The oft-expressed lament of many a celebrity writer that Kannada is dying because the Kannadiga GenNext cares two hoots for its mother tongue, may turn into delight if only doomsayers become aware of the space that Kannada is making on the internet, slowly but steadily.
Gone are the days when love for Kannada used to be expressed by writing in print media or displaying a Kannada flag or delivering an eloquent speech in public platforms on the richness of Kannada on November 1.
Hundreds of Kannadigas settled in different corners of the globe post or comment on blogs in Kannada. The blog has become an easy mode of communication of thought and expression. In the last couple of years blogging has emerged as a popular forum for Kannada writers and has widened the reach of Kannada as a language. Blog is a term derived out of two words - ‘web’ and ‘log’. It serves as a website of limited opportunities.
A person with little knowledge of internet can launch a blog and keep it updated.
The most significant feature that made this medium popular is that within seconds after publishing it on blog, it can be read or viewed from anywhere in the world. Web publishing has revolutionised writing. In the blogosphere, there are no publishers to coddle. You are your own publisher.
The 1,500 Kannada active blogs on the web vary in subject and content. There are exclusive blogs for poetry, literary debates, photography and a mix of all.
Dr Arun Joladakudligi, a scholar in folklore studies, recently launched a blog (kannadajaanapada.blogspot.com) exclusively for debates and articles on folklore studies.
“The most enthusiastic feature of blogging is that I get responses from my friends within no time. Earlier, I had to post my writings to them or attempt to get them published in newspapers so that my friends respond," says S Kumar, who has a blog (olagoo-horagoo. blogspot.com) for the last two years. He publishes his poems, short stories in the blog.
A few blogs have become personal diaries of the bloggers. They post their travelogues, keep writing the movies they watched or books read. Some bloggers have formed their communities and meet regularly and discuss the future of blogging.
Platform for literature
These days many books become popular even before they are printed, because they are published on blogs well before printed. Well known poet H S Venkateshmurthy chose to publish his autobiography Anathma Kathana in a blog (avadhi.wordpress.com) in parts before getting it was printed. It was widely read before it came out in the book form.
Journalist Jogi has a popular presence on the blogosphere. Senior writers U R Ananthamurthy, Dr B A Vivek Rai, Ramachandra Deva, M S Prabhakara (Kamaroopi) and a few others have launched blogs and post their writings occasionally.
Ravikrishna Reddy, a Bangalorean by birth and working in the US as software engineer, was among the first to blog in Kannada.
He launched his blog (amerikadimdaravi.blogspot.com) in 2006 and keep posting his writings regularly. He writes on various issues from bt brinjal to new innovations in technology, to politics in Karnataka.
Reddy says he launched the blog to reach out to Kannada reading folks in internet and see their responses. He is somewhat disappointed by the hate mail that his articles on political developments attracted.
One of the limitations of the blog is that if the blogger does not imposes restriction on posting comments, he will be inviting hate mails sent by anonymous viewers. There are examples of few bloggers pulling the shutters down after disappointed by hate mails.
Similarly there are people who run blogs remaining anonymous and for them blog is a forum to criticise others.