Moegling was the first to publish a Kannada newspaper Mangaluru Samachanara and is regarded as a pioneer of Kannada journalism.

The bust of German missionary and Kannada litterature Herman Moegling was unveiled on the premises of Karnataka Theological College here on Friday.

Herman Moegling (1811-1881) was the founder principal of the college. The programme was part of the celebration of Karnataka Christian Education Society (KACES) Day.

Moegling was the first to publish a Kannada newspaper Mangaluru Samachanara and is regarded as a pioneer of Kannada journalism.

The bust was unveiled by writer Na. D’Souza. The bust was etched by Thomas, a sculptor from Arasikere.

Mr. D’Souza spoke at length about the contribution of Moegling to Kannada literature and culture. “He was one among the many scholars in the Basel Mission, who have made immense contribution to Kannada,” he said. These scholars did not just restrict themselves to professing Jesus Christ’s thoughts but toiled hard to bring many of the ancient Kannada works to light.

Moegling, Mr. D’Souza said, came to Mangalore at a young age of 25. Later, he worked in Dharward and spent eight years in Kodagu district. “He lived in a hut and lived a life of a common man,” he said.

The primary contribution of Moegling, Mr. D’Souza said, was German translation of 23 Dasarapadas written by Puranadara Dasa and Kanakadasa. He went on to compile 3,547 Kannada adages. “He was the first to do such a compilation. Rev Ferdinand Kittel followed with a compilation of 2,000 adages,” Mr. D’Souza said.

Moegling, he said, brought out four newspapers. He brought out a book on life in Kodagu where he lived for eight years after his retirement.

He ran an English school in the district out of his own funds and got necessary permission from Madras Presidency. “He was more than just a missionary. He improved Kannada script. His love for Kannada was not for his missionary purpose,” Mr. D’Souza said.

Mr. D’Souza said many of the works of Moegling were not available.

An effort should be made to trace his books and should be reprinted. Youngsters need to carry out research on his books. It would be better if Karnataka Theological College took a lead in this regard, he said.

Karnataka Union of Working Journalists president Harish Rai spoke. Police inspector H.N. Venkatesh Prasanna was felicitated for being the first from the Karnataka Theological Research Institute to get a doctorate from the Kannada University in Hampi.

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