'Region between Godavari, Cauvery was once Karnataka'

There was now “clinching evidence” to prove claims that Kannada speaking population once dominated the region between Godavari and Cauvery rivers, said scholar M Chidanandamurthy, here on Monday.

He was speaking at the inaugural of a ten day workshop on Classical Kannada, organised by Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Kannada, Central Institute of Indian Languages in the city.

The evidence, he said, was based on the linguistic studies of a tongue spoken by ‘Hatkar-Kanadi’, a tribe near Nasik in North Maharashtra. “In new Kannada, even though there are equivalent terms for ‘son’ and ‘daughter’, there are no terms for ‘sons’ and ‘daughters’. However, such terms existed in old Kannada and gradually went out of use. Forms of the terms ‘Magadeer’ and ‘Magaldeer’, are still used by the tribe,” he said.

This showed that the claims made in Nrupatunga’s ‘Kavirajamarga’ about Kannada territory lying between these two rivers, was true, he said. Research on Marathi language also showed that several terms used in the language today, have been derived from Kannada. Even though Marathi was an Indo-Aryan language, Kannada has had a major influence in the evolution of the language, he said.

If Kannada language had continued to prevail in Maharashtra, Belgaum would be located in the centre of the territory, and have become the capital of the region.

“It is unfortunate that we have to fight for Belgaum today. The issue is now in the Supreme Court. If in case, the disputed territory is taken over by Maharashtra, there will be bloodshed,” he said.

‘Isila’

Recalling the research works that was responsible for Kannada being awarded the classical status, he said that the word ‘Isila’ found in an inscription belonging to Ashoka period, showed that Kannada had a history of more than 1,500 years. “The inscription not only helped Kannada fulfill this criteria, but also showed that Kannada has a history of more than 2,300 years,” he said.

Scholars and research students from all the Universities of the State are participating in the workshop. Experts such as Talthaje Vasanth Kumar, A V Narasimhamurthy, T V Venkatachalashastri and others will hold sessions on linguistic aspects, ancient works and script of Kannada language.

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