Mysore/Mysuru: Prominent Kannada writers and scholars have come to a unanimous opinion that Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Kannada (CESCK) in Mysuru, housed at Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), must get autonomous status. In this regard they have written an open letter to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to expedite the process of securing autonomous status.
Well-known writers like Saraswathi Samman Awardee Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa, Devanur Mahadeva, P. Mallesh, O. L. Nagabhushana Swamy, Prof. N. Boralingaiah, Dr. Kalegowda Nagawara, Dr. Aravind Malagathi, Dr. Veeranna Rajoora, Dr. Basavaraja Sadara, Dr. Keshava Sharma, Prof. Nanjaraje Urs, Prof. Krishnamurthy Hanur, D. Sabitha Bannadi, Dr. Tarini Shubhadayani, Dr. Nataraj Boodaalu, Venkatesh Machakanoor, Dr. Devara Kondareddy, Prof. Panditharadhya, G.S. Jayadeva, Dr. Basavaraj Kalgudi, Dr. Chandrashekar Nangali, Dr. Rajappa Dalawai and J.P. Basavaraju have also opposed the notification issued by CIIL Director about the research activities to be taken up by the Centre.
Though the CESCK is functioning under CIIL, the signatories of the letter have advocated that the Centre’s autonomy will expedite research and academic work on the classical Kannada language and its propagation. “It is due to the struggle by people of Karnataka and litterateurs that Kannada language got its classical status in 2008 when B.S. Yediyurappa was the CM. Even now, the Government is doing prompt work to help CESCK to achieve its goals and objectives,” the letter stated.
Telugu and Tamil centres
Drawing the attention of the CM, the writers said that it is a matter of pride that CESCK has completed 10 years of successful functioning in Mysuru. “The Central Institute for Classical Tamil has secured autonomous status within years of the language being accorded classical status and it has grown by leaps and bounds. Also, the Central Institute for Classical Telugu was shifted to Nellore from Mysuru and is getting all the funding while unfortunately there is a delay in according autonomy to CESCK,” the letter said.
The writers have mentioned that Kannada and Culture Minister C.T. Ravi was making all efforts in providing autonomous status but CIIL Director Prof. D.G. Rao was not responding to him and is misleading the State and Central Governments by claiming that CESCK is not developed enough to get autonomous status, the letter said.
Letter to MHRD
It may be mentioned here that Prof. Rao had earlier this year reportedly written to Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) where he had stated that the CESCK was in the initial stage after its establishment under CIIL and granting autonomy to CESCK at this juncture would be premature.
Taking serious objection to Prof. Rao’s letter, the writers said that such remarks would amount to resist efforts to secure autonomy for CESCK. “People of Karnataka are shocked by contents of the letter and any person who has knowledge about Indian languages would not have written like this. Prof. Rao has insulted CIIL and the science of language,” the writers said in the letter.
The writers have also demanded that the notification issued by CIIL on fresh appointments to the post of Project Director and other staff for Kannada language (CESCK) be withdrawn immediately as they termed the notification illegal. “The notification issued by CIIL Director hinders the research activities of CESCK and is against the rules of MHRD and aims at changing the present research scholars functioning at CESCK,” the letter stated.
Sources from CIIL said that all these years, there was no land for CESCK to function as an autonomous entity and only a few months back the University of Mysore had agreed to allot 3.5 acres of land to CESCK but the land is yet to be transferred.
Though CIIL authorities claim that the research staff for Kannada language was contractual in nature and fresh appointments have to be made, sources said that there were many contract research staff in other Departments of CIIL and they have been working for 10 to 15 years. As such, exception can be made and it is the demand of Kannada writers too to continue the same research staff by withdrawing the notification.