Jinx breaks for classical Kannada

Centre assures grant; scholars to chalk out road map for classical language project

As per the directive of the Union Government, about 60 scholars from across the State will participate in a two-day deliberations at Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) here to prepare a roadmap or an action plan for taking up a fruitful and long-term research, the outcome of which can enrich the language and the culture. The conference will be held between April 19 and 20.

The meet will be the first step towards beginning of some concrete work on the classical Kannada after the Union Government accorded classical tag on Oct 31, 2008. The delay for a year-and-a-half will be a thing of the past, if Centre has its way.

The Government has assured to release Rs 1.5 crore initial grant for the start of the work on classical Kannada and Telugu when a delegation of scholars from the State met Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) officials and elected representatives from the State in New Delhi.

Noted scholar Prof Lingadevaru Halemane, who was part of the delegation told Deccan Herald that the Ministry has directed the CIIL to initiate action on carrying out actual work on the classic. The meeting scheduled next week will elicit opinions and suggestions on framework of project.

However, the kind and generosity on part of the Centre has not come easy for classical Kannada. The classical Tamil received Rs 2 crore as the first instalment.  Now, it is operating autonomous as Central Institute of Classical Tamil in Chennai and got Rs 15 crore grant so far. While, the MHRD has only promised Rs 75 lakh as first instalment for classical Kannada project.

But, the work on classical Tamil appears to be dismal. Another noted scholar, who has worked extensively in the area of languages told this newspaper that there was no proper utilisation of grant in Tamil’s case as there is a dearth of scholars having knowledge of classical Tamil and its nuances. Hence, the work is outsourced to some of the old scholars in the language, the source stated.

“It is imperative that we do not become emotionally charged and repeat the Tamil’s mistake. We must go for a careful and sensible approach to make the project a success,” the source added. “We should be training a generation of scholars in classical Kannada” says Halemane.  Subbukrishna, Reader of Kannada with CIIL and coordinator for the two-day conference said more than 60 scholars will attend the event.

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