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K V Puttappa, Kuvempu is today’s Google Doodle

By Vicky

Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa popularly known as Kuvempu is today's Google Doodle. Google decided to commemorate the 113th birthday of Kuvempu, considered to be one of the greatest writer and poets in Karnataka.

K V Puttappa, Kuvempu is today’s Google Doodle

Kuvempu was born in 1904 in Kuppalli, Karnataka. In 1929, he graduated from the Maharaja College of Mysore, having majored in Kannada. He would begin his academic career there as a lecturer, and after a stint at a Bengaluru university, return to Maharaja College as a professor in 1946. He became principal of the college less than a decade later, and when he retired in 1960, it was as the vice-chancellor of Mysore University.

Throughout his time in academia, Kuvempu also wrote prolifically. He published 25 collections of poetry, two novels, in addition to biographies, literary criticism, story collections, essays and about 10 plays. His epics - Sri Ramayana Darshanam (in two volumes) and Chitrangada - and his autobiography (Nenapina Doniyali; published in 1980) remain among his noted works.

Kuvempu won the Jnanpith Award for Sri Ramayana Darshanam (in 1968, for the year 1967) - the first Kannada writer to receive the honour. He was also only the second Kannada poet to be named 'rashtrakavi' in 1958. Apart from these, he was conferred several other honours, including the Padma Vibhushan (1988), Padma Bhushan (1958) and Karnataka Ratna (1992). Kuvempu passed away in 1994, aged 89.

Kuvempu wrote his first-ever poetry collection in English; most of his other works that followed were written in Kannada. He remained a lifelong advocate for the language, especially as a medium of instruction in state educational institutions. He was also a staunch champion of gender equality, anti-casteism and anti-superstition.

Top quotes:

  • Chakracharanake swagatha - "Welcome to wheel footed" when he bought his first car
  • Uluva Yogi ("tilling Yogi") is the title he gave the farmer
  • Sarvarige samapaalu, sarvarige samabaalu ("Equal share for all, Equal life for all", when he called for egalitarian society).
  • O nanna chetana, Agu nee aniketana ("Be unhoused O my soul, only the infinite is your goal").

Noted poems:

  • Kolalu
  • Paanchajany
  • Navilu
  • Kindarijogi Mattu Itara Kavanagalu
  • Kogile Mattu Soviet Russia
  • Kinkin
  • Agnihamsa
  • Prema Kashmira
  • Valmikiya Bhagya
  • Honna Hottare
  • Aniketana
  • Kruttike
  • Anuththara

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