Homage to another Savant: Deputy Channabasappa

Homage to another Savant: Deputy Channabasappa

July 25, 2020

By Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy former Head, Department of Ancient History & Archaeology, University of Mysore

Some of the readers of Star of Mysore, while appreciating and admiring my write-up on Aloor Venkatarao have asked me why I have omitted stalwarts like Deputy Channabasappa, Muduveedu Krishnarao and others. Actually I had these savants in mind and had thought of paying homage to them in course of time. In deference to the opinion of these well-meaning readers, today’s write-up is dedicated to Deputy Channabasappa, who played a significant role in the Karnataka Unification Movement in early stages.

Channapasappa Lingappa (1833 – 1881) was born in an ordinary family of Dharwad. Unfortunately, he lost his father at the age of six and naturally grew under the care of his mother. At a later date when he had become popular, people used to ask him the secret of his dedicated service and his firm reply was “My Mother’s Commandments.” Though faced by difficulties, without losing heart, he took them as challenges. After completing his early education at Dharwad, he went to Poona for higher education and joined an Engineering College there. This young and brilliant student attracted the attention of a philanthropist at Poona. This helped Channabasappa to work hard with dedication. He completed his course and was appointed as a teacher in a College. During this short period he earned good name as a teacher both by the students and the management.

Everybody thought that Channabasappa had settled down in Poona with all comforts. But the young man was not happy. As days went by, he realised that the Marathi-speaking people liked him as an individual but not as a man from Kannada-speaking area. They were showing scant respect to Kannada-speaking people and did not lose any opportunity to insult the Kannadigas. By about this time during the British rule there was a cry for reorganisation of States on the basis of languages. Bengal and Assam were in the forefront of this movement. The British could not wipe out this linguistic sentimental movement and Lord Curzon had to yield to the public opinion and the division of Bengal took place and this encouraged the ambition among other people also to dream of States on the basis of languages. But what is important is that Channabasappa too entertained this idea much earlier than the Bengalis and Assamese. But this was not encouraged and he did not get the required support from the people.

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Harbinger of the Unification Movement 

When this idea came to him while he was in Poona, he decided to leave Poona for good and get back to Karnataka. Thus he can be called as the harbinger of the Unification Movement which became stronger and wide-spread later under the guidance of other stalwarts.

Channabasappa gave up the job at Poona and returned to Dharwad. He joined the Post Office and worked there for some time. Because of his qualification and experience, he could easily get a teacher’s job in the Department of Education. 

Subsequently, he became the Principal of a School at Belgaum. Under his Principalship, this School became a Model School and Channabasappa was recognised as a good educational administrator. Five years later he was promoted as Deputy Inspector of Schools in Dharwad – Belgaum area. This gave him an opportunity to implement his schemes to develop Kannada as a subject of study among the students. The first thing that attracted his attention was the language policy in that area. Kannada teaching schools were rare. More than that, even the Kannadigas had to study Marathi as a compulsory subject and the study of Kannada was not encouraged. He made arrangements for the teaching of Kannada in the Schools of this area by appointing Kannada Pandits. He also got Kannada text books written and printed them for the learning of Kannada in particular and development of Kannada in general. This brought great fame to Channabasappa.

As Deputy Inspector of Education, he was a strict officer insisting on discipline among the students and teachers. Once he went to a School for inspection and found the teacher highly indisciplined. Even the Head Master could not control him. After an enquiry, Channabasappa imposed a fine of Rs.2 on the teacher. In the evening the teacher went to his house and explained his poverty and the real value of Rs.2 for his family and its impact on his home. Channabasappa became remorseful and told the teacher that he has committed a mistake and as per the rules he was compelled to levy a fine which is fair. It cannot be withdrawn. 

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The next morning when the teacher went to the School, the Head Master told him that somebody had paid the fine on his behalf and warned him to be careful in future. Obviously, Deputy Inspector Channabasappa did not like to punish the family of the teacher and hence he himself paid the fine and relieved the anxiety of the teacher.

Channabasappa was a common name in Dharwad area and to distinguish him, people began calling him as Deputy Channabasappa and that name stuck to him as an honour. In addition to his duties, he lectured on the significance of the magic name Karnataka which alone could unite the Kannada-speaking people politically, emotionally and culturally. In fact, he encouraged many persons like Gangadhara Turamur, Venkatarango Katti and others to take up the work for Karnataka. He also translated two Shakespeare’s plays into Kannada and wrote many articles on Mathematics in Kannada. Thus he became a one-man army in the early stages of Karnataka Unification Movement which gained momentum in the later decades. 

Unfortunately, he did not live long to see the formation of the State of Karnataka. He laid firm foundations for the development of Dharwad as a cultural capital of North Karnataka. It is unfortunate that the Government of Karnataka has not thought it fit to commemorate this savant in a suitable way. That is the need of the hour.

18 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Homage to another Savant: Deputy Channabasappa”

  1. The South India, a country of barbarians! says:

    Karnataka Unification * Ekikarana)was a disaster both for Old Mysore and Kodagu.
    Old Mysore was ignored when the new regions , particularly then called Bombay Karnataka was added, which also brought i mainly Verrashiva politicians lie Veerendra Patl, Basappa Dannappa Jatti: B D Jatti, who beside s dominted as the chief ministers for very long, also favoured their own caste candidates for all senior positions in the government and thus created Karanataka sas Veerashivara Samrajya, where obviously Veera Shivas thrived. in their regime, the Suttur Mutt became all powerful, and the JSS Engineering College, with very few facilities was given go ahead and soon usurped the prime position as the main engineering college in Mysuru then, witha Veera Shiva Principal who became the Dean of Engineering and yet more Veer Shivas were recruited. Suttur Mutt’s resources expanded very much both from the generous donation from the Veers Shiva dominated state government. Now, Yedi, the RSS Cheddi, may be a BJP CM, but he is a Veerashiva , in whose regime, the Suttur Seer has become so powerful.
    Kodagu, which remained a state then, became a region of this Karnataka, and was soon neglected, an,,,,,,d treated as a step-child!
    The Mangaluru region which joined from the then Madras state, brought in other unsavoury characters, like the Mallyas, whose leader was Srinivasa Mallya, then deputy to Lal Bahadur Shastry. Immediately after the unification, he demanded that his constituency, the arid toddy-tapping God-forsaken place called Surthkal. gets a regional engineering college, and got it. This was originally for Mysuru, but Mysuru ended with flimsy regional college of education. The Veera Shiva ministers did not waste time, and appointed a VeeraShiva called Adke as the first principal of this regional engineering college, and Karaka Raddy another Veera Shiva: as his deputy both from the new Bombay-Karnataka region Veera Shiva community. Mallyas flourished, and now a Mallya has escaped the country swindling crores of Rupees, some say aided by central government officials.
    Looking at this march of Veera Shiva, Gowdas were angry and bidding for their time. When that time arrived S. M Krishna, Deve Gowda and later Sadananda Gowda, coming to power built up the Gowdara Samrajya , which is flourishing, now, replacing the Veera Shiva Samrajya
    Old Mysuru and Kodagu became the losers.
    But look at the Andhra Pradesh which was the first linguistic state created through Unification principle,thanks to Potti Sriramulu, hunger demo to death, which is split now.
    Karnataka will go the same way, give or take a few years.
    During the Veera Shiva Samrajya, Old Mysuru lost brilliant scientists and engineers who emigrated to Western countries, looking at how a caste is so much promoted. Later when Gowdara Samrajya came into being Old Mysuru lost yet mroe bright young men for the same reason.
    Ekikarana nonsense is exposed.

  2. vipra says:

    ಸಾಬರು ನಿಮಗೆ ಕುಂಡಿ ಮೇಲೆ ಒದೆಯಲು ಬಂದಾಗ ಮಾತ್ರ ನಿಮಗೆ ಗೌಡರ ,ಲಿಂಗಾಯಿತರ ಸಹಾಯ ಬೇಕೇನೋ ?

    ಸಾಬರು ನಿಮಗೆ ಕುಂಡಿ ಮೇಲೆ ಒದೆಯಲು ಬಂದಾಗ ಮಾತ್ರ ನಿಮಗೆ ಗೌಡರ ,ಲಿಂಗಾಯಿತರ ಸಹಾಯ ಬೇಕೇನೋ ?
    ಅಯ್ಯೋ ಮನೇ ಹಾಲರೇ : ಸಾವಿರಾರು ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಸಮಾಜವನ್ನುಒಡೆದು, ಶೋಷಿಸಿ , ಬೇರೆಯವರನ್ನು ತುಳಿದು, ತಿಂದುತಿಂದು ಕೊಬ್ಬಿರುವ
    ಹಂದಿಗಳು ನೀವು . ಹಿಂದುಳಿದವರು ಮುಂದೆ ಬಂದರೆ ಸಹಿಸಲಾಗದ ನಿಮಗೆ ಕುಂಡಿ ಉರಿಯುವುದು ಅಶ್ಚರ್ಯವೆನಲ್ಲ

  3. what a culture! says:

    @Vipra You are reported for using foul language. Low class human being.
    Editor, please note this person, who is always abusive.

  4. Mann Ki Baat!! says:

    @What culture! Ignore this Vipra cretin, who personifies what is wrong with Indians. He iis simply an ” Ayogya”, a barbarian.
    @The South India…
    You are 100 correct. This unification opened up caste.based politics, rivalry between Gowdas and Lingayats.
    Nijalingappa, then the CM , a virulent Lingayat caste practitioner neglected the state interests, just when the central industries ,like the BEL, HMT were being established, and were recruiting Tamilians, and put the Lingayat -dominated new regions which joined from erstwhile Bombay state, as his priority. He focused on getting the new Lingayat politicians like Veerendra Patil on his side, and consolidated what you refer to as Lingayat Samrajya: every top and medium level jobs went to Lingayats.
    When the fanatic Lingayat Nijalingappa was doing this, Kamaraj in then Madras state, worked to expand the IIT Madras, expanded technical education in his state and brought many modern manufacturing industries to his state, and fought for Tamilians only for jobs in hose industries.
    Yes, Gowdas found what Nijalingappa, and Patil did was outrageous, and when their turn for power arrived, they acted with vengeance, so that Gowdas get everything through backward caste reservation and preferences.
    Yes, the Karnataka Unification has been an unmitigated disaster.
    I also feel that in a matter of years, Karnataka will split with thiose new regions which joined, forming a separate state.

  5. Mann Ki Baat!! says:

    Corrections: 100%, “those new regions”

  6. vipra says:

    Truth hurts ,doesn’t it ?

  7. Meghadoot! says:

    The truth is:@vipra is an “Ayogya”. That simple!

  8. vipra says:

    Hello @Meghadoot!

    ನೀನು ಮಹಾ ಸುಜನ ನೋಡು !!
    ನನ್ನನ್ನು ಅಯೋಗ್ಯ ಅನ್ನುವ ಮೊದಲು ನಿನ್ನ ಮುಖ ಕನ್ನಡಿಲಿ ನೋಡಿಕೋ

  9. Meghadoot! says:

    Vipra, the ayogya. you are reported. I live in the West in a grand manner unlike you, ahd Hence unlike your ugly face, they all like my face here, as I am paid well.

  10. Be warned! says:

    Please do not take any notice of this person who posts as “vipra” as he is known to suffer from serious mental issues. Be warned.

  11. vipra says:


    I have my own factory and can hire twenty of you stooges who are slaving away at someone else’s behest !
    You must come and try my new Porsche !

    Ha Ha Ha!!

  12. Sharanu, Sharanu, Shambulinga! says:

    No one should answer this mental case called Vipra. He is a very disturbed person.

  13. Be warned! says:

    Hello posters
    Beware of the fact that this person Vipra has serious mental issues. Just ignore him.

  14. Be warned! says:

    I guess this guy Vipra is being visited by the C orona virus. Hence he is acting the way, he has been in his posts.

  15. vipra says:

    @ Be warned ; @Sharanu, Sharanu, Shambulinga! etc

    You people are a motley collection of effeminate weaklings ,incapable of rational thinking ! I love intelligent discussion ,even if peolple call me names . But ,you guys are such unsophiscated dumb fucks ,you cannot even come up with a good word for calling a person crazy : dont call ”mental issues “, ‘ disturbed person ” etc etc ”
    All wind and fury !!!

  16. vipra says:

    Sorry I forgot to include @Meghadoot!

  17. Hey Covid-19!! says:

    Elavao Vipra
    If one reads your Kannada posts, replying to a poster who argued about the negativity of the Karnataka Unification, based o facts, your replies were not intelligent discussions, but a bunch of verbose abuses, it is not surprising to conclude that you have severe mental issues; your latest post of abuse confirms your certifiable insanity. You need help and medication. It is possible that your brain is affected by the exposure of the Covid-19 virus.

  18. Hello, hello! says:

    @Hey Covid-19!
    I agree with you. Just to remid his reply in Kannada, when I posted my reply to this article They were facts, and experienceof many who were affected by Karnataka Unification. This was what @vipra replied, hardly an intelligent conversation,as he claims:
    “ಸಾಬರು ನಿಮಗೆ ಕುಂಡಿ ಮೇಲೆ ಒದೆಯಲು ಬಂದಾಗ ಮಾತ್ರ ನಿಮಗೆ ಗೌಡರ ,ಲಿಂಗಾಯಿತರ ಸಹಾಯ ಬೇಕೇನೋ ?
    ಸಾಬರು ನಿಮಗೆ ಕುಂಡಿ ಮೇಲೆ ಒದೆಯಲು ಬಂದಾಗ ಮಾತ್ರ ನಿಮಗೆ ಗೌಡರ ,ಲಿಂಗಾಯಿತರ ಸಹಾಯ ಬೇಕೇನೋ ?
    ಅಯ್ಯೋ ಮನೇ ಹಾಲರೇ : ಸಾವಿರಾರು ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಸಮಾಜವನ್ನುಒಡೆದು, ಶೋಷಿಸಿ , ಬೇರೆಯವರನ್ನು ತುಳಿದು, ತಿಂದುತಿಂದು ಕೊಬ್ಬಿರುವ
    ಹಂದಿಗಳು ನೀವು . ಹಿಂದುಳಿದವರು ಮುಂದೆ ಬಂದರೆ ಸಹಿಸಲಾಗದ ನಿಮಗೆ ಕುಂಡಿ ಉರಿಯುವುದು ಅಶ್ಚರ್ಯವೆನಲ್ಲ
    That he thinks according to his latest post; a sign of sophistication! It is unprovoked abuse
    I would agree about his severe mental issues. I have read similar types of replies from him revealing the state of his mental health, leading to isaity.



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