The Kannada Context: Hear the nature of voices

The amplification of small sound bytes effects a joyful reverberation in a large room. I got a few mails/comments for my last post, The Kannada Context: Exclusive Identity and Other Stories. I also got to know interesting people. It is nice to see the feedback from a small, yet vibrant, community. In fact, it is such vibrance that keeps people like Shekhar Poorna young. He's passed the age when we all start feeling “ancient”, long ago; and he works at ungodly hours to keep a community alive. Fortunately, he is getting able support by a set of young enthusiasts. The Hindu has a small story about, spearheaded by Shekhar Poorna since the last 5 years – A Kannada Connection. There is yet another impressive initiative: a complete Content Management System (CMS) in Kannada, called Sampoorna. The sampoorna team quotes several valid reasons for this initiative. (Note – Most links in this post refer to blogs in Kannada language.)

Shekhar Poorna makes a mention of my last post in his editorial at kannadasaahithya, and gives his own insights about Kannada bloggers. He categorises them, and talks briefly about the nature of each blog. Well, we need voices. More of them, whatever be their nature. Meditative,
thoughtful, provocative, clairvoyant, silly or “othervoice” (er.. sorry about the pun ;) ). Blogs entice you to exercise your freedom. And people get out of inhibitions. Perhaps, that is why, Shubhaprada, who does not know how to read ot write Kannada, attempts a poem in Kannada, about “The time for Dinner”, which is eesentially a time for the family gathering, chinwag, and flow of memory. So what if the script is English, the cuisine is Kannada!

In Rujuvathu, about which I mentioned last time, Jnanapith (pronounced, dnyaa -na- pee- tha) award winner, U R Ananthamurthy writes about the “Modern Civilization and the Fate of the Cow”. He uses the cow as a highly utile metaphor to build his thoughts about cultural differences, effects of modernization and our shortsighted selfishness.

In that era, our disposition that everything that surrounded us was pure, was innate, in the village life. Indeed, the needs of our day to day engagements nourished this feeling. At the centre of this consciousness was the cow; the dwarf cows which were aplenty in the whole of the malenADu [region of rainforests]. Let me proceed after a brief digression. If a cow from our household was sacred, a cow from the neighbourhood was evil. So it seemed. They represented the cows born with ardent hunger that were resolute of leaping over any kind of fence. When we could not any longer endure the annoyance caused by the cattle belonging to the people we were not in good terms with, chances of shunning them to the [community] stable were also counted. The owner should pay a penalty to bail them out from the stable; he should then contrive a time for retribution, so that he can rout our cattle to the stable. [translated]

Through his excellent phrase and colloquial intimacy, he narrates his experiences. He then asks several questions that are important to him and others, like: “We want modernization; at the same time we want the cow to remain sacred. Is that possible?”. You may not agree with a lot of his conclusions, but we all are looking for more arguments, and not more conformance. The site has many other interesting articles, and a section for his English writings too. You may be interested.

Sriram writes another great essay. This time a personal tribute to Kurien, the architect of the Indian White Revolution, or the Milkman of India. Sriram, one of Kurien's students at the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), gives a first hand account of Kurien, the rebel, Kurien, the whimsical, and Kurien, the paradoxical. He also has the same piece in English, on his English blog. If you are interested in Kurien or the cooperative movements in India, you will get useful insights there. An excerpt below.

We as a country needed Kurien in his role at the time he performed his role to perfection. His book gives a peek into how he kept the interests of the dairy farmers as central and played a game of chess to foster their interests. The game of chess could be in competing in the market, and it could also be in preventing the competition through means that were exclusively available to him. During his entire life it is clear that he played a tom and jerry with the government, largely criticizing the government for its policies, making fun of bureaucrats in public, and a posturing of autonomy. At the same time, he used the government, the bureaucrats and all machinery in ways that would keep putting hurdles in the competition.

I want to draw your attention to the first sentence of the excerpt. Very true. We as a country should also learn to accept our icons and heroes as real people. Kurien is representative of all non-fictional heroes, anywhere and anytime.

Dakshina Kannada (or South Canara, a coastal district in Karnataka) Police maintain a blog- spdk, with the purpose of disseminating authentic police news of the district to those who are interested. Though we would not be too amused by Police news, such efforts towards transparency are noteworthy.

Vishwanath rants about “spoilt kids”, dAri tappida makkaLu, of rich and powerful parents, citing several examples. This is, of course, in the wake of the recent “Pulp Fiction incident” of Rahul Mahajan's drug overdose. They are all kids of our “rulers”. What can we say?

Although I am not much aware of other regional language blogs, I can still safely bet that antarangi is one of the most prolific regional language bloggers, at a rate of one fairly long post everyday. He is a self confessed “sinner” (aka NRI), who writes from the US about a variety of topics – the “sickness” of the wall clocks at his home, the insecurity about his immigration status and also gets worked up by debates in the Kannada literary world. Interesting, all in all.

If you want to blog in Kannada, and also want to be a part of a interactive community, create a blog at sampada. You cannot compare it to huge services like blogspot, of course. In fact, H P Nadig, the force behing the sampada drive does not want anyone to do such a comparison, and clearly tells you “what sampada is not”. There are several interesting blogs there. Benaka writes a series of posts on his Japan tour. HPN reviews Media Player 11 beta, and is not amused. He calls is “stale food on a silver plate”, since it only provides new interfaces, and not much else.

taLuku Shrinivas continues with his experiments with the poetry form. Alpazna scripts a “plagiarized but customized for my lover” poem for his lover. Again, we would not talk about the merit of poetry here. tale haraTe is yet another fake news blog. Jeevishivu has a detailed review of Girish Kasaravalli's- an excellent Kannada movie maker- dweepa.

By the way, I should apologise for the delay in posting this round up. Hopefully, I have, at least partially, redeemed myself by pointing to some interesting voices. Till next time then…


  • […] After introducing the Kannada blogosphere at Global Voices, Sanket was pleased to receive plenty of feedback that let him delve deeper into the subtle connections between Kannada bloggers. […]

  • Dear Sanket,
    Thanks for complimenting efforts that which goes in to eep up

    I would like to clarify my position about oneline in your wonderful and encouraging round-up. The line: “You cannot compare it to huge services like blogspot, of course.”

    My intention is not to compare but an attenpt to draw the attention of bloggers towards “local efforts” like sampada and arguing that it would be nice to see bloggers encouraging more sampada kind of efforts. Inbetween, if I’ve spoken about “weakness” it points to certain kind of unintended results like ignoring rural areas that which is dominated by non-unicode users. I would like to see the content reaches even the rural area and supporting it untill the digital divide that which is haunting all concerned. If we are not concerned to reach out then thats a different aspect. And thaat is why I had to take up “sampoorna” kind of project. And I am sure by creating such a system, I am trying to create more vital discourse that which we all have ignored so far.

    And in fact, I am with sampada for its enthusiasm that which it is trying to create. I assure you and others to read my lines as a complimentary in nature.
    (sorry for typos)


  • hpn

    Hi Sanket,

    Thanks for another interesting round up on blogs authored by Kannadigas.

    Also, let me put up a note that there is a collective blogroll at Planet Kannada for anyone interested in discovering more voices :)


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