Special Correspondent

The Chief Minster emphasises the need for translating Kuvempu's works in all Indian languages

KUPPALI (SHIMOGA DT.): Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said here on Sunday that Kuvempu's works reflected his strong commitment for the welfare of the exploited sections.

Addressing a gathering after releasing the Sanskrit version of the "Sri Ramayana Darshanam" the magnum opus of Kuvempu, which won him the Jnanpith Award, and inaugurating the Kuvempu Birth Centenary Memorial Hall at Kuppali, his native place in Tirthahalli taluk, the Chief Minister said that Kuvempu's works not only created an awakening among the exploited sections but also created the fighting instinct in them.

He said: "It was because of his relentless fight against social inequality and injustice that Kuvempu could rise to the status of `Yuga Purusha.'"

Emphasising the need for taking up the translation of Kuvempu's works in all Indian languages, the Chief Minister suggested to the Kannada Anuvada Academy (Kannada Translation Academy) to take up this task on priority.

He said that he was fascinated by the beauty in and around Kuppali which had inspired the poet to produce his outstanding literary works.

Minister for Higher Education D.H. Shankaramurthy said that the function only marked the conclusion of the yearlong birth centenary of Kuvempu, but his memory would remain evergreen in the minds of Kannadigas.

Minister for Water Resources K.S. Eshwarappa said that Kuvempu's famous song "Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate" instilled a sense of patriotism in the people's minds.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh asked the Government to spread Kuvempu's message far and wide by taking up translation of his works in all leading languages of the world.

The former Deputy Chief Minister and president of the State unit of the Janata Dal (S) M.P. Prakash said that the valedictory function of the birth centenary of Kuvempu should be the beginning to remember him forever with a firm determination to practise what he (Kuvempu) preached for the promotion of the concept of the "Vishwa Manava." Deputy Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa presided over the function.

He announced that the Government would set up a fund of Rs. 20 lakh each in memory of leading Kannada writers such as Kuvempu, D.R. Bendre, Pu. Ti. Narasimhachar, Masti Venkatesh Iyengar and Shivaram Karanth and added that a government order to this effect would be issued soon.

President of the Rashtrakavi Kuvempu Pratishthana and former High Court judge N.D. Venkatesh outlined the activities being taken up by the pratishthana to promote the literary contribution of Kuvempu.

Sigh of relief

The yearlong birth centenary celebration of Kuvempu, which commenced on December 29, 2003 should have concluded on December 29, 2004.

But it was postponed at least thrice for the one reason or the other. Heaving a sigh of relief, Mr. Venkatesh told The Hindu at the helipad minutes before the arrival of the Chief Minister that he was anxious this time also about the uncertainty of the valedictory function in the light of the death of Rajkumar.

However, he said the function became possible in view of the State mourning being observed only for two days.