Kannada Rajyotsava, the Flag and the Language

November’s up. It’s that time of the year, my north Indian friends exclaim “Aray Bach, tell me one thing; Why does Karnataka has its own flag and while no other state has one ?”. They are both right and wrong simultaneously and let me explain.

It is true. Karnataka does identify itself with a flag, but it is not an official flag of the state or Government. It’s a flag of a torchbearer group which fights for Kannada identity, which eventually went on to become a popularly accepted flag of Karnataka. Even though it’s not official yet, for all practical purposes, Karnataka does have a flag.

Now, the question is, why?

This has a straightforward answer. Karnataka is probably, the only state in India which is going through an identity crisis. Kannadigas strongly think if they don’t wake up now and fight for it, the state will end up speaking a language or following a culture alien to them. Karnataka has been suffering from a while, and the issue is now much more severe than it ever was. With this background, a Flag‌, an anthem, and even a logo should undoubtedly help to create a brand value for the momentum. Hope that answers your question.

Karnataka unlikely to get separate flag by this Rajyotsava

Let’s take the Kannada language, for example. The total contribution to its literary tradition been too superficial for a while now. In my opinion, the first and foremost measure of the health of any Classical language should be how alive its literary tradition is? Imagine this, Kannada prides itself with the highest number of Jnanapeetha Awards and the first one as well. Even then, the book stores continue to stay empty in Kannada sections, this is where masterpieces go to embrace their neglect. Lets not even talk about lit fests. Let’s take Amazon Kindle or Audible books. As of now, they support many Indian languages including Tamizh and Hindi, but not Kannada. I am not blaming them, its definitely not discrimination. Why wouldn’t  Amazon and Google create fonts for Kannada, if there are actual “takers” for it !!

There are several factors which acted against Kannada, both internal and external. For example:

  1. Kannadigas seem to have relatively lowest self-esteem as compare to any neighbouring states. For instance, two Sardars in South Hall will always talk in Punjabi. Two Keralites in Dubai significant each other in Malayalam. But two Kannadigas in Bangalore will always prefer to speak in English.
  2. Get this, if I need to buy a Kannada newspaper or Magazine, I need to travel for 6 kilometres. That is true while Rajasthani, Tamizh and Malayalam news magazines are available at a walking distance.
  3. Royal Challengers Bangalore – The pride of Bangalore, the IPL cricket team release an Anthem.  No points in guessing this – it’s in Hindi. Please compare this to CSK.
  4. The friend who challenged me on the flag did his Graduation in Bangalore for 4 years subsequently were working in Bangalore. He did not care to learn more than “Kannad Gothilla” and “Swalpa Adjust Madi.”. In his defence, the Kannadigas around him repeatedly reassured him on the sufficiency of the above two phrases.
  5. Kannada Vocabulary deteriorated over the period to an extent, even a common Kannada word sounds like a poetic version of the same language. English & Hindi words have infiltrated in their place. The T.V., Movie or Print media have made themselves so much dependent on English that they struggle to complete even single sentence in Kannada. I am not exaggerating when I say this, any non-Kannadiga can switch on Kannada news channel and can still comprehend 100% because if it’s Kannada Vocabulary.

I can go on with my list, but I think you get my point.

I am not saying that the Government is not doing enough. They indeed have taken several measures to protect the language. But in my opinion, they all remain mostly unsuccessful. Even though the intention and effort were honest, some of those arrows landed miles off the target. Let me call out one of them.

There is a Government directive mandates all boards within the boundaries of Karnataka should be written in Kannada along with English and/or Hindi. This directive gets into very prescriptive mode and it even defines the font and size of Kannada letters in the entire board – by both square footage and percentage. However, the biggest drawback of this order is, it warrants the protection of Kannada Script, not language.! In other words, you can even write a board with an African language, as long as it is written in Kannada script.!

Example :

Let me decode it for you. The board states “Karnataka Shops and Establishments Bangalore” twice in the English Language, once in Kannada Script and next in English Script 🙂 What’s the point of all these?  A Villager Kannadiga knows to read this but can not understand what is actually written.!

Also, we need to make up our mind on what exactly are we protecting? The script or the language? Mind you, scripts come and go. When the greatest epics were written in Sanskrit, Devanagari script did not even exist. In fact, to this date, you can write Sanskrit literature in Kannada script or even Telugu.

My advice is, don’t be precious about the script, love the language. Protect the literary tradition and spread it, everything else should fall in place.

P.S. I will leave you with a recent video on how annoyed a lady gets when a security guard speaks to her in Kannada. She goes on with unparliamentary abuse Kannada‌, Karnataka and so on. Apparently, she has the right to do so due to her knowledge on some penal code. Please do not assume this is an isolated incident, these are widespread. If you don’t trust me, please talk to an Auto Driver or Food Delivery Agent, they can tell you stories.

Caution : Please reduce volume of your device before you play this.

ಪೂರ್ಣಚಂದ್ರ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಎಂಬ ಕಥೆಗಾರ

ಪೂಚಂತೇಯವರ ಮೊದಲ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ನಾನು ಓದಿದ್ದು “ಕರ್ವಲೋ”. ಆಗ ನಾನಿನ್ನೂ ಚಿಕ್ಕ ಹುಡುಗ, ಐದ್ನೇ ಕ್ಲಾಸಲ್ಲಿದ್ದೆ. ಹೈಸ್ಕೂಲಿನಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ಅಣ್ಣನಿಗೆ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಬಹುಮಾನವಾಗಿ ಈ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಕೊಟ್ಟಿದ್ರು ( ತಟ್ಟೆ ಪ್ಲೇಟು ಬಹುಮಾನವಾಗಿ ಕೊಡೋ ಪದ್ದತಿ ಆ ಸ್ಕೂಲಿನಲ್ಲಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ). ನನಗೆ ಅದು ದೆವ್ವ ಭೂತಗಳ ಕಥೆಗಳನ್ನು ಒದೋ ಕಾಲ ( ಅರೇಬಿಯನ್ ನೈಟ್ಸ್, ವಿಕ್ತ್ರಮ ಬೆತಾಳನ ಕಥೆಗಳು ). “ಕರ್ವಲೊ” ಕೇಳೊಕೆ ಹೆಸರು ವಿಚಿತ್ರವಾಗಿತ್ತು , ಕೇಳಿದ್ರೆ ” ಕರ್ವಲೊ ಅಂತ ಒಬ್ಬ ವಿಜ್ನಾನಿ , ಅವರೂ ಮತ್ತೆ ಕೆಲವರೂ ಹಾರೋ ಉಡದ ಹಿಂದೆ ಹೋಗೊ ಕಥೆ”.

ಹಾಗೊ ಹೀಗೊ ಮುಗಿಸಿದೆ … ಹೀರೋ ಭೂತದ ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಫೈಟಿಂಗ್ ಮಾಡ್ಲಿಲ್ಲ ಅಂತ ಸೊಲ್ಪ ಬೇಜರಾಯ್ತು. ಕ್ಲಾಸಿಕ್ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳೇನೆಂದರೆ ಐಡಿಯಾನೇ ಇರ್ಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಶಾಲೆಯ ಗಣಿತ ಪುಸ್ತಕಕ್ಕಿಂತಲೂ ದಪ್ಪದ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಓದಿಬಿಟ್ಟೆ ಎಂಬ ಹೆಮ್ಮೆ ಅಶ್ಟೇ. ಅರ್ಥ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಿ “ಸುರಂಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಮಾಧಿ” ಓದೋ ಕಾಲ ಅದು. ಕತ್ತೆಗೇನು ಗೊತ್ತು ಕಸ್ತೋರಿ ಗಂಧ. ಮುಂದಿನ ನಾಲ್ಕೈದು ವರ್ಷಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಏಳೆಂಟು ಸಲ ಓದಿ ಜಸ್ಟಿಸ್ ಕೊಟ್ಟೆ ಪುಸ್ತಕಕ್ಕೆ.

ಮುಂದಿನ ವರ್ಷ ಅಣ್ಣ “ಶಿವನಿಪಳ್ಳಿಯ ಕಪ್ಪು ಚಿರತೆ” ತಂದ, ಬಹುಮಾನವಾಗಿ. “ಕೆನ್ನೆತ್ ಆಂಡರ್ಸನ್” ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ್ಯಪೂರ್ವ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಬೇಟೆಯಾಡಿದ ನರಭಕ್ಷಕ ಚಿರತೆ ಹುಲಿಗಳ ಕಥೆಗಳು. ನನ್ನ್ನ ಪೋಚಂತೇ ಅನುವಾದ. ಪುಟಪುಟವೂ ರೊಮಾಂಚಕವಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಆಂಡರ್ಸನ್ ಯಾರೋ ಕೇಳಿ ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ , ತೇಜಸ್ವಿಯಂತೂ ಒಂದುವರ್ಷದಿಂದ ಪರಿಚಯ. ಸೊ.. ಇನ್ನೂ “ಶಿವನಿಪಳ್ಲಿ..” ಬೇಟೆಯಾಟ ನೋಡಿದ್ರೆ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಬೇಟೆಗಳೇ ನೆನಪಾಗುತ್ತೆ.

ಮಧ್ಯದಲೊಮ್ಮೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಹಳ್ಳಿ ಪೊಲೀಸ್ ಮಾಮನಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಡಿ ಬೇಡಿ ಅವರ ಕಲೆಕ್ಶನ್ನಿಂದ ‘ಮಿಸ್ಸಿಂಗ್ ಲಿಂಕ್” ಓದಿದ್ದೆ. “ನಿಯಾಂಡರ್ತಲ್ , ಕ್ರೊ – ಮ್ಯಾಗ್ನನ್” ಮನುಷ್ಯರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದ್ರು ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ. Continue reading “ಪೂರ್ಣಚಂದ್ರ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಎಂಬ ಕಥೆಗಾರ”

I was reading …

Observer tagged me to “Publish the 5th/last paragraph of the page number 123 of the book you are reading. And tag other 5 “. Currently I am reading two books.

One among them is “Kahlil Gibran” collection of his greatest works. To be specific “the prophet “among them. It doesn’t have123 pages, so here is the last page. Please don’t ask me what about it, I dint reach there yet.

Continue reading “I was reading …”

ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಓ. ಕೆ. … “ಕ್ಷ” “ತ್ರ” ಮತ್ತು “ಜ್ನ” ಯಾಕೆ ?


ತುಂಬಾ ದಿನ ಆಯ್ತು, ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದು (ಟೈಪಿಸಿ). ಒಂದು ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ. ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಅಧಿಕ ಪ್ರಸಂಗದ್ದು, ಎನ್ಮಾಡ್ಲಿ blog ಹೆಸರೇ “ನಾನು, ನನ್ ಗೀಚಾಟ ಮತ್ತು ನನ್ನ ಅಧಿಕ ಪ್ರಸಂಗ”. ಹೆ ಹೆ ..

ಕನ್ನದ ಸ್ವರಮಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ “ಕ್ಷ” “ತ್ರ” ಮತ್ತು “ಜ್ಞ” ಯಾಕಿದೆ ?

ಇದೊಂದು ಹತ್ತು ಹದ್ನೆಂಟು ವರ್ಶದ ಹಿಂದೆ ಬಾಲಾವಡಿ , ಅಂಗನವಾಡಿ ಅಕ್ಷರಮಾಲೆಯ chart ನೋಡಿದಾಗ ತಲೇಲಿ ಬಂತು. ಆಗ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತ ಕಲ್ತಿದ್ದೆ… ರಾಮ: ರಾಮೇ ರಾಮೈ .. ಗೊತ್ತಲ್ಲ ಹೈ ಸ್ಕೂಲ್ ಪಾಟಗಳು.

ದೇವನಾಗರಿ ಲಿಪಿಯಲ್ಲಿ, “ಕ್ಷ” “ತ್ರ” ಮತ್ತು “ಜ್ಞ” ಗಳಿಗೆ ಬೇರೆ ಬೇರೆ ಚಿಹ್ನೆಗಳಿವೆ . So.. ಅದರ ಅಕ್ಷರಮಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ specific ಆಗಿ ಬರೆಯದಿದ್ರೆ ಒದುಗರು confuse ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ತಾರೆ ಅಂತ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಆದ್ರೆ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ “ಕ್ಷ” “ತ್ರ” ಮತ್ತು “ಜ್ಞ” ಒನ್ದೇ ತರ ಬರೆಯುವುದು ತಾನೇ. “ಕ್ಷ” – ಯಕ್ಷ, ತ್ರ – ನಕ್ಷತ್ರ , ಙ್ – ಯಜ್ಞ ಅಂತ

ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಓ. ಕೆ. … “ಕ್ಷ” “ತ್ರ” ಮತ್ತು “ಜ್ನ” ಯಾಕೆ ?

ಸಂಪದದಲ್ಲೂ ಇದನ್ನೇ ಪೊಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದೆ, ನೂರು ಜನ ಓದಿದ್ರು ಯಾರೂ ಉತ್ತರ ಮಾತ್ರ ಕೊಟ್ಟಿಲ್ಲ. ಕನ್ನಡ ಅಕ್ಷರ ಮಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಮೂರು ಅಕ್ಷರಗಳನ್ನು ತೆಗೆದು ಹಕಿದ್ದರೇನು ?

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Disclaimer: I have not seen Kannada text books from long. If they have removed those symbols from alphabet list, I have no questions to ask. I heard they did for a vowel “Ruu”, which was not getting used at all.