B. M. Srikantaiah

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Belluru Mylaraiyya Srikantaiah
© Kamat's Potpourri
Born (1884-01-03)3 January 1884
Turuvekere, Kingdom of Mysore, British India
Died 5 January 1946(1946-01-05) (aged 62)
Bangalore, Kingdom of Mysore, British India
Occupation Poet, writer, professor
Nationality Indian
Genre Fiction
Literary movement Navodaya
Relatives Anasuya Shankar (niece)
Aryamba Pattabhi (niece)

B.M. Srikanthaiah (or B.M.Shri) (Kannada: ಬಿ.ಎಮ್. ಶ್ರೀಕಂಠಯ್ಯ) (1884–1946) was an author, writer and translator of Kannada literature. He is regarded as the " Father of modern Kannada literature".

Early life and education[edit]

Srikanthaiah was born in Sampige village, Tumkur District, Turuvekere, taluk. He studied at Srirangapatna and Mysore, before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from a Bangalore college and a Master of Arts degree from Madras.[citation needed]


He joined Maharaja College of Mysore in Mysore as a Lecturer. After completing 25 years of service there he moved to Central College in Bangalore, where he taught English. Later he became an honorary professor at the Kannada Department of the University of Mysore when it was founded in 1927.[citation needed]

One of his most famous works is the translation of the hymn Lead, Kindly Light as Karunaalu Baa Belake.

Known to Kannadigas (People who speak Kannada language as their mother tongue) as the "Kannada Kanva" for his guardianship of Kannada Literature, he was instrumental in encouraging and promoting Kannada and inspiring writers such as Kuvempu and G. P. Rajarathnam to write in Kannada, at a time when English was becoming the common medium.

He championed the cause of Kannada and encouraged a generation of writers to express in their mother-tongue.

His book of translations, English Geethegalu is one of the famous books. English Geethegalu inspired several budding poets, thus laying the foundation of a new pattern of lyrical poetry in Kannada. In his poems, Sri experimented with new forms of metre and diction. The three poems of his own composition in the collection of poems Honganasugalu (Golden Dreans, 1943) affords examples of his vision of life and his deep love for the motherland. These poems were composed three decades prior to their publication. His Shukrageete sums up his vision of life thus: "Truth alone shall triumph and not untruth, Knowledge, and not ignorance, is nectar. Bow to VishwabhArati - mother India of Universal Vision, and not to anything less"

Sri gave impetus to the genre of poetic drama by writing three plays: Gadayuddha nataka (1925), Ashwathaman (1929), and Parasikaru (1935), all of which are tragedies on the Greek pattern.

For the first time, tragedy appeared on the Kannada stage, Gadayuddha modelled on poet Ranna's epic of the same name.

He was awarded the 'Raja Sevasakta' award by the Maharaja of Mysore and was the president of the Kannada Sahithya Sammelana in 1938 at Gulburga.


  • Gadayuddha Natakam (play)
  • Aswatthaaman (Play)
  • Honganasugalu (Poetry)


  • English Geetagalu (English Songs, 1921)
  • " lead kindly light"

Literary Criticism[edit]

  • Kannadigarige olleya saahitya (Good literature for Kannada People)
  • Kannada Kaipidi (History of Kannada Literature)

See also[edit]