S. L. Bhyrappa

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S.L. Bhyrappa
S.L.Bhyrappa.jpg
Born Santeshivar Lingannaiah Bhyrappa
(1931-08-20) 20 August 1931 (age 83)
Santeshivara, Hassan district, Karnataka, India
Occupation Writer, novelist, professor
Nationality India
Genre Fiction, history

Santeshivara Lingannaiah Bhyrappa (Kannada: ಸಂತೇಶಿವರ ಲಿಂಗಣ್ಣಯ್ಯ ಭೈರಪ್ಪ) (born 20 August 1931), is a Kannada novelist whose works are immensely popular within and beyond his home state of Karnataka, India.[1] Bhyrappa is widely regarded as one of India's foremost modern-day writers.[2] His novels are unique in terms of theme, structure, and characterisation.[3] He has been among the top selling authors of Kannada language. Books written by him and translated to Hindi and Marathi have also been top sellers in the past.[4] He has been awarded with the 20th Saraswati Samman for 2010.

Bhyrappa's works do not fit into any specific genre of contemporary Kannada literature such as Navodaya, Navya, Bandaya, or Dalita, partly because of the range of topics he writes about. His major works have been the center of several heated public debates and controversies.[1]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

S L Bhyrappa was born in a Hoysala Karnataka Brahmin family at Santeshivara, a village in the Channarayapatna taluk of Hassan district, about 200 km from Bangalore. He lost his mother and brothers to Bubonic plague early in childhood and took on odd jobs and even to begging to pay for his education. His childhood influences include the writer Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar. Bhyrappa briefly participated in the Indian freedom struggle when he was thirteen.

Bhyrappa completed his primary education in Channarayapatna taluk before moving to Mysore where he completed the rest of his education. His autobiography, Bhitti (Wall) records a break in his high school education. Bhyrappa impulsively quit school, following his cousin's advice and wandered for a year with him. His sojourn led him to Mumbai, where he worked as a railway porter. In Mumbai he met a group of sadhus and joined them to seek spiritual solace. He wandered with them for a few months before returning to Mysore to resume his education.

Education[edit]

Career[edit]

S L Bhyrappa was a Lecturer of Philosophy at Sri Kadasiddheshwar College, Hubli; Sardar Patel University in Gujarat; NCERT, Delhi; and the Regional College of Education, Mysore from which he retired in 1991. Bhyrappa has two sons, and lives with his wife in Mysore.

Works[edit]

Starting with Bheemakaya, first published in 1958, Bhyrappa has authored twenty four novels in a career spanning more than five decades. Vamshavruksha, Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Matadana and Nayi Neralu were made into films that bagged critical acclaim. Vamshavruksha has received the Kannada Sahitya Academy Award in 1966 and Daatu (Crossing Over) received both the Kannada and the Kendra Sahitya Academy awards in 1975.[5] Parva, the most critically acclaimed of all his novels narrates the social structure, values and mortality in the epic of Mahabharata very effectively. Bhyrappa reconstructs the Mahabharatha from sociological and anthropological angle, through metaphors in this novel.[6]

Popularity[edit]

Many of Bhyrappa's novels have been translated into other Indian languages and English.[2] Bhyrappa has been one of the best selling authors in Kannada for past twenty five years, and translations of his books have been best sellers for the past eight years in the Marathi and in the past five years in Hindi.[4]

Most of his novels have been reprinted several times. His recently printed novel Aavarana was sold out even before its release. The novel went on to create a record in Indian literary circles with ten reprints within five months of its release.[7] His latest novel Yaana ("journey"), was released on August 2014. All his novels are published by Saahitya Bhandaara in Hubli, Karnataka.

Controversies[edit]

Bhyrappa was the center of controversies because of his themes and positions on sensitive issues.[1] Some of Bhyrappa's prominent novels (such as Vamshavruksha, Tabbaliyu Neenaade Magane, Parva, and Saartha) have strong roots in ancient Indian philosophical tradition, thus inviting severe criticism from the Navya writers and from others. Bhyrappa supported N. R. Narayana Murthy when the latter was criticized by the media and the public regarding the controversy over playing an instrumental version of the national anthem at an important occasion. He also backed N. R. Narayana Murthy regarding Kaveri issue saying riots and protests are not going to solve the issue.[8] Bhyrappa had a debate with Girish Karnad in the publication Vijaya Karnataka regarding the religious tolerance of 18th century Mysore ruler Tippu Sultan. In Bhyrappa's novel Aavarana, he accuses Tippu Sultan of being a religious fanatic who could not stand Hindus in his court. Bhyrappa had substantiated the argument based several historic sources written in India during Tippu Sultan's rule. One of the issues Bhyrappa raised was the usage of Persian word bin (which is used to refer to a person as a "son of") in Government of Karnataka records even during modern times. This practice started during Tippu Sultan's rule, which according to Bhyrappa was one of the several methods used to enforce Islamic rule on Hindus. The book discusses other methods used by Tippu Sultan to convert Hindus to Islam. Bhyrappa backs his claims with historical references. This was criticized by Girish Karnad, who portrays Tippu Sultan as a secular ruler in his plays. Bhyrappa accused Karnad of giving an inaccurate account of Tippu Sultan in his plays.

U.R. Ananthamurthy was a prominent critic of Bhyrappa's novels. Bhyrappa has documented his debate with Ananthamurthy in Bhitti, as well as in a few essays in his book Naaneke Bareyuttene. Bhyrappa's more recent novel Avarana brings out historical information about what Islamic rule did to ancient Indian social and cultural life. This has stirred a major controversy. There have been accusations leveled at Bhyrappa of being a Hindu fundamentalist who wants to divide society on the basis of history, an allegation which Bhyrappa anticipates and tries to refute by referring to notable sources.[9] Ananthamurthy criticized Bhyrappa and his works, calling Aavarana "dangerous". Ananthamurthy accused Bhyrappa of being more of a debater than a story teller (Quote:"doesn't know what Hindu religion stands for" and "does not know how to write novels").[10] However Bhyrappa claims that the novel was result of his search for truth and there was no ulterior motive behind the novel. He urges critics to study the reference books mentioned in the novel before arriving at any conclusion about it.[11]

Awards[edit]

Works[edit]

Novels[edit]

  • Gatha Janma Matteradu Kathegalu (1955)
  • Bheemakaaya (1958)
  • Belaku Mooditu (1959)
  • Dharmashree (1961)
  • Doora saridaru (1962)
  • Matadana (1965)
  • Vamshavruksha (1965)
  • Jalapaata (1967)
  • Naayi Neralu (1968)
  • Tabbaliyu neenaade magane (1968)
  • Gruhabhanga (1970)
  • Nirakarana (1971)
  • Grahana (1991)
  • Dhaatu (1972)
  • Anweshane (1976)
  • Parva(1979)
  • Nele (1983)
  • Saakshi (1986)
  • Anchu (1990)
  • Tantu (1993)
  • Saartha (1998)
  • Mandra (2001)
  • Aavarana (2007)
  • Kavalu (2010)
  • Yaana (2014)

Autobiography[edit]

  • Bhitti (1996, reprinted:1997, 2000, 2006)

Philosophy[edit]

  • Satya mattu Soundarya (1966) (Doctoral thesis)
  • Saahitya mattu Prateeka (1967)
  • Kathe mattu Kathavastu (1969)
  • Naaneke Bareyuttene? (1980)
  • Sandarbha: Samvada (2011)

Bhyrappa's works translated into other languages[edit]

  • Dharmashree  : Sanskrit, Marathi
  • Vamshavruksha  : Telugu, Marathi, Hindi, Urdu, English
  • Nayi-Neralu  : Gujarati, Hindi
  • Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane  : Hindi
  • Gruhabhanga  : All 14 scheduled languages of India, English
  • Nirakarana  : Hindi
  • Daatu  : All 14 scheduled languages of India, English
  • Anveshana  : Marathi, Hindi
  • Parva  : Telugu, Marathi, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, English
  • Nele  : Hindi
  • Sakshi  : Hindi, English
  • Anchu  : Marathi, Hindi
  • Tantu  : Marathi, Hindi
  • Sartha  : Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi, English
  • Aavarana  : Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi, Tamil,English
  • Naneke Bareyuttene  : Marathi, English
  • Satya mattu Soundarya  : English
  • Bhitti  : Marathi, Hindi
  • Mandra  : Marathi, Hindi

Bhyrappa's novels on screen[edit]

Movies[edit]

Television series[edit]

  • Gruhabhanga
  • Daatu

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Still on top of the charts". Online webpage of The Hindu (Chennai, India: The Hindu). 28 January 2005. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 
  2. ^ a b "S L Bhyrappa". Online Webpage of India book club. The India Club. Retrieved 23 June 2007. 
  3. ^ "Novelist S.L. Bhyrappa". Vikas Kamat on Kamat's Potpourri. Kamat's Potpourri. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Personalities of Mysore". Online Webpage of Dasara Committee. Mysore city corporation. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 
  5. ^ "Sahitya Akademi Awards 1955–2005". Online Webpage of Sahitya Academy. Sahitya Academy of India. Retrieved 23 June 2007. 
  6. ^ "Bhyrappa to receive Deraje Award". Online Webpage of The Hindu (Chennai, India: The Hindu). 10 February 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2007. 
  7. ^ "Bhyrappas work speaks volumes; goes for 10th edition". Online Webpage of Deccan Herald. Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 23 June 2007. 
  8. ^ "I stand by NRN: Bhyrappa". Online Webpage of Deccan Herald. Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 
  9. ^ "Masks of untruth". Online Webpage of The Hindu (Chennai, India: The Hindu). 8 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 
  10. ^ Bhyrappa a debater, not a story-teller, says URA Deccan Herald – 28 May 2007
  11. ^ "Bhyrappa hits out at critics". Online Webpage of The Hindu (Chennai, India: The Hindu). 5 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 
  12. ^ "Mysore: Writer S L Bhyrappa Chosen for Rare Honour‍". 
  13. ^ "T Bhyrappa given NTR literary award". Online Webpage of The Hindu (Chennai, India: The Hindu). 29 May 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 
  14. ^ "Change education system to protect literature: Bhyrappa". Online Webpage of The Hindu (Chennai, India: The Hindu). 21 January 2006. Retrieved 22 June 2007. 

References[edit]

  • Bhitti (Mural) by S.L. Bhyrappa, an autobiography
  • Naaneke Bareyuttene by S.L. Bhyrappa, a collection of essays about writing
  • S. L. Bhyrappa Badaku-Baraha by Nagaraj Neeragunda on S.L. Bhyrappa's life and works

External links and further reading[edit]

  • Interview with S L Bhyrappa – Times of India [1]
  • Pampa Award to Bhyrappa in 2001
  • Belagere Krishnashastri, Mareyaladeete, for a warm hearted interpretation of the author's experiences with Bhyrappa.
  • Bhyrappabhinandana, a feliciation book on S.L. Bhyrappa
  • S.L. Bhyrappa Avara Krutigala Vimarshe a collection of literary criticism on S.L.Bhyrappa's works compiled by Sumateendra Nadig
  • Mandra-Manthana, a collection of essays about S.L. Bhyrappa's novel, Mandra, by various literary critics