Tracing the journey of Kannada

The author Professor Sha Settar.

The author Professor Sha Settar.   | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail

Two books by eminent historian S. Settar will shed light on this subject

Two important books that shed new light on the evolution of the Kannada script are to be unveiled this weekend. They are authored and edited by eminent historian S. Settar.

Halagannada-Bhashe, Bhasha Vikasa Mattu Bhasha Bandhavya is an ambitious initiative that puts together over 2,200 inscriptions, which were salvaged and edited by Prof. Settar. In a novel methodology, senior scholars were asked to review and write on the inscriptions.

This 480-page book contains 35 essays written by G. Venkatasubbaiah, Venkatachala Shastry, Ham. Pa. Nagarajaiah, Kushalappa Gowda, H.S. Gopala Rao and others who reviewed the inscriptions, in addition to articles by Prof. Shettar.

While the first seven essays are introductory, the subsequent ones deal with an array of linguistic issues, including Kannada’s relation to Prakrit and Sanskrit.

The second book is the fourth edition of Halagannada-Lipi, Lipikara and Lipi Vyavasaya on the ancient Kannada script, scribes and cultivation of letters.

The preface was written by the late scholar M.M. Kalburgi. He notes that during the last 100 years, art-history spoke exclusively about artists who created monuments, but not scribes who wrote on stone and copper plates.

According to him, Prof. Settar de-mythifies the belief that writing was the monopoly of the Brahmins. Marshalling evidence, he established that other communities too were involved in the profession, the most prominent being Vishwakarmas, who were not only skilled scribes but also masters of languages, especially Kannada and Sanskrit.

In 17 chapters, Prof. Settar covers the entire range of writing that was produced between 4th and 10th centuries.

Prof. Settar believes that research into ancient Kannada script is a continuous process. “Let scholars study these two volumes and find out what is missing. I am preparing them to fill gaps by providing eight volumes of inscriptions in due course.”

The books will be released on Saturday at H.N. Multimedia auditorium in Basavanagudi at 11 a.m. during the inauguration of Kannada Samshodhana Kendra.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 10:47:43 AM |

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