Software expert lays stress on improving Kannada fonts

'Standard unicode will help in exchange of knowledge among languages'

 At a time when attempts are made to invent new software and fonts for different languages, retired professor and software expert K P Rao, felt a need to overcome the possessiveness towards scripts and free the language and communication from its shackle.

He was delivering presidential address at the inauguration of 19th district Kannada Sahitya Sammelana organised by Dakshina Kannada District Kannada Sahitya Parishat at Polali temple premises on Saturday. He said that need of the hour was to improve existing Kannada fonts so as to make it convenient for all other languages to use Kannada font, rather than restricting it to read and write Kannada.

“Attempts are being made to develop an unicode for Tulu. But, in reality, there is no need of a separate unicode for it, as Malayalam unicode can be used for writing Tulu texts. When we developed the unicode system, our main intention was to develop a standard unicode for all Indian languages. But now, different Unicode have been developed for each language. A standard unicode will help for the exchange of knowledge among all languages in a much easier way,” he said.

Exchange information 

He stressed that Kannada script and font was not the property of Kannadigas, but it could be accessible to all. Kannada fonts should be improvised in a manner that allows even Tulu, Beary, Konkani, Kodava and other language texts to be written in Kannada script.

Prof K P Rao imparted a message to come out of an impression that only one language is supreme. “Love all the languages as each language has its own merits and demerits. We should open up for the exchange of information and knowledge irrespective of the language constraints.”

Meanwhile, he also expressed his unhappiness over the lack of the government support and recognition for the initiatives of laymen in flourishing the language. Whatever work has done for the promotion of Kannada so far, is because of the efforts of laymen and they are not sponsored by the government. 

Prof Rao said him being bestowed with an opportunity to preside over Sahitya Sammelana was a tribute to Attavar Ananth Acharya and Bassel Mission who have contributed significantly for developing Kannada fonts.

Earlier, inaugurating the programme, District-in-Charge Minister B Ramanath Rai said love for the language is necessary, but not go to the extreme. He was refering to the border dispute that has been reported from Belgaum. When one starts fighting over language, various other aspects like caste, community, religion and region joins it.

Sammelana features

The two-day Sahitya Sammelana kicked off with a ceremonial procession from Polali bridge to the programme venue in the temple premises. During the inaugural programme, Sahitya Sammelana stage was mostly occupied by politicians, bureaucrats and temple office-bearers, with less number of litterateurs. Apart from the president of the Sammelana, Erya Lakshminarayana Alva and Janaki Brahmavara were the only two litterateurs to be present on the stage. 

A book exhibition was arranged at the programme venue. Book enthusiasts were seen taking a stroll at the exhibition and buying Kannada books. An art exhibition was also held. 

Felicitation

In the ‘Vidvath Sanmana’ felicitation programme, scholar Kodimajalu Anatha Upadhyaya, legal expert Nooyi Srinivas Rao, theatre person Sadanad Suvarna, Yakshagana scholar M Prabhakar Joshi, Yakshagana Bhagavath Agari Raghuram, researcher Prof A V Navada and folk scholar Palthadi Ramakrishna Achar were  felicitated. 

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