Staff Correspondent

Javare Gowda observes fast in Mysore

He will fast on November 1 and 30 to pressure the Centre

Kannada existed before the Christian era, says Prof. Gowda

MYSORE: With only 30 days left for the Kannada Rajyotsava, the issue of classical language status for Kannada, which was dormant all these days, resurfaced with former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mysore, and litterateur D. Javare Gowda observing fast from dawn to dusk here on Tuesday to urge the Centre for according the classical language tag to Kannada.

Prof. Gowda, a recipient of Padmashree award, was observing fast for the third time in the last two years to pressure the Centre to accord the status to Kannada on the lines of Tamil, which got the tag three years ago, in consideration of its antiquity.

Prof. Gowda had earlier threatened to return the Padmashree award, in case the Centre failed to meet the languishing demand of the Kannadigas.

Prof. Gowda garlanded a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at Vivekananda College in Jayalakshmipurm before starting his fast. Chairman on of the Translation Academy Pradhan Gurudutt, former Vice-Chancellor of Hampi Kannda University H.J. Lakkappa Gowda, M.G. R. Urs, Mugur Nanjundaswamy, poet, Lata Rajashekar and C. Naganna also participated in the fast.

He declared that he was fasting in the names of Gandhiji, Basaveshwara and Kuvempu and would fast both on November 1 and 30 to exhert more pressure on the Centre. If the Union Government refused to provide justice to Kannada, he would go on indefinite fast from January 1, he said.

Prof. Gowda went on fast on November 30, 2005, seeking classical language status for Kannada and called it off in view of assurance by the Government that it would continue its efforts in this regard. He also wrote to the then President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam urging him to prevail upon the Union Government to accord the status to Kannada. The octogenarian litterateur also staged one-day fast on January 30 to press for classical language status for Kannada.

But he withdrew the fast on the assurances given by Union Minister of State for Planning M.V. Rajashekaran that he was working towards the cause.

Prof. Gowda said that, there was proof that the language existed before the Christian era and it had a history of more than 2000 years. Citing the incident of noted personality Potti Sri Ramulu, who gave up his life, when the then Government did not accede the demand for linguistic States in 1953, Prof. Gowda said that there was a necessity for somebody to sacrifice his life for the cause.

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