Question 3: Give a brief description of the trend towards social realism in Kannada drama. Can you find equivalences in drama in other Indian languages? Give examples.
Ans: Kannada is one of the oldest Dravidian languages and is spoken in its various dialects by close to 5 crore people. it is the state language of Karnataka. one of the four southern states in India. The Kannada language has been spoken for about 2500 years ,with the Kannada writing system being in use for about the last 1900 years. The initial development of the Kannada language is similar to that of other Dravidian languages. notably Tamil and Telugu. During later centuries, Kannada, along with Telugu, has been greatly influenced by Sanskrit vocabulary and literary styles. Spoken Kannada tends to vary from region to region. The written form is more or less constant throughout Karnataka, however. Linguists identify about 20 dialects of Kannada. The Kannada script itself is derived from Brahmi script.
Kannada is almost as old as Tamil, the truest of the Dravidian family. Initially the area of the Kannada speech extended much further to the north than the present Karnataka, but it was pushed back by the Indo-Aryan Marathi. The early (pre-800 AD) bits and pieces of Kannada literature that are available are insufficient to lay claims to the literature’s origins.
The trend towards social realism in Kannada drama came post independence period of India. Indian independence in 1947 brought with it the promise of freedom and a new genre sprouted in Kannada writings. The torchbearer of this tradition was Gopalakrishna Adiga. The Navya poets wrote for and like disillusioned intellectuals. The sophistication in the use of language and the importance of technique to literature reached new heights in this genre. U.R. Anantha Murthy, P. Lankesh, A.K. Ramanujan, K.V. Tirumalesh, Shantinatha Desai, Subraya Chokkadi, Sumathindra Nadig, H.M. Chennayya, GangadharaChittala, V.K. Gokak, K.S. Nisar Ahmed and Vaidehi, are all leading writers of this movement. Navyoltara (Postmodemist) Kannada literature in the last 50 years has been closely related to social aspects. The oppressions of the caste system gave rise to the Bandaaya and Dalit genres of Kannada literature. Feminist movements in Indian society gave rise to the Streevaadi (Feminist) genre of poetry. Short stories have been very popular in the 20th century. Siddalingayya, Devanuru Mahadeva, Amaresh Nugadoni, Mogalli Ganesh, Boluvar Mahammad Kunhi and Sara Abubakar are all leading writers of this movement.
One of the novel that presented the social realism of the post independent India is Samsakara. It is written in Kannada by U.R Anantha Murthy in 1964. Anantha Murthy recalls how as a child of 13 he had met a former army man and had come to know of his romance with one of the loveliest dark girls from the untouchable huts and of their elopement and how he had written a story about it. The story was meant for a magazine which he and several other friends of his edited in Kannada, Sanskrit and English. He had written the story metaphorically in order to hide the true story from the elders of the community. The girl reminded him of the story of Matsyagandha, the fisherwoman with whom thç ascetic Parashar liad fallen in love.
Samskara is Janus-faced. It looks back at Indian tradition and makes full use of its resources and patterns; and at the same time it looks forward to modern times and focuses on the modem man’s search for his true self, true identity. A sensitive individual living in a culture such as ours, which is in a stage of transition has necessarily to face the crisis of identity that Pranesacharya had to face. Ours is also an age of evasion and it takes some strength of character to own up our responsibility for what we have done and its consequences. Moreover, when values are in a state of flux, decision-making becomes even more difficult.
Yes, definitely we find equivalences in drama in other Indian languages.