Karnataka State: Unification and Identity-Two Kannada Poems
The present State of Karnataka in South India was formed on 1st November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act passed by the Indian Parliament in that year , integrating five Kannada sub regions -Bombay Karnataka,Old Mysore ,Hyderabad Karnataka ,Madras Karnataka and Coorg.Kannada ,a major Dravidian language which has the existence of more than two thousand years ,was the binding force and identity marker for the integration of the State of Karnataka in the present form.
The month of November is remembered and celebrated every year within Karnataka and in the diaspora of Kannada, with programs consolidating and accelerating the consciousness of Kannada and Karnataka.
One can refer for details about Karnataka and Unification of Karnataka in Google also.A publication on this subject is also recommended : ‘Karnataka Unification -A Political Interpretation ‘:Dr.K.Raghavendra Rao.Published -Prasaranga ,Kannada University,Hampi,Karnataka,2010.
Verses from two great poets of Kannada literature are quoted here:
PAMPA , the first and the major classical Kannada poet, lived in 10th CAD.His two classical epics are ‘Adipurana’ and ‘Vikramaarjuna Vijaya ‘( Pampa Bharata).His description of ‘Banavasi’ a place symbolising nature and culture of Karnataka,is also an image for the ideology of Kannada consciousness.Two verses of that portion are quoted here in English translation.’Nandana’ refers to the garden in the heaven.
SPLENDOUR OF BANAVASI
One would love to be born
In the land of Banavasi, a veritable ‘Nandana’,
There the men are truely men,Charity they are known for ,as much as for
Their keen enjoyment of life.
They adore company ,music,literature.
If as man one could not be born there
May one be born
As a bee
Or a cuckoo.
Whenever I feel the southern breeze
Whenever I listen to pleasant speech
Whenever sweet strains of music fall on my ears
Whenever I behold the jasmine in full bloom
Whenever I make rapturous love
Whenever it is gay festive spring
Even if it be
That a mahout’s restraining hook pricks my temples
My mind turns to you,
My dear land.
( Translated from Kannada to English by K.Narasimha Murty ,in ‘A String of Pearls’ , Chief Editor :G.S.Shivarudrappa.
Edtors:H.S.Shivaprakash and K.S.Radhakrishna ; Published -Karnataka Sahitya Academy,Bangalore,Karnataka,India,1990)
‘KUVEMPU’ -K.V.PUTTAPPA (1904-1994) was a poet,novelist,playwright ,critic,reformist ,rationalist of Karnataka .He composed many poems for the consolidation of Kannada consciousness and also propagated the ideals of an ‘Universal Man’ .The poem of Kuvempu quoted here is popular for its relevance of Kannada identity with social awareness.
‘KANNADA TABOR’- A Poem by KUVEMPU ( K.V.PUTTAPPA.)
Beat the tabor of Kannada
O,Shiva in the heart of Karnataka!
Strike away those who appear dead:
Bring together those that fight
Shed tears to put the fire of envy
Bless so that life can be lived together.
Beat the tabor of Karnataka,
O,Shiva in the heart of Karnataka!
Each unholy action waning away
Let there be bliss in every mind:
Poets ,sages and saints as ideals
Let there be awakening in all!
Beat the tabor of Karnataka
O, Shiva in the heart of Karnataka.
(Translated from Kannada into English by Padma Ramachandra Sharma ,in ‘Selected Poems of Kuvempu’, Chief Editor:Prof.D.JavareGowda ;Associate Editors:Dr.Pradhan Gurudatta ,Dr.Karigowda Beechanahalli.Published:Prasaranga ,Kannada University ,Hampi,Karnataka,India,2011.)