A 21st century Adiga’s appeal to Kannadigas

Alarmed as every right-thinking Kannadiga should be at the State’s emerging politics, Aravind Adiga, the Booker Prize winning Kannadiga, pens a passionate appeal in The Sunday Times of India, titled ‘Kannadigas, stand up for Karnataka’:

“The source of this crisis is cash. It has been flooding into this state. Some of the new money is from the IT and real estate sector, but a large part comes from the mining interests in the north….

“Culture, in the south of India, has always been a bulwark against money. Sadly, just when he needs it most as a defence, the Kannadiga sees his language and culture being eroded everywhere….

“Our sense of who we are has unraveled. There is money, but there is no pride in Karnataka any longer. The cultural identity of the state is fraying, and needs to be reinforced.

“I appeal to those who have migrated from the north to teach their children the Kannada language, and to learn something about Kannada culture. Please develop some sense of ownership and belonging in Karnataka — for the sake of your own children.

“Tamilians care about Tamil Nadu, and Malayalis about Kerala. Kannadigas, wherever they are — inside the nation or in Silicon Valley— must become more active. Many excellent NGOs have sprung up across the state, and if you spend a few minutes scanning the internet you will find one that is right for you. Strengthening the Kannada cultural identity is another part of the solution.

“But do pay attention, my fellow Kannadigas — Gowdas, Murthys, Sheikhs, and D’Souzas, all of you. Ten years from now, if the residents of Bihar tease you for coming from India’s most lawless state, don’t say that you had no warning.”

Photograph: Fiction Writers’ Review

Read the full article: ‘Kannadigas, stand up for Karnataka’

Also read: All you wanted to know about Aravind Adiga

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81 Responses to “A 21st century Adiga’s appeal to Kannadigas”

  1. Alok Says:

    Oh no, another self-styled public thinker and commentator whose credentials are writing bad fiction enjoyed by elderly British males… heaven help us all.

  2. twistleton Says:

    Damned and doomed. :) corruption is universal. Only our tolerance for it changes.

  3. ShreeChamundeshwarikrupe Says:

    Agree with Alok. Simply put, another Chetan Bhagat.

  4. Tarlemaga Says:

    Come on . We don’t require your moral science lessons here. Restrict it to your home.

    Public opinion in a democracy is driven by the times and not by armchair physicians like you.

    Care two hoots for your lessons published in TOI.

  5. Sachin Says:

    Aravind should write to Chinese president. It might help.

  6. Anonymous Guy Says:


    And how does that make what he is writing less relevant? Should the self-evident truth come only out of the mouths of an old hindutva spouting thinker enjoyed by internet hindu commentators?

  7. Abhi Says:

    All Interviews, writings that I have seen of Adiga after the book, wuite contrary to the book, are disappointing.

    Few questions:

    1. What exactly is this “Kannada culture”?
    2. What part of it is exactly getting extinct and why does it need to be saved?
    3. And what exactly should people inside and in SILICON VALLEY need to do?

  8. gajee Says:

    But atleast…..his thinking is in the right direction

  9. Manjunath Says:

    Nice one by Adiga.

    If people like you can come up in public and assert Kannada pride only then common man on street is going to gain the much needed pride. Look at our many cricketers, cinema personalities or other popular figures. No one talks in Kannada entirely. Mix up all the English words wherever possible and make it look more “polished”. Other than the dirty politicians, no one else speaks in a reasonable Kannada. Going by the same breath, look at a person like Sreeshanth, the bowler. Even though he has spent lot of his life in Bengalooru and made his life from there, he says he does not know Kannada. But still he goes to kochi to promote (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_vNg6neJGY2Q/TG91111qM8I/AAAAAAAAAGg/bZb7rpc1LqM/s1600/DSCN1319.JPG ) so many things in Keraa.

    what we lack is clearly the pride, and unless it is instilled in everyone of us, the elites and the common man, there will be no saving Kannada and Karnataka.

    ಜೈ ಕನ್ನಡ!! ಜೈ ಕರ್ಣಾಟಕ!!

  10. kodladykiran Says:

    Is our Booker Prize winning Kannadiga whose mother prefers Tamil over Kannada(shocked !!, since apart from having a better movie industry associated with it, Tamil does not have any edge over Kannada when it comes to rich literature(check out the no of JnaanaPeetha awards or Kendra Saahitya Academy), or varied culture or for that matter proficiency in the language itself.. ) tries to do a root cause analysis for the shameful happenings of Karnataka Vidhan Soudha, but what I feel is he failed miserably.(if u believe me, it was not a surprise at all).
    I have few Questions to Mr Adiga on his most waited article(has been saying abt this article on twitter since last 1 week):
    1. What has been happening in Karnataka is not a failure of state nor its people. Its failure of and by a political party called- BJP. It all started when Sushma and her gang with utmost childish attitude started chasing Sonia Gandhi on the day of ’99 election nomination and landed up in iron rich Bellary. To put it in one line, before BJP entering into rural parts of Karnataka, alll the elections in the state were contested between able & not able or my caste & his caste. It was never by money,luring or never by disgraceful politics. So how Kannadaiga’s can be blamed for this awful episode? If you say Kannadigas elected them, then even in TN, TV sets of most of families start with SUN network symbol with M Karunanidhi showing victory symbol in it. My point is , in a developing country like India, just because people take money or Politicans buy out votes, you can not hold voters for equally repsonsible for all the heinous things happening in governor corridor or in and out side of Vdhana Soudha.

    2. Tamilians can even dare to speak in Tamil with not only Indians, but also French ppl too.For this, you might call them as saviours of their language, but tell me one thing. If all Kannadigas come together and start talking in kannada with every one in Bangalore tomorrow, will P**p Renukacharya or R****t Haalappa or corrupt ppl like RaaCham gowda or Yeddy or Raghavendra start behaving like Krishna Devaraya or Wodeyar?? If you think so, i feel sorry for booker prize itself. If that is the case, having such a PROUD ppl in TN, as per your analysis what are those ingredients in native people which cause incidences like lifting the former CM from his dining hall or doing astaanga Namaskar to Amma by sitting CM like Pannerselwam ?? Sorry Adigre, time to do a RCA for RCA.

    3.R u going in Shobha dey or Tavleen singh way?? How can u request People from North to teach Kannada when you are helpless for your mother is beocming alinated from your mother tongue itself??

  11. Sanday Says:

    Between our leaders and the british, I prefer british. Agree they treated us mostly like we were uncivilized. Sad part is that we were indeed uncivilized then and we are mostly uncivilized today. Even after 200 years of british rule we did not learn anything. Maybe this is the time for some cultural awakening without religious interference.

  12. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    “Bangalore” alla sahebre, “Bengaluru.’

    Teluga K. D. Raya is our ancestor? We haven’t inherited URA, yet. He is still around.

  13. joblessenggstud Says:

    oho, nam lecturersgintha jaasthi blade hodithaarappa. yaaaaaaawn

  14. BG Subhash Says:

    This appeal should be directed to mainly two sets of people in Karnataka.

    1st Set

    JD(S) a fringe party who is the real impediment to the growth of Karnataka as the party appears to be serving to one family and their henchmen. Karnataka do not deserve fringe parties at this juncture and hence people must advice the MLA`s of this party to either join Congress or BJP. JD(S) at the moment are indulging in brinkmanship which is the real thorn in Karnataka.

    2nd Set

    Kannadigas who are supporting or voting this party JD(S)must understand or they should be educated thru kannada press as to how fringe parties are detrimental to the development of karnataka, how they habve brought a bad name to Karnataka? At least in the next elections JD(S) must be rejected by Kannadiga voters.

    If we don`t do any of the above and keep JD(S) floating as fringe party they will do incalculable harm to the reputation of Karnataka.

    Fringe parties like JD(S) who have support base only in in Hassan, Mysore & Mandya will never have enough strength to form government but help either Congress or BJP to cobble up a government with their participation where they can dictate terms, cobble or recobble governments at will! JD(S) gas done all this in the last 4/5 years. This is happening ever since congress lost after SM Krisna and the naked results are there for all Kannadigas to see and experience themselves!

  15. Peace Says:

    We’ve been warned ! Thank you sir.

    How about a good novel next time ? Except for the novelty in approach and tone, read first 50 pages, your “The White Tiger” was a B-grade Bollywood caper…

  16. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    It would have lent some credibility if Churumuri or Adiga himself has given some details on what he has been doing as a concerned kannadaga (besides giving some prize money to his alma mater which is praiseworthy). Many of us “educated” pontificate on what is wrong with karnataka, but are indifferent to get involved.

  17. BG Subhash Says:

    Mr. Adiga, I second you in your appeal to Kannadigas. In Karnataka as in India people live in three different centuries. Maximum number of people have a mind set of 20th century not very much mentally affected by 21st century developments. There are pockets who live in 19th century still. Our Karnataka politicians target mostly the 19th/20th century people for getting elected and it is these people who support fringe parties like JD(S) who neither can play a role nor can they form a government. They can be called modern day extortionists! Like JD(S) there are elected members in both BJP & Congress parties.

    I would like the whole exercise of appeal to profoundly affect 19/20th century generation. Not that people living in 21st century are any white lilly. May be this appeal must be translated into Kannada News papers for a profound effect on the voters.

  18. Tanveer Says:

    very sad, but true.

  19. Angry Young Man Says:

    At last! At last, someone prominent among the literati to speak up for Kannadigas! This is so refreshing, like a breath of fresh air.

    We need more people like Arvind Adiga to make a strong case for the promotion and recognition of Kannada in Karnataka.

    Hope this gets the attention of the people in popular media houses and television channels.

    This is music to the ears, after having had enough of the drivel propagated by so called “secular nationalists” and media worthies whose horizons don’t extend beyond the Hindi heartland.

  20. Sumneneeve Says:

    OMG, what is this? Someone who writes in English is concerned about Kannadigas and theirs culture.

  21. anand Says:

    Its a right way of thinking by Adiga

  22. Subash Says:

    We need more such immortal souls to preach us….

  23. mankuTimma Says:

    Anyone read the original complete article?? He says kannadigas are the inheritors of Krishna Deva Raya and Professor UR Ananthamurthy. Lol!! URA?? seriously wtf?? what happened to kuvempu, basavanna, SIR MV??

  24. karihaida Says:

    Hmm this article is a churmuri of “corruption”, “kannada culture”, “silicon valley”, “anti-immigrant” and other such cliched ingredients.

    What has money, silicon valley etc got to do with kannada culture? Need a dude here to control this Walter …

  25. Rastrakoota Says:

    This is Indeed refreshing! Many people are busy commenting abt which party is most apt to govern. But honestly there isnt any difference which of em actually govern! and there is this ‘ Kannada,Tamil,English angle to it! Phew!!! Booker prize winning is not a joke. surely not a B Grade Bolly script and surely not even remotely close to it.I think we need to collectively introspect in the direction as indiacted in this write-up. well a lot many people have different ideas!!! as usual trashy. Keep writing more such things Mr.Adiga. I remember the adulation u received at St.Aloysius,Mlore when u came to thank the institution after u won the first rank in SSLC! every body felt special that day in school. Gud luck mate.

  26. Ezhil Says:

    //since apart from having a better movie industry associated with it, Tamil does not have any edge over Kannada when it comes to rich literature(check out the no of JnaanaPeetha awards or Kendra Saahitya Academy), or varied culture or for that matter proficiency in the language itself.. )//

    What is this? is there any meaning?
    If you are proud of your language then go ahead and at the same time dont compare or making some meaning less comments againts any other language.

    Never !! One language’s literature can’t be measured with these Stupid Awards given by somebody who doesnt know the language.

    We know whats happening inside in these award committees and lobbyism and dirty politics.

    Also one problem with tamil literary world is that right people are never nominated for those “awards”.

    Tamil literary history has a long tradition and still it is able to write in Tamil without borrowing words from other languages.

    We have world class writers and some of our writers creations are placed in south asian classic

    //or varied culture or for that matter proficiency in the language itself//

    what proficiency you are expecting? can you explain in detail?

    Tamil is the language which can stand alone and still we are able lexicon with root words and doesn’t require any other language words.

  27. karthik Says:

    He says ‘his mother prefers speaking in tamil’.
    His mother is not 100% kannadiga and not loyal to here original mother tongue.
    First let him change his mother talking language then rest.

  28. guest Says:

    I dont understand why this tamilians poke there nose in every aspect of karnataka, when kannada people state something which makes their people pride , these tamilians always a step ahead to preach there language in which nobody is interested

  29. Kumar Says:

    One will always find debaters and argumental morons who oppose everything just because they like to differ from the rest. For once, think properly and act. I am NOT a Kannadiga but I was born and bred in Bengaluru. I used to teach Kannada to my classmates, who were, mostly Kannadigas during kannada hour in primary school. I am proud of my Kannada heritage and now am making a conscious effort to teach Kannada to my children 7000 miles away from Bengaluru.

    I personally don’t give a crap about Booker prize. It is British/Western and who cares but for the spineless Indian media IN India running like packs of dogs chasing a celebrity bone. Booker prize or not! that is not the point. However, because he has won it, he is in a position from which he can easily communicate to the masses. Whether he makes use of that position to make a difference and effect change for the better is what makes a person.

    Wake up to the fact that Kannadigas have been sidelined in Bengaluru because of the arrival of Indians from all corners of India. Nothing wrong with this immigration as long as people make an effort to get used to the culture and sensitivities of the City.

    The fact of the matter really is that there is a floating population that doesn’t give a damn about the city. The city is like a launch pad for other destinations. I see this attitude all the time and in the past 10 years, it has become the norm. Don’t just rape the place, respect it and give something in return. It is a beautiful language and culture steeped in rich tradition.

    The author rightly points to the fact that it is being plundered out of its rich existence from all corners by the present government and its cronies. The south is still a beacon of hope for the rest of the country when it comes to progress. Karnataka, unfortunately is precariously perched all too ready to be pushed down into chaos by the present situation.

    People have the power topple governments. You need to start somewhere instead of just whining and arguing. The least we can do is agree with someone who at least made an effort.

  30. Dev Says:

    Pure rubbish! this guy is intimidating and provocating kannaidgas to stage a war against the rest of the indians. I am myself a Kannadiga. I speak Kannadiga, English, Hindi and Punjabi as fluent as residents of delhi, punjab and karnataka. I detest, i protest and i oppose every word in this blog. I dont wanna reach this guy’s shit again

  31. Yella Ok Says:

    Quite confused as I was with “the white tiger” – whether it was exaggerated reality or not, one thing was certain that it was a page turner, an unputdownable – like it or hate it.

    I was always a bit sceptical about this adiga’s kannadiganess especially after reading his profile at churumuri, but this article comes across as a bit refreshing – atleast about his thoughts. We may not like URA, he may have missed out on basavanna – but atleast this is what we want people residing in karnataka to do – develop a sense of belonging – to the land, the language and the culture.

    And to those who question his mother’s credentials, it is for a reason. chk this churumuri post. Let us move beyond this.

  32. Ezhil Says:


    We are not against your pride.If you give any false informations about the language there only we interpret.
    But what ever Adiga Said is 100% correct.

    I could see my cabmates who are kannadigas always saying “Hindi FM aakku” change to Hindi FM instead of Kannada FM.Even some times i used to ask for Kannada FM as I can understand but not hindi.
    But these Hindians never ready to learn local language.
    So identify your real enemy.

  33. cp Says:

    Err… Karthik,
    His mother passed away a few weeks before his SSLC exam. In spite of this tragedy he managed to get first rank.
    Even if you think his fiction is a waste, a first rank in SSLC is no joke. That alone qualifies him as a better Kannadiga than all of us.
    I wonder how many self styled kannadiga patriots commenting here, managed even 80% in Kannada in SSLC.

  34. kaangeya Says:

    I am a Tamizhan who although lived in Bengaluru for barely three years made herculean efforts to learn Kannada and read at least signboards in the language. I am proud of every Indian language and love everyone of them, and try to speak at least a few words of them when I meet a person whose native language it is. I also am a great fan of Karnataka’s true intellectuals, DVG – the liberal’s liberal, Kuvempu, Nijalingappa, Bendre, Masti, Dr. Shivram Karanth, and the most honest Kannadiga alive today, Santeshivara Lingannaiah Bhyrappa, who is beyond doubt India’s most widely read novelist, proficient himself in six languages and translated into four others.

  35. guest Says:

    another bala Thackeray in the making. this time its not a cartoonist but a writer. India is colorful garden. don’t spoil it by forcing people to learning a language and culture. People will learn it when they stay long in one state. I was forced to learn tamil even when i stayed there just for one year. i love my Kannadiga roots but i’ll never force someone to learn my language just because i find it musing. don’t become tamilians(idiots) and marati goons.

  36. guest Says:

    “Culture, in the south of India, has always been a bulwark against money …… ”

    one more note to this so called writer…. Karnataka is in South India and not South of India. Does he comes from LTTE lobby? Is it that his ancestor was Periyar? Whatever… he is a fool for ever.

  37. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Let’s report Adiga to Jiabo.

  38. Somebody Says:

    Ezhil, I am a staunch Kannadiga. But I totally agree with your opinion.

  39. Complex Says:

    I don’t think he is instigating Kandus. He is merely saying that we should develop some self-esteem(not false pride) about our culture, and talking in kannada among ourselves is one thing we could do.

    I guess he is asking us to believe:
    Kannadavoo satya Kannadavoo nitya
    and not,
    Kannadave satya Kannadave nitya

    But, I think the author is wrong when he says supporting NGOs is the way to go. I had written a blog-post on why supporting NGOs is not the solution. http://raks-thinking-aloud.blogspot.com/2009/03/dont-start-ngo-start-go.html

    My own comments:

    With people who don’t know kannada, it would be insulting to talk in Kannada with them. And also in presence of people who don’t know your mother taongue, it is not right to talk in your mother tongue.

    But, there are some people who think English is everything. I work in the semiconductor industry, and I can tell you , I see emails from the Japanese. They write terrible English. But they create great products. It’s what you know that counts more, not what language you can express that in. When I see good-for-nothing guys/girls with latest clothes shopping without reason with their parents’ money and thinking they are kings because they look cool like the western people, I feel sad for the future.

  40. karthik Says:

    If we people(kannadigas) disagree at Arvind Adiga, just think of Mumbai and MNS.
    We kannadiags continue to remain soft, our place and our job are used by others.
    We need someone like (Raj-MNS) but again the latest offering the CM and his family are involved in land scams, then where to go? go to leadership confused Congress or mindless JD(S) ??
    The latest issue of Outlook cover reads ‘Karnataka – India’s most corrupt state?’

  41. JC Moola Says:

    Holy smokes… The guy is appealing in English for Kannadiga

  42. Bengalooru Haida Says:

    JC Moolanna,

    Nimge yava bhasheyalli helidre artha agtade swami? Helidre Adiga avrige heli aa bhasheyalle barsona. Neevu tampu kannadaka hakiddalli tegedubittu odi illa sariyada kannadaka hakikondu odi – Adiga avru helta iruvudu eradu bageya janara bagge : 1) Kannada gottillada Bharateeyaru (Karnatakadalli nelisidavaru) 2) Kannada odi bareyalu tiliyada Kannadigaru (Mannina makkalu but bikanasi adavaru). Idaralli neevu yava jana?

  43. vasant Says:

    many people have missed the wood for the trees here…the wide divergent views expressed reminded me of the hit Rajkumar song ‘Yaare Koogadali……’ bcoz everybody seem intent on riding their holy buffaloes. Adiga has espoused a cause, expressed a point of view, taken a stand and struck a chord somewhere – hats off to him.

  44. karihaida Says:

    Mr Adiga got 1st rank in SSLC has got nothing to do with what he has written in this article isn’t it? Or you mean to say that every SSLC 1st rank holder’s piece of drivel is a must read ?

    BTW can someone define what kannada culture is and what is that I should be trying to save/protect ?

  45. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Although riddled with inaccuracies, this is probably the best thing Arvind ever wrote! Come on Kannadigas wake up and proclaim your heritage!

  46. Deepak Says:

    I am working in a SW company in Bangalore. i have travelled extensively to Mysore also. Hailing from Coimbatore but born to a kannadiga family i never learnt 1% of karnataka kannada in Bangalore or to some extent in Mysore also. My kannada accent is typically a tamilian speaking in Kannada, hence wherever i go in bangalore and speak to ppl in Kannada i got replies only in English or in partial Tamil. Sometimes pure kannadigas used to reply me in half baked tamil. It really feels Weird experience in Bangalore.

    i can say, our kannada laguage in Bangalore is dieing because of Kanndigas of bangalore only. Not from outsiders.

  47. Sandeep KN Says:

    An influential Kannadiga speaks for the Kannada cause and you see hundreds of other Kannadigas trying to pin point flaws in his arguments, his style of writing, questioning his contribution to the cause, and so on. No wonder Kannada is in such a pathetic state.

  48. kodladykiran Says:

    @Ezhil, wouldn’t have expected this kind of misinterpretation from anybody but you. If you read carefully ,I dint say anything about Tamil literature or culture. To be frank We never do that. Because I belong to that linguistic community which thinks and also acts as all languages / cultures are great in their own way. Probably Thats the one reason, even after more than 50 years of state formation with official language as Kannada, We are still protecting and nurturing other native languages like- Konkani,Kodava,Tulu & Bairy. Karnataka govt and people have been supporting literature works in each of these languages and it supported konkani community’s decision with open mind, when it adapted Devanagari as its script few years back. May be the reason for all this is we don’t want to impose anything on anybody just because they live within the official demographic boundary of the state.

    Since you are a fellow Tamilian and your mother tongue is Tamil, just because some other language sounds good or it has got better movies, do u stop talking in Tamil @ home also?? No.. right?? I was making the same statement. Since author has not given any justification for why his mother preferred Tamil over her mother tongue, I was just asking what’s that edge which Tamil got making to do so?? Since you have already pressed the wrong nerve by mentioning lexicon and all, I have no options left but mention few statistics here.Please read. You can not stop believing these awards because if you do so then it reminds the story of sour grapes..

    (Dont think I should name the columns. Its self explanatory)

    1. Highest Literature award- Jnaanapeetha(7 , 2)
    2.Kendra Saahitya academy(Sec after Jnaanapeetha) – (54 , 50)
    3. Nataka Saahitya Academy(Topmost National Culture award for arts&culture) – (9 , 4)

    Probably since the literature and supporting art/culture is not bad in Karnataka, and movies which are based on kannada literature works have always tunred out as good movies.May be thats one reason why Kannada got 6 times Golden Lotus or Swarna Kamala awards.(where as Tamil got 2 and Malayalam got 10 ).And again, though Kannada is far behind in giving commercial hit movies like Telugu or tamil, but It did not fail to win National award called Dada saaheb Phalke award to under its kitty. Kannada(3), Tamil(1)

    We dont think or we dont like to shout as ours is only great language by putting all these facts. Instead we respect and admire no matter its being spoken by somebody.
    OR We dont act like silly koopmandooks like ours is only classical language and use our cheap politicl gimmicks to stop some other language getting the recognition too.

  49. Suresh Says:


    ” I speak Kannadiga” ????

    Kannadiga means a person from Karnataka and whose mother tongue is Kannada.
    Kannada is the language spoken by Kannadigas.

    Kannadiga is not a language.

    Just like Malayalam is the language spoken by Malayalees. Malayalee is not a language but refers to people who speak Malayalam.

    If it was a typo in your post then you may be excused…otherwise I doubt if you are a Kannadiga or Punjabi…

    …and “I dont wanna reach this guy’s shit again” – reach the shit ???

  50. D P SATISH Says:

    This Adiga made Guatam Goswami an Asian Hero of Time Magazine, 6-7 years ago. Adiga was ‘ Time ‘s Delhi correspondent.

    The same Goswami was later dismissed from the IAS on the charges of siphoning off Bihar flood relief fund.

    He should do some introspection instead of giving a sermon to fellow Kannadigas.

  51. Somebody Says:

    Deepak, I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately, Kannadigaru (including me) do not realize this. Instead of trying to spread the language, we (at least a majority of Kannadigas) tend to go on complaining, grumbling and accusing others for not ‘learning’ Kannada. It is the Kannadigas who should learn Kannada first. Because hardly any Kannadiga speaks in Kannada when he goes out of his house. It is invariably in English, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. This may anger the Kannadigas, but it is unfortunately true. ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರೇ, ದಯವಿಟ್ಟು ನಮ್ಮ ಕನ್ನಡವನ್ನ ಇತರರಿಗೂ ಕಲಿಸಿ, ಕನ್ನಡ ಉಳಿಸಿ, ಬೆಳೆಸಿ.

  52. Ezhil Says:


    I am sorry if im hurt you at any means.I dont want to go inside these literature awards because as you already said “story of sour grapes..”.

    But Im sure there is a lobbyism inside because of anti hindi mindset of our people.I just wanted to tell only one thing when our writer “Jeya kanthan” got jaanapitha award he said ” I had already received the award from the people and this award is just an endorsement” This is how we react to awards.

    Also even we dont know ours is a classical language thats how people were ignorant.

    My only one question is
    Why kannada,telugu asked for classical status immediately after Tamil got? are you feeling inferior over?
    Why shouldn’t you have asked earlier? This is how politics started.
    Even we dont bother about the status given by so called “India”.

    I cant understand “koopmandooks”.can you explain?

    Classical language means “If one language uses roots from another language to coin words (in the way that many European languages use Greek and Latin roots to devise new words such as “telephone” etc.), this is an indication that the second language is a classical language.”



    I could see how words are borrowed from other languages(sanskrit or tamil)

    How can those award facts define a classical language? So i let you this matter to your own judgement with clean soul.

  53. subba Says:

    jeykanthan said he just considers the award as an endorsement. you generalized that and said all tamil people feel the same.

    apply jeyakanthan logic again to this issue. did tamil only become classical after it was declared so? or is the classical status an endorsement of it antiquity?

    why do you care if other languages are declared classical? how does the classic nature of tamil change if other languages are duly endorsed for their antiquity and contribution?

    the way you say you all react to awards, why dont you all react to other endorsements?

    and what do you mean by root word coin theory of yours? roots are in dravidian language. since when did tamil become the only inheritor of dravidian language? are you saying until we met you guys across the river, we did not know how to speak? where did we all come from?

  54. Ezhil Says:


    There is no dravidian language.Proto dravidian trees root end up in tamil only.Tamil never inherited from any other language.

    Yes,classical status given by indian govt to tamil is just an endorsement since it is classical not just because of classical status given and it is already exists as a classical language.

    Also,We are not against any language getting classical status and it was a just lawyer’s suit not people’s and will be rejected by further hearings in the court.

    its a big comedy as we are fighting in a language which is giving us bread and butter not classicals.

  55. Angry Young Man Says:

    As I see it, there are two sides to the issue:

    1. Attitude of people migrating to Karnataka who refuse to learn Kannada.
    2. Lack of opportunity for people to learn Kannada.

    You can’t do much about point# 1. However much we grumble, we cannot change others’ attitudes. Especially Hindi speakers who just cannot or will not relate to Kannadigas’ sentiments.

    But something can be done about the second issue. Ask yourself this question: HOW DO YOU COAX PEOPLE TO LEARN KANNADA? Are there enough opportunities for people to learn Kannada?

    Did all the Hindi-speaking Kannadigas learn Hindi because they were forced to do so? NO! Hindi was not FORCED on us. It was popularised in simple, unobstrusive, innocuous, natural ways.

    Popular serials like Ramayan, Mahabharat, Malgudi Days. And Cinemas. Soul stirring songs. THAT was how Hindi came to be prominent.


    No amount of drum-beating about the beauty and richness of the Kannada language will make people learn it.

    Remember what Lincoln said: “A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall”.

    In that single line lies the life-saving formula for our language and culture.

    But whether our corrupt, selfish, sinful politicians have the character and finesse to help the cause of the language is quite another thing. So it is up to the common people to work for the cause of Kannada.

  56. Raj Says:

    “are you saying until we met you guys across the river, we did not know how to speak?”
    I like it… I like it!!

  57. Doddi Buddi Says:


    Brilliant argument! Waiting to hear from Ezhil.,,

  58. D P SATISH Says:


    You are the best! You should be sent to defend us all over India!!

  59. Deepak Says:

    The problem with tamilians is that, they are totally brainwashed by DK and DMK people from decades. Being born and brought up in TN i knew how these tamil, ltte issues will escalate in the minds of local people. All credits goes to DK Periyar.

    Periyar whose mother tongue was basically kannada and he constantly said, if sanskrit words were removed from telugu, kannda the remaining would be tamil as if though he researched the entire dravidian language tree. Tamilians like Ezhil argues only based on this weird findings of DK. Still Mr. MK is continuing the brain washing sessions in TN and it will continue in future also.

    But i really appreciate politicians in KA that there were no language brain washing sessions post Independence. Language at last would be the means of communication thats it.

  60. ghataprabha Says:

    “There is no dravidian language.Proto dravidian trees root end up in tamil only.Tamil never inherited from any other language.”


    this is not an accepted view, let alone consensus among linguists. proto-dravidian does not go into tamil. tamil is distiguished among dravidian languages in as much as it has a WRITTEN literature that predates kannada and telugu, not speech. perhaps what are now kannada and tamil diverged 2500-3000 years ago, but one does not derive from the other. human speech predates civilization by tens of thousands years. no language is older than another in any meaningful measurable way by current modes of anthropological investigation.
    it may be noted also that, the jaina/maharashtri prakrit and pali languages which were in use in the deccan region are what introduced writing to the Tamil country, which then included all of kerala as well. the extra 300-500 years it took for kannada to develop its own script and literature, was largely due to the extensive use of prakrit, and some sanskrit for government and social discourse.
    That said, i feel that kannada and telugu are too reliant on sanskrit root words to be truly classical unless they were to undergo a more thorough dravidian renaissance than what some litterateurs have attempted in the past. Tamil is more of a mother language, not because it is the mother of kannada or any other, but because it can create new words from its own material without borrowing from other systems.
    That doesn’t make kannada less beautiful to me, or preclude it from ever becoming a classical language. i’m not a linguist/philologist and perhaps a study of halegannada and inferences of proto-halegannada may lead to different impressions. many of the worlds great languages are not classical in this sense, and many classical languages produce staid and mediocre cultures as well..

  61. Bengalooru Haida Says:


    Beautifully put. But one confusion – ‘Tamil is more of a mother language, not because it is the mother of kannada or any other, but because it can create new words from its own material without borrowing from other systems.’

    Is this the foremost condition for a language to be termed classical – even discounting the antiquity and body of work?

    Even if it is so, do you think Kannada lacks this ability of coining its own new words from its core vocabulary? (I am not saying 100% of the times). What do you think of words like Borewell – kolavebavi, Preface – munnudi, Radio – Baanuli and so on? For that matter don’t the constructs of sandhi and samasa help in coining many new words? (Again not necessarily always).

  62. subba Says:

    There is no dravidian language.Proto dravidian trees root end up in tamil only.

    wrong. if this was true then other languages would not be classified as dravidian. because we didnot discard our roots and invent a new language.

    Tamil never inherited from any other language.

    it would be very very sad if this were true. luckily it is not. otherwise it owuld mean that even though tamil people interacted with other peoples, they didnot pick up anything from others.

    the thing is, you guys are out to discard all marks of natural evolution in search of purity. i hope we dont follow your path.

  63. karihaida Says:

    All the so called linguists/philologists can produce something useful in their otherwise utterly useless trade, if they can come up with a unified common indian language. Or atleast let the govt setup some research initiative and give me a decent sized grant to conduct such ‘research’, instead of funding such these useless linguists and their ilk …

  64. Deepak Says:


    “Tamil is more of a mother language, not because it is the mother of kannada ‘

    He he how come u know that fact? there is no proof for all these things.

    Bottom line is, tamil is dominantly spoken across tamilnadu, kerala(Malayalam is transformed version of tamil) and infested in KA also. Hence this domination along with DK and DMK political willness, is projecting Tamil as the oldest language.

  65. Sudhir Says:

    It will be difficult to determine which language is more classical or which came first, leave that to language historians. But Angry Young Man has a point. The increased adoption of Hindi by a large segment of non-native speakers is driven by Hindi films and songs. In other words, Bollywood has done for Hindi which no number of government polices and programmes could have. Big B speaking in shudh Hindi on KBC has a tremendous impact. Why not something similar through South Indian cinema and TV?

    It helps to have a pragmatic approach to language learning esp. for adults who cannot pick up a language as quickly as children do. For instance, watching TV news in Kannada or any regional language helps a lot. Also, it is easier to start first with learning daily use phrases and words, then stringing them together to form sentences. Grammar should come after that. More often than not, language teachers insist on strict adherence to grammatical rules to beginners and that can be terribly discouraging. Another important issue is to allow learners the leeway to make mistakes and mix words (English-Kannada, for example) so that they are more comfortable. Start with the less pure form and gradually progress to the pure language.

    We live in the open source era. Surely, language teaching, learning cannot be so difficult as it is being made out to be!

  66. ghataprabha Says:

    bengalooru haida,

    I see what your saying. firstly, i doubt any language, latin greek, russian, vedic, whatever, is free from the profound influence of other language systems. in the example we are discussing, even tamil has what i would consider an enormous influence of sanskrit, not just in its brahminic dialects. in spite of it, the sangam era sagas and the kural are mature literary creations of a “golden” age, and those works betray the influence of sanskrit/prakrit but not overwhelmingly.
    with kannada, i do not doubt that with conscious effort all thought can be richly conveyed using native roots, but our forefathers conceded space to the prakrit/sanskrit. thats why a renaissance would be necessary. particularly in poetry and music, a romantic rebellion against sterile words. a celebration of common, non sanskritic diction.
    there is an analogy in how many india languages, including kannada are replete with persian words in colloquial use. but in a way those words are easy to discard in a way that the urdu language could never do. there are parallel lexical registers. But for urdu, its been assimilated into the DNA and cannot be discarded. theoretically, yes kannada could be lest dependent on sanskrit, but practically from what i observe it doesn’t in that regard.
    as far as that being the only criteria and should not antiquity be considered. Kavirajamarga is no older than Beowulf, and the latter saga was composed when english had a purer nordic character. but english does not ay claim to classical status in spite of having produced a “native” epic.
    as for the words you mentioned “baanuli”..ect. without picking on the fact that the “baan” is probably tadbavi “vaan” from prakrit..in english you have the words “broadcast” , and “borewell” both words are etymologically norse/germanic. the reason i bring in english to this comparison, is to highlight that a language can be potent, capable of native inventiveness, but not classical. i think they’d prefer to leave it to latin and greek, and even the relatively “purer” german to win those labels

  67. Ezhil Says:

    I categorically reject your comment as i am never brainwashed by DK idealogy even i dont agree with all of the dravidian politics.

    Since you born brought up in TN,you wrongly understood the politics.

    dravidian politics initially started in social justice ground only(anti brahminism).Language ground was handled by separate tamil movement and it started before dravidian.
    The dravidian politics joined to Tamil when anti hindi agitation happened (appraised by kannadigaas too).

    I am totally surprised that you didn’t understand the adiga’s article and started commenting.
    Adiga is saying about Hindification and how kannadigas are affected by hindi.Many Kannadigas are speaking against hindi now because of sidelining of kannada.

    You are saying about no fight for language in karnataka.did you ever read about Gokak commission and followed protests?

    Do more home work dude before commenting.

    I am also from covai and you are from which location in CBE?

    Thanks to ghataprabha for length……y reply and thanks to all for replying.
    I just wanted to tell you one thing that tamil brahmi is different from asoka’s brahmi and also please see the link


  68. Kartikay Says:

    Did you say Times of India?

    I’m sorry, I blanked out.

    Stop promoting their crap! Please!

  69. Abhi Says:

    ezhil or whatever, understand that languages are not programming languages so that you can say this came in 1996 and this in 1982. They evolve over thousands of years, and you can not say this came first and the other one later.

    And whats this obsession of us Indians about being “oldest”? Oldest culture, oldest language, oldest everything. Are we some kind of wine, to turn better with age?

    Who gives eff if you have the oldest *whatever*.

  70. dhana Says:

    From these comments i can say the very reason why hindi is gradutally ruling the south tooo!!! We are not unite in apposing the forcefull hindi dominance because of these national parties.
    Every language in india have rich cultural and traditional backgrounds, so it doesnt really matters if it is classical or not. Its convern only for the politicians. What matter is the safeguard there own language from extiction. HINDI will definetly do it in few more generations.
    So lets be unite in apposing the hindiwalas to take away our pride.

  71. Anonymous Guy Says:


    I would be interested to monitor your ‘research’ if it ever happens.

    It should be a constant source of maja…

    BTW you got to admit that areas like computer languages owe a lot to the work of people like Noam Chomsky.

  72. Suresh Says:

    Let me tell about few small incidents happening around us,

    I was shocked when a waitor at the hotel South Tindis near MNK Park in Basavanagudi spoke to me in Hindi. I was surprised why was he speaking to me in hindi when I had not spoken to him in hindi…
    He switched to Kannada after I replied to him in Kannada.

    This was not the first time it has happened with me, I have seen petrol pump staff, shopkeepers etc. speak in hindi first.

    I don’t know the reason for this but I guess that over the past years the influx of people from other parts of India into Bengloor is so much that people are using hindi de-facto!

    I have seen a customer asking for items in Tamil at Puttasiddappa store in Gandhi bazaar. I am mentioning these places because B’gudi, Gandhi bazaar are(were?) considered core and old bangalore areas where majority Kannada natives reside, ‘Kannada-da Kote’ .

    I am sure it would not be possible in Chennai for someone to speak to a shopkeeper in other languages, at least in core areas of the city.

    This is the same story with Hindi speakers who are born and brought up in Bangalore! (for obvious reasons I can’t name the community) they don’t care to speak even broken Kannada at shops etc.
    No offense to Tamilians or anyone, I am just writing about incidents that I have observed around me in reality.

    There’s a story TP Kailasam used to tell on how to identify a Kannadiga in a crowd..
    In a crowd you can easily identify a Telugu person – he is speaking in Telugu with others, so does a Tamilian speaking in Tamil etc.. there is one person who is speaking in various languages but Kannada with others and he would be Kannadiga!!

  73. Deepak Says:

    @ Ezhil,
    “You are saying about no fight for language in karnataka.did you ever read about Gokak commission and followed protests?

    Do more home work dude before commenting.”

    This shows ur lack of knowledge. Gokak incidents and related protests were never against any language. It stressed the govt to implement Kannada as the compulsory language in primary education and also stressed the implementation of official language status.

    Doing home work with lack of knowledge is more danger. Hope u understand.

    “I am totally surprised that you didn’t understand the adiga’s article and started commenting”

    Yes. Adiga is speaking about only Kannada and English, then how come u started speaking about classical status of tamil and etc etc? U r basically confused about the article. Hope u read the article once again.

    “I am also from covai and you are from which location in CBE?”

    Does Adiga mentions anything about Kovai in his article? Better to study the article once again and stcik ur comments strictly to the article.

  74. dhana Says:

    @Suresh good observation,
    i have few relatives/friends settled up in b’lore but never dare to learn kannada, because in b’lore if u know hindi or tamil u can survive in most of areas. My cousin who stays there dont want her child to learn kannada. only reason she said is “Even kannadigas dont want to learn kannada in school, why should i put my child at risk!!!!”

    So i think B’lore is not for kannadigas as mumbai is not for marathis. This is the way to become a global city!!!! :)

  75. one india Says:

    “here is one person who is speaking in various languages but Kannada with others and he would be Kannadiga!!”

    very true…. it is called talent that GOD has given to Kannadigaru. We can speak in many languages. Kannadigas and marathis are in some dilemma. How to save our Identity…. ????? One way is to kick out these tamizh and hindis out of Bangalooru.
    now a reality check…. Hindis = tamizh. how?
    both are arrogant
    both think no other language is better than theirs’
    both are useless…
    sorry to say but tamizh is no better than hindis for their cheap politics. tamizh go out of our state and let us live peacefully. perhaps you can colonize delhi for you cheap politics. Karnataka is progressing and we will soon leave behind even MH.

    To make kannada popular among others, MNCs should conduct free evening kannada classes. Others who are visiting our states are mostly IT guys and they will learn language if we freely help them to learn it. Force will eventually see resistance… so better make some effort in conducting free kannada classes. Someone asked me “where i can learn kannada in delhi?” This guy was a bihari IT guy and wanted to learn kannada in delhi itself so when he would visit Bengalooru, he could converse in our language…… people are interested but what effort we are making in promoting kannada????? If some NGOs can join in this effort then only something can be done…

  76. Ezhil Says:


    you said, you are not a linguist/philologist but your thoughts can inline with a linguist.
    I am not saying kannada is not beautiful or classical no offense meant.
    Good analysis keep it up.


    I just replied to other’s comments and i didn’t comment on adiga’s views.

    Hope you understand.

    I said Gokak incidents are fight for langauage and not fight against language also you said there is no brainwashing sessions not fight against any language.Did you read my reply clearly? you should understand this first.

    Fight for language also will indirectly fight against language which occupied kannada’s place too.I just asked the location of coimbatore because im also from coimbatore and know in and around coimbatore.its just a courtesy and i agree this is no where related.

    Didn’t Adiga talk about Hindification? only kannada and english?
    he he read once again please.
    But you simply ignored “brainwash” issue,is this called “selective amnesia” or “kill by the conspiracy of silence” ?

  77. karihaida Says:

    it has kinda started ;)

    Ya what chomsky contributed probably accounts for 99% of useful stuff that has ever come out of linguists’ work.

  78. twistleton Says:


    I like what you have written. Succinct and logical.

  79. ashwinimithin Says:

    I am residing in DUBAI for last 4 years one thing I observed is that the malayali people has got a strong passion about their language you can see malayali news papers in the hand of every malabari.But kannadigas tend to read only english news papers.You can see malayali news papers even in a small shop but kannada papers and magazines are available only in some selected areas.Even malabari kids born and brought up in gulf will speak malayalam fluently.Kannadigas should use kannada more and more in daily life should buy and read kannada papers and magazines only a few people will do it.

  80. Ezhil Says:

    @One india

    Dont make bullshit comments.First up all you change your name.

    Ok, tamils are ready to go out then what about kannadigas settled in TN?

    Can you call them to settle in KA? Is it possible?

    call back kannadigas settled in west and south districts of TN mainly gowdas who are having thousands of acres land mostly fertile and kurumbars.

  81. one india Says:

    Mr. Ezhil very hello to you sir
    May I ask you why are you so interested in our beloved state Karnataka. Plz keep you cheap politics at you home state called TN. People of India have shown you your limits(TN and lanka). better try not to poke your nose in internal matters of Karnataka. We do not need your expert advice in our internal matters. You have already colonized our state and one fact about you guys is that every beggar in bengalooru is tamizh. And you must be aware of “aravam” so better keep away from our culture and language. Karnataka is progressing and we will create waves in every industry you can think of.

    My appeal to all Aravalu(Thamizhan0: Don’t try to become a bottleneck in Karnataka’s progress.

    Jai Kannada

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