Scholar and former chairperson of the Karnataka Sahitya Academy M.H. Krishnaiah has appealed to the government not to discredit the new varsity that is to be carved out of Bangalore University, once it is named after doyen of Kannada literature D.V. Gundappa (DVG).
According to sources in the Department of Higher Education, the new varsity will be named Devanahalli Venkataramanayya Gundappa (DVG) Jnanavahini University.
Expressing regret over the recent unsavoury developments at Bangalore University, Prof. Krishnaiah observed: “These kinds of developments will defame Gundappa, who is considered as an embodiment of virtue, if the varsity is named after him.”
The professor was speaking at the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of DVG, jointly organised by the Department of Kannada and Culture, and the Karnataka Sahitya Academy.
Prof. Krishnaiah pointed out that DVG had published over 50 works on subjects ranging from literature to philosophy. He wrote poetry, plays, biographies and essays on philosophy and political ethics. His Manku Thimmana Kagga was considered a masterpiece, as it mirrored an aesthetic outlook of life, combined with a moral approach.
The translation of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat , Umarana Osage , was considered the finest translated work in Kannada, he added.
Pradhan Gurudutt, chairperson, Kuvempu Bhasha Bharathi Pradhikara, welcomed the government’s decision to name the new varsity after DVG, who had contributed immensely to literature and society.
Writer L.S. Seshagiri Rao, in his inaugural address, said of DVG: “He had an exemplary mastery over the Kannada language.” He was an unassuming person, who lived like “vanasuma” (flower in wilderness), as he described in his poetry. Although he did not complete matriculation, his essays were now selected as chapters for graduation textbooks and Ph.D. theses, Prof. Rao pointed out. “DVG proved that anything can be achieved with self-confidence.”
Noting that DVG questioned social inequalities long ago, chairperson of the Kannada Book Authority Siddalingaiah described him as a “model for public figures”.