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Javare Gowda goes on dawn-to-dusk fast

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A WORTHY CAUSE: Kannada litterateur D. Javare Gowda on a fast in Mysore on Monday. Photo: M.A. Sriram
A WORTHY CAUSE: Kannada litterateur D. Javare Gowda on a fast in Mysore on Monday. Photo: M.A. Sriram

Staff Correspondent

He was appealing to the Centre to accord classical language status for Kannada

This was Javare Gowda's second such protest He chose Sarvodaya Day as Gandhiji had advocated supremacy of the mother tongue He has written to the President He will chalk out a course of action after receiving a reply

MYSORE: Kannada litterateur and winner of the Padma Shri D. Javare Gowda observed a dawn-to-dusk fast here on Monday seeking classical language status for Kannada.

Dr. Javare Gowda, who is known as "De Ja Gow" in literary circles, said he chose Sarvodaya Day for his protest as Mahatma Gandhi had advocated supremacy of the mother tongue.

Second time

The octogenarian litterateur, who was staging a fast for the second time in the past two months to press for classical language status for Kannada, arrived at the Vivekananda Pre-University College in Jayalakshmipuram at 6 a.m. Clad in jubba and dhoti, Dr. Javare Gowda also wore a shawl with the colours of the Kannada flag. After garlanding a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at the venue, De Ja Gow went on fast.

Addressing presspersons, he said he wrote to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam a week ago urging him to prevail upon the Union Government to accord classical language status for Kannada. He will chalk out a course of action after receiving a reply from the President, he added.

Padma Shri

Dr. Javare Gowda, who had threatened to return the Padma Shri if the Centre did not accord classical language status to Kannada by January 1, 2006, said he decided against the move in anticipation of a positive reply from Dr. Kalam. "If the President were a politician, I would have returned the Padma Shri. But Dr. Kalam is a great scientist and Constitutional head. I don't want to hurt him," he said.

Dr. Javare Gowda said he has abandoned his idea of going on fast-unto-death as he was organising celebrations of the birth centenary of his guru, T.N. Srikantaiah.

'Centre aware of issue'

Bangalore Staff Reporter writes: Speaking in Bangalore, Union Minister of State for Planning M.V. Rajasekharan said on Monday he will meet Dr. Javare Gowda.

Addressing presspersons, he said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shares the concern of Kannada litterateurs over the question of according classical language status for Kannada.

Credit to writers

Mr. Rajasekharan said the credit for protecting Kannada and keeping the language alive should go to writers.

The Centre, he said, knew the strong feelings evoked in Karnataka when classical language status was given to Tamil without according it to Kannada, he added.

Mr. Rajasekharan said Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh and members of Parliament have requested the Prime Minister and the Union Minister for Urban Development to immediately accord the status to the State's official language.

Mr. Rajasekharan said a committee has been appointed by the Union Government to consider the demand.

It will study documents submitted by the State Government and litterateurs, he added.

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