'Culture safe only if language is preserved'

Opening of Kodava Sahitya Academy programmes for 2009-10

'Culture safe only if language is preserved'

Addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Kodava Sahitya Academy’s 2009-10 programmes at Kaveri Kalakshetra in Madikeri on Thursday, Urs said that the Kodava Sahitya Academy should chalk out more programmes which cater to the preservation of Kodava language and culture. “Kodagu district may be small in topography and the Kodava community too is a minority. But the richness of traditions, customs, language, literature, art and culture is invincible,” he said.  Kodavas have become a role model for the entire State for their contribution to Indian military and in sports, he said adding that the achievements of Kodavas are widespread.

Though there is no script for Kodava language, the literature which bloomed in Kodava language has been published in several languages. Even the British also had made a special mention of Kodava culture and heritage in the Gazetteer. Kodava Sahitya Academy should take initiative to translate books from English and other languages to Kodava language, Urs suggested.

Kodagu district also has the pride of being a model by preserving ‘Devarakadu’ (sacred grooves). Books depicting the richness of Kodagu language, literature, culture, customs and heritage should be brought out, he said. Government is striving to preserve the languages in the era of globalisation, urbanisation and liberalisation. The Academy should also strive honestly to protect the language without paying heed to criticisms, Urs said adding that the government will provide all facilities for the Academy.

Janapada Academy former president Kalegouda said that people’s aspirations and languages should be given prominence in democracy.

Akhila Kodava Samaja President Mathanda C Monnappa said that it is a renaissance for the Kodava Sahitya Academy. The new Academy office-bearers should make use of the government sanctions properly to develop the Kodava language, he added.  Kodava Sahitya Academy Chairperson Rani Machaiah presided. Folk expert Sirigandha Shrinivasamoorthi, litterateur Kalooru Nagesh, Academy members Sara Changappa, Bacharaniyanda Ranu Annappa and Dharani Somanna were present.

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