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Chronicling a period

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D.V. Gundappa was an extraordinary writer apart from being a journalist, statesman and other things. His book, All About Mysore, is a treasure

D.V.Gundappa, the doyen of Kannada literature, was born on March 17, 1887, he lived to be 88, and passed away on October 7, 1975. He was a litterateur, philosopher, journalist, musicologist, democrat, social scientist, historian, political thinker, public figure, statesman and a versatile genius. He has about 60 titles and around 200 articles. Overall, he has penned more than 10,000 pages in Kannada and the English languages. His complete works published by the directorate of Kannada and Culture, and Karnataka Sahitya Akademy (11 volumes) remains incomplete.

DVG founded the Gokhale Institute of Public affairs. His Mankuthimmanna Kagga is a household name in Karnataka and DVG, who led a simple life, belonged to the Rajaji school of thought. He was a self-made man and never went to college. D.V.G has written 18 books in English. Incidentally, his first book as a writer is Vedanta and Nationalism (1909), as a 22-year old. His last book, also in English, is Advaitha -- Faith and Practice (1975) published after his death in 1975.

Chronicling a period

“All about Mysore” was published by Karnataka Publishing House, Bangalore City in 1931 and printed by The Bangalore Press, Bengaluru. It contains 141 pages excluding 30 black and white photographs and advertisements. One cannot find a single printing error in this book and the credit goes to T. Subrahmanya Iyer, the then Superintendent of The Bangalore Press. This is a comprehensive handbook and a monograph of the then Mysore state till 1931. The author had written about Mysore in 1915, both in Kannada and English and unfortunately it is not available. All About Mysore contains 20 chapters, namely physical features, flora & fauna, geology & mining, language, history, education, industries & commerce, art & architecture, among others.

The vast range of topics handled by the author gives a comprehensive idea about the then princely state of Mysore. This work also depicts the wide range of physical, cultural and characteristics and uniqueness of our State. In the chapter on Language, DVG describes Kumaravyasa Bharatha. “This is perhaps the grandest epic poem in the language. For vastness of conception, for vividness of portraiture, for the variegated splendours of a colossal and complex drama, for the sweep of imagination that can reproduce for us the varying notes mixed in a mighty clash of human forces – avarice, indignation, pity, melancholy, love, hate, scorn, irony, desperation, terror, heroism, nobility, envy, meanness, magnanimity, faith, hope for a sustained spiritual idealism and a kindly and manful attitude towards life, as well as for naturalness and freedom and vigoru of style. This work stands supreme.” This is really an appropriate and suitable compliment to the great poet.

In the chapter about Associations & Institutions, D.V.G. gives very rare information about several institutions like South Indian Science Association (1919), Mysore Engineers Association (1906), Mythic Society (1908), Mysore Chamber of Commerce (1916), Civil and Social Progress Association (1916) which has published books like ‘The Effects of Child Marriage and ‘Rural Uplift’, Mahila Seva Samaja (Women’s Service League -1914), Asakta Poshaka Sabha (1923), Mysore Horticulture Society (1912) , Mysore Medical Association (1907), National Education Society of Mysore (1919) and Karnataka Sahithya Parishath (1915). All the above Associations are in Bengaluru.

The author says that Sir C.V.Raman announced his discovery, “ Raman Effect”, before the audience of South Indian Science Association, Bangalore and in commemoration of Sir C.V.Raman’s getting the Nobel Prize, the Association struck a medallion. In the chapter on Education, D.V.G. gives brief details about Department of Public Instruction (1857). He acknowledges the services of Messrs. John Garrett, B.L.Rice (1880-1890) and Mr. H. J. Bhabha (1890 -1909). The author also briefs about Maharaja’s Sanskrit College, Mysore, University of Mysore ( Estd: 1916), The Maharaja’s College, Mysore (1833), The Maharani’s Women’s College, Mysore (1881), The Medical College, Bangalore (1924), The Central College, Bangalore (1858), The College of Engineering, Bangalore (1917) and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (July 24, 1911).

Likewise D.V.G. never forgets to write about some of the oldest Hospitals of Bangalore and Mysore, such as Victoria Hospital, Bowring Hospital, Minto Opthalmic Hospital, K.R. Hospital, Mysore and NIMHANS (then known as Mental Hospital. For those who want to do research on the then Mysore State, this is a very useful work. D.V.G. has taken lot of pains to collect the material and he acknowledges the help rendered by several libraries and several officers for rendering help through official documents of the Government.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 6:38:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/chronicling-a-period/article30107121.ece

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