Kuvempu was a cultural leader: Hampa Nagarajaiah

Prof Hampa Nagarajaiah, president of Kuppalli Kuvempu Pratishthana, said Kuvempu was not just a great poet, but also a cultural leader. He was speaking after inaugurating a seminar ‘Kuvempu’s contributions’ organised by Dr D V Gundappa Kannada Adhyayana Kendra and Kuppalli Kuvempu Pratishthana at Tumkur University on Saturday.

“Kuvempu’s achievements are not only in the field of literature, but also in bringing about social change. The ‘Mantramangalya’ tradition is one among the latter. Talking about Kuvempu would mean discussing Kannada literature, Malnad and modern Kannada,” he said. Nagarajaiah said Kuvempu was highly influenced by Rabindranath Tagore. He was mentored by his teachers T S Venkannaiah, B M Srikantaiah and A R Krishna Shastri. He not only studied works of ancient Kannada poets Ranna and Pampa, but also writings of Western authors.

Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa had also influenced Kuvempu who stayed in Vivekananda Ashram for 12 years, during which period, he extensively studied various literary works, he said. Kuvempu has written over 10,000 pages of literature. His works have been the subject of hundreds of articles and as many as 30 PhD and 18 MPhil theses. However, there has not yet been a comprehensive study of his literature, said Nagarajaiah.

Writer Lakshmeesha Tolpadi who spoke about Kuvempu’s spiritual reflections said, “Being born in Malnad, Kuvempu unconsciously had a spiritual vision. He was a spiritual poet. His novel ‘Malegalalli Madumagalu’ is an epic. It is a more important work than ‘Ramayana Darshanam’ and should be given the Nobel Prize. Kuvempu had written the novel in a meditative state.” Dr D S Nagabhushan and Tumkur University VC Prof A H Rajasab were present.

Comments (+)