Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

Kannadigarella ondaagi Kannadavannu ulisona, kalisona and belesona

Vinayaka Krishna Gokak and Gokak Agitation a language campaign

V.K. Gokak

Vinayaka Krishna Gokak, the fifth person to win the Jnanpith award from Karnataka, was born on August 9, 1909. He had his primary and high school education in Savanur, got his B.A. in 1929 and M.A. in 1931. In 1931, he began his professional career as an Assistant Professor in Fergusson College, Pune and became the principal of D.E.Society’s Willington College, Sangli, after finishing his advanced studies with distinction, at Oxford, in 1936. But, soon he gave up his principalship following an incident that hurt his self-esteem, and the resultant unemployment set him on a path of serious introspection. In 1946, he went to Rajasthan and set up a college in its desert region and in 1949, with the reorganisation of Indian states, his services in Rajasthan got transferred to the Government of Bombay and he became the principal of Karnataka College, Kolhapur, in 1952. He steadily grew in his academic career there on, and attained a peak with his appointment as the Vice-chancellor of the Bangalore University in 1966.

The main phase of his literary career and his life itself began in 1925 when he was swayed by the magnetic force of the towering figure of Kannada poetry D.R.Bendre, like many other young poets of his time. Seeing his knowledge of English literature, and his talents in English poetry, Bendre prophesied “if Gokak allows his talents to blossom in Kannada, his own poetry as well as Kannada will have a great future.” Thus with Bendre as his Kavya Guru, Gokak embarked upon a unique career in the world of Kannada letters, a career in which he made unparallelled contributions to poetry (including composition of the epic Bharatha Sindhurashmi), drama, criticism and various other forms of literature, apart from producing many scholarly works in English.

The literary distinction of Gokak naturally attracted scores of awards and honours. Of these, mention must be made of his Presidentship of the 40th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in 1958, honorary doctorates from the Karnatak University and the Pacific University of the USA, the 1961 Central Sahitya Akademi award for his ‘Dyava Prithivi’ and of course, the highest award for literary excellence in India-the Jnanpith award-for his monumental contributions to Kannada literature, in 1990.

Gokak saw not only peaks of glory but also a peculiar complexity of happiness and sorrow at many turning points of his life, a complexity that became a characteristic mark of all his works. He passed away on April 28, 1992.

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 Vinayaka Krishna Gokak Kannada:  (1909-1992) was a major writer in Kannada language and a scholar of English and Kannada literatures. He was fifth among seven recipients[1] of Jnanpith Award for Kannada language for his epic Bharatha Sindhu Rashmi. Bharatha Sindhu Rashmi is perhaps the longest epic written in any language in the 20th Century. It deals with the vedic age. Gokak was a Professor of English literature.

Epics

Novels

  • Samarasave Jeevana

Poetry Collections

  • Urnanaabha
  • Abyudaya
  • Baaladeguladalli
  • Dhyava Pruthvi (Kannada Saahithya Academy Award)
  • Samudra Geethegalu

Gokak agitation – a language campaign

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GOKAK and SAI BABA

Dr V.K. Gokak, formerly Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University, a Professor of English of high repute for more than four decades, Chairman of the prestigious National Jnan Peeth and later First Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed University) was an ardent devotee of Baba. Once Dr Gokak was asked to go to USA and some other countries in response to an invitation from the organisational units there to speak to the devotees. When he was about to leave, he came to prostrate before Baba and seek His blessings. Baba promptly blessed with the words “I will be with you”. Dr. Gokak happily proceeded. But later he was amazed to see that throughout the plane journeys the seat adjacent to his was invariably vacant. At first he thought it was a matter of chance, but when it occurred regularly he began to ponder over that only to remember Swami’s words “I will be with you”. Sai’s words never go waste. They are meaningful and always true.

In the same tour he was about to address a large gathering in one of the big cities of USA. Orator that he was, the crowd was expecting a heavy downpour of his resonant voice in meaningful words, but nothing came out for a minute or two. Dr Gokak could not believe such a situation he was in for the first time in his life. Suddenly he remembered Swami and mentally prayed to Him. And to his great surprise he found Swami sitting in the front row with smiling benediction. And then there was a torrential flow from the Professor providing a treat to the audience. When Swami says, “I will be with you” we are also bound to be constantly aware of His company.

In the same lecture tour, speaking at another Centre to a vast gathering of seekers and sceptics Dr Gokak narrated how Baba had taken the paralytic strokes and heart attacks that would have been fatal for His devotees upon Himself and was miserably afflicted. He described in his grand style how the students sitting below the parapet wall slowly dragged inch by inch Baba’s feet to the edge of the balcony not allowing the devotees to see the pathetic sight of His body’s affliction in such a graphic manner that it not only compelled the audience to shed tears but also soothed an invalid old lady who got to her feet instantly. Such is the Glory of the lord who has come to wipe out the tears of millions.

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The old, gold ten-dollar piece which Baba “produced” for me at Horsley Hills was no doubt an apport. But what of the interesting phenomenon he performed for Dr. V. K. Gokak, Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University? On an early visit to Dr. Gokak’s home Baba saw on the wall for the first time a portrait of an Indian saint, Shri Panta Maharaja of Balekundri, and asked about its presence there.

The Vice-Chancellor replied to Baba that the saint had been his father’s guru, and that he, himself, held the holy man in great reverence.

Baba: “Have you a smaller portrait of him to carry when you’re travelling?”

Dr. Gokak: “No.”

Baba: “Would you like one?”

Dr. Gokak: “Yes, Swami, very much.”

Baba waved his hand, for a little longer than usual, remarking, “He is coming.” Turning the palm up, he handed the doctor a small enamel pendant. It bore a miniature replica of the saint’s portrait.

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July 21, 2007 Posted by | BENDRE, GOKAK | 2 Comments

Gokak varadi and Dr. Rajkumar:Kannada needs another CHALUVALI

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Gokak varadi and Dr. Rajkumar

The “Gokak report” popularly known as “Gokak varadi” was about making Kannada a compulsary language for primary education. Considering that the language is spoken by a majority of people in Karnataka, the Gokak movement’s goal was to give Kannada the same basic right already enjoyed by other official languages in their respective states of India. When the Kannada literary experts and students started this movement there was a popular positive response from the common man in Karnataka. It gained momentum when Rajkumar was asked to lead the movement. He became actively involved in the movement and soon became the force behind the Gokak movement that was designed to bring Kannada to the forefront. He took a rally from Belgaum to Bangalore and gave speeches about the importance of Kannada. The government responded positively and Kannada was to become a compulsary language of education in Karnataka. Ensuring respect and dignity for Kannada language and Kannada culture were the corner stones of his life.

When he played activist
The historic Gokak movement saw Rajkumar take an activist�s stand in public life. �I am ready for any sacrifice for the sake of Kannada land and language,� he declared, and stood by his words too.

To trace the time-line: It is nearly 25 years since the Gokak movement. Rajkumar himself had recently crossed 50 years in cinema. The man and the movement are both a memory now.

Kannada Sahitya Parishat President Prof Chandrashekar Patil who was alongside Rajkumar during the Gokak movement told Deccan Herald that the movement took the proportion of a �people�s movement� only after Rajkumar joined in. He explained thus:

On April 2, 1982, the Jail Bharo andolan had begun under the leadership of senior litterateur Shambha Joshi. Writers like Kuvempu, Masti Venkatesh Iyengar, Dr. Shivaram Karanth were asked to join in but they refused. Rajkumar was in Madras then; we made an appeal to him through the media. His ready response in support appeared in the newspapers the very next day. His statement from Madras said that he would give up his all for the sake of Kannada and would fight for it no matter what form the fight might take. It was a verbal stroke that absorbed him into the cause entirely. Later on, he travelled all over the State with the other leaders enlisting support for the movement.

Sources:
http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/apr132006/state1930422006412.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr. _Rajkumar

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Gokak agitation

 

Dr.Rajkumar in a speech during Gokak agitation

Dr.Rajkumar in a speech during Gokak agitation

Gokak agitation (Kannada: ಗೋಕಾಕ್ ಚಳುವಳಿ) was a successful language rights agitation in the 1980s that fought for the first language status of the Kannada language in the state of Karnataka.

It was named after the committee headed by V. K. Gokak that had recommended giving primacy to Kannada in State schools. The actor Rajkumar led the campaign.

Background

Karnataka had adopted Three language formula for education in schools since the linguistic reorganization of states in 1956. Strong opposition to Hindi was witnessed in the 1960s and ’70s, leading to Kannada speakers leaning towards English. It was also felt that Kannada faced threat from Sanskrit, which was the dominant language in schools, leading to a situation where students could complete their high school education without having to study Kannada. This created a wide incompatibility between languages used for state administration and education. [1]

This led to a linguistic movement against retaining Sanskrit as the first language in School education. The movement was initiated and supported by political parties, groups of Kannada teachers, students, college and university professors, literary critics, playwrights, and creative writers. This made the government rethink about the language policy for school education and constituted a committee on July 5, 1980 with Prof. V.K. Gokak as the Chairman.

Gokak Report

V.K. Gokak, the former Vice-Chancellor of Karnataka University , also now one of the Jnanpith awardees, headed the committee appointed by the Government of Karnataka to analyse and study the linguistic issues that were raised regarding the importance of various languages, including the state language Kannada and other languages such as English, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil and Urdu. The report given by the committee recommended that the Governement provide first language status to Kannada and also demanded the primary facilities that the language needed at the time.

The agitation and campaign

There was opposition to the Gokak Report from several sectors of the public, which included minorities from various non-Kannada speaking groups. The Government had not passed any ruling or announcement, even after the report was officially submitted by the committee. This resulted in minor protests from various men of letters, writers, and some pro-Kannada, pro-Karnataka organizations. The response from the public was moderate and there were no signs from the Government that it intended to implement the recommendations made by the Gokak committee.

Dr. Rajkumar’s leadership

Various personalities from Kannada literature world including Chandrashekhar Patil, approached and requested Rajkumar, an icon of the Kannada film industry, to participate in the agitation along with the other major artists from the industry. Rajkumar accepted to participate, and soon the entire Kannada film industry stopped its film-making activity, and started in state-wide rallies and speeches. With Dr. Rajkumar’s leadership, the agitation gained a very strong momentum and there was a drastic change in the response from the general public of Karnataka state. People from all over the state, started participating in the various gatherings, and speeches. The topics such as, importance of the Kannada as the mother-tongue, and importance of having the primary education including the learning of Kannada language were talked in detail in all those speeches.

Government’s response to the agitation

The Government of Karnataka, headed by the then Chief Minister, R. Gundu Rao, responded to the seriousness of the agitation, which had gained significant momentum after Rajkumar had taken leadership of the agitation. It announced that it accepted the report submitted by the Gokak Committee and would ensure all the primary facilities that the language Kannada deserves as the mother tongue of the local people as well as the official language of the state of Karnataka.

Further reading

  • B. Mallikarjun, Language policy for education in Indian states: Karnataka, in Language in India, Vol.2: 9 December 2002 accessed at [1] Feb 20, 2007
  • K.N. Harikumar, Language and democracy, article in Deccan Herald, April 5, 1982 accessed at kannadasaahithya.com Feb 20, 2007

July 21, 2007 Posted by | BENDRE, GOKAK | 2 Comments

Kannada Lesson11 by Kannada Kali of USA [more to come]

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Kannada 11

August 23, 2006 Posted by | GOKAK, Kannada Kali of USA | Leave a comment

Kannada Lessons 9 and 10 by Kannada Kali of USA

Kannada 9.doc
Kannada 9

Kannada 10.doc
Kannada 10

August 23, 2006 Posted by | GOKAK, Kannada Kali of USA | Leave a comment

Kannada Lessons 7 and 8 by Kannada Kali of USA

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Kannada 7

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Kannada 8

August 23, 2006 Posted by | GOKAK, Kannada Kali of USA | Leave a comment

Kannada Lessons 5 and 6 by Kannada Kali of USA

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Kannada 5

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Kannada 6

August 23, 2006 Posted by | GOKAK, Kannada Kali of USA | Leave a comment

Kannada Lessons 3 and 4 by Kannada Kali of USA

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Kannada 3

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Kannada 4

August 23, 2006 Posted by | GOKAK, Kannada Kali of USA | Leave a comment

Kannada Lessons 1 and 2 by Kannada Kali of USA

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Kannada 1

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Kannada 2

August 23, 2006 Posted by | GOKAK, Kannada Kali of USA | 1 Comment

   

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