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- ItemFolk Mahabharath Part-1Siddhusetti, a folk singer was born in Bettadabidu. It is a small village in the taluk of the Mysore district. His mother was Siddama and his father was Guddamaraiya, who was a potter by profession and folk singer by passion. After his father's death, Siddhusetti becomes a folk singer. The people of Bettadabidu were fascinated by his singing of folk Mahabharatha. He was known by the name of Siddusetti of Bettadabidu. Siddusetti has two sons. He sang the tales of Siddapaji, Mahadeshwara, Sankamma, and so on. He got several awards in folk singing. Siddusetti used to sing Mahabharatha in Mysore. He liked all characters of Mahabharatha like Karan, Arjun, Yudhisthir, Draupadi, etc. He used to tell the people through his singing about this character and the reason behind their name and fame in Mahabharatha. He sang in his singing why Dhritarashtra was born blind and whose curse make him blind at the next birth? He told how Kunti was born and after Kunti how the country is worshipped? He told the people when and how Mahabharatha originated? His Folk singing was recognized by folklore scholar Dr.P.K.Rajshekhara and he at once began to collect it with great zeal. In a way, Mahabharatha is a living fossil. The works you call Vyasa, Bharata or Valmiki Ramayan have both originated from folk Mahabharatha. He used to tell the people how some places' names have connected to the character of Mahabharatha. Though the folk people take a delight in reinterpreting the significance of places in the Mahabharatha. According to the folk Mahabharatha Krishna was working on the constructive aspect and Shakuni on the destructive aspect. According to folk Mahabharatha when the mind is acceptable to charity it must be carried out without any delay. He told the greatness of Karna. Siddusetti sang the epic all alone from start to end.
- ItemDurga PujaThe goddess is worshipped as a representative of shakti(power or energy)or Adi Shakti(the primordial power or energy) in the Indian subcontinent and parts of South Asia. Shakti worship has taken the form of Durga Puja, a ten-day festival celebrated in Sharad (autumn months of September and October) in the eastern parts of India, primarily West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Odisha as well as in Bangladesh. In India, Durga Puja coincides with Navratri, primarily celebrated in the northern parts of the country. The final day of Durga Puja known as Dashami which marks the victory of good over evil happens on the same day as Dusshera (celebrated across India as the day Rama killed Ravana and is a marker of the fact that good will always destroy evil) or Dashain (celebrated in North Bengal and Nepal). Primarily, Durga Puja celebrates the victory of goddess Durga after a ten-day battle over Mahishasurawho after a boon from Brahma that no man can ever kill him, had started to torment the gods and other natives of Swarga (heaven). It also celebrates goddess Parvati’s (an avatar of goddess Durga) annual visit to her paternal home and “serves as a thanksgiving for a good harvest” (Malakar 2021). Modern-day Durga Puja marks a shift from the time it was first introduced by King Suratha. The Markandeya Purana states that King Suratha worshipped the goddess, Durga or Chandi in the spring season(also referred to as Basanta Kaal) as she was considered the goddess of fertility. However, according to the Ramayana, it was Rama who in order to get Devi Durga’s blessings fought Ravana worshipped goddess Durga for the first time in Autumn or what is known as the Ashwin month. This worship referred to as AkaalBodhonor ‘untimely worship’ is regarded as the precursor of the present-day Durga Puja. While Navaratri is a ten-day festival with the last day culminating in Dusshera, the main Durga Puja events happen for five days, starting with the fifth day of Navaratri which Bengalis refer to as Panchami. Panchami is followed by Shasti(sixth day), Saptami (seventh day), Ashtami (eighth day), Navami (ninth day), and Dashami.“Durga Puja was first organized in 1610 CE by the Sabarna Roy Chowdhury family at their ancestral home at Barisha” (Malakar 2021), now in Kolkata. Other records show that the first-ever Durga Puja was “celebrated in Krishnanagar by its royal family and dates back to 1606” (Sen 2019). Since the past century, Durga Puja celebrations are categorized into bonedibaripuja-s (house/family pujas, known for their traditions, rituals, and grandeur) or barowaripuja-s (community/public pujas, also referred to as sarbojaninwhich means ‘for all men and women, marked by their innovative pandals, idols, decor, and lighting). Mahalayafalls on a new moon day a week prior to Durga Puja and marks the end of Pitripakshaand the beginning of Devipakshaor the day on which Goddess Parvati starts her journey from her husband Shiva’s home in Kailash to her parents’ home. She is usually accompanied by her vahana (lion) and her four children, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Ganesh, and Kartik along with their vahanas (swan, owl, mouse, and peacock respectively). Durga Puja is incomplete without Mahalayaas this is the day that officially sets the mood for the days that follow.Mahalayais are marked by many important rituals as it is only on this day that the eyes of the goddess are drawn (referred to as ChakshuDaanor the giving of eyes) as the final step in the creation of the idol. People also come to take a dip in the Ganges on Mahalaya to pray for the departed souls of their ancestors (referred to as Tarpan). Even though Durga Puja officially begins with Panchami, this day does not witness any major rituals. However, the idol is brought from the idol maker’s or potter’s place to the respective homes or pandals on this day. The worship of goddess Durga officially begins on Shasti which is marked by the Kalparambharites and the Mahasnan (great bath) ritual which is performed before the start of the puja. The commencement rituals are performed under a bael(wood apple tree) and Mahashakti who is worshipped on this day is summoned to the bael tree. Other rituals that are performed on this day include a special Shasti puja along with rituals that are done in order to welcome goddess Durgasuch asAmantran, Adhibas, Bodhan, and Baran. On Saptami, the idol of goddess Durga is given life through a ritual referred to as Prana Dana. This day also witnesses the worship of a banana stalk(referred to as Kola Bou)along with the Navapatrika (eight other sacred crops)to thank the goddess of fertility. Together, these nine plants represent the nine forms of the goddess Durga. Ashtamicelebrates the Mahishasurmardiniavatar(the destroyer of Mahishasura)of the goddess. Devotees normally fast until the Pushpanjali ritual during which mantras are chanted and flowers are offered to the goddess. The juncture between Ashtami and the second last day, Navami is marked by a ritual referred to as Sadhipuja which celebrates and worships the Chamunda or Chamundiniavatar of the goddess (the form that killed the two asuras named Chanda and Manda).Navamirecalls Rama’s worship of goddess Durga as a result of which 108 lamps are lit and 108 lotuses are offered to Devi Durga along with clothes, jewelry, hibiscus garlands, and baelleaves. The day also witnesses a lot of important rituals including Hom, Kumari Puja, Balidan, and Maha Aarti. On the final day, Dashami goddess Durga is sent back to her husband, Lord Shiva in Kailash with pomp and glory. A symbolic ritual referred to as Visarjana(immersion) marks her farewell. Before Visarjana, SindoorKhela(playing with vermillion), a ritual observed by married women takes place. After Visarjana, people wish each other and elders bijoya(‘The Auspicious Victory’). This bijoyais considered subhoor auspicious and is believed to bring one good health and prosperity.
- ItemBasavannaBasavanna was a multifaceted genius of rarity. He was an eminent officer, a social activist, a humanitarian, and a literati combined in him. He was not merely the leader of the Kalyana upsurge but a poet par excellence in the Kannada language. The pre-Basava period in Karnataka history was a period of decline. It was Basavanna who came to split the very core of this system and struggled to bring about an egalitarian social order. It was Harihara who lived in about 1220 AD that first wrote about Basavanna who came splitting the very core of the system and struggled to bring about an egalitarian social order. It was Harihara who lived in about 1220 AD that first wrote about Basavanna. ‘ Basavaraajadeevararagale’ written by him about Basavanna’s life is not available now. Later Paalkurike Soomanataatha wrote his Basava Puraanamu in Telugu. Basavanna was born in an Agrahara by the name Baagevaadi in the present-day district of Bijapura. He left home at the age of sixteen. It was Kundalasangama that Basavana finally arrived. It was the place where Krishnaa and Malaprabhaa met in confluence. There was a temple of Sangamanaatha, He took refuge in this temple. At that time, The name of Bijjala was heard extensively in political circles across the land. Basavanna decided to go to Mangalaveede and seek employment under Bijjala as an accountant. He started his socio-religious movement. A number of people rallied around Basavanna in support irrespective of their gender, caste, creed, or socioeconomic status. His resident becomes Mahaamane, the great house and a great soul in the eyes of the general public. He bestowed deep thought on the problem of caste and identified himself with the downtrodden as he was full of compassion and had an urge for social justice. He realized that economic equality is essential to bring about social equality. His ideology induced everyone to engage themselves in some evocation like a miracle. Thus improving the state production and bringing more revenue to the exchequer also. Anubhavamantapa was the center meant for the exchange of ideas. The course of the movement took definite shape here. His popularity and revolutionary activities aroused enmity among many who were closed to emperor. Basavanna used the state treasury to initiate social reforms and religious movements focused on reviving shaivism, recognizing and empowering ascetics who were called Jangamas. He spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachannas. One of the main themes of the vachannas is self-criticism. The mindset of individuals of varied nature made him employ people’s language to express his views.
- ItemContemporary Buddhist Centres of KarnatakaThe snow-clad Himalayas has always held mankind. We are spellbound by the magnificent and vibrant culture which develops there. Many cultures have bloomed there, and many aspire of being there. Tibet is one example of such a culture. Tibet has a rich heritage of religion and culture. Tibetan relates them with Vajrayana Buddhism which is an evolution of Mahayana. The Tibetian tranquility was disturbed in 1959 by the red army of China. Peaceful protest at Lhasa was suppressed forcefully and thousands of men and women including children became homeless. In March 1959 the religious head Dalai Lama with other cabinet and people marched across the Himalayas to take shelter n India. India the land of culture and goodness welcomed the Tibetan refugee. The then PM Nehruji and Dalai Lama had a meeting and plans were made to make rehabilitation camps for the Tibetans till the time they can go back. Many Chief Ministers were contacted and the then CM of Mysore State(Karnataka) huge granted agricultural land. In 1961 Lugsum settlement (Old camp) was established in the uninhabited villages of Gulledahalli, Gollarahosahali, Aralikumari, and Kailashpura. Settlers with the help of Indians cleared land. Dalai Lama visited Bailukuppe & Tibetan Dickey Larso and blessed the rehabilitators. Karnataka and India supported a lot by providing land and helping hands in each step of rehabilitation. Initially, schools and health care centers were run in attached huts. Houses were built in simple tile structures which look like any other village in India. Today Bailukkpe is one of the examples of such an ideal step. This town has developed a lot by the consistency and discipline of Tibetans and the support of Karnataka Govt and The Government of India. Gautam Buddha who was born as a prince renounced all worldly happiness and chose a path of enlightenment and graciously conveyed it to the world to help their spiritual salvation. Religious rituals are a way of life of Tibetans, the chanting of holy hymns even while working, Prayer wheels (wheel of dharma) at the temple and small handwheels, turning of prayer beads are all integral parts of Tibetian Livelihood. Bouddha devalayam (Buddhist Temple), monasteries, monks, and nuns are always engaged in intense studies of sutras. Most Tibetan join as a monk at the age of 8 or some do so even in later life. They are taught sutras and tantras by their senior Lamas Gelug, Nyingma, Kagyu, and Sakya are the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism. Monks tonsure their heads and wear robes which shows their dedication to reading the scriptures and cultures of Buddhism. Bylakuppe has monasteries of all four sects. The Namdroling Monastery of the Nyingma sect is known to many people. Acharya Padma sambhava buddha vihara is commonly used as Gold Temple with which we are more familiar. The walls are adorned with wall paintings related o religious events and symbolism. Painting has unique content and richness. Around 3000 monks reside there. This complex has around 16 different monasteries. In the main hall stands 3 giant statues. In the mid is Buddha Sakyamuni’s (founder of Buddhism) 60 ft tall statue. The other two statues of 58 feet are that of Acharya Padmasambhava (founder of the Nyingma sect) Buddha Amithayu (Protector from evil and demonic harm). Stupas serve as support for spirituality for the Tibetans. They circumambulate the holy place and turn the wheels as part of offering prayer. The nunnery of Nyingma houses about 750 nuns. Lighting butter lamps are individual and monastic offerings. Seraje and Ser Mey are the two schools of the Gelug Sect. Storage with 5000 monks is the center of studies for advanced Buddhist sciences and practices. The students from here can get a Geshe degree which is equivalent to a doctorate degree. Rituals and sutras learning is part of the curriculum. Sera Mey monastery symbolizes the Buddhist perspective of life and represents many themes in teaching. Each color used in the art of this monastery has a unique significance. Dharma Chakra at the terrace, along with many deers and dragons structures is seen on the campus. Each five color Pancha varna red, blue. Green, yellow, and, composite white all relate to divinity. In each monastery, there is a throne for the Dalai lama to adorn his teachings and discourses. The offering of Kada the white scarf is a religious and social ritual offered by Tibetans when they come to worship. Monasteries are decorated with colorful banners during festivals and devotees offer lamps. The eight auspicious symbols- the Astha Mangala are printed on the flag which flutters on the pillars in which it is hoisted and is believed to bring good luck. Tibetan SOS Children’s village at Bylukkuppe was established in 1981. This beautiful children’s village has 29 homes and 2 hostels for students up to class 12. Togetherness nurtures community which can be very well seen in Tibetans who voluntarily provide services. TDL handicraft centers are there where carpet weaving, Incense making with the use of perfumes from natural ingredients, Drepyu Kagyu monastery, Chanting is an important part which is done by monks administered by their seniors, in a style which is unique and the whole hall is revered by this. Sakya tradition has a lineage of gins derived from celestial beings. Khon Konchok Gyepo is the founder of the Sakya tradition. Commonness from Indian Yogic tradition is seen here. Musical instruments are played during prayer to create a different ambiance. Ghanta and Dorje are used in monasteries for prayer, accompanied by ting shaw(systematic hand gestures.) which are also used during rituals to accompany chant. Rabgay ling settlement Gurupura- Hunsur an agricultural settlement was established around 3 decades ago. Gyudmey Tantrik Monastery is a reestablishment of a monastery that belongs as long back as the 15th century in Tibet. This tantrik college has approx 500 monks. Dung and kangling are wind instruments accompanied by religious chants. They learn tantric and other rituals, drawing, etc. Other monasteries are also there in this settlement. Under the Asian classic input program, ancient texts are taken into print to preserve. Mundugodu settlement is a unique one with a Mahatma Gandhi statue, which was a living example of all the Buddha preached. Palden Drepung Tashi Gomang Monastery is an institution for learning Tibetan Buddhism. Monastries, monks, and nuns are the systematic institutionalized system of Buddhism engaged in constant study for sutras. Dhondeling settlement at foothills has a population of 6000 Tibetans. At top of hill is the private residence of the Dalai Lama. Though the facility of irrigation is absent people are having good Maize cultivation by maximum use of available resources. ough, irrigation Gautam buddha taught the meaning of life and the righteous path. To get salvation from the cycle of the misery of human existence. Indian national anthem is sung in all Central Tibetan. And Tibetan is taught as a part of cultural preservation. There are 5 monasteries namely Dzogchen monastery, Taksham monastery, Tanak monastery, Dhragyal monastery, and Bayoe monasteryDzogchen is located in the east is the natural primordial state of every sentient being. Tanak belongs to the Gelug sect., Hianaya and mahayana two sects. In later periods, Buddhism got divided into two sects: Hinayana and Mahayana. Vajrayana the spiritual and unique path is followed by Tibetians. This pantheon has many similarities to the Hindu pantheon in forms of worship as it has Sanskrit influence. Tibetan communities have intense respect for the old age people even in exile. This is the result of their discipline and culture that they have made their community socially and economically strong. The principle of Buddhism is being honored and followed as an integral part of the sentient being by the Buddhist community of Karnataka.
- ItemFreedom Movement in Karnataka Part-2The people of Karnataka whole-heartedly plunged into the freedom struggle of India. Persistence to obtain freedom from the British increasingly grew in those days among every Indian. Insurgency in Karnataka was turning pale at the time of 1858. Kannadigas showed great courage, ventures, sacrifices, and self-esteem in these rebels. In 1919, Hindus and Muslims celebrated Khilafath day by distributing Pamphlets. Habibullah Khan campaigned for the Khilaafath movement across the Kaarwaar district. Karnataka state congress committee was established in the year 1920. The annual session of the Indian national congress was held in 1924 in the Belagaun district under the chairmanship of Mahatma Gandhi. Huilgol Narayana Rao was a freedom fighter who composed the song ‘Udayavagali Namma Cheluva Kannada’ which awakens the spirit of Kannadigas. Ankola was the major center for Karnataka for salt satyagraha. Gowramma, Subbamma, Kaaveramma, Duggamma, Bhaageerathamma, and Lakshmamma participated in this. During that time flag hoisting was one of the symbols of protest. It was like showing the red cloth in front of Bull. The British thought that the flag hoisting is disdaining their regime. Brave Kannadigas started singing Vande Maatram on the streets with the tricolor. This attitude provoked the British. ‘Vidhuraashwattha’ is located in Gouribidanur in the Kolar district. Congress had taken the decision to campaign at the time of the livestock fair. Freedom fighters' meeting took place and they hoisted the national flag on April 23rd in 1938 under the leadership of T. Raamachaar, The president of the Kolar district of congress committee but there was a prohibition for the assembling of people. Around ten thousand workers participated in satyagraha. They distributed the pamphlets. Protestors provoked the police force by hoisting the flag again. Police started arresting protestors. They started Lathi Charge and fired 92 rounds. Around 35 people were killed. Many were injured. Gandhi ji called this tragedy the Jaaliya waala baagh Massaccre of Karnataka. It is also called the Vidhuraashwattha Tragedy. The first session of the Mysore Congress was held at shivpoora of Mandya district. Sahukaar Channayya was the welcome committee president. The sixty-feet tall flag mast was decorated with khaadi cloth. In the history of Mysore province, The Shivapore congress session is indeed a milestone. Independence horn had spread everywhere in India and Karnataka also contributed immensely to the great horn.
- ItemMaharashtra The Place“Maharashtra” means “great land”, and it has lived up to its name in the past. It was a part of the Ashokan empire in the 2nd century BC. It was subsequently ruled by the Satavahana dynasty, the Chalukyas, the Rashtrakuts, and the Hoysalas. The Hoysalas soon crumbled against the incessant invasions by Alauddin Khilji which began in 1296. The Mughals were never able to completely conquer Maharashtra because of a man who was “diminutive in size but the tallest in stature”, Shivaji Raje Bhosale, who was famously known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Kuberch. 3).Once India became a colony of the British empire, Maharashtra came to be a part of the Bombay Presidency and was governed by the Governor-General of India. It was not until 1st May 1960, that the state of Maharashtra was formed. The landscape of Maharashtra can be physiologically divided into the Konkan Coastal Plane, Western Ghats, and Deccan Plateau. At the east of the Sahyadri, lies the Deccan Plateau, which covers from north to south- the Satpura range, Tapi valley, Ajantha range, Godavari valley, Harischandragad-Ahmednagar-Manjra Plateau, Bhima basin, Mahadeo range, and Krishna basin. The rivers in Maharashtra can be categorized into east-flowing rivers that drain into the Bay of Bengal and west-flowing rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. The climate of Maharashtra is tropical. The major crops of Maharashtra can be divided into five agricultural regions, namely, rice, oilseeds, bajra, jowar, and cotton, as done by V. S. Datye and Amit Dhorde. With the rise of industries in Maharashtra, the role of agriculture in the state’s economy has declined extensively. Some industries that have proliferated in Maharashtra are sugarcane, cotton textile, chemicals, and electronics. Although Maharashtra’s economic growth is rapidly increasing, the growth is centered only on the major cities, namely, Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur. There is a sharp increase in immigrants from rural to urban spaces, in search of employment and better living conditions. Maharashtra is thus still a “great land”, offering various opportunities to its citizens and allowing its inhabitants to dream big.
- ItemPeople of Bengal Part-1The growth and history of Bengal and its people were intertwined not only with the history of the Indian subcontinent but also with the growth of present-day South Asia. Bengal was one of the earliest Aryan colonies in the Indian subcontinent and included modern-day West Bengal and Bangladesh as well as parts of Orissa, Bihar, Assam, and the present-day Northeast. ‘Banga’ or Vanga was first mentioned in the Aitereya Aranyaka and frequent references to the land of ‘Vanga’ are found in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. People of ancient Bengal are said to have originally belonged to various tribal communities – North Indian Aryan Long Heads, South Indian Dravido-Munda Long Heads, Alpine Short Heads, and Mongolian Short Heads. These communities mingled with each other, and both the Bengali culture and the Bangla language were a result of this grand synthesis. The Modern Bengali language that we know today is a result of several evolutionary changes in the Vedic Sanskritic language (from colloquial Magadhi Prakrit to Magadhi Apabhramsa to Ancient Bangla to Medieval Bangla to Modern Bangla). Although there is very little recorded information about the early ages of Bengal, as we travel through the pages of history, we discover the rise and fall of various kingdoms. Even though accurate historical information about Bengal is available only from the Gupta period, the Gangaridai and Prasioi empires seemed to have existed in ancient Bengal in the deltaic region of the Ganga, the Brahmaputra, and the Meghna rivers around 400 BC which coincided with the Indian campaign of Alexander the Great. The Gupta period was known as a period of immense religious tolerance and this period also saw a lot of development in the art of sculpture. Many janapadas (small kingdoms) flourished as the Gupta empire faded away, some of which were Gour, Vangala, Varendri, Summa, Samatat, Radha, Pundra, Harikel, Tamralipta, Kajangala, and Banga. The unified polity of Bengal saw the rise of her first independent king in the form of Shashanka, who ruled approximately between 590 and 635 CE. His capital was located at Karnasubarna near Rajshahi, Bangladesh in present-day Murshidabad. With the rise of the Pala dynasty under King Gopala Pala in 750 CE, the golden age of Bengal was established. Bengal under the reign of Dharmapala and Devpala has been regarded by historians as a period of political genius. The Pala-s were Buddhists and the most venerated Buddhist monk and scholar, Atish Dipankara Srijnana (980-1053 CE) carried Buddhism to Tibet during this period. This was also the time when the earliest form of the Bengali script originated from the Brahmi alphabet of the Ashokan inscriptions and subsequently from the spoken Laukika or Apabhramsa-Avahatta, which “can be rightly called proto-Bengali” (Sen 1960, 8). The Caryapada (or the Carya songs) is the earliest literature composed in the earliest form of the Bengali language. Sukumar Sen (1900-92) writes in History of Bengali Literature (1960) that even though the language of the carya songs is vernacular, it is also something of a literary language at the same time (Sen 1960, 4-5). The Sena dynasty headed by Vijayasena supplanted the Pala-s towards the end of the eleventh century during the rule of Mahipala II. The Sena-s were Brahma-Kshatriyas, originally from the south of the Indian subcontinent and went all out to restore the identity of the Brahmins and introduced Kulin Pratha (the practice of Kulinism), which was a social reform system that allowed Kaulinya Brahmins to assert social and religious superiority over people belonging to other races, communities, or religions. Vaishnavism also flourished under the rule of the Senas and Jayadeva’s Gitagovinda is an exemplary example of this. During the Middle Bengali period (1350-1800), Brajabuli was popularised by Vidyapati and his Vaishnava songs. Muslim rule was established in parts of Bengal with Bakhtiyar Khilji’s conquest of Lakshmanavati. With the advent of the Turkish invasion and the massive looting and destruction of temples and seats of learning that followed, Bengal received a massive blow as “intellectual activities were extinguished for about a couple of centuries” (Sen 1960, 34). From the debris of the “Dark Centuries” which followed the Turkish invasion of Bengal in the thirteenth century, a new Bengali people emerged in the Chaitanya period which began in the sixteenth century and saw an all-around development in the social, cultural, and religious fronts in Bengal and Orissa. Led by Sri Chaitanya, this period saw the rise of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism Movement, Samkirtan (singing the name of god together), and the assertion of the right to public worship. Many folk forms seemed to exist in rural Bengal alongside the Muslim rule on one hand and the rise of Gaudiya Vaishnavism on the other. Some of these which exist to date were Brotokatha, recitals of the Kasidasi Mahabharata, Alkaap, Gambhura, and Manashar Gaan. Murshid Quli Khan became the first Nawab of Bengal and served from 1717 to 1727 while Muhammad Siraj-ud-Daulah (1733-57), the last Nawab of Bengal seized Calcutta and came to power in 1756. This coincided with the expansion of the British settlement in the Indian subcontinent. With the visit of Job Charnock, an administrator with the British East India Company, Calcutta was established by merging the three villages of Kalikata, Gobindapur, and Sutanuti in 1756. With the French as his allies, Siraj-ud-Daulah caused the Black Hole Tragedy of Calcutta in 1756 cost innumerable British lives. The British answered to this with the Battle of Plassey led by Robert Clive in 1757 that marked the victory of the East India Company over Siraj-ud-Daulah and his French allies and decided the fate of Bengal. Calcutta became the centre of administration and commerce and was the capital of British India from 1722 to 1911. Bengal was marked by a period of extreme uncertainty in the eighteenth century after the defeat of Siraj-ud-Daulah and was marked by repeated attacks from the Marathas (from 1741 to 1751, referred to as Bargir Hungama), and the great Bengal Famine of 1770 which is popularly referred to as Chhiattor-er Monnontor. During this time, the only relief came in the form of the devotional poems of Ramprasad Sen (1718-75) who was a Shakta Bengali poet, Bharatchandra Ray Gunakor’s (1712-60) Vidyasundar, and Dasharathi Ray’s (1806-57) Panchali or narrative poems remarkable in their religious sentiments and musical quality. A new class of Bengalis or a new middle class emerged towards the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. Sukumar Sen states that “some of the nouveaux riche came forward as supporters of the new quasi-literary and cultural trends that emerged in Calcutta and in the other townships along the Hooghly” (Sen 1960, 147). The eighteenth century was also marked by the introduction of the printing press in Serampore, the publication of the first Bengali grammar book by Nathaniel Brassey Halhed called A Grammar of the Bengali Language in 1788, and the establishment of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1784 among others. Some notable literary and intellectual figures of the eighteenth and the early nineteenth-century Bengal were Rammohun Roy (1772-1833), Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (1838-84), Michael Madhusudan Dutt (1824-73), and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (1820-91) – all of who ultimately led to the Bengal Renaissance that is said to have finally ended with Rabindranath Tagore in the twentieth century.
- ItemAgriculture in Karnataka Part-1Agriculture was known to the Neolithic man in Karnataka. Excavations in the Tekkalakoote region in the Ballari district have yielded remains of horse gram and wheat grain from the sixteenth century. Kannada literature has several references to agriculture, such as Shri Vijaya’s KaviraajaMaarga, a text belonging to the ninth century, has allusions to rice, black pepper, and sugarcane. The poetry of Pampa, the first Kannada poet of the tenth century, alludes to several flowers and fruits. Basavanna, the great social reformer of the twelfth century, has used the expression, “joolaavali” in his vachanas or poems, which means “obligation of a master who provides food”. The great Dasa poet of the fifteenth century, Kanakadaasa, in his poetry, RaamadhaanyaCaritre, used rice and ragi as principal characters. In 1879, SiddharaamappaKunnaala, wrote krushiJnaanaPradiipike, which was a full-scale work on agriculture in Karnataka. Agriculture may be broadly classified into three types. The first type is completely dependent on the rain and is known as khuskior dryland cultivation. Ancient works refer to khushki land as devamaatruka, because the cultivation depends on the rains which are a gift of God. The second type of cultivation depends on water yielded by wells, tanks, and rivers. This is known as Tari or wetland cultivation. The land used for this is called gadde or tari land. Ancient works refer to such lands as nadimaatruka, as they are irrigated by river water. The third type of cultivation has a continuous flow of water through perennial sources. Here, plantation crops are generally grown. The land used for this is called baagaaytu or garden land. Major cultivation in Karnataka occurs through khushki or dry land cultivation. Karnataka experiences rains from April to November. The Hindu almanac lists twenty-seven rain stars. Each star represents a period of fourteen days of the rainy season. Some of these stars are Asvini, Uttare and Citte. Farmers believe in the working of these stars, which can be observed in proverbs used by them, such as “If Uttare brings rains, the seeds are most rewarding”. In villages, the plough is referred to as “aaru” or “eeru”. The beginning of cultivation is marked by a religious rite called “honnaaru”, which means “the golden cultivation”. During this rite, they plough three rounds, although if the land is sufficiently wet they plough more. They begin regular ploughing when the rains increase. This is known as, “ukkehodeyuvudu”. When the land is ploughed, a fixed amount of cattle manure is spread over it. The land is ploughed from the east to the west, as this is believed to be beneficial for the crops. Several lines are marked for the sowing of the seeds, out of which seven to eight are for the main crop, and one line is for the assorted seeds, which is known as “akkadisaalu”. The sowing of seeds is done in three ways, which are, “haakuvudu” or putting in the row, “bittuvudu” or dibbling in the row, and “naatimaaduvudu” or transplanting in the row. In the “haakuvudu” method, seeds are spread by hand and then the soil is covered by using “kunte” or flank, on the seeds to allow them to germinate. This process is called “kambattige”. In the “bittuvudu” method, the seeds are sown by using the “kuurige” or seed drill. The seeds of ragi and jowar are sown using this method. The “kunte” or flank is used to cover these seeds with soil. In “naatimaaduvudu” method, seeds are thickly planted in beds especially prepared for this purpose. After the crops are grown to a certain level, they are transplanted to the main field. Weeds are removed every ten to fifteen days to avoid them from harming the crops. In order to avoid pests, bird damage, and diseases, farmers use “uppucarage” or ash, and the powder of neem leaves and seeds mixed with water and other pesticides. In order to get a successful harvest, farmers perform puja on the eastern side of the land. This is known as “koylupuuje”. The main harvest season starts during October and November. Crops like ragi and paddy are cut and set aside in lumps for drying. After drying, they are bundled up, tied into bunches, and piled up straight, to avoid white ants. These heaps are called “suttuggudu” or “kaageguudu”. They are then transported to thrashing places where they are heaped in round or rectangular shapes. In the case of jowar, the ear heads are cut, dried, and heaped. The threshing methods that are followed are “badiyuvudu” or beating, “hantitulisuvudu” or animal foot-walking, and “roonagalluhodeyvudu” or stone roller. If the produce is less, the “badiyuvudu” method is used in “kana” or threshing yard. Harvested crops are bought in bunches called “kanthe” and spread in circular form. In earlier days, most crops, like paddy, jowar and bajra used to be threshed using the “hantitulisuvudu” method. Although today, this method has been replaced by the “roonagalluhodeyyvudu” method. In this method, a big circular stone is tied to the cattle and moved over the spread husk in a circular fashion. The husk is then further mixed with a long stick called “meerekoolu” and is then again pressed using the stone roller. The first layer of husk is removed and the entire process is repeated again. The remaining husks are further removed using “muullugaddi”, which is a bunch of thorny sticks, and “halube” or “jantugunte”, which is an instrument made of bamboo stick fixed to a wooden block. The husk is removed from the yard and the grains are piled up using an instrument called “gvaare”.
- ItemAgriculture in Karnataka Part-2Khushki land crops are called “devamatruka” which means, “gift of God”. Irrigated land crops are called “nadimatruka” which means “gift of water from a flowing river”. The main irrigation crop is “batta” or paddy. Although during the rainy season, paddy is cultivated in khushki land. Paddy is grown mainly thrown transplantation. The crops take about three to four months to grow. They perform “koylu puja” before harvesting the crops. After cutting the crops, they leave them on the fields for a few days before transporting it to the “kana” or threshing yard. Once they have separated the grains from the straw, they use winnowing to separate the chaff. They then fill the grains into gunny bags and transport them to their homes via bullock carts, where they sun-dry the paddy for a few days, and then store it. “Kabbu” or sugarcane is another cash crop of irrigated land. The land for sugarcane is prepared by plowing the land, two to three times. The farmers sow good and healthy sugarcane having a minimum of three nodes in furrows, which assists in the process of irrigation. After about fifteen days of sowing, sprouts emerge from the nodal points. After one field of sugarcane has grown successfully, the farmers adopt intercultural operations such as earth, which is known as “sannamuri” which means, “small ridges”. Due to this process, the seedlings grow in clumps. Once the sugarcane has grown to a height of three to four feet, the farmers add ten to fifteen bullock carts filled with compost and manure to the soil. After this stage, farmers make ridges on both sides of the sugarcane row. They are called “doddamuri”, which means “bigger ridges”. Flowers usually begin to emerge in sugarcane crops after a year. Its flowers are called juulangi or suulangi. Crops are usually ready to be harvested after eleven to twelve months. For harvesting purposes, farmers use a sickle called “capagodli”. They remove the leaves, which are called “raved", and branched tips, which are called “sonde”. They leave this trash in the field, which they later burn. This acts as a manure for the next crop, which is sugarcane ratoon. New shoots of sugarcane ratoon emerge out of the basal parts that have been left behind from the sugarcane crops. Usually, ratoon crops are not grown until after two to three years. Although Dr. D. R. Prafullachandra, an eminent farmer from the Shivamoga district has changed the sugarcane scene in Karnataka. From 1970 to 2008, he has produced a record number of sugarcane crops in his fields. He has also several farmers follow in his footsteps of not burning waste in his fields and using the leftovers from his crops as manure. After harvesting, sugarcanes are transported to sugar factories for the manufacturing of sugar. Some factories also sell their sugarcane crops to jaggery making houses known as “aalemane”. The juice from crushed sugarcane, which is known as “aalekuuni” is collected in barrels. The leftover sugarcane after crushing is used in jaggery houses as fuel. The collected juice is boiled in broad metallic structures called “kopparige”. The making of jaggery is a skilled process that is conducted by “hadagaararu” or jaggery cooks. Once the juice begins to boil, all the dirt comes to the top, which is collected in circular metallic instruments called “maddikukke”. Later, the boiled jaggery is transferred into a wooden pit. After the jaggery has cooled, it is prepared into round or square pellets. Unlike dry land and irrigation crops, plantation crops need more attention and things like suitable soil, specific land, water supply, labor requirements, and availability should be kept in mind. The important plantation crops in Karnataka are banana, coconut, areca nut, and betel vine. “Baalehannu” or banana is a very popular fruit during all seasons in Karnataka. A good irrigation system is very essential for this crop. Before planting bananas, the lands should be plowed and made plain. The suckers are planted in pits that are five feet wide and deep and are filled with organic manure. It is irrigated once a week. After about a month, the suckers sprout. After about ten to twelve months, the crops would have grown to a height of ten feet. Bananas are very susceptible to diseases such as fungus disease and leaf curl disease. The majority of the diseases can be prevented if the tubers are treated with chemicals such as passy fluoride, listen, and radon granules.
- ItemChannapattana ToysKenchaiah, a renowned craftsman who makes some of the most eye-catching toys and dolls of Chanapattana. His nimble fingers reveal his over fifty years of experience in the craft. His eyes shine with pride when he says that he has trained over 400 craftsman in laquerware technique. The channapattana lacquerware which catches the fancy of children and elders alike is one of the most popular crafts of Karnataka with its bright look, dazzling colors, and lowly craftsmanship. It leaves an indelible expression on one’s mind. Channapattana, the cradle of this beautiful craft is located at 60kms of Bengaluru in the Bengaluru-Mysore highway. This place is a busy commercial hub and a taluk in the Raamnagara district. In Channapattana and some of the villages like Tattekere, Manglawara Pete, Kariyappana Doddi, Harisandra, Neelasandra, Sunghatta, Lalaghatta, Honganahalli, Bannikuppe, and Sannahalli. Thousands of families depend on this traditional craft for their livelihood. In most of the houses in these villages, you can see artisans engrossed in making various kinds of Lacquerware. This craft practiced in Karnataka has a history of more than two centuries. It is said that Tipu Sultaan had brought the artisans from Persia to train the Toymakers. Baba Saheb Miyan Saheb, popularly known as Bawasmiyan, is a local artist known as the originator of the craft in Channapattana nearly areas. Basawmia’s grandfather was a classmate of the Mysore Maharaja. When the Britishers asked the Maharaja whom to send to Japan for learning the machine work. Bawasmia’s name was suggested. After the training, He came back to channapattana and set up the machines. As time passed, Many others developed expertise in the craft. But Bawasmia, who taught this technology to all is the true founder of machine Lathe technology. The exclusive Halewood is used for making Lacquerware. It constitutes a cheap raw material and it is close-grained and moderately hard. Now, the health-conscious international market demands the use of natural colors. For this reason, some exporters make colors from Turmeric, Rathan Joth leaf, Katta, Annato, Angeria, Kumkum, Alale Kaayi flower, manjiish ta, and skin of the pomegranate fruit. The Channapattana lacquerware toys, dolls, and other articles with their competent prices and attractive finesse have excellent market demand. Only when the lacquerwares of Channapattana get their due recognition in the world and domestic market then the lives of those who depend on this traditional industry for livelihood will be reformed.
- ItemFolk Performances in Bengal Part-1The folk theatre in Bengal evolved out of the community spirit which has been existent in rural Bengal since before the sixteenth century. Genres such as the Panchaligaan(oral narrative or ballad songs) and the Kathakata(narrative) are considered predecessors of the present-day folk theatre in Bengal. Both the Panchaligaanand the Kathakatafocus primarily on religious themes and mythological stories even though with the passage of time, other socially and culturally relevant themes and subjects have also come into focus. The primary aim of these folk forms apart from the entertainment and education of the masses was to simplify and subsequently instruct through religious texts. Songs have been a dominant trait of the folk theatre in Bengal and whatever be the subject and the story of a particular performance, it is borne and carried forward by songs as well as crisp and dramatic dialogue and enunciation. Folk theatre performances are usually held during religious festivals to pay homage to gods and goddesses. In such performances, usually, there is a single narrator, and this narrator tends to represent multiple characters and as a result, multiple voices and points of view (similar in spirit to the modern-day one-man show). With the use of songs and music, these village performers have the ability to raise their narration to the level of drama. There are numerous folk theatre forms in Bengal and many of those are relevant to this day. Gambhira(also, Gambhira-gaanor naach)is a well-known form of Bengali folk theatre extremely popular in the Malda district of West Bengal. Gambhira spreads out as far as the Dinajpur and Murshidabad districts, located to the north and the south of the Malda districts respectively. It is directly linked to the Hindu festivals of Gajanand Charakwhich celebrate Lord Shiva. These festivals are generally held on the last day of Chaitra (in Aprilprior to the Bengali New Year or PoilaBoishak). Gambhiraperformances usually have two performers – one of who usually portrays the role of the village or the community Elder. The performance progresses with a dialogue between the two usually through song (and through dance in the case of Gambhiranaach). Gambhira performers not only dress up on their own but also do their own makeup. The Gambhiraperformance usually begins with a concert in which many musical instruments are played followed by an introduction known as Mukhopadwhere the performers and characters introduce themselves. The Mukhopadis followed by what is known as the Bandana or the salutation where Lord Shiva or Mahadev makes an entry (as a tribute to the Gajanand Charakfestivals). Mahadev is referred to as “nana” and he is a representative of the feudal lord (in the past) and of the government (at present). The other performers, representative of the poverty-stricken common masses are usually in soiled dhoti-s and shreds of cloth. Duets performed by a man and a woman (usually played by another man) or Charyari(an act with four characters) follow the Bandana. The most skilled actor is usually the symbol and the voice of the common masses or the underprivileged. The Gambhirausually ends with a Report which is a summation of all the significant events that have taken place in a particular year. These are usually events that are of national importance. The language of the Gambhira-gaan is a combination of various languages of West Bengal and nearby states including Bengali, Maithili, Hindi, Rajbanshi, Palia as well as dialects from the Barind tract (néeVarendra). Gambhirais truly the reflection of the zeitgeist – of the stark truth (under the guise of laughter) that dictates the lives of the ordinary toiling people of Bengal. The Gambhira-gaan of today is secular and can be held at any time of the year and has no relation to the four-day Gambhira festival which was held for four days during the Gajanand Charakfestivals. Domni or Domni-gaan is a folk theatre form popular in the West Bengal-Bihar border area, especially in Diara, Ratua, and Manikchak areas of the Malda district. Like many other Bengali folk theatre genres, Domni sees men (referred to as chakra-s orsokra-s) portray the role of female characters. Domni performances are replete with music, dance, and dialogue. However, owing to the language, which is the conversational language of the area, and incomprehensible to people outside of the community, Domni has remained restricted within the Diara area and is on the verge of extinction. The Diara area witnesses a New Year festival (also called the Sirua festival). This is the time the Domni performance groups visit affluent houses and collect fees in order to prepare for open-air Domni performances. Most Domni plays begin with the Bandanawhich first pays homage to the gods and then to the hosts. The chokra-s in the guise of women dance a Lacharior a Nachari. After the Bandana, the main body of the play starts. Serious subjects such as social oppression, injustice, marginalization, etc., all of which are of immediate social importance to the area are depicted through the means of Domniperformances. The audience of these performances is mostly the locals of the area, most of who are farmers or daily wage laborers. The Uttar and Dakshin Dinajpur areas of West Bengal are a conglomeration of various communities and classes. Together they have given rise to the folk theatre form called Khanor Khangaan (derived from the word ‘khanda’ or ‘fragments’) which is organized post-harvest. Tales of love, replete with problems are portrayed through Khan's performances. Khan's performances are unique in the sense that most of the dialogues are improvised as the performanceprogresses. Further, the pace of the dances included in these performances is usually slow. Every year, Khanperformances witness the rise of new stories based on socially relevant issues. The toiling people and the common masses of the area portray their simple lifestyle and focus on their own problems and their efforts to solve these problems through the means of Khan performances. Some of these performances see the presence of elements from religious rituals referred to as Bo-Khela amongst which HaluaHaluani (from the word ‘hal’or ‘plough’) is very popular. Dhaamor Dhaamgaan is an important folk theatre form of the Jalpaiguri district. These performances see the coming together of women dancers (also sokra), singers (locally known as gidal and Dohari), and instrumentalists. With the course of time, Dhaamperformances have taken up socially relevant themes and contemporary events and are now known as Palatia.Palatiais of three types depending on the importance of the subject: Khashpanchal, Rangpanchal, and Manpanchal. In the Cooch Behar district of North Bengal, Kushan and Dotra plays are important forms of folk theatre. Both these use the traditional Bhawaiya tune. Dotra plays usually depict popular legends or public scandals and contain themes that are secular. The burden of the play is carried by the Geedal or theMool(lead singer) whose songs are accompanied by the music of the dotara. Young girls dance to this tune. The Geedal usually wears a dhoti and a shawl and does not have any special costume. Dotra plays have a comic character called the Duaari (the local equivalent of the jester) whose role is to provide comic relief. The Duaari throughout the play regards the Geedal as his guru. Kushan plays (from the name Kush, the second son of Rama and Sita) are very popular among the Rajbanshi community of North Bengal. Kushan plays can be performed at any time of the year and are not linked to a particular festival or season.Sokra-s sing and dance to the tune of the senior bana, a bamboo instrument while the Geedal narrates the story through the medium of songduring a Kushanperformance. Some Kushan performances such as “Bishahara”(trans., “The Removal of Poison” which depicts the popular myth of the snake-goddess Manasa and Chand Sadagar, a merchant who refused to worship her, performed mostly in winter during a marriage ceremony) also sees the use of the mukhamashe, a folk flute. Kushanperformancestell the story of Rama as it is said to have been told at the court of Sri Rama in Ayodhya. Apart from this, tales from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are portrayed in these plays. Sometimes in order to break the monotony of the play and provide dramatic relief, contemporary events (called that or khosha or phash) are brought in which have no direct link with the main play. ManasaPalapopular in South Bengal is similar in spirit to “Bishahara”. However, it is directly related to ManasaPuja, a festival celebrating the Snake goddess, Manasa, and is held during the monsoon season in the months from July to September. Manasa Pala is held at local fairs during Manasa Puja and is open to anyone who wants to attend. The Bengali folk theatre despite being a secular space does not go into deep philosophy or theory. It is a representative of the lives, thoughts, and problems of the common people of rural Bengal. Most of these folk theatre forms and the festivals which are associated with them are participated in, viewed, and celebrated by Hindus and Muslims alike without any kind of communal or religious bias.
- ItemFolk Performing Arts of Southern Karnataka - Part-1Each of these performing arts has been identified with a particular community in Karnataka. As these communities have their own historical growth so also the folk arts are part of this historicity. The primary purpose of this folk art is not entertainment. They represent the social-cultural and economic aspirations of the communities in which they were born. As these have retained their entertaining value they also have retained their costume, Jewelry, unique dance style, literature, and music. Musical Instrument oriented dance, Worship oriented, and entertainment-oriented. Thus they bring holistic perspectives that merge music, dance, and ritual. However, each performing art is different imbibing various elements of environment and society. Nandikolu Kunitha is the center of attraction of Dasara festival Mysuru, festival and village fair. Nandi Kamba worship, Kamba is a huge pillar. The Nandi dance or the Nandi Dhwaja could be seen all over Karnataka. The artists who perform this Nandhi Dhwaja belong to the Veerashaiva cult. It also represents the victory of Veerashaiva culture in Karnataka. Nandi kolu has several name Birade Kamba, Vyaasa Golu, Nandi kamba etc. In this dance, many instruments have been used eg. by teammates, including Nagari, Karade, Jamaica, and Naadaswara. The Nandi culture is synonymous with the Shaiva tradition. Therefore, before the beginning of the Dasara procession, the Nandi Dhwaja is worshipped. Veerabhadra Kunitha, earlier times in Verrashaiva tradition was known as Shaiva Tradition. Hence the words Veera & Shiva denote velour. They are called Lingada Beeraru in Mysore. The story narrates how the demon Daksha performs the Yagna ritual in order to attain the power of Shiva. Veeramakkala Kunitha, this dance is found in Mysore, Mandya, and Tumsur. It is performed in School or in village worship before the deity. Apart from this, the dance has become training in order to gain physical strength. Thus, this dance combines both physical as well as mythological aspects of life.
- ItemDharwar KannadaDharwar is one of the most cultural center of Karnataka. It is also the center of many educational institutions. It is also karma bhumi of great writers eg. Shamba Joshi, Girish karnad etc. It comprises the Mumbai Karnataka region. Historically, this region was ruled by Kadambas. North Karnataka has active Participation in the movement. Dharwar is distinct from every other part of Karnataka in food, culture, dress, etc. The language of Dharwar is like jackfruit solid and rough from the outside and sweet from the inside. Dharwar Kannada has five cardinal vowels. It has been mentioned all linguistics feature vowel phones, and consonant phonemes. They always use ‘a’ after every words hotel> hotela. Nasalization is noted as one of the important features of this dialect. ‘O’ changes into ‘a’ , eg.bottu >battu. kinship terms start with ‘a’ and change inta ‘ya’ eg.’akka’>yakka .Rational nouns ending with ‘or ‘e’ take ‘aeru’ as a plural suffix. Dharwar Kannada dialect and standard Kannada dialect both are different. Dharwad Kannada is one such spicy variant of the Kannada Language.
- ItemFolk Performing Art of Southern Karnataka Part-2This folk art which takes birth in several rural areas does not seem that gurus have taught them to learning centers that spread them. Performances are both worship and entertainment. Hence, the artist learns it at home or in the village at large. Later he unveils his talent during a fair, festival, or another event in the village. Veeragase, just like Nandi kolu Veeragase has pauranik Daksha yagna tale. When Dakshayini dies in the fire yagna of Daksha and then Veerbhadra took birth. If the Veera Bhadra dance gets importance during marriages, the Veeragase gets its prominence during village festivities. It gives the impression the impressions that the worriers are ready to enter into combat with the enemy. Thus this symbolizes physical valour. Therefore, the dance is always performed in groups. The troupe is led by the Veerabhadra. Thus, except in coastal Karnataka, we find the prevalence of this dance in Northern Karnataka, southern Karnataka, and the middle part of Karnataka. Among the professional folk and religious singers of southern Karnataka, the dewar Guddas/Monks are very famous. According to Keshi Raja, the word kamsale has come from the Sanskrit word kamsya that. Gudda tradition has been singing the prayer Mahadeswara and the miracle tales they compose. They are normally Herridatory singers or learn through guru shishya tradition system. In the tradition of these Dewara Guddas/monks except Brahmin, Lingayat, and okkaliga communities, others can become the Guddas. Kinsale is also known as kaisale , kausale, kaitale, Batlu etc. There are three to eight performers in komsale groups. In the story of Mahadeswara, there are fourteen parts. Each of them is called a Salu or a verse that tells a single story in a lengthy narration. Nagari Meela, the Nagaari a large kettle drum is the king of instruments made from cane. It begins with the primordial nature of Mahadeswara and ends with Maheswara’s return to Kalisa/heaven. Predominantly, during the worship of shakti or goddess-like Durgavva, these Nagaari instruments were used. Kahale, the kahale is a metal horn trumpet of a long tapering shape of horn-like shape. It is big and produces more melody. Ranakhale is used during battle, Hulikahale during hunts Javvakahale for keeping time, etc.
- ItemChildren's Theatre in Karnataka“The child is the father of man”. The children have enough potential to withstand all the harsh situations if their foundation is having the right orientation. It is the critical phase where the mental state of the human mind gets most affected by the socio and psychological setup they go through. Kids don’t have qualitative bias but the root for the same and what is right and what’s not is imbibed by them gradually in the childhood itself. So the children who are the assets of nations are to be molded with a deep understanding and process. Theatre is that process that plays a major role in designating the character of a person. Fine arts and literature gas shaped the personality of many great persons. Some of them include none other than the father of the nation M K Gandhi who as a child got influenced by Satyaharishchandra’s play. Similarly in the Dakshin Kannada district, a boy Shivrama got much influenced by the Yakshagana and today he is a noble laureate Mr. Shivaram Karanth. Even B V Karanth the famous film director a kid used to go on the cycle for more than 10 miles to watch play. No doubt the roots of theatre can be found in the joint family system of Indian traditional society. Where Grandparents had a major role to play. Especially kids are fond of stories of Grandma which takes us to a very different world. It won’t be wrong to say that our Grandma has a repertoire of stories, fables, and proverbs. These folk tales and varied stories from Mahabharata, Panchatantra to stories based on their experiences help in creating a very imaginative world for the kids. These stories help the kids to ponder and also help them to be immune to the internal world. Children’s theatre plays a very crucial role in the development of a kid. Each story they come across has some moral implications. This helps the child to grow with certain values. These values foster as they grow and get transcended to the world. Children’s Magazines like Chandamama, Nandan, Tinkle, etc also had played a commendable job in helping kids to imagine. There are many traditional art forms that are not only a source of entertainment but a means to inculcate the righteous path among their audiences. So in a way, they help to develop an ethical mindset in the kids which is a step towards nation-building. In mid 19th century when the public education system was introduced. There came a need and necessity of content in terms of literature and theatre especially meant for the children who are a distinct unit of the longer society. Thus Public Schools with the initiative of the British The administration took the help of varied tools to clarify the concepts of the kids. Short plays were being used along with poetry so that children would memories the concepts easily. Even in Karnataka, many initiatives were taken by several individuals. Now not only folklore and mythical stories but even feudal stories and societal matters were portrayed on stage. Though many plays couldn’t be found to date due to the absence of publication. In 1913 Canara High School staged a play that is remembered to be a landmark in theatres. Many plays were translated including Tagore’s Daak Ghar. Several writers from Karnataka understood the need for children’s literature and took responsibility for the same. Rashtrakavi Kuvempu is also a significant name in this context. T. P. Kailasam, NS Lakshminarayana Bhatta, etc also have significant contributions. In 1925 Gubbi Veerana Ranga’s children's troops Bala Kala Vardhina played a crucial role. Many plays were written which include- Kabir lile, Jalandhara, Krishna Garuda, etc. Tiger Varadachariar of Mysore took special efforts and made children act in plays. Many child artists later, became great actors like- Dr. Rajkumar, Narasimha Raju, and B V Karanth. Dr. Shivaram Karantha’s great contribution is that he took children’s theater from school to commonplace and people. His style was influenced by Yakshagana which is a traditional art form of Coastal Karnataka. He remolded it into character art and taught the same to the children. He believes that theatre should not be confined to boundaries. He believes that children get more to learn in open spaces and recreation of the new environment is a must for these buds to bloom. His way of working was different from the conventional style. As he included animals and birds as characters in his plays. Allegory and agitation were used to establish a new setup and develop a critical attitude in children to relate them with the contemporary realities. Some play of the time include- Kakaparinaya, Kunchitantra, Manganvaduveya. Since many of the scripts were just in the oral form they got lost. Heggodu in Shimoga district is a landmark for world theatre today because of Neelakanteshwara Natya Seva Sangha commonly known as Ninasam. K V Subbannna director and founder said that theatre is an activity of the community. It is a process of self-evaluation by looking at the self and creating a mental construct of its collective experience. Since children are part of the community its must to take them into account and teach and entertain them through theatre. In 1972 Panjarashaale play under B V Karantha is a milestone in the history of Kannada theatre played at Ninasam. More than 120 children participated in this play. Many child artists associated with this art group are now into full-time theatre, films, and television. Presently it is headed by Akshara K V son of K V Subbanna. B V Karantha Contribution is not only confined to Karnataka but the entire nation. The way he staged the play with music and design is par excellence. He manifests the child's potential and makes them use their optimal energy. Bharatiya Rangashikshana Kendra is a theatre training institute of Rangayana in Mysore. It’s the brainchild of B V Karanth. It runs summer theatre camps for children. Chidambara Rao Jambe, former Director of Rangayana Mysore says how in Rang Kishore eminent personalities discussed their theatre experiences. NSD -Delhi Graduate Smt. Prema Karanth wife of B V Karanth is parallelly contributing to children’s theatre. She says theatre for children is the sole means of expression. She runs Benaka Children Drama Centres. She has directed more than 50 plays. She says children are full of energy and potential only the need is the right orientation and theatre does it. N S Venkatrama has been immensely working for the upliftment of children’s theatre in Banglore. He had directed the Kannada version of Arabian Nights, Snow-white, etc. Similarly, A S Murthy of Bimba organization is playing a pivotal role in child personality development through the means of theatre. Not only this he believes that students should not be chosen as per their character. Rather his stories are based on the child’s demands. His inputs had been helping a lot to blossom the field of kids in theatre films and television. Late C Basavaligaiah- former Director Chinnaramela Mysore along with his wife set up a research center in Dharwad for youths. They work on various folk art forms. KG Krishnamurthy student of Nimansa is the founder of Kinnar Mela Tumari. He dedicated his whole life along with his entire family. It does tours and provides various courses as they believe in educating and entertaining should foster a good aesthetic sense. Veteran theatre activist I K Bolwar of Niratha-Nirantha, Puttur visit schools and asks them to write act and direct plays. As he believes that such activity from childhood can create great writers among the mass. No formal requirement for children’s theatre is required. Open spaces are the best platform to learn. A meaningful life is possible only if we are enough observant to sense our surroundings minutely. Theatre teaches us to do all these. M Ramesh of “Natana Rangshaala” an eminent TV personality is helping kids by imparting teaching in Dance, Music, and Drama. Undoubtedly the Children's Theaters in Karnataka had been playing a major role in engrossing the kids to understand the societal matter. We should salute the laureates and eminent theatre personalities of the states who believe a child should grow up with a theatres background. There are several troops of children’s theatre still very active in nooks and corners of Karnataka like Abhinay Bharti Dharwad. They are working on the folklore amalgamating it with the recent development. Today theatre is also a profession for many. We must be thankful to the great thoughts who believed that theatre inculcates a democratic mindset. As we get to know the power of team spirit and collective success through theatre.
- ItemTemples of Tamilnadu“Uruva Vazhipadu” or temples of worship have played a central role in Tamil society since ancient times. Villages and cities have been built around these temples. Today, there are thousands of temples in Tamil Nadu, most of which are ancient. These temples hold historical importance and stand testimony to ancient architecture and sculpture. Temples in Tamil Nadu have been the center of socialization. Vazhipadu- worship, vizhakal- festivals, kalai nigazhachigal- cultural programmes, thirumanangal- marriages, are usually held in the temples. Prior to the Sangam period, Tamilians worshipped trees as they believed spirits and gods lived in them. Temples began to emerge around these trees. On being influenced by the Vedas, people built idols and placed them under these trees. Temples built for village deities and minor deities are an important part of the temples of Tamil Nadu. These temples, unlike the bigger temples, differ from village to village. While in bigger temples, rituals are performed in Sanskrit, in temples of minor gods, rituals are performed in Tamil. Roofless temples depicted painted clay idols of village heroes with “kathi” or knife in their hands and sitting on “kuthirai” or horse. Vedic influence led to the making of idols and temple structures out of a paste made from “chunnambu”- lime, “mannal”- sand, “karumbucharu”- sugarcane juice, “vellacharu”- melted jaggery, “nellikkanicharu”- gooseberry juice, “maram”- wood and “chengal”- bricks. The Triplicane Parathasatahi idol is an example of such craftsmanship. Various articles are considered to have divine power and are worshipped. Some such articles are “val” or sword. “ther” or temple car, “kudai” or umbrella, “gopuram” or tower, “pallakku” or palanquin, “vel” or spear, and “soolam” or three-pronged spear. In ancient times, visiting the temple after the morning bath and circumambulations inside the temple were common practices. In deserts and drylands, places of worship were known as “iyai kottam” and “oornadu mandram”. In these areas, the places of worship consisted of “kal” or stone and “kinaru” or well. The worshipping was known as “proposal”, as it involved “poo” or flowers and “neer” or water. According to Nedunelvadai, ancient Tamil literature, people regularly mopped the floor, lighted lamps, offered flowers, and performed pujas in the evening. The literature from the Sangam period teaches several concepts related with worshipping of idols in Tamil Nadu, such as “samaya nambikkaigal”- religious beliefs, “samaya vazhakugal”- religious practices, and “vazhipattu muraigal”- methods of worship. The gods of the four lands are “Kurinjinila kadavul”- Seyone, “Mullainila kadavul”- Mayone, “Marudanila kadavul”- Vendan and “Neithalnila kadavul”- Varuna. The people of the Kurinji mountains worshipped Muruga as the primary deity. They referred to Muruga as Seyone. During the Sangam period, Muruga was worshipped as “Vetrikadavul” or the god of success, and as “Sevar kodiyone” or one with a cock flag. In ancient times people erected a pole with a cock flag in open spaces and offered worship. This worshipping was accompanied by “velattam”- dance with spears and “veriyattam”- fiery dances. The ancient belonging to the forest areas- “mullai” were generally “ayargals” or shepherds. They gained their livelihood through rearing cattle and sheep. They worshipped Thirumal and called him Mayone. In the plains, the people primarily worshipped Shivan, who Tolkappiyar referred to as Vendan. Shivan is the principal god of Dravidians. Sangam literature has referred to Shivan with several names such as “mukatselvan”, “senchadai kadavul”, “veliyan”, “allamarselvan”, “karaimiatrannal” and “kariyundi kadavul”. The most popular characteristics of Shivan are “netrikann” or the forehead eye also known as the third eye, “sadaiudaiyavan” or the long-haired in profound penance, “pirai” or cresecent, “udukkai” or drum, “mukkol” or spear and “pulithol” or tiger skin”. The ancient Tamils worshipped Shuvan in penance and in dancing forms. The temple is the most vital monument in Tamil art and architecture. The main deity is enshrined in the “moolasthanam”, which has a single entrance and is usually small in size. This area moves out into the “arthamandabam” which has two entrances. It is here that the priest stands and offers “deepa aradhana”. At the entrance of the “arthamandabam”, stand the “dwarabalakas”- entrance guards on either side of the door. This is followed by the “maha mandabam”, which is a big area from where devotees offer their prayers. During the worship, the ritual of “abhishekam” was performed, which included showers of various aromatic fluids, such as “paal” or milk and “chandanam” or sandalwood paste. The showering of holy water from “kumbam”- consecrated pond was usually the final step in the process of “abhishekam”. This is followed by “alangaram” or beautification and the offering of the best flowers and clothes to the deity. “Nandi” or bull is placed opposite to the Sivalingam. Vinayagar is enshrined towards the right of the “moolasthanam”. Whereas Subramaniyar is enshrined on the left. On the outer walls of the “grabhagramm” or the “moolasthanam”, Dhakshanamoorthy is enshrined in the south. Lingothbavar is placed on the backside of the “moolasthanam”, and Durgai is enshrined on the right side. While Sandeswarer is located opposite to Durgai. In the outer “praharam” or corridor, “kodi maram” or flag staff, “balipeedam” or sacrificial altar, and Nandi are located. Above the moolasthanam, “vimanam” or tower with “porkalasangal” or golden pots is constructed. The “gopuram” or entrance tower is decorated with several colourful idols which depicts the mythological story of the temple. The gopuram is generally very tall and is within the “thirusuttru madhil” which means compound wall. On the compound wall, there are idols of Nandi and Sivaganagal. “Thirukulam” or temple pond, is found both inside and outside the temple. “Thalavirksham” or temple tree is located inside the temple.
- ItemKille The Forts of MaharashtraThe term Forts has been taken from the Latin word fortis ("strong") and facere ("to make"). So undoubtedly the forts are the epitome of strength with marvelous architecture. Each fort depicts a story of the glorious past. As they are the sole survivors who have lived the vagaries of the past. The Land of Marathas- Maharashtra had gone through several troughs and crests. It had been the land of warriors. Kille, Gad, and Durg are some of the names given to the forts of Maharashtra. There are more than 350 forts in Maharashtra. These Forts are the symbol of our brave ancestors who fought for their identity and land. It reminds us of the slogan of Har Har Mahadev echoed during the reign of Marathas. The earliest of it dated to the 2nd BCE the time when the kingdom of Satavahana, Chalukya, and Yadava flagged its power. Even the impact of foreigners can be seen in many of the forts. After the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire, almost all the forts were ruled by the Bahmani rulers. Shivaji played a prominent role in understanding the need for fortification. He planned and executed many strategic warfare techniques along with the people of Mawale. In Shivaji’s reign, around 18- 20 new forts were built. Hiroji Indulkar was the chief architect Raigad which means King’s fort is one of the strongest forts of Deccan of Maharashtra. It is a remarkable ‘Dongari Killa’ which means hill fort. In 1436 Raigad was conquered by the Bahamani king. It was then ruled by Bahamani rulers Nizam Shahi and Adil Shahi. Shivaji conquered it much later in 1656 from Chandrarao More (commander of Adil shah). Raigad has unique features like Balle Killa, Asthapradhan Mandal, Rani Wasa (Queen’s place), The 3 Manore (Observatory towers), Hirakani Buruj/Bastion, Bazar Peth. Raigad was the land where the concept of Swarajya (People's own rule) came into being. Shivaji breathed his last days at Raigad Fort. Raigad was the dream come true nurtured by Marathas. Paranda is a ‘Bhuikot Killa’ which means a land fort. It was built by Bahamani ruler Mahmud Gavan in the 15th century. It is an excellent example of fortification. The unique feature of this fort is its Barbicons. It is also known for huge cannons and ammunition like- Malik Maidan, Ajda Paikar, and Lande Kusa. 26 rounded Burus/Bastions and Kandak-moat are also distinctive features of this fort. Under Bijapur Adil Shahi, Shahji Rao the father of Shivaji was the caretaker of this fort. In 1633 Shahji gave a strong tussle to the Mughals by making the best use of local topography. Pratapgad fort tells us about Shivaji’s strategy and architecture. The double line ramparts also called tatbandi is one of the unique features of this fort. Sadar was once the meeting place and its ruins can be seen just when one enters the Maha Darwaza (main gate). Sinhabad which means lions fort was earlier known as Kondhana. In a topography where water storage is an issue, this fort has the perennial source of water- Deotake (The sacred tank). This fort has a history of war and attacks. This fort was conquered by Tanaji who lost his life. His sacrifice and the story of Swarajya which he re-established here by climbing the tough terrain with his pet Ghorpad (The monitor lizard) are still popular among the children of Maharashtra. Deogiri/ Devagiri/ Daulatabad Fort is a cobinatin of land and hill fort. Moats surround its rampart which is built on the land. Citadel is at the top of the hill. The name Daulatbad was given by Mohd. Tughlaq when he shifted his capital from Delhi. Though he had to return back to Delhi. Janjira is an excellent example of Sagari Killa (Sea fort). It was built to fight the sea pirates. Raja Ram Rao Patil the chief of Kolis built it in the 15th century. It was once conquered by Piram khan. In history, Marathas were never able to conquer this fort. Post-independence it became a part of India.
- ItemAkkamahadeviAkkamahadevi is a mystic and poet par excellence in the spiritual history of India. Her life reads like a legend. All the ancient poets believe that her birthplace was the village, of Uduthadi in the Shivamogga district. Several references have been made to her in literature, in both oral and written traditions, such as Harihara’s Uduthadi Mahadeviyakkana Ragale in 1220 AD, Cennabasavaanka’s Mahadeeviyakkana Purana in 1550 AD, Raacakavi’s Mahadeeviyakkana Saangatya in 1600 AD and Paalkurike Soomanatha’s Panditaradhya Charitra in Telugu in 1250 AD contains some details about Akkamahadevi. Baalapaapaamba wrote a full-length poem titled, Mahadevi Boodhoollaasa. The four variants of Suunyasampaadane revised between the 15th and 17th centuries AD make casual references to the life of Akkamahadevi. Harihara was the first to write a poem on Akkamahadevi. He states that Shivabhakta and Shivabhakte are her parents, but according to Chamarasa her parents were Nirmala and Sumathi. Harihara’s portrayal is not completely realistic and historical. The details about her life differ in the work of each author. The account of her marriage happens to be the most controversial part of all the narrations. According to Harihara’s narration, she married King Kousika but soon snapped out of her marital relationship because it was uncongenial to her spiritual pursuits. This narration is approved by the author of the second Suunyasampaadane and by Cennabasavaanka in his Mahadeeviyakkana Purana. According to Chamarasa’s narration, Akkamahadevi went to the royal palace but did not accept Kousika’s marriage proposal and went on to become an ascetic. This narration is followed by other ancient poets such as Elanduuru Hariisvara, Viruupaaksha Pandita, Adrisyakavi, Raacakavi, Saantalingadeesika, Toontada Siddhalingadeesika and Guuluura Siddaviirannodeya. According to Harihara’s narration, Kousika was spellbound by Akkamahadevi’s beauty and wanted to marry her. She refused to marry a non-believer, but when he threatened her parents, she agreed on the terms that he should not come in between her worship. She also laid the condition that if he misbehaved with her more than three times she would sever conjugal ties with him. On his third act of misbehavior, she left her marital ties to become an ascetic. She goes to Kalyaana, the city of her dreams. On approaching Kalyaana she faces the queries of Kinnari Bommayya. She clears his doubts by demonstrating that she had won over the lust by transforming the mortal sensibilities into spiritual ones, by always dwelling upon the Supreme and being in the company of mystics. She then moved into the Anubhavamantapa in Kalyaana, which is a congregation where debates on spirituality and philosophy occur. The true essence of her personality is unraveled by Prabhudeva, who continuously praises her mystic stance and spiritual attainments. She stayed for a while at Kalyaana in the presence of other spiritual leaders and then moved on to Sriisaila, where she attained eternal bliss in Kadalivana. This account of her final attainment of spirituality is covered by most poets. All four versions of Sunyasampadane cover a touching account of Akkamahadevi’s journey from Kalyaana to Srigiri. Her statue occupies a prime place on the compound wall of Mallikarjuna temple at Sriisaila. She abandoned dressing formally which was considered a social norm. This along with her abandonment of marital ties is a revolutionary move for all ages. Akkamahadevi’s vachanas or free verse poems are highly regarded out of which 354 are available today. Her compositions are lyrical in nature and give expression to her miseries and joy. Her vachanas express how society looks at the woman form. Her vachanas also include her utter disregard for worldly males. When she was young, she dreamt of marrying Shiva, particularly, Chenna Mallikarjuna. Although wooing Chenna Mallikarjuna was not an easy task, many of her vachanas speak of her sorrow of the separation of the female devotee. Apart from vachanas, she has also written “yoganga trividhi”, “srishtiya vaccana”, and “svaravacana”. “Yoganga trividhi” imbibes her yogic attainment and poetic genius. “Srishtiya vaccana” gives an account of the secrets of creation. “Svaravacana”, which is written in a riddle-like style, expresses the relationship between God and life. Akkamahadevi can be regarded as one of the earliest feminists because her life is in accordance with the basic feminist ideologies that a woman must strive to lead a lifestyle of her choice and the recognition for her own self. The feminist ideologies in Akka’s vachanas are relevant even today.
- ItemChannaveera Kanavi“Nature’s own poet” Chennaveera Kanavi is a great poet who connects us to the love and beauty of nature. He has contributed the best lines on nature in Modern Kannada Literature. His poetry narrates the social-cultural and political transition and ambiguities of society. He was born on 28 June 1928 in North Karnataka, Homballa (Gadak- Dist.). He was brought up by Sakkareppa and Parvatavva at Shirunja village. His father was a primary school teacher and that’s where he spent his early childhood. He recalls how a single teacher used to run the entire school in those days. He did his further studies from Garga. His childhood was the time when the freedom movement was at its peak. The events that were taking place put a deep imprint on his mind. He remembers how there used to be Prabhat Pheris and a cleanliness drive to aware people. He was a very studious child, after securing first in Mulki (7th std), he shifted to Dharwad. He joined RLS High school and stayed at Muruga Mutt’s Prasad Nilaya for the next 4 years. The environment in Mutt was more spiritual than religious. Reciting Vachnas and attending discourses rendered by great scholars and literary giants were in their day-to-day schedule. Since every great personality who visited Dharwad used to visit Mutt this helped him to gain interest in Vachanas. After Matriculation in 1946, he joined Karanataka College Dharwad. This is the place where came in contact with many reputed scholars like D R Bendre, V K Gokak, etc. He recited his first poem “ From imprisonment to freedom” on the auspicious occasion of Indian Independence in the huge public gathering at Dharwad College. This poem expressed the joy of people and tells how their dream has been realized. It got published in college magazines as well as popular newspapers like Jeevana, Jayanti, and Jaya Karnataka. This is how his name got introduced into the history of Kannada Literature. Vidyavardhaka Sangha of Dharwad was the literary and cultural center form many poets, writers, orators, and artists. Many eminent literary personalities used to have their discourse over there. Dharwad had been the land where rural and urban cultures co- existed. Kavyakashi Kanavi’s first collection of his poems got published in 1949. Dr. Bendre himself contributed the preface of the same. It was the era of Modern Literature. Renowned writers like Bendre, Masti, Pu. Ti. Na used to be the observer for the upcoming writers. Within a year his second collection Bhavajeevi got published. It was a long narrative of 580 lines and the preface was written by V K Gokak. This Semi- biographical writeup was much influenced by how the rural lifestyle that he was born and brought up in played a key role in transforming him into a poet. It mentions how Dharwad has a long-lasting impression on his life He started a forum Kavyanubhava Mantapa while being a student. There were good friends and critics Keerthinath Kurthokoti, Shankar Mokakshi Punekar, Vasanth Kauli, Doddamani, and Basavaraj Kattimani, who stayed in Dharwad for some years. All the members of Kavyanubhava Mantapa has left behind a great impression on Kannada Literature. In 1950 he joined Karnataka University for PG. He was married in 1952 to Santa Devi. His writing Madhu Chandra records the pure love of a Samsara or a grihastha. In 1952 he was selected as Secretary of the publication department at the University. He says there are three major impacts of education- first teaching up to higher education (degree level), Research is a very important aspect, and whatever has been researched is to be published. MM Kalburgi ex VC KU Hampi says not only Kannada literature but even the publication house of KU is very thankful to him. He was a great organizer and always invited remarkable personalities who would help him in executing his noble ideas. For around 3-4 decades he took care of the publication section of the university. Those were hay days for the publication house of Karnataka University as number of the worthy publication came to being. He went to many places and people to promote the books and spread the joy of reading. Around 150 lecture series were published during his time. Gurulinga Kaapase literary critique infers how beautifully he writes about nature. Grate Govindaraj shares how in Kanavi’s early writings influence of Bendre, Kuvempu, and Madhura chenna can be seen. Dr. G S Shivarudrappa (Rashtra Kavi - national poet ) also praises the writing style of Katavi. He says that the mind of Kannavi is so pure that even in this modern times his work reflects harmony and peacefulness. From the shadow of Bendre he encountered many poets like Sharma. His specialty is that he retained his originality against all the odds and contributed substantially to Kannada literature. No doubt modern literature brought changes in the thought process. However, Kannavi’s view was to take the new ideas objectively by not succumbing to them wholly. But Kanavi was forced to incorporate irony into his writing which was not in his earlier works. The most influential poets of this period were Ram Chandra Sharma, Gopal Krishna Adiga, Ramanujan, and others. According to cultural critic, Dr. Narahalli Balasubramanya Kanavi’s writeup is based on contemporary issues and it mirrors the corruption of the time. He portrayed the confusion and turmoil of the world and also how it influences mankind. Moreover, like other writers, he doesn’t get disoriented because of Navodaya. In modern literature, we find cynicism, sarcasm, and disillusionment. But in his writing, we can see hope, the hope which is not untrue or far-fetched rather based on reality. He survived the turbulence of modern times and retained his originality. At this conjuncture, he published Deepadhari, persistent in his love for nature respect for values, and philosophical perceptions. His style of writing is a culmination of a balanced proportion of old and modern poetry forms. He forms a bridge between romantic and modern writing. His poetry collection Kaala (Time) has an eminent contribution to modern literature. He talks about the complexities of Human being and their selfless nature of exploitation. In which he says no matter what humans cant harness time. Time has another connotation which is death and a humbling factor too. He denies the idea of calling him Samanvya / Bandaya / Dalit Poet. He says that the formation of the poem is based on reciprocity it means the integration of your feelings and intelligence. So reciprocity relation is a must in the life of the poet. In this Modern period of Literature, Kanavi is one of the only poets who use Sonnets extensively. Moreover, he gave sonnet such flexible form to get acceptability in Kannada literature. He loves using sonnets where there is a blend of perception and intelligence. Writing sonnets to him is like sculpting without altering the form. He strongly believes that it gives him creative liberties without altering the basic flow. In his 14 lines of poetry on Lal Bahadur Shastri. He beautifully portrays the simplistic approach to the life Shastri had He reminds us how Shashtr being in such a high position never thought about wealth. He was a man of character and never shed off. He always spread the helping hand and sacrificed all his needs. He wanted peace and dealt with the Indo-Pak conflict peacefully. Though he had to lose his life. He asks us to ponder what kind of Indian he was? His collection of critics can be read in his 3 books: Chintana 1966, Kavyanusandaha (1970), and Samahita (1977). He had been awarded several academic awards including Sahitya Academy Award and conferred as Nadoja by Karnataka University. He is seen to chair many academic functions worldwide. His specialty is to connect real-time issues to the general public by keeping the originality intact. So he had raised several political issues. In almost all his collections numerous sonnets is found. Through the means of his sonnets, he portrays the people he admires like Gandhiji and Shashtri Ji. Kanavi’s contribution to modern Kannada literature is quintessential. He derived a new way for literature and created a conducive domain for the upcoming poets. The best part is though he had been through various movements known of them deviate his writeup from his originality. Through his artistic articulation by means of the sonnet, he has set an example in expanding the horizons of human relations. He unquestionably has amazing inputs in sculpting modern Kannada Literature. He will always be known for his unique incorporation of bridging cultural ethos to the Modern Era through his writings.
- ItemDharmasthalaThe Shanti Mantra (or Peace Mantra) from the Upanishads is the essence of all religions and this mantra finds its culmination in the Indian temple town of Dharmasthala or Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala which is situated on the banks of the Nethravathi River in the Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka. The town is built on and is a perfect embodiment of the ideals of religious tolerance, the confluence of faith, and selfless dedication. Dharmasthala displays all the shades of the meaning of the word dharma (traditionally, religion, ritual, righteousness, duty, alms, piety, as well as justice, truthfulness, freedom from fear, solace, peace, and fulfillment). The word sthala (site or place) adds an element of activeness to the ideal of dharma such that the town not only touches but also makes a “transformational difference” in the lives of all men and mankind in real-time. Dharmasthala abides by the principles that everyone should live together, eat together, and grow together without any kind of enmity. Three different faiths are followed in harmony not only within the boundaries of the Dharmasthala temple complex but the entire town is also imbued with the spirit of oneness. The Jain Tirthankara-s (spiritual teacher and savior of dharma) are worshipped on the same holy grounds as the native dharma daiva-s and Lord Manjunatha (trans., ‘Lord of the Snow’, an avatar of Lord Shiva). The people who live in Dharmasthala or the pilgrims who visit the town are not divided on the basis of religion, faith, caste, creed, or gender. 800 years ago, according to a popular legend, Dharmasthala was known as Kuduma in Mallarmadi, then a village in Belthangady. A Jain chieftain of the Tulu lineage by the name Birmanna Pergade (later Heggade, a derivative from the Tulu word Pergade) and his wife Ammu Ballathi lived in a house called Nelliadi Beedu and was well-known for their hospitality and generosity. This house was located close to the Chandranatha Swamy Basadi. Four dharma daiva-s or guardian angels of dharma – Kalarkai, Kalarahu, Kumarswamy, and Kanyakumari assumed human form and visited Pergade’s dwelling and instructed the couple to provide shelter, free education, and food to the destitute. Pleased by their hospitality, generosity, and observance of dharma, the dharma daiva-s reappeared in Pergade’s dream and explained the purpose of their visit. They also instructed Pergade to vacate Nelliadi Beedu and use it solely for the worship of the dharma daiva-s and dedicate his life to the propagation of dharma thereafter. In return the dharma daiva-s promised Pergade and his future generations protection, renown, and abundance of charity. Pergade immediately built another abode besides and left Nelliadi Beedu wherein he built four shrines dedicated to the worship of the four daiva-s. Nelliadi Beedu has since then only been used as a place of worship of the four dharma data-s as well as a place which is renowned for its hospitality to all. Pergade was also asked by the daiva-s to choose two people of noble birth as well as four worthy people to act as the heads of the four shrines and assist Pergade in his duties. Soon, Pergade invited Brahmin priests to perform rituals at the four shrines. It was then that these Brahmins requested him to install a Shivalinga besides the shrines. Hearing this, the daiva-s sent Annappa Swamy, their vassal to obtain the linga of Lord Manjunatha from a pond at Kadri near Mangalore. The Manjunatheshwara Temple was built around this Shivalinga. When in the 16th century, Devaraja Heggade (descendent of Birmanna Pergade) invited Shri Vadiraja Swami of Udupi to visit Nelliadi Beedu, he came but refused to accept bhiksha (alms and food offering) because he felt that the idol of Lord Manjunatha had not been installed according to proper Vedic rites. Heggade then requested Annappa Swamy to reconsecrate the same himself which Annappa Swamy did by observing all the Vedic rites. Annappa Swamy himself named the site Dharmasthala (or the abode of charity, religion, and righteousness). Even today, upon visiting Neliyadi Beedu, pilgrims would notice that the ideal of selfless dedication and the customs which were started by Pergade and his wife have not only persisted but have also been strengthened by the 21 generations of the Heggade family since Birmanna Pergade. Shri Manjayya Heggade (1889-1955, administrator of Dharmasthala from 1918 to 1955) and Shri Ratnavarma Heggade (administrator of Dharmasthala from 1955 to 1968) are regarded as the architects of the present-day Dharmasthala as it was because of their efforts that the temple town came to occupy a place on the pilgrims’ map. They also did everything possible to make the pilgrims feel welcome and comfortable at Dharmasthala by providing them with the best possible facilities when it came to accommodation and amenities including hostels for the destitute which to date provide free shelter and food. Dharmasthala is truly a modern city as Shri Ratnavarma Heggade also established educational institutions in the town. His descendant, Shri Veerendra Heggade (b. 1948, present administrator or Dharmadhikari of Dharmasthala and the 21st in line), like his forefathers, abides by his duty of propagating dharma as dictated by the dharma daiva-s. He also ensures that the rituals are accurately observed in the temple of Lord Manjunatha. Having observed the ideal of dharma for the past 21 generations and fulfilled their duties to be just and righteous, the Heggade-s have acquired an “aura of divinity” and become the earthly representatives of the dharma daiva-s and Lord Manjunatha. As a result, the Heggade-s have had and still have a lot of religious, social, and cultural duties which include organizing annual mass marriages, promoting the fine arts, as well as ensuring that the four traditional dana-s (donation) – anna-dana, aushadha-dana, vidya-dana, and abhaya-dana (donations of food, medicine, education, and freedom from fear respectively) regularly take place. The Heggade-s are also supposed to act as the emissaries of Lord Manjunatha and as saviors and caretakers of law (similar to the judiciary) which they ensure by resolving civil complaints (referred to as hailu-s) by giving their verdict which is accepted with reverence and as law by civilians of all faiths, caste, and creed without any question. Not only this but the verdict given by the Heggade-s is accepted by all civil courts of the country. Veerendra Heggade is also known for having established numerous schools, colleges, and courses across Karnataka. Further, he has introduced various schemes for women, farmers, and the unemployed. Dharmasthala is also known for being an important center for learning yoga in the country and Veerendra Heggade has introduced many schemes related to the learning of yoga. The science of Ayurveda and natural therapy are also given special provisions in this town. The Heggade family has given way to numerous trusts, each of which looks after different matters such as the Dharmatana trust which takes care of renovating ancient temples, and the Shanthivana trust which has led to the creation of numerous health and peace schemes. For his contribution to society and mankind, Veerandra Heggade has been honored with many awards over the years. The most notable among these are the Padma Bhushan Award (2000), the Karnataka Ratna title (2009), an honorary doctorate from Karnatak University (2010), and the Padma Vibhushan Award (2015). The town of Dharmasthala “has always been a patron of art and culture”. The Heggade family maintains a touring Yakshagana troop (a form of traditional theatre which developed in parts of Karnataka and Kerala and combines music, dance, dialogue, make-up, costume, and numerous stage techniques), encourages the flow of new ideas, and hosts the annual Sarva Dharma Sammelana and Sahitya Sammelana as the continuation of the traditions of the kshetra and to spread the knowledge of religious tolerance. The worship of Lord Manjunatha at Dharmasthala often overshadows the fact that the town has also been the seat of the Jain Tirthankara-s for centuries and has remained as one of the most important Digambara shrines of South India. The Dharmadhikari is truly the key to every activity connected to the worship of Lord Manjunatha. However, to this day, he has retained the Jain faith of the Pergade lineage. This is evident through the Trikala puja that is performed at the Shri Chandranatha Swami Basadi which continues to be an important center of Jainism to date. The Dharmadhikari carries out all the rituals at the Shri Chandranatha Swami Temple just the way he performs all the rituals at the Shri Manjunatheshwara Temple. Dharmasthala is said to be “a miracle of paradoxes for those who come in curiosity”. Truly, the confluence of faiths, the service of all men and mankind, and the pious devotion to God and man alike are what make Dharmasthala unique. Consequently, when it comes to seeking alms or peace, there is no place better than Dharmasthala to come to. The temple town is truly a multifaceted kshetra (a bahurupi or a place with many forms and faces) wherein dharma and karma become one. In other words, Dharmasthala is the embodiment of the ideal that dharma is in karma or one’s actions.