ellara kannada: Drive To ‘sanitise’ Kannadalanguage Kicks Up A Row | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Every Kannadiga with an online presence seems to have something to say about ‘Ellara Kannada’ these days. It’s a campaign that seeks to eschew aspirated consonants (mahapranas) in written Kannada and replace Sanskrit/Sanskritised Kannada words with simple Kannada.
While the name Ellara Kannada (everyone’s Kannada) itself has raised the hackles of many, quite a few feathers have been ruffled by the campaign’s objectives. From authors to new-age language/script reform enthusiasts to Kannada activists, the debate is swamping the online Kannada world.
“We in Kannada have the option of writing what we speak, why do you want to snatch it away? I think it would be foolish to do so. Some people may speak Kannada differently, but I cannot be forced to give up speaking or writing in a particular way,” poet Pratibha Nandakumar said.
Ellara Kannada is the term associated with the loosely connected efforts at script reformation by various groups and individuals. Over the past few years, words with roots in Kannada have been coined by these activists as an alternative to technical and common usage words from English and Sanskrit. Some of these words like ‘minchanche’ for email and ‘neralachchu’ for photocopy have gained popularity. Websites such as Honalu.net publish Kannada articles which follow the Ellara Kannada ideals.
Publisher Guruprasad DN said aspirated consonants are a real problem. “As a publisher, I know most people can’t make out the difference. And eschewing mahapranas is not a new idea. In 1946, Prof M Mariyappa Bhat showed how mahapranas are not native to Kannada. DN Shankara Bhat is its biggest proponent. There are quite a few like KV Narayana, Ranganatha Kantanakunte and others who are writing about it and in it,” he said.
A matter of choice
Shankara Bhat started the revolution around 2006 after decades of study. Though he did not use the term Ellara Kannada, he stated the need to reduce phonemic letters in Kannada from 49 to 32 by dropping the mahapranas. Since then, he has penned many books using only the 32 alphabets. Bhat, however, has refused to be drawn into any debate on the issue and has held the view that he will use only the 32 alphabets, notwithstanding what others do.
Bharat Kumar, a techie, language activist and Ellara Kannada proponent, has over the years been instrumental in publishing dictionaries like ‘Padanerake’, which he co-authored with Bhat. These dictionaries include alternative words created for Sanskrit and English terms. “Both academic and non-academic individuals and groups have been using Kannada without mahapranas for some time now. There are even novels being written in this form. If someone does not want to follow it, it is their choice,” he said.
A few Facebook posts called for Ellara Kannada as a New Year’s resolution last week, sparking off fresh debate. Guruprasad announced he would publish one article every day in his Naanugauri website in Ellara Kannada.
Writing Kannada without using aspirated consonants is nothing new. For ages, many have tried to not only eschew the consonants and alphabets derived from Sanskrit, but also completely ignore Sanskrit words in written Kannada. But these have been exceptions, not the rule.
Pratibha Nandakumar said the latest attempt has more to do with the anti-Brahminical undertones of Ellara Kannada. “It is obvious. This was a fringe issue. Some people are trying to bring it to the mainstream by projecting it as a Dalit vs Brahmin debate,” she said.
Deliberate or otherwise, the rupture between those for and against mahapranas in Kannada is real and is now spilling out into the open.
Advertisement
Advertisement





Source link

Advertisement

Sagar Biswas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *