Tamil fraternity also expressed their condolences over Raju’s demise, on social media.
Not able to process the sudden demise of BA Raju garu. I’ve known him since my childhood. We travelled together for many years and I worked with him very closely. pic.twitter.com/N6gbW8DPxv
— Mahesh Babu (@urstrulyMahesh) May 21, 2021
Shocked and saddened by the sudden demise of B.A.Raju garu. My heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family.🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/Vj3OMqdB8R
— Chiranjeevi Konidela (@KChiruTweets) May 22, 2021
— Nagarjuna Akkineni (@iamnagarjuna) May 22, 2021
Raju is survived by two sons, Shiva Kumar and Boyidapu Arun Kumar. His last rites will be conducted on Saturday.