Renewing interest in Kannada
There is always a lot of debate on Kannada not being spoken in Karnataka – and especially Bangalore – and the panacea, as usual, is on enforcing Kannada usage (and denunciation of folks using English – especially).
And that, in a free country is ridiculous, and not going to work. Kannada signboards make sense only if people can ‘read’ Kannada. A large percentage of students do not have Kannada as a language in their syllabus, so they might not even know kannada much less read/write in the language.
But even then forcing Kannada on every student does not make sense unless the curriculum can hold the student’s interest.
The thing I have observed is that in general the Kannada syllabus is 2nd rate – and boring to the point that student only focuses on getting through the exam. Funnily enough, the English syllabus has been the exact opposite.
Here’s what’s missing from the Kannada syllabus – exciting/interesting plays/excerpts from novels of Kannada greats – for example we have poems from Kuvempu, but none of his great Novels or essays. Kannada literature has captured 7 Jnanapeeth awards(the highest for any language, I’m told) – and none of those great Authors pieces find their way to the text books – much less the works of Pampa, Ranna, Bhasa or Kalidasa.
Instead you find drab articles on Mother Teresa, for example, or even worse ones on some faded monument(monuments are priceless no doubt).
Kannada literature is singularly unrepresented in the text books – if the so-called Kannada Development Authority wants to really develop Kannada, it should start by introducing school kids to the wealth of Kannada literature.