Kannada should assimilate other languages to grow stronger: Settar

Scholar S. Shettar speaking in Kalaburagi on Thursday.

Scholar S. Shettar speaking in Kalaburagi on Thursday.  

Historian advises against puritanical approaches to the development of Kannada

Dismissing concerns about the possibility of the extinction of Kannada given the onslaught of English, S. Settar, historian and scholar, argued that Kannada would assimilate English to grow into a more powerful language, just as it had done with Sanskrit, Prakrit, Persian and Tamil in the past. He was speaking at the 85th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana here on Thursday.

“Many people express concerns about the future of Kannada in the face of the English onslaught. Kannada in the past faced a threat from Sanskrit as it was supported and nurtured by rulers. However, Kannada absorbed the essence of Sanskrit and grew,” he said, and added that Kannada has had similar experiences with Tamil, Marathi, English, Persian and Arabic. “Instead of antagonism towards other languages, we need to assimilate them to develop Kannada,” he stressed.

Strongly advising against puritanical approaches in the development of Kannada, the historian advised having a cordial, harmonious and interactive relationship with other languages. “Language faces the threat of extinction when its speakers stop speaking it. As for Kannada, the people who are stopping to use it are a minority. The majority are the saviours. Kannada continues to survive as long as people in rural areas use it,” Prof. Settar said. “We have to use Kannada with pride in our respective fields. We should be proud of using Kannada, but should not worship it. There is no language in the world that has maintained purity. Only those languages that have a cordial, harmonious and interactive approach towards other languages tend to develop,” he added.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the measures the government has taken for the development Kannada, the scholar said that classical language status accorded to Kannada did not help much in its development as its implementation was very poor. “The government could not even establish an institution to ensure proper implementation,” he said.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 1:40:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kannada-should-assimilate-other-languages-to-grow-stronger-settar/article30755779.ece

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