By:Bannur K Raju
Kannadigas are overwhelmed with the celebration of Kannada Rajyotsav or statehood of Karnataka on November 1. The bygone generation of Kannada authors exemplified the cultural splendor, fertility of soil and natural resources in their works. It’s a heaven on earth, wherein koels’ sing melodiously, peacocks mesmerize with their dances during onset of autumn, abundance of nature’s wealth.
The united Kannada motherland was formed on November 1 1956, but it was named as Karnataka on November 1 1973. Since then, the celebration of Kannada Rajyotsav on every November 1 began. Although all the Kannada-speaking regions were united owing to the struggle waged by Kanndigas while dividing the provinces on linguists basis on November 1 1956, the state was did not christened as Karnataka despite the struggles of many renowned litterateurs, artistes and champions of Kannada. However, it was during the reign of Devaraj Urs whose concerted efforts the name of erstwhile Mysore state was changed to Karnataka during November 1 1973. The noted Kannada poet narrated the milestone event in his poetry.
In spite of 58 years elapsed since the Karnataka was officially christened, while the landmass of Karnataka has long history. The mother tongue of Karnataka is also so ancient indeed. Karnataka landmass was inhabited by Neanderthals 40,000 years ago. The people of Karnataka had relations with Harappa civilization 3,000 years ago. The renowned author Vyasa mentioned Karnataka in Mahabharata, ancient scripture. Karnataka was governed by Mourya dynasty. The native had thriving civilization during the reign of Shatavahana during 240 BC. The dynasties of Ganga, Kadamba, Chalukya’s of Badamy, Rastrakoota, Chalukya’s of Kalya, Hoysala, Pallava of Kanchi, Vijayanagar, Bahumani, Wodeyar of Mysore, Hyder – Tipu Sulthan ruled Karnataka. It was after the demise of Tipu Sulthan in 1700, Karnataka region was brought under British rule.
From 1800 to 1857, there were several instances of mutiny including by the hunters tribe against imperial rulers. The mutiny leaders Dondia Wagh, Sangolli Rayanna, Bhaskar Bave of Naragunda, Venkatappa Nayak of Surapura, Mundaragi Bheemaraya, Mailara Madeva, Kittoor Chennamma and others rebelled against the British rulers. Kadamba rulers are the first to rule Karnataka. Although the spark for Karnataka unification began during 1856, it gathers strength of a movement only after 1900. Deputy Chennabasappa was renowned as champion of unification movement.
Chennabasappa championed the struggle for Kannada medium education in Hyderabad Karnataka before 1856. British bureaucrat John Bright advised monarch to divide India on linguists’ basis during 1858. Karnataka Vidhyavardaka Sangh that was founded in 1890 led by Aloor Venkataraya further strengthened the Karnataka unification movement.
The first conference of Karnataka unification was held during the meeting of Mumbai Karnataka separate Congress Committee in Belgaum, chaired by Siddappa Kamballi and attended by thousands of people from all over the state. The patriotic song that was presented by Huyilugola Narayan during the conference boosted the struggle to greater heights. As it grew, memorandum was submitted to Simon Commission during 1929, the issue was discussed during the roundtable conference in 1931 along with Benagal Ramaraya and Mirza Ismail, a Committee of Karnataka Unification was formed with the chairmanship of S Nijalingappa during 1946. Adanappa Doddameti and Mangala Kheda Srinivasaraya served as secretaries. Karnataka unification conference was held at the chairmanship of Ranganat Divakar in Kasargod at Kasargod during December 1947. The amendments were made to include all Kannada speaking areas of Mysore legislative assembly constituency with Mysore state during 1948 and the national got Independence on August 15 1947. Hyderabad – Karnataka that was ruled by Nawab Nizam was merged with rest of the nation on September 17 1948.
The rebellion began in 1951 against Congress that has not fulfilled its assurances on creating states on linguists basis, while the union government formed a Committee of state re-division led by S Fazal Ali and the Committee submitted its report on September 30 1955. As per the recommendations of Committee; Mysore state inclusive of 19 districts came into existence on November 1 1956. As the Kannada activists, litterateurs, artistes waged struggle, Mysore state was christened as Karnataka on November 1 1973. It is interesting to know the history of Karnataka provided one digs into the books. Karnataka was known for plateau, land of sandalwood, fertile soil etc.
The first book of Kannada “Kaviraja Marga” illustrates the historical splendor of erstwhile Karnataka that spread to Cauvery river on the south and Godavari river to the north. It was the land of Kannada speaking subjects ruled by Kadamba. Chalukya and Rastrakoota dynasties, in other words Karnataka mother land was 3 times larger than what we see today. Thirteen Kannada speaking districts are disbanded during unification – explains the renowned researcher and litterateur Dr Chidanandamurti with authentic report. One feels proud whilst pondering over the huge territory of erstwhile Kannada motherland. Nonetheless, one feels distressed over losing huge territories that were purely Kannada speaking regions. Meanwhile, it’s the duty of each Kannadiga to sustain the motherland that is prevailing now.