Does Kambar deserve Jnanpith before Bhyrappa?

The selection of the poet, playwright and novelist Dr Chandrasekhar Kambar for the Jnanpith Award threatens to go the way of the previous two winners from Kannada, U.R. Anantha Murthy and Girish Karnad, who although deserving in their own ways were seen to have upstaged more deserving candidates.

While URA’s and Karnad’s choice was discussed sotto voce, in this media-saturated age, in the BJP’s “Gateway to the South”, Kambar’s choice ahead of S.L. Bhyrappa (in picture), has attained the loud edge of ideology with the growing feeling that Bhyrappa is being sidelined for his right-wing views.

K.B. Ganapathy, the founder-editor of India’s most successful evening newspaper, Star of Mysore, joins the debate and asks if the Jnanpith Award selection panel, like the Nobel Prize panel, might one day rue its choice, privileging ideology over literature.



Mahatma Gandhi was the strongest symbol of peace and non-violence in the 20th century. He was acknowledged then and even now as the greatest apostle of peace in a world split asunder by war and violence.

Such a man should have been the natural choice for the Nobel Peace Prize. But he never got it.

What happened? Why?

This disturbing thought crossed my mind as I read a news headline in The New Indian Express this morning that screamed “Kambar Doesn’t Deserve Jnanpith, says Papu.”

The report said that the veteran journalist Patil Puttappa, a former Rajya Sabha member and a sort of political catalyst acting like an oracle from his native Hubli, had taken serious exception over the selection of the folk writer Dr Chandrashekar Kambar for the prestigious award which is considered to be the Indian equivalent of the Nobel Prize for literature.

Puttappa is reported to have even made the extreme remark of calling Kambar as “someone with no ability”, and that he was pained over Kambar’s selection as there were several other more eminent litterateurs in Kannada than Kambar.

I totally agree with Puttappa, though I may not be a Kannada professor or even one who has delved deep into the wonderful world of Kannada literature. But then I am no nincompoop either as I regularly read reviews and comments on important Kannada books and even read some of the books.

Patil Puttappa has also openly said that when the renowned Kannada writer S.L. Bhyrappa should have been given this honour, it had been given instead to Kambar.

I agree with a caveat.

Howsoever proper Kambar’s selection might be, he could not have taken precedence over S.L. Bhyrappa.

In fact, out of the seven Jnanpith awardees so far in Kannada, all were giants except the last two — U.R. Anantha Murthy and Girish Karnad. And it is significant to note that of all the winners of Jnanpith award in Kannada, it was these two awards that drew flak from some quarters. But then in these days of sycophancy, winner is soon turned into a God and worshipped!

It is now perceived that though the Jnanpith selection panel for some years in the beginning was free from political, caste, religious or any kind of bias or prejudice that influenced its selection, in later years it is seen as being subtly influenced by so-called secularists with leftist leanings.

And it is here that our S.L. Bhyrappa got stuck — in that venomous spider’s web.

I am sure once the Jnanpith selection panel is liberated from these shackles, S.L. Bhyrappa too will be honoured with this prestigious literary award.

It is for this reason I mentioned in the beginning about Mahatma Gandhi not getting the Nobel Prize for peace even though he was nominated in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and finally a few days before he was assassinated in 1948.

Nominated. Never awarded.

Strange. A paradox.

If Dalai Lama could be awarded Nobel Prize for peace, was Mahatma Gandhi less deserving? On the same line of thinking, if Kambar, U.R. Anantha Murthy and Girish Karnad could be found deserving, could any reader of Kannada literature deny that S.L. Bhyrappa is less deserving or not at all deserving?

The lobby of the secularists, here in Bangalore and there in Delhi, apparently has worked overtime to deprive a deserving candidate, S.L. Bhyrappa, a rightful place in the world of Kannada literature adorned with the ultimate stamp of recognition — a Jnanpith award.

It is indeed sad.

It is believed that S.L. Bhyrappa is branded as one with rightist orientation or as being a pro-Hindu in his writings. If this is so, one can also brand U.R. Anantha Murthy, Girish Karnad and Kambar as those with leftist orientation and as being anti-Hindu.

Does it mean that being a rightist and pro-Hindu is a disqualification to deserve a Jananpith award while being a leftist and anti-Hindu is a qualification to deserve it?

No literature of creative kind should be evaluated on the basis of its ideology. It happens only in a totalitarian or a communist country. It should be evaluated on its pure literary quality — style, technic, use of language, rhetoric and above all, artistic merit.

Ulysses of James Joyce is considered literature for the same reason.

Further more, even if one takes into account the volume of works turned out by the last three winners of Jnanpith award, it is not comparable to other earlier winners and of S.L. Bhyrappa.

Having said this, I should hasten to add that I have absolutely no intention to diminish the literary capabilities of either Chandrashekar Kambar, U.R. Anantha Murthy or Girish Karnad. The last mentioned two are indeed intellectuals in their own right while Kambar has earned a niche for himself as a folk writer par-excellence.

Their contributions to enrich Kannada literature is no less significant but at the same time S.L. Bhyrappa’s contribution too is no less significant. In fact S.L. Bhyrappa’s is much more significant both for reasons of artistic merit and scholarship and therefore must be recognised.

I only hope that the Jnanpith award panel need not be apologetic one day in future for not giving its award to S.L. Bhyrappa, like the Nobel Prize committee which regretted its omission in not giving the award to Mahamta Gandhi at the time it gave the award to Dalai Lama saying that this award was “in part a tribute to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.”

And as for Kannada readers, even if S.L. Bhyrappa, a resident of Mysore, does not get the Jnanpith award, it does not matter. Has not Napoleon Bonaparte, the Emperor of France, said the last word on such unrealistic decisions?

France was not recognised by some of the European countries following Napolean’s victorious wars.

And Napoleon said: The Sun need not be recognised.


Also read: U.R. Anantha Murthy,our greatest living writer?

Did Adolf Hitler fetch S.L. Bhyrappa‘s freedom?

The mahaan elastic buddhijeevi of the year is…

CHURUMURI EXCLUSIVE: S.L. Bhyrappa on Avarana

WHODUNIT?: URA, Kambar, HSS, Mystery woman?

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66 Responses to “Does Kambar deserve Jnanpith before Bhyrappa?”

  1. Girish Hampali Says:

    Well said Ganapathy. Kambar is no less but Bhyrappa stands tall amidst of the current literary giants.
    If bhyrappa cant get a literary award, that award is not having a calibre to award an awardee.

  2. Faldo Says:

    Well made point. It is true that SLB is probably the most deserving Kannada litterateur worthy of this honor. One hopes that SLB’s work is given its due by this committee. Regardless, the last sentence in Ganapathy’s article says it all – The Sun need not be recognized.

  3. Mysore Peshva Says:

    Why mention “BJP’s ‘Gateway to the South'”? What has that got to do with Sri. Ganapathy’s case?

    Two quick points.

    1. Thoughtful, refreshing piece by Sri. Ganapathy… Utterly enjoyable. Thank you, sir!

    2. Sri. Bhyrappa is not “right wing” to anyone that understands the inclusive nature of Hindu dharma, and to anyone that is familiar with any history of Fascism. To call that good, generous man “right wing” is to trivialize the suffering of thousands that perished under right-wing tyrants in Middle Age Europe or in occupied Europe or in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Get some perspective, sir!

  4. 'mudi'malnad Says:

    Definitely SLB deserves more than anybody(he will get probably when Modi becomes PM!) At the same breath, Pu Chan The and Adiga deserved it too but they didn’t, so committee doesn’t consider literary merits only.

  5. born smart Says:

    SLB shouldn’t be awarded because it would be put him alongside URA & Karnad. He deserves better

  6. Deepak Says:

    Kambara is a deserving candidate. But Karnad and Ananthmurthy definitely did not deserve Jnanapeeth and got the award only because of their ideology.

    Bhyrappa’s exclusion is disgraceful. But these things will continue as long as were ruled by the Italian mafia.

  7. sriramvdongre Says:

    D.V.G’s reply to a letter by Sri N. Raghunathan(Retired The Hindu editor) about not getting GNANA PEETHA AWARD…..

    Dear friend ,
    Your kind letter.
    My book in question called “Manku Timmana Kagga”.
    Manku means “the dull”.Thimma is acountry bumpkin.Kagga is “a rigmarole”.Alliteratively speaking,it is afoggy fools forrago.
    What wonder that it does not win a prize! What wonder if it won one!
    Since you have taken it rather seriously,let me add that the little book contains a series of metrical lubrications on life and destiny in a semi-mocking vein.
    It was first published in 1943, in a cheap unpretentious form, and i did not either seek or expect any tremendous reception for it.It has however gone through four editions and sold about 16,000 copies.Though this does not mean a sumptious bank account, it affords some moral consolation, and that is enough for me.Why do i want lakh of rupees? Do i not look well-fed?
    For good work for the public, money will no doubt be usefull.But if it has God’s approval, God will provide the means at the proper time.That is your faith and mine.No need to worry –then.The idea of competative prizes for literature is basically absurd.My whole nature raises in revolt against it. Valmiki and Vyasa and Potana and Tyagaraja are our ideals.Did they compete for anybodies favours?
    I was a Government-nominated member of the Central executive of the Sahitya Akka Dummy of Delhi for 3 or 4 years, and then i resigned from it out of disgust.When in it, I protested against the proposal of annual rewards to writers.That would demoralise writers, creats bad blood, and bring falsehood into the book-world.
    I protested also against the Madras scheme of National Poets for every year. C.R.scrapped it when he took charge as chief minister.
    It is carrying the absurdity to its extremity to think of a comparitive evaluation of books in two different languages.
    Even when two of same merit are in the same language-one Drama, and the other a philosophial essay,-how can you compare their merits? Each may be of superlative merit in its own genre.This difficulty is increased enormously when you are asked to judge as between Tamil drama and a Telgu philosophical essay.
    And every one knows that judgement in literature and art is subjective and private. Where are you going to find judges whose competence may not be questioned and whose vote will be convincing to others?
    The best way in which a Government or Gnana Peetha can help literature materically is for it to buy a thousand copies of abook of merit and distribute the copies among schools etc. Competative prizes bear the odour of politics.
    Affectionately yours
    Sri N. Ranganathan Avargal,
    C/o Messrs. Essen & Co,
    550, VIII Main Road

  8. Madhumala Says:

    This article is not for someones enjoyment.

    Writer has clear mentioned why Bhyrappa deserves the award? what is his contribution to Kannada literature? how he is far better than any other and how Jnanpith award panel has to do selection?

    Obvious reasons like, politics, caste, religion…. are influencing the selection, than the quality of literature. That is why writer like Bhyrappa are, still not recognized. Because of these obvious reasons, award panel can ignore SLB work, but he cann’t be ignored by people of Karnataka. He is one the top best writers, than last two Jnanpith awardees and than Dr. Kambara. Bhyrappa is the man of vision and imagination.

  9. Pradeipsk Says:

    How pathetic situation now..all are saying that BYARAPPA is deserve for it,he should be awarded,before KAMBAR..these people think that these prizes and awards are measure of their achievement!!!why fight for like this..what’s matter of guts here,,if anyone says BYARAPPA is better than KAMBAR what’s evidence and knowledge that they have first mind kannadiga this is really shocked me.

  10. Kitapati Says:

    Papu and Ganapathy are cent per cent right.
    I have read the works of both Bhyrappa and Kambar. Kambar is a good writer in both prose and poetry. Good but not great. His poems like ‘kadukudure’ have become classics but even hamsalekha and gurukiran’s songs are classics. Kambar has some elements of navya sahithya in his works and their lies his story of success. Navya again was part of the kannada cultural zeitgeist of the 70-80s where mediocore kannada writers used to masquarade as creative genuises by imitating and borrowing ideas from western existential writers like sartre, Camus and Kafka. Add a dash of socialism and neo-colonial india and hindu bashing and you are in the great writer list. To be fair to Kambar he has retained flavour of indegenous religiosity and culture unlike the other navya ‘genuises’. Navya never produced any work of genius. It could not produce a classic like Masti’s ‘Chikka veera rajendra’ or Karanth’s ‘Mukkajiya Kanasugula’.

    Bhyrappa on the other hand never succumbed to these influences and maintained his own style of narration and storytelling. he never got to the typical stereotyping of caste, Cow and curry. Bhyrappa questioned and challenged these stereotypes right from his early novels and therin lies his merit. Being a good narrator he is the most widely read author in Kannada. This is something the establishment which includes the leftist jnanapitha committee dont like. Bhyrappa has pandered to the far right many a times. That probably is a survival mechanism which he badly needed to protect himself from the leftwing loonies like URA and Girish karnad. Bhyrappa truly deserved a janapita, much more than URA, karnad and Kambar.

  11. M K Vidyaranya Says:

    Sri S L Bhyralppa should have been selected even before Anantha Murthy and Girish Karnad. While no one objects the selection of Kambar for the award, SLB should have been treated on a priority basis than Kambar. Observations by senior Journalist K B Ganapathi is correct, timely and thoughtful .

  12. kaangeya Says:

    SLB aka Salbhe, is the most popular author not only in Kannada, but the most widely read author of Indian languages, with some of his works being translated into as many as eight languages. Few know that some translations are his own. He is a modern day colossus in a field of mediocrity. Where else can you find a scholar of Kannada who chose to write his dissertation on aesthetics in English, Sanskrit and Kannada, and can charm none other than Dr. Kalaignar Karunanidhi on some nuances of the Silappadikaram? Darn, Salbhe has been a best selling author in Kannada and Marathi! Let’s not get started about that titan DVG. we need a separate blog for the works of titans so that we are not distracted by the works of petty flunkies like Karnad and Ananthamurthy.

  13. prakash Says:

    We are not discussing between Yeddy and Kumara as to who is more corrupt.

    If SLB has not got next year he should get it since its lifetime achievement award since 80’s.

    Lifetime achievement is quite a big issue to debate on churumuri.

  14. Bharath Raj Says:

    If some other language gets,,, debate starts “Kannadakke anyaya aagidhe” antha. When Kannada gets,,, “ivn bitt ivn bitt avryaaru” starts. Bhyrappa or kambar or other esteemed poets are not above kannada anyways,,, its kannada language’s success when gnanapeeta is honored not the individuals,,,, Most of us are in IT… nanna bittu,, atva avna bittu,, innyaarno Lead/Manager yaakey maadru antha discuss maadi prayojna illa antha yellarigu gotthu… Policitics irrutthe, contacts irutthe, networking irutthe, etc etc,, yella gothidru,,, hena (dead body) kuyyo kelsa maathra naav bidalla.. andre e vishyakke post mortem bekaagilla,,, huttigey,, saavigey,, puraskara galige priority basis treatment sigalla….
    article close maadi,,, kannada belasi…..

  15. sisya Says:

    “akkiyoLagannavanu modalu kaMDavanaaru,
    akkarada barahakke modaliganadaru, lekkavirisilla jaga tannadibandhugaLa, dakkuvude jasa ninage – mankutimma”

    Amazingly, nobody’s mentioned DVG yet?

  16. maaysa Says:

    To be frank..

    SL Byrappa is a good novelist like Triveni or T. R. Subba Rao. SLB has not done any significant research on Kannada language..

    However Dr. Kambara has to his credit 22 plays, 8 anthologies of poems, 3 novels, 12 research works and several scholarly write-ups on folk theater, literature and education.

    It is not incorrect and injust to say that Kambara doesn’t deserve Jnanapeetha.

    I don’t see any co-relation between Dr.Kamabara being awarded and SLB being not considered. They are different personalities with different literary styles and ideologies.

    The Jnanpith Award is a literary award in India. Along with the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, it is one of the two most prestigious literary honours in the country. It is presented by the Bharatiya Jnanpith, a trust founded by the Sahu Jain family, the publishers of the The Times of India newspaper.


    “The process of selection begins with the submission of proposals by a large number of litterateurs, teachers, critics and discriminating readers, also from various universities, literary and language associations and other similar organisations. (As per the rules of the award, once a language gets the award, it is not eligible for consideration during the next three years. Thus three languages are out of reckoning for the award every year).”

    Hence all people who wish SLB to get this award can submit a proposal to the committee..

    All the fans of SLB, please show some courtesy and be appreciation for Kambara’s work. He too has great contribution to our culture.

  17. Somashekar Says:

    The great ‘Jnanpeeth Award winner’ Girish Karnad protested against ban on live music and dance in pubs and discos in Bangalore on Aug 10!!

    On the other side another cheep sorry chief writer Jnanpeeth winner U.R Ananth Murthy supports MAOISM..!!

    Shame to Mr.Karnad & Murthy..
    So SLB didn’t do these 3rd grade works so he don’t want Jnanpeeth..
    What u say guys..

  18. December Stud Says:

    Do you guys really believe SLB would have accepted the award if it was given to him now? Bhyrappa would have rejected the award outright and it would have been a busy day for media. Government is well aware of this. Seriously, why would Bhyrappa accept an award which was previously given to URA and Karnad? The sanctity of the award is long lost and Bhyrappa knows it more than any of us.

    Let’s not fool ourselves. Bhyrappa will never be awarded Jnanpith. I am sure he doesn’t care a dime about it and we shouldn’t either. We all know where he stands, don’t we?

    kambara is a very good writer. But, to be honest, not just SLB, even GS Shivarudrappa is more deserving than Kambara.

    And remember, DVG, and Adiga never won any Jnanpith. We all know where they stand when it comes to Kannada literature.

  19. vaidya Says:

    Can’t believe why ideology has to play a role for a literature award.

    If writing about Hinduism is wrong, I wonder how they celebrate/justify Kuvempu’s receiving it for “Ramayana Darshanam”

    But then every award has it’s set of people you wonder how they missed out. Like pointed above : Adiga, DVG were all far better than URA or Karnad. Such is life. Better just enjoy their works and not worry about these things.

  20. Umapathi Says:

    I agree SL Byrappa deserved Gnanapeetha Award decades ago, and I also endorse SLB deserves a Nobel Prize for literature. But may I know who is this PaPu to declare Kambar does not deserve Gnanapeetha Award?

    A California qualified media specialist brings out almost dead newspapers ‘Prapancha’ and ‘Vishvavani’ which hardly gets circulated among few hundred complimentary readers. But, through this insignificant newspapers, PaPu ‘won’ the prestigious TSR Award, nomination to Vidhana Parishat, Rajyotsava Award, Nadoja Award, Pampa Award. Through his ‘caste’ politics he even entered Rajyasabha, did nothing for the welfare of karnataka. The Gokak Chaluvali saw the success by the entry of Dr Rajkumar, and PaPu took all the credit.

    What sorts of ‘literature’ is printed in the Prapancha Press is best known to the police of Hubli-Dharwar, when his son was caught red-handed with porno literature.

    Politically, Journalistically and ofcourse Literally a BIG ZERO like PaPu wants to become a HERO through his comments on Kambara.

    I wish PaPu a speedy recovery from mental illness

  21. sanjeeva Says:

    Agree with Vidyaranya, Somashekar and December Stud (what does it mean sir?!). Well said. Without undermining Kambar’s contributions, S.L.Bhyrappa definitely deserves Gyanapeetha. I don’t know what are the criteria adopted for choosing the awardee!

  22. G Says:

    This debate on whether SLB should or should not get the award has been going on for long.

    I have read most of the novels of SLB and around 75% of them are mediocre at best. Avarana and Kavalu particularly stand out in that.

    However, his ‘Parva’ is one of a kind and SLB deserves whatever award that is out there just for this one work! Parva is pure class.

    I agree with December Stud that SLB has too much self respect/ego to accept the award now that it has been awarded to GK and the great URA.

  23. Ananth Says:

    I totally support Mr.Patil Puttappa. SLB was truly a deserved candidate compared to Kambara. Padmabhushan DVG was one great fellow who gone unrecognized by this award. But no where URA or GK or even Kambara stands near to DVG or SLB.

    Probably SLB’s right inclination in his works and also present of Janivara made him a victim.

  24. Nastika Says:

    @sriramvdongre. brilliant piece, thanks for sharing. DVG has answer for this post & every comment on this page.


  25. mohana Says:

    jnaapeetha is a TIMES GROUP award and u cannot expect Right wing writers to get. But SLB got most prestigious KENDRA SAAHITYA ACADEMY and SARSWATI SAMMAAN which are for more higher in merit compred to this award.

  26. A Journalist Says:

    Rubbish. Kambara is a much better writer than URA and Karnad.
    Hundred times better than S L Byrappa. Byrappa is a popular writer.
    Thats it.

  27. A Journalist Says:

    This Ganapathy should stop writing about literature and writers.

    Pateela Puttappa is a highly casteiest joker. He needs to be admitted to some mental asylum.

  28. mounaprasad Says:

    Now that URA and GKarnada have got Gnanapeetha award for their literary(?) works…will SLB not feel insulted by getting this award after these two unworthy is something like awarding the Nobel Peace prize to Gandhi after it was awarded to Yasser Arafat the terrorist…think about it

  29. chidu22 Says:

    Deplorable is how the name of Mr ChandraShekar Kambar has been mispelt as ‘sekhar at places. I wonder who is reponsible for this?

  30. eruve Says:

    Ellaru train hodamele ticket tagono partygalu. Iga badkondara badalu modlene hogi Jnapeethadavara hatra helbekittu. Fast unto death madidre innu chennagi irodu. :)

  31. Mallikarjun S Dambal Says:

    In the context of DVG and SLB not being honoured with the prestigious GP Award, reminds us that- ”It is better to be deserving and not being honoured, than being honoured and not deserving”

  32. Ramanna S Says:

    The right wing writter SLB may get some awards if not JP award.But, who is this hell talking nonsense PaPu,world famous in Dharwad?
    He never deserved awards he got so far. One mistake committed by Kambar made him Nadoja. This award given by Kambara only. Papu is not just a castiest but jealous.

  33. Nanjundaswamy.S Says:

    A well thought article by a well known journalist. I fully agree with the views of Sri Ganapathy.SLB should have been selected before Kambar.

  34. chanakya Says:

    lobbying for awards is a must these days. There are rumors that URA is trying best to get Nobel award; though he does not deserve it in any, any manner.
    But yes; SL Byrappa should have got the JP award first. Lets wait and see. But one thing, unlike others, SLB will surely not lobby for any awards…he is above all these materialistic things…..

  35. Umapathi Sakaleshapura Says:

    Are Ganapathi and Patil Puttappa lobbying for Jnanapeeth Award Committe memberships? Since when did they acquire competence to value literary works?

  36. Arvind Rao Says:

    Excepting writing letters to Vachakara Vani, I have never seen Patil Puttappa practicing journalism. Still he got TSR Award, let him spell out whose lobby worked here? And there were many more competent journalists were living at that point of time, like Mattihalli Nagarajarao. He has ‘won’ Rajyotsava Prashasti, again for Journalistic achievements. God only knows who read his writeups. He got Nadoja Award, Pampa Award …. (is there any award left un-amassed by Patil Puttappa), what for? He enjoyed RS membership and still not satisfied lobbied for Vidhana Parishat membership. Pocketed all the allowances, did nothing for Kannadigas, let alone north-karnataka people.

  37. Sufi Says:

    Dear All:

    I read the comments here most of which are callous which are fit for an argument over a teashop! The article by Mr. Ganapathy itself lacks maturity! If he does not read Kannada literature, how could he judge the merits of Bhyrappa or Kambar? By doing so he is doing injustice to both of them! Bringing the analogy of Gandhi not winning Nobel prize into this argument shows nothing but the intellectual erosion of the writer. Again, for everybody’s information Jnanpith is a private award and is not even remotely related to Government. At the time when Kannadigas should have been celebrating the award for one of its writers, we are in great debate whether he deserved it or not or someone else should have got it! If Prof.Kambar gets the award that does not mean that Bhyrappa or GSS or any other writer is not qualified to get that award. Any award is a token of appreciation from a community to an artist and getting the award is not the goal for the artist or the art. Prof. Kambar has contributed immensely to the growth of Kannada. He has excelled in various forms of the literature. Being an able administrator he single-handedly built the Kannada University at Hampi. His contribution to the collective consciousness of the Kannada language is unquestionable. And Jnanpith is not the first award he is getting! It is very immature to compare two writers, or any two artists. Whatever might be the ideological stand of Bhyrappa, he is one of the finest writers in Kannada. But it is very flawed to compare his contribution to Kambar’s or vice versa! If one gets an award, it is not mature to crib that someone else should have got it. Bhyrappa might get Jnanpith in the future. Like that there is a big list in Kannada literature who deserve Jnanpith! If Kambar gets the award, its callous to compare him with his peers and to undermine the importance of the award itself as people above are doing! Lets not make it a war between ideologies! Lets show our intellectual maturity in congratulating Prof. Kambar and share his concerns for Kannada!

    No wonder we Kannadigas are a vanishing race :)

  38. Niaz Ahmed Says:

    Agree with Sufi. We must celebrate the success of Kannada literature and be proud of the fact that there are so many deserving writers.

  39. chidu22 Says:

    @ Sufi,

    No wonder we Kannadigas are a vanishing race…

    Its got nothing to do with who should have been chosen over others as this has been going on for sometime i.e.Girish Karnad, U R Ananth Murthy and now Mr Kambar,though each have contributed to the Kannada Literature.
    The debate is about why Mr Bhyrappa has been overlooked on so many occasions, is it because of his right wing thoughts or he doesnt believe in lobbying but his own merit.
    A healthy and mature debate is always welcome in any language for its growth and not some pseudo intellectual maturity to appear good in public domain.Its like Dhoni calling back Ian Bell in recent England test series while every englishman in the commentators box didnt think they would have done themselves.
    Pseudo Intellectual Kannadigas are the once who are responsible for the state of the language.

  40. Jagdish BS Says:

    The most important point to consider is, that Kannada Literature is filled and over flowing with talent. Our score is the highest in the country. The debate exists becuase kannada has so much talent, so lets pray we have a healthy debate about and among deserving canditates.

  41. Sufi Says:

    @ Chidu

    Why are we even discussing this? If Bhyrappa has been overlooked it is the business of the award committee… We dont even know what criteria were followed in the selection! Again why are we getting into ideological issues? So if anyone does not support Bhyrappa is a ‘pseudo intellectual’ is it? It is easy to brand and get away with a healthy discussion! What about G S Shivarudrappa? He is more senior than Bhyrappa. He has also been neglected by the committee for so many years! He does not have an ideology to be neglected! But why are we not discussing why has he been neglected? But if we go on like this, instead of appreciating Kambar’s contribution we will only be in perpetual cribbing!

  42. Murali Says:

    SLB definitely deserves Jnana Peeta more than Kambar purely on merit. His literary contribution and quality is immense. These days every award is politically motivated and carries very little value. Kambar is a better writer and deserves Jnana Peeta when compared with Karnad and URA.

  43. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Which one is more prestigious–the Saraswathi Sammaan or the Jnaanapeetha? Is there any writer who has been awarded both?

    All this talk has nothing to do with the well-being of our poor Kannada. Our Mankuthimma and Javaramma in Bidarenhalli read neither “Jokeswamy,” nor do they care for “Kavalu.” They certainly have little use for “Ramayana Darshanam” or “Sakheegeetha.” Savouring the caste neutral power of sexual desire in Kambara, URA, or Karnad’s works is less important to them than being able to fill out an application form for a loan or a job.

    The much to be hoped for survival of Kannada doesn’t depend on literature, movies, or the Dasara ballyhoo. Give Kannadigas a reason to speak and study their language; assure them that they can make a living within Karnataka, knowing only Kannada. Until then, the allure of English cannot be resisted. I have nothing against Kannada children studying English from the first tharagathi on if that is what they need to assure themselves that they have a future ahead for them. Let us not give pockets of isolated art folks the sovereignty to decide how namma jana are going to be prepared for an extremely complex, increasingly difficult life in a world where linguistic provincialism and Hindi nationalism can offer a few government jobs to people as clerks or Division IV workers.

    If we give in to the counsel of those in the twilight of their lives and force our children to receive their education in Kannada, ten years later our retired university professors will not be around to see the consequences of their muddled thinking.

    True, we don’t have properly trained teachers in rural Karnataka to teach English effectively. Neither do we have effective teachers of Kannada who will do their job effectively.

    In any case for Kannada for Kannada’s sake has no meaning in our lives.

    Monolingualism is dying everywhere.

  44. Umapathi Says:

    I endorse @Pulikeshi.

    Neither we have good teachers to teach Kannada nor good teachers to teach Science. We have been spending time on trivial issues than educating the masses, in a right manner.

    Let this Ganapathi and Papu sit before Gandhi Pratime for Dharana, to cancel Jnanapeeth to Kambar and reissue the same to Byrappa. We have better business than these re-tired and sefl-proclaimed Hiriya Patrakartas.

  45. FirstReality Says:

    I don’t know where to start. This has got to be the dumbest editorial ever. But again, what’s that? Star of Mysore?

  46. tsubba Says:



    completeness of the ‘diga experience involves both this and that. chenna mallikaarjuna’s krupe i have that, but, i cannot imagine a world without vaidehi, for example.

    baaLve muttu poNisida haagalla. ond aadara mele innondalla. kayiige sikka hoovu devarige arpisode pooje. tuLasi daLa aadamele, kanakambara, kanakambara mugida mele malle pooje alla.

  47. prakash Says:

    do you mean Kannada will not fetch jobs. How can you say that without implementing? please answer this first.

    I am not against English being taught as a optional language with exceptional teachers of Balds and Bishops.
    As per my experience English is hard to learn for rural students because teachers are only not competent enough but that does not mean English medium will solve that.
    Just like doctors teachers don’t like to go to villages. That migration or satellite education should be first resolved. But unfortunately for ettige jwara we put bare to koNa

  48. adu haagene Says:

    Check this out Mr. (Grama) Simha’s facebook etnry and comments.
    Does Kambar deserve Jnanpith before Bhyrappa?

    Manjunath Karoshi Its totally unfair to compare kambar and byrappa with a single yardstick .both are stalewarts in their own sphere…. Kuvempu never got noble…does not mean he is inferior or something … Lets celebrate seventh jnanapeeth for Kannada …. Mosarinalli kallu hudukuvudu bedaari……
    September 21 at 8:18pm

    Pratap Simha Manjunath Karoshi@ Wht “stale”warts!!?? Please resist urself from comparing “STALWART” SLB with PYGMIES. Perhaps, ur literary knowledge is dwarf. Try not to showcase here
    September 21 at 8:25pm

  49. adu haagene Says:

    SLB Definitely deserves Jnaanapeetha. But this does not and should not mean that CK doesnot deserve it.
    Its our (kannada readers’) misfortune that we have no choice but to read (whatever s@#t written by those who have mastered art of writing) only these kind of biased articles now a days in any dailies or weeklies.

    Lets be happy that Kannada has got one more prestigiousaward.

  50. Ganesha Says:

    True words….

  51. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Well done Tigers Whiskers the Ultimate! I am all for teaching English to our rural folk! Nobody has a monopoly over Kannada or even English. Let a thousand Kannada/English flowers bloom. Teachers of all sorts are in short supply! A bad teacher is preferable to no teacher in schools. Kids will manage.

  52. Rakesh Says:

    It really shouldn’t matter who wins the jnana peetha,at the end of the day it is a honor for Kannada language.”What’s there in a name,A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.”the content and intent is important not the person.

  53. Pulikeshi the Troubled Says:

    What are churumuri’s for publishing or pitching posts? I don’t know why I don’t see my recent post in which I said the jnaanis promote “literary” than literacy. I also wondered loudly how the committee that awarded the prashasthi to when it had no Kannada speaking members and how it could have weighed Sri Kambar’s samagra works with the other contenders’. Perhaps Shri Prakash would like to answer the question?


    I do believe our children have no future if they don’t learn and learn in English. Those who know only Kannada or doomed to work in low paying fields.

    Doddi Buddi,

    Thanks. You phrase the idea better than I did. What are our Kannada children to do when they do not have well-trained and well-paid teachers? It is about time there were some parity between what college teachers earn, thanks to the UGC, and what school teachers are paid. Can you imagine the breath-taking rejuvenation of education if the state and the federal guggus set aside ten percent of their income to take care of the needs of children in rural areas? But then there is always the question of how much of that money will actually be spent on the purpose for which it was intended, even if something like that were possible. We probably need half a billion Hazares, each an expert in one thing, to change the way we conduct business.

  54. Pagan Says:

    Pulikeshi the Troubled,

    We need both literary and literacy. You can’t argue that literary should wait till literacy reaches 100%. It is similar to the argument made whenever India launches a satellite – we should not be doing this when 99.99999% of our people live on 2 cents a day.

  55. thepunter Says:

    The Gyanpeetha award for Mr.Kambar is a massive shot in the arm for the language and it’s literature.It also helps that his focus on the often forgotten North Karnataka region brings it into the limelight and highlights the culture and people.However the editorial wrongly blames English education as the cause for Kannada’s decline.The recently held World Kannada conference brought out a disturbing English bashing trend amongst the Kannadiga intellectual fraternity.To blame English for all the ills afflicting Kannada is foolhardy and is grossly unjust to the backward population of Karnataka.The cause of Kasturi Kannada will be wrecked apart if kannadigas themselves are divided vertically.As it is there is enough heartburn amongst the local populace with regard to jobs that are mostly taken up by immigrants and the failure of KUSMA to implement the RTE act further alienates the “real” kannadigas.The real bugbear is Hindi which has been slowly nibbling away in the name of national integration.Such a pity that a classical language with a pre-Christian era heritage has to go around with a begging bowl for recognition.If things “deteriorate” in such fashion then a Raj Thackeray is inevitable. In fact it has already begun in the “avatar” of a former underworld don who is increasingly emerging as the new Robin Hood or in the Indian context,the NTR of Karunadu.

  56. gandhi Says:

    resp sir,
    i admire your work….but 1st let me tell you that u alone cant judge kambar as leftist..poets and writers try to express their feelings and ideas of common man undergoing various troubles and their shifting idealogies, 2nd thing is that just because they write socialistic ideas they wont become communists o anti hindu…have they written anything against hindus o hinduism to call them anti hindu????…their r always some dissatisfactions but that dosent mean you compare o critisize kambar….yeah sooner o later slb ll get this award…
    Insted of feeling hurt o jealous lets b happy that again the flag of kannada is high…


  57. Suprith Bharadwaj Says:

    Saraswathi sammaan awardee S L Bhyrappa sir deserves jnanapeeta award.. I like his ideology and he is one of the best writer of kannada literature. We need writers like Bhyrappa sir,not like Excentric URA! Bhyrappa sir rocks.. We love him a lot…

  58. chandra Says:

    I think bhyrappa should aim for nobel prize for literature.
    people in america and those like NRN who read bhyrappa’s novels in economy class during air travel , ambassadors like karnadu in unesco and all should translate and otthada heri nobel prize for literature should be awarded to bhyrappa .
    this time it was awarded to swedish person. so its not total english english.

    go for it bhyrappa.

  59. Nastika Says:

    One word for this article & comments – crazy !

    People seem to think that Jnanapita award is Kannada’s birthright & debating on which person must get it !!!

    I guess thats the problem with plenty ! I wonder how long will this last !! I am happy that a writer from Karnataka got the award this time !!!


  60. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    The jnanapeetha award, if judiciously awarded, is a recognition of an artist’s timber as a writer. It is not an award given to a language or the people who happen to speak it. Even if miraculously everybody belonging to the tribe of scribes in Kannada won every prize there is for literature, it makes no difference to the fate of the Kannada language.

    What happens to Kannada will depend strictly on its usefulness in our everyday life. One cannot “make” it useful. The literary mob cannot save it. From Pampa to Champa, none of the group has been able to influence our public policy on language. The ministers and the bureaucrats who rule Kannadaland have little knowledge of the language, with the exception of the likes of Shri Chiranjeev Singh. Asking non-Kannadiagas to respect us by speaking our language is like asking a statue to listen to our demands. Our writers who spoke Tamil or Marathi at home were bilingual and were educated in Kannada.

    Let’s get the troglodyte in the Rajbhavan to speak Kannada. He says he came to serve us because of his admiration for the land and its people. It will at least be a start. And that’s where it will stop.

  61. Ravichandra Kambooti Bellary Says:

    Dr Chandrashkhar Kambar defnitely deserves Jnanapeet Award. How can this writer who knows literature or writers by just reading the write ups on the back cover of a book make such a judgement. He is a fool to do so and he is forcing others to continue in his trend by allowing them to react to his prejudiced thoughts! Mr Ganapathy, or whoever you are incognito remember that in recent years this award is given after much deliberations and discussions and even readers voice is taken to considerations. It only means all of us including YOU have voiced for a better writer for the award…accept this and try reading texts of the authors and do not go by caste or creed! Disgraceful and Shame on you.

  62. Deepak Says:

    well said, SLB’s any one of his novel deserves Jnapeetha than the Kambar/URA/GK combined.

  63. Sirigannadam gelge Says:

    ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF PEOPLE FIGHTING FOR PEOPLE,RATHER THAN “NAMMA BHASHE”. Honestly Sri SLB would have openly congratulated CK and shown doddatana.Sri CK was also VC of Kannada University,no doubt he strived for Kannada literature. Sri CK was fortunate enough and no less deserving to get JP and on the same lines Sri SLB continue to have thousands of readers cum well wishers.

    Sirigannadam gelge.

  64. Surya Rajath Says:

    No doubt SLB should have been awarded jnana peeta before the other two…I have all the novels of SLB, he is superior than all…But he doesn’t know to lobbying for awards…Whatever it may be u r in our heart forever…

  65. Raghavendra H Says:

    I’ve ready most novels of SLB – in all, I found them of very very high quality – the others mentioned here [ URA, GK and C Kambar] – definitely don’t stand a chance – infront of this ‘kannada sahitya bhaskara’ . Anyway – it’s the award’s prestige that would get elevated – if it’s conferred on SLB.

  66. Rajeev Says:

    Thanks for the wonderful article.
    SLB deserves jnanapitha more than any living Kannada writer, when gauged by any yardstick. Hope he gets it this year.

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