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:  (19091992) 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 »

  1. tWKTwtHnLp2p1

    Comment by Shea | January 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hi kannad all the best poets there poems

    Comment by Manju | May 29, 2013 | Reply


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