3 years of Kerala Tulu Academy

There was lot of debate and discussion among the people of Kasargod district in general and the intelligentsia in particular when the Left Democratic Government led by Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan three years ago decided to constitute a Kerala Tulu Academy in response to the long pending demand for preserving and promoting Tulu language and culture.

Some people saw a ploy to distance the Tuluvas from Kanndiga minorities in the region who have been demanding merger of the region with Karnataka ever since the region was tagged on to Kerala during the formation of linguistic states.

Earlier, the region was part and parcel of undivided Dakshina Kannada district and the region comprising these three districts -one in Kerala and the other two in neighbouring Karnataka was known as Tulunadu linguistically and culturally.

Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan while inaugurating Kerala Tulu Sahitya Academy indirectly conceded the delay in constituting such an Academy in the State. As soon as Manjeshwar MLA C H  Kunhambu moved the issue in Kerala Assembly, the Government without any delay made the Tulu Academy a reality, the CM claimed. The veteran leftist stalwart also stressed the urgent need for according constitutional status to Tulu by including it in the 8th Schedule.

There were some teething troubles initially but the Academy with veteran Tulu scholar- researcher Venkataraja Punchithaya as chairman and MLA Kunhambu as the guiding spirit have definitely taken few concrete steps over the last three years.

An acre of Government land was acquired at Kadambar near Hosangady for the purpose of erecting a complex for the Tulu Academy with all infrastructural facilities like library, reading room and a conference hall. According to the Academy Secretary Balakrishna Shettigar, all the preliminary measures for beginning the work have been completed.
Tuluvas in Kasaragod have welcomed the Academy programmes with open arms. The events like ‘Aatidonji Dino,’ ‘Aatida Aayano’ held at various places like Kumble, Kanvatheertha,  Kadambar and at other places has received good response from the people.

Owing to the Academy’s efforts, it has been also confirmed that the edict found at Bajakudlu near Perla is in Tulu language. Adding to it after the establishment of the Academy, a certificate course in Tulu was commenced in Government College, Kasaragod.
To cap all these enthusiastic programmes, a Tulu festival and a State-level Tulu seminar was held at the State capital Thiruvananthapuram. Almost the entire Kerala Cabinet including Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, other ministers, opposition leaders in the Assembly and several MLAs took part in the event.

The programme also included an Yakshagana ‘Thataka Vadha’ played by a Kasaragod troupe. Rather inspired by the experience of Tulu festivals held at Thiruvananthapuram, the Academy has ventured to hold a national Tulu Festival (Desoda Tulu Jathre) at Paivalike by this year-end.

The Academy has also planned to organise a Tulu festival at Mumbai prior to the national meet.

Definitely the Academy has made a good beginning and one can hope for the Academy to bring back the lost Tulu flavour in Kasaragod region.  

One only hopes that the efforts of the Tulu Academy would be able to address all the prevailing problems as far as Tulu language and culture is concerned. After all, to foster Tulu language and culture is to foster and promote the cause of every Tulu child and every toiling Tuluva.

The Tulu Academy is also bringing out a periodical ‘Thembare’ highlighting the rich culture and tradition of Tulu along with the activities of Tulu Academy.

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