Celebrations break out as 'Kannada' gets classical status

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Bangalore, Oct 31 (UNI) Celebrations broke out through out Karnataka after 'Kannada', one of the major Dravidian languages in the country, was accorded the classical status by the Union Government today.

It was a case of just-ended Diwali revisiting the Southern state as people came onto the streets soon after hearing the news, and burst crackers and distributed sweets.

Expressing happiness over the Centre's decision, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa here said he would like to congratulate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and all others, who were responsible in according the classic status to Kannada, on behalf of six crore people of Karnataka.

''Kannada's orient history is well known and the dream of Kannadigas of getting the classical status to their language has come true,'' he added.

Kannada, the 27th most spoken language in the world, is one of the official languages of India.

The usage of Kannada language dates back to more than 2,000 years. Inscriptions written in the old Kannada language dates back to 230 BC. A rock inscription during the times of emperor Ashoka found at Brahmagiri contained a word in Kannada.

The oldest inscription found in Kannada dates back to the time of Halmidi, whose period was estimated to be 430 AD.

The usage of Kannada language was also found during the Satavahana and Kadamba reigns Before Christ. Old Kannada inscriptions dated 578 AD written during the Badami Chalukya dynasty can be seen even today at the Badami cave temple.

Kannada flourished in the ninth and tenth century during Rashtrakuta Dynasty, while the Chalukyas popularised it further.

It boasts seven Jnanpeet awards, which is the highest for any language in India. The writers include V K Gokak, Shivarama Karanth, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, K V Puttappa, D R Bendre, U R Anant Kumar and Girish Karnad.

It also has the highest number of 20 epic poetry works.

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