Welfare of Kannadigas possible from Kannada: Doddarangegowda

Welfare of Kannadigas possible from Kannada: Doddarangegowda

Submitted by Editor on Mon, 2016-02-08 10:57 PROUD SON OF KARNATAKA:Q: What made you become a poet in Kannada?Answer : My father was a Kannada teacher and a harmonium player. When i was young, I used to listen to his songs. But he never gave me permission to touch the harmonium. He was convinced that music can't provide food on the table. So he didn't do anything that would tempt me into the world of music. He kept me away from literature and music. But strangely, I took inspiration from music and literature. I observed everything in silence and grew fond of music. I was fascinated with the literary content of the the songs sung by my father.I come from a farmer's family. I used to work in fields with my brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts. I used to hear melodious folk songs of the women folk working in paddy fields. I am fascinated by those village folk songs. Folklore became my inspiration. When i was 11, I composed a song of my own in Kannada. I use to sing in the old style (LOK GEETH PARAMAPARA). In this way I became a poet in my village dialect. Q. You had been a member of the Legislative Council. That was an opportunity to raise the voice about the problems plaguing Kannada. How did you make use of it?A. As a member of the Legislative Council, I raised issues concerning Kannada. I have also discussed issues with the concerned minister as well. I have taken up the issues with the Chief Minister whenever there was an opportunity. I have also discussed with Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority about the ways in which we can work together. He has also responded positively. Since 1965, wherever I delivered talks, participated in seminars, I have motivated people to discuss problems related to Kannada language. I am always involved in pro-Kannada activities.Q. Folklore is your field of interest. You have also done your Ph.D in Kannada poetry. What is the future of folklore?A. I am extremely interested in folklore. I have collected folk songs from villages since 1970. I have been writing articles about the folklore for the last four decades. I have published all these articles in the form of a book. I have delivered thousands of talks all over the land. I have spoken at Kannada associations in America such as Pampa Kannada Kuta, Detroit, America, Sri Vidyaranya Kannada Kuta, Illionois, etc., I and my wife together have delivered talks on the richness of Kannada folklore at sixteen places. I have participated twice in Australian radio talks. I and my wife Dr. Rajeshwari Gowda have written special articles on the occasion of Vishwa Kannada Sammelanas which have been published. My Ph.D thesis is titled “Kannada Navodaya Kavya: A holistic Study." The thesis covers navodaya kavya from 1903 to 2003. A collective volume on folk songs, stories, riddles, proverbs and lavanis (legends) is yet to come. Whatever we have done so far is only small part. It should be documented in the form of books. Old timers are departing one by one. A treasure trove of folklore is perishing with them. It is essential to publish it. Folklore and folk arts are neglected. Everything has to be documented systematically. Filming of soma dance, pata dance, planck dance, beesu kamsale, kolata, sobana songs has to be done. Other forms of folk art such as yakshagana, kola, nagamandala should also be filmed.Q. Janapada University has begun functioning. What can be achieved by this university? What are your expectations?A. I have raised this matter in the Legislative Council, various associations and literary bodies. The government has responded positively. Various activities are taking place at Gotakodi, near Shiggaov, of Haveri district. Several departments of study can be started such as audio arts, visual arts, performing arts, agriculture-related folklore, and professional folklore.Before taking up studies, suitable workers have to be trained. Then, scholarly graduates, experts and researchers have to be groomed. Advanced training has to be provided for learning, researching and publishing. Janapada Universtiy has to work incessantly on scientific study of various forms of folklore. Our universities have to serve as motivating centres.Q. You have done lot of work in Kannada poetry. You have a feeling that your works have not received the deserving recognition. You also discussed this matter in a public function recently. Why?A. I have dedicated my entire life to literature since 1961. I have published 90 books so far. There is lot of politics in the field of literature. There is casteism. Many people try to suppress “Shudra” writers. Dalits also do not involve them. In that way we are the untouchables for the intellectuals. The plight of writers is like that of unorganised workers.I have tolerated everything for over four-and-a-half decades. How long I have to live like this?Q. You have worked in Kannada film world too. You have written hundreds of film songs. Has your achievement in films given you satisfaction? Currently, you are staying away from film world. What is the reason? Why is the Kannada literary world not taking up film songs seriously?A. I have been writing songs for Kannada films since 1975. I have written nearly 3,000 songs so far. I have also acted in eleven films. Creativity stops on the day when we find “satisfaction”. No one has called me to write songs after “Janumada Jodi”. If any producer or director calls me, I have to go. It is not in my habit to go without proper invitation. Old institutions have become static. Senior music directors have become stagnant and are idling at home.There is lobbying in literature, music, arts, journalism, education, politics. One with the ability to run, keeps on running. Those who want to sit back and watch, can sit idly just observing. Now, I am not in a mood to run nor I have the energy. I do not know politics. You may believe that I am retired. I live like a saint!Films do not require literature now. Copy-cats are everywhere. There is no creativity, no self respect. Large groups are there only to grab money. There is zero originality. It is better not to write for such people. There is no quality and money is everything.There are hundreds of good stories and novels. There are thousands of very good poems. Producers and directors, please open your eyes to see them. If the films appear like mushrooms on dung heap, they are bound to vanish soon!Q. Kannada film world is not like the earlier days. Good films are hard to find. Producers are more interested in remaking films made in other languages. Why is the Kannada film world  failing to produce good quality films?A. Nobody wants it. Quickly-earned money is invested in films to turn black money into white. There is no practice, no theatre background.Senior artists were like gold those days. Now, Kannada film world is totally rotten. See films overnight, dub the films from other languages. This is the preferred method. No need for hard work, no need to write scripts. Hard work is necessary if a rare art piece has to be made.Q. Does the present generation have patience to look for such perfection ?A. Some khana, some gana, some gana bajana, it ends there. Two love scenes, seven fights, four songs, one item dance, one rape, ten chases, plenty of Kannada cinemas follow this pattern.Q. Corruption is increasing leaps and bounds in the state. Scandals of the ruling government are coming to light one by one. What should be the stand of writers and artists under such circumstances?A. Corruption is everywhere. Tell me a place where there is zero corruption. There is no life without scandals and no politics. Today media is hollow. It is spoiled more than any other field. Whom to elevate, whom to pull down. That's all they know.Corruption is omnipresent like the god. For some people it is the way of living. It is easy to say that corruption should go. It is difficult to live without resorting to corruption. Even if the writer raises his voice, artistes feel helpless.Q. National parties which are in the grip of the high command are always side-lining the interests of Karnataka. Parliamentarians without voice are sitting mum about the issues of the state such as land, water, development etc. Do you think that under the circumstances there is a need to evolve regional powers in the state?A. Although time is ripe for evolving a regional party, there won’t be any use from it. If it is a national party it will be possible to lead to a national agenda. A regional party cannot give a multifaceted dimension to the present need. Q. Kannada development Authority has submitted a report to the state government recently. Do you believe that the state government will implement its recommendations?A. All reports go into shelves. It is their ultimate end. It has to wait for its turn to come out.Q. What are the most urgent and important problems haunting the state? How to solve them?A. 1. Corruption 2. Eradication of caste 3. The hold of private ownerships 4. Nationalisation education 5. Interlinking of rivers 6. Youth power 7. Equality for women in society 8. Desi products 9. Social justice and 10. Priority and recognition for Kannada.“Pampa” said “humanity is one”. It is my most favourite quote. But caste system is haunting the society today. Where is the solution? Inter-caste marriages are the only permanent solution to this problem.Q. After all these decades, what do you remember when you lookback? Do you have satisfaction and pride about the path on which you have travelled?A. One who walks will always stumble. Yesterday leads to today. Today leads to tomorrow. There are lessons to be learnt from yesterday.Q. On this occasion, what would you like to share with your readers?A. Welfare of Kannadigas is possible from Kannada. If one forgets Kannada, Karnataka and humanism would perish. There will be enthusiasm if love, compassion and trust are there in life. Many young talents are showing their mettle today. There is a new influx into Sugama Sangeetha like never before. We have to see that the fervour never goes down. Our people should inspire them. Officers of Kannada and Cultural department should encourage them.Even now , it is not too late. New changes can emerge if young musicians, composers become creative. The efforts should always be there. Only when deep study and good taste are there, it would lead to success. This article is based on an interview with Dr. Doddarangegowda on his 70th Birthday (7-2-1946) by Dr. H.S.M. Prakash