Kannada or Devanagari? The dialect-rich Konkani sets off furious debate between Sahitya Academy & Konknnis

Politically powerful Devanagari lobbyists have argued that the Central Sahitya Akademi has only recognised Konkani written in Devanagari.

Though Konkani is written in 5 different scripts, namely – Kannada, Roman, Devanagari, Perso-Arabic and Malayalam – the Sahitya Akademi (Central), since the very beginning, has been awarding Awards, Assignments and Projects only to the literature in the Devanagari script.   Despite the fact that Devanagari is only the 3rdmost prolific script (after Kannada and Roman), the Akademi has been squarely ignoring and neglecting Konkani literature in other scripts.  When innumerable pleas and countless representations against this gross injustice evoked no positive response, Eric Ozario and 2 others (Vally Vagga, Mysore and Marcel D’souza, Mangalore ), on behalf of all Konkanis, have approached the honourable High Court of Karnataka, with a Writ Petition – WP. No. 35120/2011(GM-PIL) dated 8-9-2011.

The Writ Petition prays the High Court – ‘to issue a direction to the Sahitya Akademi, Respondent no. 1 herein, to recognize all the 5 scripts of Konkani Language viz., Kannada, Roman (English), Devanagari, Arabic and Malayalam as eligible for grant of Awards, Research funding and all other incidental works, for which assistance is rendered by the Akademi’.

While the High Court is considering this Petition, the ‘Karnataka State Konkani Linguistic Minorities Institutions’ have filed an application to implead them in the case and have pleaded to consider ‘only Devanagari for recognition’.  Together, they have issued a Press Statement (published on l2-6-2012) with false information.

Their statement claims that –

1.      ‘Devanagari is the official script of Konkani’.

2.      ‘The Constitution has given prominence to the Devanagari script’.

3.      ‘Konkanis use only the Devanagari script and not Kannada or Malayalam’.

4.      ‘If any script other than Devanagari is recognized, it will be detrimental to Konkani Langauage’.

Jagotik Konkani Songhotton (JKS) condemns these statements and wishes to expose the truth –

 Official Script –

(i)                  Who decides which is the official script of a language?  Does Devanagari become the official script, just because the Devanagari lobby declares so?  Such a decision has to be taken in a democratic process, at an assembly of representatives of all scripts.  Such an assembly has never been convened in Konkani.

(ii)                Moreover, this is not a question of the ‘Official script’. The Question is whether the Sahitya Akademi’s mandate is to honour and support the ‘literature’ of a language or the ‘script’ of a language.  If it is literature, then how can the Akademi pamper and patronize the literature in one script alone and completely ignore and disregard the literature in other scripts?

‘The Constitution has given prominence to the Devanagari script’ – totally untrue.  Articles 14 and  29 of the Constitution of India read as follows -

(i)                              Article 14 – Equality before law – “the state shall not deny to any person equality before law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India”.

(ii)                            Article 29 – Protection of interests of minorities – 1. ‘Any section of the citizen residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own, shall have the right to conserve the same’

a.                   The Constitution of the Sahitya Akademi is very clear as to the script issue – the Constitution of the Sahitya Akademi – clause 3, sub clause 9 (a) ‘To improve and develop the various scripts in which the languages of the country are written’.

b.                  Not only that, in its reply to our Petition the Sahitya Akademi has admitted to the honourable High Court that – ‘ The mandate of the Sahitya Akademi is – fully to recognize and support the literary traditions of the given language”.  The literary traditions of Konkani being that it is in 5 scripts, the Sahitya Akademi has no option but to recognize and support literature in all 5 scripts of Konkani.

‘Konkanis use only the Devanagari script and not Kannada or Malayalam’.  This is the pinnacle of falsehood.  The truth is – According to the2001 Census, of the total Konkanis in India, 31.82% Konkanis live in Goa. 31.73% live in Karnataka.  All Konkanis living in Karnataka read and write Konkani in the Kannada script Goa is divided between Roman and Devanagari.  A Study conducted in 2011 reveals that only 12.7%Konkanis in India use Devanagari script; the remaining 87.3% use other scripts.  The use of Kannada script is the highest – 58%.

‘If any script other than Devanagari is recognized, it will be detrimental to Konkani language’. Our Response –

(i)                  Our fight is not against Devanagari.  We are not demanding that Devanagari be neglected.  Our demand is that the other 4 scripts also be considered, along with Devanagari.

(ii)                Their attempt is to destroy all script variety in Konkani and impose their variety on everyone.  This is detrimental to the unity and development of Konkani.  We condemn this and seek legal remedies.

Variety in Konkani is not in script alone. There is plenty of variety in dialect, religion, caste, traditions, customs, practices, folk-arts, cuisine, costumes, festivals, rituals etc. etc..  In the midst of so much variety to seek unity by destroying these varieties and by imposing one’s variety on all, is utter folly. ‘Unity in diversity’ is the mantra of our nation’s unity.  ‘Unity in diversity’ is also the formula for Konkani unity and future.

 

 

Indian Media: The Great ‘Kannada” News Channel Circus

So  for  all those who still doubt whether there is space for one more news channel to make it 7 in all apart from the 11 general entertainment Kannada channels,  it is only a matter of time before they are able to get an fitting answer.  This debate has come to the fore with the recent addition of Public TV of former Kannada Prabha and Suvarna Channel’s News Editor H R Ranganth, to the existing stampede of channels.   With one more player in the market   the fight for the top slot in the small screen is going to generate more heat and the clamor for ‘breaking news’ is sure to witness a new high (or is it low?).  One-time firebrand journalist H R Ranganath being at the helm of affairs at Public TV has only added more nosiness and intensity to the existing fight for supremacy among channels for grabbing eyeballs.

Public TV which was went live on February 12, 2012 and 7 channels are now competing and combating with one another to climb to the top with ‘breaking news’ of every possible kind.  Public TV has become the 7th Kannada news channel of the state which will fight it out with Udaya News, T V 9 Karnataka, Suvarna News, Samaya, Kasturi and Janashree News channels, with each one trying new stratagem to garner public attention.

How these channels will conduct themselves in the course of next few years will be crucial.  In the entire fiasco the viewers will have no other option but to keep changing channels in their search for credible or unbiased channel for news and views.  Nevertheless, many regular viewers of the news channels in Karnataka have expressed their views openly in favour of one or other channels.

Suvarna News is the Best channel. TV9 is losing its scene in state..Kumaraswamy’s Kasturi news channel is used only to blame Congress and BJP..says Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura. Dinesh Rao from Mangalore is irritated about the influx of these channels. He says, ” Of course the number of Kannada news channels has increased over the years. But who cares about the quality? In the name of getting viewership all most all channels are reporting only cheap political, crime related or unnecessary items in the name of news. You must have seen many channels are thriving on murder, rape or accident stories…or even daily household quarrels which can happen at any time next to your door!! Also all most all channels use buffoon like specimens, who will be talking nothing other than nonsense! Why cannot these channels, if they do not have their originality just imitate English news channels like NDTV 24X7 or CNN-IBN? Can Burkha Dutt, Prannoy Roy, Vikram Chandra, Rajdeep Sardesai teach these something so called as… journalism??”

R. Bhandarkar from Mangalore opins that the craze for English in these Kannada channels are not lost. ‘Breaking News’, ‘BIG NEWS’, etc . etc. Many a times the ‘breaking news’are restraint drainers. ‘Break or be Broke’ seems to be the motto of these channels nowadays. These news contents in thses ‘breakers’ are often suicides,accidents, killings etc.These have no repititive values but are aired till one is disgusted. ‘BIG NEWS” does not even have that ‘little’ to make one sit up and watch. Many of the programmes, serials etc are ‘direct lifts’ from the more popular Hindi Counterparts. The less said of the ‘humour or comedy programmes’ the better!

“Some channels have alignment with political parties, some are pro congress and some are pro BJP and some are pro communists and some are pro communual. Some channels are there to make money and blackmail by sting operations. The journalistic ethics have been compromised…Forget about the regional channel, even the national and international channels are biased..God alone knows the truth. Anyway journalism has grown very well in India and would continue to grow. But they should work in the best interest of community, peace, nation, truth and act as bonding agent between different faiths and communities…should work as watch dog against social evil practices, alcoholism, corruption, female foeticide, dowry, caste system etc etc”, writes Shahnawaz Kukkikatte from Dubai.

Below are views from the cross section of society from Karnataka:

“i think TV9 is doing good job, many criminals and corrupt officer and politician behind the bar, because of TV9. for simple reason: one week i did not get this cannel i am watching other news channel but their communication is very poor. but TV9 is sound and communication very good. what ever it i like only channel u can give good report like corrupt officer, and corrupt politician. some channels don’t. have power to publish against corrupt politican and police dept. but Tv 9 not worried about all this thinks.”

“Suvarna 24×7 is the best channel, they caught porn MLA’s watching porn Video. TV nine is busy in film news n always busy in telecasting Bhootha n Pretha stories. Busy in slapping it’s on back. TV9 loosing it’s credit after Suvarna news came into  existence. Udaya news pro congres. Janashri pro BJP. Etv is neutral.”

“I have lot of respect towards H R Ranganath who have started Public Tv. I believe he will do justice for the same.I want all culprits to be exposed so that people can understand the double game of all politicians. Best of luck for u and ur future.”

“Most TV channals are behind TRP rating, & are craze with giving foolish news, highlighting rape stories, pralaya & exagarations, slapping their own back as top rated channels. All channels should learn ethics from basic & telecast with sense. The wrong news published or news published in wrong way will be watched by people across state. ‘Ethics first – Publicity last’”

“Tv9 started a very peculiar way of presenting news by pronouncing words split-in at unwanted places and ending sentences with an awkward style. Suvarna started well, but followed TV9 in style. Very irritating way of presentation. One lady news reader (Ms. Soumya?) has developed a peculiar style of ending sentences – very shrill ending deliberately developed(?)to look special???. pronounce the words as it is in its natural kannada way and make hearing the news pleasant. Too garish appearance by some of the anchors is not appreciable.”

“Looks like most of the news channel are funded by political party. New Entry is Public TV looks to be unbaised and appreciate the effort of Ranganath owner. He has a very good knack in explaining in details about any news which attracts. Lets see how Public TV future goes without support of Politicians……..”

Bengaluru: 872 females to 1k males; Is ‘satyamev jayate’ irrelevant here?

Deepti Rao writes on her blog http://www.binfikr.com: Is Satyamev Jayate Irrelevant to Karnataka?

…Both rural and urban populations of Karnataka must watch such inspiring (Satyameva Jayate‘s) television episodes. Did you know that Bangalore Rural has a glaring sex ratio of 872 females to 1,000 males? Who knows, it could be attributed to the prevalent female feticide practices in rural Bangalore!

…Kannada is the only south-Indian, regional, language that has been left out (telecasting Satyamev Jayate) . Do not blame Satyameva Jayate producers for this mishap – they dubbed the show in Kannada and Suvarna television channel was supposed to air this program starting May 6th! Shockingly, the Karnataka government, especially Karnataka Film Chambers of Commerce (KFCC) and Karnataka Television Association (KTA) prevented the Kannada-dubbed show from being aired!

Taking refuge under an old restriction imposed by the KFCC and KTA, way back in 1960, Karnataka state has banned the dubbing of movies and television serials into Kannada for decades now. The reason being that dubbing would suppress local talent and would also reduce the popularity of Kannada language.

Consequently, a majority of the not conversant population of Karnataka state (accounting for about 2 crore people) might have skipped the last episode of Satyameva Jayate because they did not understand Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, or Bengali languages! It is sad, is it not?

Read the full post: Is SJ irrelevant to Karnataka

‘Bengaluru’ – formless, even viscous!

Girish Karnad, the winner of the 1998 Bharatiya Jnanpith award,  a playwright, actor, film director, and arts administrator writes in THE DAILY BEAST

It was not so long ago that Bangalore was competing only with Singapore.

It was not so long ago that Bangalore was competing only with Singapore.

…..The current joke is that the only buildings to remain unscathed by the onslaught may be Vidhana Soudha, the building that houses the legislature, and UB City, a complex that is a hideous combination of the Empire State Building and Internet kitsch, built by a liquor baron.

……The emergence in the ’60s of the liquor industry, with its intractable deals and infinitely manipulable accounting, seems an inevitable response to the demands of the new democratic politics. And liquor barons virtually took over the running of the city. They built cinema halls, started newspapers, built schools, opened restaurants, produced films, invested in real estate, and even hosted public parties in honor of politicians. Then in July 1981, tragedy struck. More than 300 died on a single day from drinking illicit liquor, and the aura surrounding alcohol began to pall.

 …..That these firms grew without bowing and scraping to the government has caused no little resentment in the Vidhana Soudha.The new IT prosperity has created a young, energetic, educated, and wealthy working class, transforming Bangalore into a consumer’s paradise of shopping malls and office complexes with glass-fronted exteriors. The insatiable demand for “good English” has renewed the anxiety that Kannada may die out in the city. In 2006 Bangalore was renamed Bengaluru.

……But the main loss has been the sense of a stable, coherent city. The experience of the city has become formless, even viscous. Everyone is trying to get somewhere, and distance has become the only real object of daily concern. Instead of shrinking the city, the flyovers, underpasses, and elevated trains seem continually to expand it, pushing people farther and farther away from each other.

Read the full column: Girish Karnad Reflects on Bangalore, India

Intelligentsia has let India down: Doyen of Kannada journalism Puttappa

"Gandhiji was a great person who made humans out of Indian soil; it is regrettable that his name did not find a place in the anthem."

Gandhiji was a great person who made humans out of Indian soil; it is regrettable that his name did not find a place in the anthem.”

The doyen of Kannada journalism Veteran journalist Patil Puttappa regrets:

The silence maintained by the intelligentsia over vital issues like inequality and atrocities in the society has let the country down. A sense of insecurity prevailed in the society even as 75% of the population was educated, compared to the sense of security that prevailed when only 3% of the population were educated in the pre-independence period. There are no teachers in many (Journalism) colleges and existing teachers do not equip students for practical journalism…more focus should be given on practical journalism than theory in education and that journalism schools have working

 journalists as their faculty in order to improve the skills of students as neither a classroom nor a newsroom makes a journalist and they should be self-made with passion.

News should not hold importance because of the involvement of celebrities, instead importance should be given to people who make good news. Many journalists are lobbying for awards in journalism these days. Awards in journalism sho-uld be given to only deserving journalists who make significant contribution to journalism and should not be based on criteria like caste and religion. A journalist should have a clean character, credibility and uphold the ethics of journalism.

Veteran journalist Patil Puttappa was being felicitated during the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Dept. of Mass Communication & Journalism, Maharaja’s College yesterday. 

Kannada people vs the Kannada film lobby??

The Kannada media industry now wants no movies/shows to be dubbed in Kannada. There are statements and articles by Kannada media personalities protesting against dubbed movies and even TV shows like Aamir Khan‘s Satyameva Jayate. They claim that dubbed movies/shows will eat into their market and strangle the Kannada industry.

It is very easy to raise popular support by claiming it is for the good of Kannada. I’d like to analyse whether such a move would actually benefit the Kannada people or just the pockets of the Kannada film lobby.
The Kannada Film industry through its lobbying over the years enjoys several protectionist measures including subsidies, 100% tax concession, restrictions on the way other language movies release in Karnataka, etc. It is almost an universal law that protected industries always tend to lag in quality, technology and innovation.
Even a Kannada fanatic would be hard pressed to say that better quality movies/entertainment have been produced because of these protectionist regulations. Kannada movies have long stopped entertaining the discerning audience and remain the staple for those cannot access other forms of entertainment. Even an occasional well made movie finds it tough to attract the former due to the morass of bad quality movies it is hidden amongst [every one of them taking a chunk of out of the tax money, mind you].
It shows the declining quality of Kannada movies/shows if people will prefer watching badly lip synced dub versions of other language films and shows. And why should the people of Karnataka not have the option to do so. It is in their interests and rights to gain access to more and better entertainment which their own media industry has failed to satisfy and is always trying to smother.
These protectionist measures supported by a few media gimmicks, goonda tactics against those do not agree and political connections serve only to protect the pockets and interests of the rich dudes who run the industry. They neither benefit the Kannada culture nor the Kannada people. Talibanisation does not benefit anybody except those who preach it.
Deregulating the industry will force the industry players to change and face open competition. Some will go bust but at the same time it will open doors for new players who have the what the audience enjoys.
The release restrictions are being stayed in courts and a recent Supreme Court judgement regarding AP might end the regime of tax concessions. In this age of increasing awareness and increased channels of media consumption, the out-dated barons of the industry face a downward path and are trying to prolong their exit. It is they who are strangling the Kannada media industry. What remains to be seen is, if the Kannada people continue to allow this by actively/passively supporting such short sighted measures and allow the Kannada media industry to roll into the valley of irrelevance. (courtesy: Ajey)

Kannada’s “Goobe” notebooks, folders, earrings and crochet products !!!

Goobe's Book Republic, Bengaluru

What prompted this post?.. my friend who doesn’t know a word of Kannada cursing her slow internet connection thus –“ hey this goobe gmail is troubling me so much” :D

This WORD deserved a post completely dedicated to it.. the word is GOOBE, which in Kannada means owl.
In our day to day life we don’t really talk much about owl’s do we? But goobe is quite often used as swear word, to express your displeasure at someone or something . Similar to calling somebody a monkey or a donkey but goobe is easier and much cuter than those words.

One of the Kannada’s  popular slang terms has even made its way to Chennai, where it is used with other Kannada words like bejaar. The usage of the word seems to be increasing with the advent of text messages and Facebook. Several bloggers dedicate entire posts to the word goobe.

In fact, the word is so popular that it even sells as a brand name. Gurpreet Kaur, who has just finished her II PU from Christ Junior College and her best friend, Varsha Ramesh, who graduated from Kumarans, (both in Banglaore)  used the word to poke fun at each other and they grew so fond of it that they decided to name their business enterprise after it. “We just love the word,” says Gurpreet, “And we love owls. “Since October 2011, the girls have been selling Goobe notebooks, folders, earrings and crochet products through the social media network.

Goobe’s Book Republic, Banglaore:  Goobe’s book republic sounds funny if kannadigas read it. For non Kannadigas, it means owl its right there very obvious in the logo. But i really like the name and the style of it.This is a small library with vast collection of books on Churchstreet, MG Road, Bangalore.

It’s interesting to note that while the English language regards the owl as a symbol of wisdom (He is as wise as an owl, we often read in English texts) probably because of its association with Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, its usage in Kannada and Hindi is quite derogatory. In Finnish culture, the owl is regarded as stupid for its dumb stare, while owls in medieval Europe were thought to be evil, stupid helpers of witches.

What’s the good word?

» ‘Goobe in Kannada actually means ‘owl’.
But in Bangalore it means:

» A fool

» A boring person

» An introvert

» An irritating guy

» A useless person

‘Goobe is casually used when:

» A friend makes everyone wait by turning up late at any place outside college

» Someone is not paying attention to what you are saying

» You are angry with someone who has failed to complete the task assigned to him/her

» A friend keeps his phone busy by chatting with his girlfriend/ boyfriend

» You bump into the lecturer you wanted to avoid

» You have to curse the traffic cop who steps forward to stop you.

» You have to curse the lappy (laptop) when it conks

In traditional Kannadiga homes, mothers warn their children against disobedience by telling them, “Goobe barathe!” (The owl will come!) Owls are looked upon as a bad omen because they haunt lonely places and are only seen at night.

Kannada ‘Dirty Picture: Silk Sakkath Maga’! Now, Pak import Vina Malik in south siren’s botched up life movie !!

Veena Malik has landed the role of Silk Smitha in the Kannada film titled Dirty Picture: Silk Sakkath Maga.
For quite a while, the talk about Ekta Kapoor’s The Dirty Picture being remade in the south has been doing the rounds and the actresses like Nikitha Thukral, Charmee and Pooja Gandhi were reportedly approached for the role. However, it’s Veena Malik, the hot import from Pakistan, who has landed the role.

Moreover, the producer Venkatappa claims that the film he’s making is not the remake of The Dirty Picture starring Vidya Balan. The producer says:

” I am coming up with a better interpretation of the south siren’s botched up life. I am not bothered about taking any remake rights from Ekta Kapoor because, none has the ownership of the story of Silk Smitha.”

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Veena Malik who already has a number of Hindi films in her kitty is excited about her Kannada debut. Veena is quoted as saying in a media report:

“Yes, I am doing a Kannada film based on the life of Silk Smitha…I will join the sets on May 12. I always wanted to have a career in the south too, and now it has happened.”  

Veena Malik is reported to be getting Rs. 85 lakh for her role.

58-year-old ‘Vijaya Vani’ challenged by the ‘Old Lady Of Bori Bunder !!

BCCL sues VRL Chief Vijay Sankeshwar over use of newspaper title Vijaya

Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd ( BCCL), publishers of India‘s largest selling English newspaper – The Times of India, is moving to stem competition in the Kannada newspaper market which commands advertising revenues of Rs 500 crore.

The media giant has moved court against businessman and former newspaper baron Vijay Sankeshwar, who is attempting to return to the business five years after he sold India’s second-largest Kannada daily to BCCL.

ACHIEVEMENT: Governor Rameshwar Thakur (right) presenting the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Award to Vijay Sankeshwar of VRL Group of Companies at the FKCCI founder’s day celebrations in Bangalore . Union Minister of State for Planning M.V. Rajasekharan is seen.

Sankeshwar on Sunday re-launched a 58-year-old title, Vijaya Vani. He owned Vijaya Karnataka before selling out to BCCL. It is now staging a comeback in to the Kannada newspaper space, after the five-year no-compete clause came to an end in March this year.

His newspaper, Vijaya Vani, has three editions in Bangalore, Mangalore and Hubli. It will be expanded to seven more locations in the next two months with an initial investment of Rs 125 crore.

“The title and the newspaper Vijaya Vani has been in existence since 1954 in Tumkur district of Karnataka as a district tabloid. We acquired the title during July 2011 and re-launched it as a broad-sheet with multi-editions across Karnataka on April 1, 2012. If the Times Group did not have objections to the title for the past so many years, it is surprising that they have objections now all of a sudden. The word Vijaya is a common name and no-one can own it. The case against us cannot sustain. “There are few other newspapers in Karnataka with the titles Praja Vani, Samyukta Karnataka and Udaya Vani which has some overlap with our and the BCCL title, but we co-exist,”

said Sankeshwar.

Vijay Sankeshwar also owns VRL Logistics, which has a topline of Rs 1,000 crore, is India’s largest operator of cargo trucks and among the top fleet owners of passenger buses plying between cities and towns. It is estimated that VRL Logistics owns a fleet of over 2,000 vehicles.

The Kannada newspaper market includes Praja Vani owned by ‘The Printers (Mysore) Ltd’ who also publish English daily Deccan Herald, the second largest English daily in Karnataka. The advertising revenues of the Kannada newspaper market is around Rs 500 crore and all the Kannada dailies put together sell around two million copies daily.

This Czech is a Gujarati ‘type’ !!!

 

 

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