Kuvempu

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Kuppalli Venkatappa Puttappa
Kuvempu.jpg
Born (1904-12-29)29 December 1904
Hirekodige, Koppa taluk, Chikkamagaluru district, Kingdom of Mysore
Died 11 November 1994(1994-11-11) (aged 89)
Mysore, Karnataka, India
Pen name Kuvempu
Occupation Poet, Play write, Novelist, Critic, Thinker, Professor
Nationality India
Genre Fiction
Literary movement Navodaya

Signature
Website
kuvempu.com

Kuppalli Venkatappa Puttappa (Kannada: ಕುಪ್ಪಳ್ಳಿ ವೆಂಕಟಪ್ಪ ಪುಟ್ಟಪ್ಪ ; 29 December 1904 – 11 November 1994),[1] popularly known by the pen name Kuvempu (ಕುವೆಂಪು) or by K. V. Puttappa, was a Kannada novelist, poet, play write, critic and thinker. He is widely regarded as the greatest Kannada poet of the 20th century. He is the first among Kannada writers to be decorated with the prestigious Jnanpith Award.[2]

For his contributions to Kannada literature, the Government of Karnataka decorated him with the honorific Rashtrakavi ("national poet") in 1958 and Karnataka Ratna ("Gem of Karnataka") in 1992. His epic narrative Sri Ramayana Darshanam, a modern rendering of the Indian Hindu epic Ramayana is regarded as the revival of the era of Mahakavya ("Great Epic poetry") in contemporary form and charm. His writings and his contribution to "Universal Humanism" (in his own words, "Vishwa maanavataa Vaada") gives him a unique place in modern Indian literature. He was conferred the Padma Vibhushan by Government of India in 1988. He penned the Karnataka State anthem Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate.

Biography[edit]

Early life, education and family[edit]

Kuvempu's ancestral house in Kuppali

Kuvempu was born in Hirekodige in Koppa taluk of the Chikmagalur district, Karnataka, to a Vokkaliga Kannada family. His father was Venkatappa Gowda from Kuppalli and mother Seethamma from Hirekodige, a nearby village. He grew up in the lush Malenadu region of Tirthahalli, called Kuppali in Shivamogga district. Early in his childhood, he was home schooled by an appointed teacher from Dakshina Kannada district. He joined the Anglo Vernacular school in Tirthahalli to continue his middle school education. Kuvempu's father died when he was only twelve. He finished his lower and secondary education in Kannada and English languages in Thirthahalli and moved to Mysore for further education at the Wesleyan high school. Thereafter, he pursued college studies at the Maharaja College of Mysore and graduated in 1929, majoring in Kannada. He married Hemavathi on 30 April 1937.

Kuvempu has two sons, K P Poornachandra Tejaswi, Kokilodaya Chaitra, and two daughters, Indukala and Tharini. Tharini is married to K. Chidananda Gowda, the former Vice-Chancellor of Kuvempu University. His ancestral home in Kuppalli is called Udayaravi ("Rising Sun"). His son Poornachandra Tejaswi was a polymath, contributing significantly to Kannada literature, photography, calligraphy, digital imaging, social movements, and agriculture.

Quotes[edit]

  • Chakracharanake swagatha – "Welcome to wheel footed" when he bought his first car
  • Uluva Yogi ("tilling Yogi") is the title he gave the farmer
  • Sarvarige samapaalu, sarvarige samabaalu ("Equal share for all, Equal life for all", when he and called for egalitarian society).
  • O nanna chetana, Agu nee aniketana ("Be unhoused O my soul, only the infinite is your goal").

Career[edit]

Kuvempu began his academic career as a lecturer of Kannada language at the Maharajas College in Mysore in 1929. He worked as an assistant professor in the Central college, Bangalore from 1936. He re-joined Maharajas college in Mysore in 1946 as a professor. (group photo) He went on to become the principal of the Maharajas college in 1955. In 1956 he was selected as the Vice-Chancellor of Mysore University where he served till retirement in 1960. He was the first graduate from Mysore University to rise to that position.[3]

Works and message[edit]

Kuvempu's house "Udayaravi" in Mysore
Kuvempu's memorial in Kavishaila, Kuppalli

Kuvempu started his literary work in English, with a collection of poetry called Beginner's Muse but later switched to his native Kannada. He spearheaded the movement to make Kannada the medium for education, emphasizing the theme "Education in the Mother tongue". To cater to the needs of Kannada research, he founded the Kannada Adhyayana Samsthe ("Institute of Kannada Studies") in the Mysore University, which has since been renamed after him as "Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies". As Vice-Chancellor of Mysore University, he pioneered the study of sciences and languages. He championed the publishing of Knowledge for the laymen with by G. Hanumanta Rao.

Kuvempu was more than a writer for his life was in itself a 'great message'. He was against casteism, meaningless practices and religious ritual. Kuvempu's writings reflect his resentment against these practices. The Shoodra Tapaswi ("untouchable saint") was one such writing. Kuvempu who was from the Vokkaliga community gave a perspective to the ancient spic Ramayana that was quite unlike the portrayal of the characters by the original author Valmiki. Kuvempu's version of the epic called Sri Ramayana Darshanam won him the prestigious Jnanpith Award. His epic underscores his vision of Sarvodaya ("upliftment of all"). The protogonist of his epic, the Hindu god Rama, personifies this when he tests himself along with his consort Sita by jumping into the fire.

The speech he made during the convocation ceremony of Bangalore University was published in the book Vichaarakranthige Aahwaana. It calls for a re-assessment of developmental policies. Though it was delivered in 1974, the message is still considered relevant to modern society. In the year 1987, The Government of Karnataka started the Kuvempu University in the Shimoga district, Karnataka. The university is located in the Jnana Sahyadri campus, 28 km from Shimoga city.


Awards[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Novels

Epic (Mahakavya)

Collection of poems

  • Kolalu (1930)
  • Panchajanya (1936)
  • Navillu (1937)
  • Kindarijogi Mattu Itara Kavanagalu (1938)
  • Kogile Mattu Soviet Russia (1944)
  • Shoodra Tapaswi (1946)
  • Kinkini (1946)
  • Agnihamsa (1946)
  • Prema Kashmira (1946)
  • Chandramanchake Baa Chakori (1954)
  • Ikshugangotri (1957)
  • Kabbigana kaibutti
  • Pakshikaashi
  • Jenaaguvaa
  • Kutichaka
  • Kadiradake
  • Kathana Kavanagalu
  • Manthrakshathe
  • Valmikiya Bhagya
  • Honna Hottare
  • Aniketana


Plays

  • Birugaali (1930)
  • Maharatri (1931)
  • Smashana Kurushethrum Mattu Maharatri (1931)
  • Jalagaara (1931)
  • Raktaakshi(1932)
  • Shoodra Tapaswi (1944)
  • Beralge koral (1947)
  • Yamana solu
  • Chandrahasa
  • Balidaana
  • Chitrangada
  • Drowpadiya Shreemudi
  • Amalana Kathe
  • Mantramangalya
  • Kuvempu Avara Mooru Natakagalu
  • Jalagara Mattu Shudratapasvi

Autobiography

  • Nenapina Doniyali (vol 1-2, 1980)

Collection of stories

  • Malenaadina Chitragalu (1933)
  • Sanyaasi Mattu Itare Kategalu (1937)
  • Nanna Devaru Mattu Itara Kategalu (1940)

Literary criticism

  • Atmashreegagi Nirankushamatigalagi (1944)
  • Kavyavihara (1946)
  • Taponandana (1951)
  • Vibhuthi Pooje (1953)
  • Draupadiya Shrimudi (1960)
  • Vicharakrantige Ahvana (1976)
  • Sahityaprachara
  • Kruttike
  • Ithyadi

Essay and Other

  • Raso Why Saha
  • Kogile Mattu Soviet Russia
  • Koneya Tene Mattu Viswamanava Sandesha
  • Manujamatha Viswapatha
  • Anuthara
  • Preta Que
  • Shodashi
  • Kalasundari
  • Kavya Vihara
  • Haluru
  • Kanina
  • Panchajanya
  • Pakshikashi
  • Shasti Namana

Biography

  • Swami Vivekananda(1932)
  • Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1934)

Religion

  • Guruvinodane Devaredege
  • Janapriya Valmiki Ramayana

Stories and poems for children

  • Bommanahalliya kindarijogi(1936)
  • Mari vijnani(1947)
  • Meghapura (1947)
  • Nanna mane (1947)
  • Nanna gopala
  • Amalana kathe
  • Sahasa pavana
  • Modannana Tamma
  • Narigaligeke Kodilla

Kuvempu's works in visual media[edit]

Movies

Biographies on Kuvempu[edit]

  • Annana Nenapu, Poornachandra Tejaswi
  • Yugada Kavi, K.C. Shiva Reddy
  • Kuvempu, Pradhan Gurudatta
  • Magalu Kanda Kuvempu, Tharini Chidananda,

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Gentle Radiance of a Luminous Lamp". Ramakrishna Math. Archived from the original on 22 August 2006. Retrieved 31 October 2006. 
  2. ^ "Jnanapeeta Awards". Ekavi. Retrieved 31 October 2006. 
  3. ^ Bharati, Veena. "Poet, nature lover and humanist". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 18 March 2006. Retrieved 2 September 2006. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Culture p484-485". A Handbook of Karnataka. Government of Karnataka. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2009)". Ministry of Home Affairs. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "Jnanpith Laureates Official listings". Jnanpith Website. 

External links[edit]