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Updated: September 30, 2012 11:08 IST

A centenarian eager to guide young lexicographers

Special Correspondent
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Writer and lexicographer G. Venkatasubbaiah on Saturday suggested to the Kannada Sahitya Parishat to hire a dozen young lexicographers to take up the work of bilingual and trilingual dictionaries.

Speaking after being felicitated by Bharatiya Janata Party veteran leader L.K. Advani at a programme organised by the Sri Jayarama Seva Mandali in Bangalore, Prof. Venkatasubbaiah said he was willing to guide such a team. “The responsibility of coming out with lexicons is now on the Kannada Sahitya Parishat,” he said, while recalling that Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar had recently responded positively to his suggestion that the lexicon wing of the parishat should be re-opened.

Describing himself as a common man and an ordinary teacher, who has earned the affection of his students, he said the credit for whatever he had achieved in the literary world should go to four persons who mentored him — his father, who aroused interest about grammar in his childhood and his three teachers B.M. Srikantaiah, T.S. Venkannaiah and A.R. Krishnashastry.

‘A giant’

Mr. Advani described Prof. Venkatasubbaiah as a literary giant and noted that it was not an easy task to take up the work of dictionaries.

He said it was mesmerising to see how Prof. Venkatasubbaiah was still engaging himself in literary work even at this age. He was a unique person for his passion for literary work at such an advanced age and also for his clarity of thought, Mr. Advani said.

Bangalore South MP and BJP national general secretary Ananth Kumar appealed to the Chief Minister to honour Prof. Venkatasubbaiah with the Karnataka Ratna Award, besides recommending his for the Padma Awards. Responding to this, Mr. Shettar said Prof. Venkatasubbaiah was above all awards. Describing him as a walking encyclopaedia, the Chief Minister said the best way to honour him was by inculcating his values in our lives.

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