February 15th, 2006
For a DCDB (desi born confused desi ) like me who had achieved a reasonably high level of proficiency in English (well according to an IELTS exam I’d taken a couple of years ago), Kannada was something I hardly ever bothered about. However since October 2001 when I started seeing a lot of things in a different light, I’ve been appreciative of a great many things and Kannada has been one of them!
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I even wrote an introspective article on Kannada published on the thatskannada portal.
Since then, thanks to association with a real quiet (and very genuine) Kannada hero Hari Prasad Nadig, I’ve been motivated to learn more and more about Kannada literature. I still haven’t really got the hang of reading as fast as English but have been ambitious enough to take on some reading atleast on the web and some thin books.
In my opinion, the optimal approach for the flourishing of Kannada is to create something of value in it. The most outstanding example is TN Seetharam’s Muktha, which even people who normally watch other language channels have started to watch, not out of any compulsion that activists try to enforce, but simply out of love for the quality which is a non-violent and beneficial-to-all approach.
At this point in time, I think me and anybody in my category could still use English to bridge the liguistic divide, and gradually cross the gap to the point where we develop equal fluency in both. One key factor on why this has to happen is because of all the Indians who don’t have access to so many opportunities simply because they don’t know English. I feel the best way to avoid this becoming a serious division in society is for the English literate people to try and honor the language of the place they live in, and involve it in every aspect, so that consequently the local non-English people have some kind of place as well!
The idea of (re)discovering Kannada (literature) is not merely of idealism or patriotism, but because its really fun and invaluable… there are some real gems in it. And its of course even better to learn it with the help and encouragement of people who share similar interests, and especially if they already have a head start!
Now there are already plenty of forums available for example the Kannada community in orkut, many yahoogroups, and also several Kannada portals like sampada. So for the time being you can post your ideas here, and in case anybody comes up with a better idea we can shift there.
What Kannada books have you really loved, or most influenced you? Something you learnt a lot from? Something you could read one paragraph of it to learn something every day? Can you quote some excerpts? Some memories or incidents where they were applicable? Some books which you feel could be made into movies? Some bhava geete/movie song’s lyrics that you really liked?
Though this particular post is mainly about Kannada, for those who don’t know it don’t need to feel restricted here, if there’s any book of your native language which had a telling influence on you, feel free to write about it… maybe there’s a translation of it in Kannada as well (After all, each language is like a beautiful flower, in the garden of India/world, and comparing one to the other is like comparing a rose to a lotus )