Kannada is not just a language but a culture in itself whose survival as a means of communication is vital for the sustenance of a culture which was once spread over a large geographical area in South India, according to litterateurs participating in the ninth edition of Alva’s Nudisiri, a festival of Kannada language and culture.
Delivering a speech on ‘Kannada Manasu - Janapara Chaluvaligalu’ (Kannada consciousness - pro-people movements), KS Nissar Ahmed, winner of Rajyotsava and Nadoja awards, said: “People should be able to eke out a livelihood by using Kannada—be it a small time vocation or a government, private or technical job where Kannada is used as the main medium of communication. I am pained to say that every child born in Karnataka starts listening to English even when he/she is in his/her mother’s womb. Children’s initiation into education is through English. Kannada will start becoming an important part of the society when every parent starts speaking in Kannada to their children.”
“There are roughly 500 pro-Kannada organisations. A few of them are doing a good job in supporting the use of Kannada. But many use the Kannada movement for personal gratification, publicity and for collecting donations for festivals and other occasions,” he said.
Jnanpith awardee UR Ananthamurthy said: “There is a need for an yet another Sarvodaya (inclusive) movement. As a society, we should shed the sectarian mentality of protecting a certain language, culture and economic model that is convenient because it yields money. We are forgetting the global implications of sectarian divisions. We do need English to converse and do business with the world. But, why sacrifice Kannada and Kannada culture within Karnataka?”
“I urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to own up the spirit of the Sarvodaya movement and create an inclusive society and achieve economic, social and political upliftment,” he said.
Over 5,000 delegates are taking part in the festival. The 10th edition of Nudisiri next year will be attended by people from all over the globe.