Staff Correspondent

Beary is a language spoken by a section of Muslims

About 15 lakh people speak the language

MANGALORE: Mangalore got one more State literary academy with the Government issuing an order constituting the Karnataka Beary Sahitya Academy. Beary is a language spoken by a section of Muslims who are known as Bearys. Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy and Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy are already located in the city. The Government has proposed to establish a separate academy for Yakshagana at Udupi. With the setting up of a academy for Beary language, a demand of the people speaking the language in the coastal belt of the State has been fulfilled, M.B. Abdul Rehman, president, Kendra Beary Sahitya Parishat, said here on Friday.

Addressing presspersons, he said the order to this effect was issued on October 3. It is estimated that about 15 lakh people speak this language which is estimated to be 1,200 years old. The parishat had been urging the Government to constitute the academy since a decade. It had organised four Beary sahitya sammelanas (literary meets)m and “kavi goshtis.” In the fourth sammelana at Chikmagalur on February 27, 2007, the then Minister for Kannada and Culture H. S. Mahadeva Prasad had announced that the Government was planning to constitute the academy.

Beary is believed to be as old as Tulu. Kannada script is used to write Beary language. Over 100 books have been published in this language and 400 audio cassettes and two video albums have been prepared, he said. Beary language has its own ghazals and songs. Some of the Beary songs are “kolkai” (sung during the play of kolata); “unjal pat” (sung while putting a child to cradle); “moilanji pat” and “oppune pat” (sung at weddings).

The government is yet to nominate a president to the academy. Including the Registrar, the academy will have five staff members. Umar U.H., general secretary of the parishat; T.K. Abul Rahim, its founder-president; and B.A. Akbar Ali, vice-president, were present.