K. Shivaram Karanth - Polymath remembered

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#1 K. Shivaram Karanth - Polymath remembered

Post by keerthi »

Yesterday, October 10, 2012 would have been Karanth's 110th birthday. he was a remarkably versatile scholar, social intellectual and artiste, who made major contributions to the documentation and standardisation of the yakSagAna-bayalATa dance form in karnATaka. Known for his concern about issues related to the environment, education and children, he is remembered for filing litigations, and returning awards, as much as he is appreciated for his contributions to dance, literature and art history.

Here is the first of a series of clip from an interview. (He speaks about the raga hinDol, in one clip)

See here K.K. Hebbar's tribute to Shivaram Karanth's VishwarUpa.

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#2 Re: K. Shivaram Karanth - Polymath remembered

Post by venkatakailasam »


He was awarded Jnanapith for his book Mookajjiya Kanasugalu (literally "the dreams of a mute grandmother") which tries to unveil the secrets of nature. The story revolves around a Granny and her visions on various aspects of life, from religion to social relationships. Its all about the conversations between granny and Subbaraya alias Subbanna that runs throughout the book on various issues that he encounters in his life. Subbanna being skeptical about blind beliefs that people are having on several religious customs, poses several questions regarding it to his Granny. Granny being a great visionary answers to all of his questions with true substance. Subbanna, to fulfill his desire to know the truth about existence of an old civilization in that village, goes into the surrounding woods in search of any evidence. There he collects bones as part of his evidence from the caves and shows that to his granny. He also explains her, what he had seen in those caves and narrates his horrifying dreams about the same caves. Again his granny reveals the secret behind those bones and caves after looking at them - with shocking facts about the civilization. He has brilliantly carved the story to address many issues like evolution of human life, the origin and after effects of blind beliefs that are being followed in the society, values of human relationships in one’s life. The granny is given a supernatural power to see the past and future, through which she answers to all complex questions about life. Being himself a non science student he has written a series of science related books which are very useful for children of 20th Century, as there were no such books in Kannada during those days..

courtesy Wiki....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K._Shivaram_Karanth

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#3 Re: K. Shivaram Karanth - Polymath remembered

Post by Rsachi »

Ramachandra Guha on Karanth
The parallels between the lives continue. Like Tagore, Karanth experienced acute personal sorrow—the death of a beloved child, the suffering of his wife from depression. Karanth too accepted honours from the state and, in a moment of principled anger, returned them. Tagore gave back his knighthood after the massacre at Jallianawala Bagh. Firty-six years later, Karanth returned his Padma Bhushan in protest against the imposition of the Emergency. As he wrote to the president of India,
In 1922, I like many others, joined Gandhiji in the Non-Cooperation Movement in order to serve my motherland. I felt I was doing my bit in righting for the freedom of India.
We all felt happy when freedom came to India in 1947 and our land became a democracy. Its Constitution gave me joy. But k was not to last long. As years passed, the Fundamental Rights assured to the people were removed bit by bit, through amendments, negating the assurance given by the very leaders who took oaths to maintain them . . .
Today, at the age of 74, I hang my head in shame at the turn of events. I don’t believe that a single soul has a right to bypass human freedoms under any cloak.
Though for decades I have refrained from active politics, I feet impelled to protest against such indignities done to the people of India. As such, to calm my own conscience at least, I feel impelled to surrender the title to your Government.
May truth prevail over untruth

Sreeni Rajarao
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#4 Re: K. Shivaram Karanth - Polymath remembered

Post by Sreeni Rajarao »

Thanks for starting this thread on Karanthajja!

I think of him every year on October 10th, on his birthday.

He was a great inspiration during my formative years.

One of the things on my list is to find that book "apUrva paShima" and read it again. Last time I read it was in the early 1980s.

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#5 Re: K. Shivaram Karanth - Polymath remembered

Post by arasi »

As always, I look forward to reading your posts.

Though I am not literate enough in KannaDa, I know how important a writer Karanth is to KannaDa literature. He was a renaissance man, excelling not only in his craft but also in being an art lover and scholar who breathed life into yaksha gAna by bringing it out to the rest of the world. I say world, because I remember his winning a Scandinavian award for that a long time ago.

A gentle and handsome looking man, nonetheless bursting with ideas and filled with indignation for what was not right or dignified. Meeting him briefly was awesome. His daughter Malavika was my college mate and that was how it came about.

I did try to read your sister Purnima's poem in the other kannaDa thread about your father. It was touching (with my limitation understanding of it, of course) and I didn't venture say anything. Art in some form or other continues in its expression in succeeding generations. Your sister is not only a good vainika but also a poet.

Sreeni Rajarao
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#6 Re: K. Shivaram Karanth - Polymath remembered

Post by Sreeni Rajarao »

Arasi avare,

You have met Shivarama Karanth? How nice!

I have not met him but I have seen him in very close quarters at kannaDa sAhitya parishat back in the 1970s! And, I cherish that memory!

Thanks for your nice words about my family!

A correction! My oldest sister Veena Kinhal is the vaiNika-vidushi (San Diego based).

R Poornima is the next sister in line - Poet/Journalist/Media Person (Bangalore based) now basking in the glory of just recently published kannaDa translation of Kuldip Nayar's autobiography.

Sorry for the digression, but now back to Dr. Karanth!

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