Day-long Mysuru Literary Fest held
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Day-long Mysuru Literary Fest held

January 21, 2024

Ancestral homes of Kodagu fast fading away, says author Dr. Nanjamma Chinappa

Mysore/Mysuru: Statistician and author Dr. Boverianda Nanjamma Chinappa has expressed regret over the deteriorating condition of Ainmanes (ancestral homes) in Kodagu, noting that 70 per cent of these homes have already faded into history. The decline of these traditional homes signifies a loss of cultural heritage and reflects the need for conservation efforts to preserve Kodagu’s rich cultural legacy.

She was addressing a gathering of writers, academicians and literary lovers during the day-long Fifth Edition of Mysuru Literary Fest-2024, organised by Mysore Literary Association (MLA) at Maharaja’s College Centenary Hall here this morning.

Dr. Nanjamma, who has dedicated significant efforts to documenting ancestral homes in Kodagu, has personally visited 800 such houses adorned with heritage features. Notably, these homes showcase the exquisite artistic woodwork crafted by Kerala carpenters.

Reflecting on her journey, Dr. Nanjamma shared the story of realising the ambition (along with her husband Chinnappa) that involved the translation of the work of her grandfather Nadikerianda Chinnappa titled ‘Pattole Palame,’ originally written in Kannada to English. This endeavour became a reality after the couple returned to India from Canada upon their retirement from service.

“Pattole Palame is a compilation of Kodava folk songs that was first published by my grandfather who was also its author in 1924, while the second edition was published by Mysore University (now University of Mysore). G. Sham Paramashivayya, a Kannada writer had lauded the very initiative of my grandfather as a unique attempt in the whole of the country,” reminisced Nanjamma.

Dr. Nanjamma also rejected the notion that Kodava language is a blend of Kannada, Tulu and Malayalam, emphasising that it is, in fact, one of the early Dravidian languages. Considering its historical significance, she said Kodava is currently classified as one of the vulnerable languages globally, one of two in India and one of the five languages on the brink of extinction in Karnataka. With Kodava population not surpassing two lakh, Dr. Nanjamma passionately advocated for concerted efforts to preserve and safeguard the language.

Earlier, Vice-President of Mysore Literary Association Prof. G. Rajagopal delivered the introductory address. President of Mysore Literary Association Prof. K.C. Belliappa, also the former Vice-Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh,  recalled the founding of the Association and many literary giants and personalities who graced the event in the last four years. Hon. Secretary of the Association Reginald Wesley proposed a vote of thanks.

READ ALSO  Prof. K.C. Belliappa’s mother passes away

Western Ghats under threat from rampant tourism: Prof. R. Indira  

Professor R. Indira, a distinguished sociologist and former faculty member of the University of Mysore, delivered a talk at the Fifth Edition of Mysuru Literary Fest-2024 on the subject of ‘Ecotourism in Western Ghats – Who gains and who loses?’ 

During her presentation, she expressed deep concern over the environmental damage occurring in the Western Ghats, particularly in the Dandeli-Joida area of Uttara Kannada district, known for its dense vegetation.

Prof. Indira highlighted that in 2007, there were only a few resorts in the Dandeli-Joida area, but the number has since skyrocketed to over 200, which she considers alarming. She pointed out that the promotion of tourism, often under the guise of eco-tourism, has been detrimental to the local environment in this ecologically sensitive region. She urged the Government to take immediate measures to conserve the natural resources in the area.

Drawing attention to the environmental impact, especially with over 50,000 tourists visiting the region daily during weekends and holidays, Prof. Indira emphasised that the surge in resorts has led to a significant increase in land value. She expressed concern that local residents are losing their land to outside buyers, predominantly from other districts and States.

Underlining the importance of preserving the rich biodiversity of Dandeli Forest and its surroundings, Prof. Indira called on the Government to take necessary steps to prevent further deterioration of the Western Ghats before irreversible damage occurs. She cautioned that without intervention, natural disasters may become inevitable in the region in the coming decades.

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