Republic Day Essay In Kannada Language Wiki

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Independence Day of India

The national flag of India hoisted on the Red Fort in Delhi; hoisted flag is a common sight on public and private buildings on Independence Day.

Observed by India
SignificanceCommemorates the independence of India
CelebrationsFlag Hoisting, parade, fireworks, Singing Patriotic Songs and the national anthem, Speech by the Prime Minister and President of India
Date15 August
Next time15 August 2018 (2018-08-15)

Part of a series on the

History of India

Independence Day is annually celebrated on 15 August, as a national holiday in India commemorating the nation's independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947, the UK Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act 1947 transferring legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly. India still retained King George VI as head of state until its transition to full republican constitution. India attained independence following the Independence Movement noted for largely nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience led by the Indian National Congress (INC). Independence coincided with the partition of India, in which the British India was divided along religious lines into the Dominions of India and Pakistan; the partition was accompanied by violent riots and mass casualties, and the displacement of nearly 15 million people due to religious violence. On 15 August 1947, the Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian national flag above the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi. On each subsequent Independence Day, the prime minister customarily raises the flag and gives an address to the nation.[1]

The holiday is observed throughout India with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events. There is a national holiday, and schools and government offices distribute sweets, but no official work is done.[2][3]


Main article: Indian independence movement

European traders had established outposts in the Indian subcontinent by the 17th century. Through overwhelming military strength, the British East India company subdued local kingdoms and established themselves as the dominant force by the 18th century. Following the First War of Independence of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858 led the British Crown to assume direct control of India. In the decades following, civic society gradually emerged across India, most notably the Indian National Congress Party, formed in 1885.[4][5]:123 The period after World War I was marked by British reforms such as the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms, but it also witnessed the enactment of the repressive Rowlatt Act and calls for self-rule by Indian activists. The discontent of this period crystallised into nationwide non-violent movements of non-cooperation and civil disobedience, led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.[5]:167

During the 1930 s, reform was gradually legislated by the British; Congress won victories in the resulting elections.[5]:195–197 The next decade was beset with political turmoil: Indian participation in World War II, the Congress' final push for non-cooperation, and an upsurge of Muslim nationalism led by the All-India Muslim League. The escalating political tension was capped by Independence in 1947. The jubilation was tempered by the bloody partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan.[5]:203

Independence Day before Independence[edit]

At the 1929 Lahore session of the Indian National Congress, the Purna Swaraj declaration, or "Declaration of the Independence of India" was promulgated,[6] and 15 August was declared as Independence Day.[6] The Congress called on people to pledge themselves to civil disobedience and "to carry out the Congress instructions issued from time to time" until India attained complete independence.[7] Celebration of such an Independence Day was envisioned to stoke nationalistic fervour among Indian citizens, and to force the British government to consider granting independence.[8]:19 The Congress observed 26 January as the Independence Day between 1930 and 1946.[9][10] The celebration was marked by meetings where the attendants took the "pledge of independence".[8]:19–20 Jawaharlal Nehru described in his autobiography that such meetings were peaceful, solemn, and "without any speeches or exhortation".[11] Gandhi envisaged that besides the meetings, the day would be spent "... in doing some constructive work, whether it is spinning, or service of 'untouchables,' or reunion of Hindus and Mussalmans, or prohibition work, or even all these together".[12] Following actual independence in 1947, the Constitution of India came into effect on and from 26 January 1950; since then 26 January is celebrated as Republic Day.

Immediate background[edit]

In 1946, the Labour government in Britain, its exchequer exhausted by the recently concluded World War II, realised that it had neither the mandate at home, the international support, nor the reliability of native forces for continuing to control an increasingly restless India.[5]:203[13][14][15] In February 1947, Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced that the British government would grant full self-governance to British India by June 1948 at the latest.[16]

The new viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, advanced the date for the transfer of power, believing the continuous contention between the Congress and the Muslim League might lead to a collapse of the interim government.[17] He chose the second anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, 15 August, as the date of power transfer.[17] The British government announced on 3 June 1947 that it had accepted the idea of partitioning British India into two states;[16] the successor governments would be given dominion status and would have an implicit right to secede from the British Commonwealth. The Indian Independence Act 1947 (10 & 11 Geo 6 c. 30) of the Parliament of the United Kingdom partitioned British India into the two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan (including what is now Bangladesh) with effect from 15 August 1947, and granted complete legislative authority upon the respective constituent assemblies of the new countries.[18] The Act received royal assent on 18 July 1947.

Partition and independence[edit]

08.30 a.m. Swearing in of governor general and ministers at
Government House
09.40 a.m. Procession of ministers to Constituent Assembly
09.50 a.m. State drive to Constituent Assembly
09.55 a.m. Royal salute to governor general
10.30 a.m. Hoisting of national flag at Constituent Assembly
10.35 a.m. State drive to Government House
06.00 p.m. Flag ceremony at India Gate
07.00 p.m. Illuminations
07.45 p.m. Fireworks display
08.45 p.m. Official dinner at Government House
10.15 p.m. Reception at Government office.

The day's programme for 15 August 1947[19]:7

Millions of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu refugees trekked the newly drawn borders in the months surrounding independence.[20] In Punjab, where the borders divided the Sikh regions in halves, massive bloodshed followed; in Bengal and Bihar, where Mahatma Gandhi's presence assuaged communal tempers, the violence was mitigated. In all, between 250,000 and 1,000,000 people on both sides of the new borders died in the violence.[21] While the entire nation was celebrating the Independence Day, Gandhi stayed in Calcutta in an attempt to stem the carnage.[22] On 14 August 1947, the Independence Day of Pakistan, the new Dominion of Pakistan came into being; Muhammad Ali Jinnah was sworn in as its first Governor General in Karachi.

The Constituent Assembly of India met for its fifth session at 11 pm on 14 August in the Constitution Hall in New Delhi.[23] The session was chaired by the president Rajendra Prasad. In this session, Jawaharlal Nehru delivered the Tryst with Destiny speech proclaiming India's independence.

Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.

— Tryst with Destiny speech, Jawaharlal Nehru, 15 August 1947[24]

The members of the Assembly formally took the pledge of being in the service of the country. A group of women, representing the women of India, formally presented the national flag to the assembly.

The Dominion of India became an independent country as official ceremonies took place in New Delhi. Nehru assumed office as the first prime minister, and the viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, continued as its first governor general.[19]:6 Gandhi's name was invoked by crowds celebrating the occasion; Gandhi himself however took no part in the official events. Instead, he marked the day with a 24-hour fast, during which he spoke to a crowd in Calcutta, encouraging peace between Hindu and Muslim.[19]:10


Independence Day, one of the three National holidays in India (the other two being the Republic Day on 26 January and Mahatma Gandhi's birthday on 2 October), is observed in all Indian states and union territories. On the eve of Independence Day, the President of India delivers the "Address to the Nation". On 15 August, the prime minister hoists the Indian flag on the ramparts of the historical site Red Fort in Delhi. Twenty-one gun shots are fired in honour of the solemn occasion.[25] In his speech, the prime minister highlights the past year's achievements, raises important issues and calls for further development. He pays tribute to the leaders of the Indian independence movement. The Indian national anthem, "Jana Gana Mana", is sung. The speech is followed by march past of divisions of the Indian Armed Forces and paramilitary forces. Parades and pageants showcase scenes from the independence struggle and India's diverse cultural traditions. Similar events take place in state capitals where the Chief Ministers of individual states unfurl the national flag, followed by parades and pageants.[26][27]

Flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programmes take place in governmental and non-governmental institutions throughout the country.[28] Schools and colleges conduct flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural events. Major government buildings are often adorned with strings of lights.[29] In Delhi and some other cities, kite flying adds to the occasion.[25][30] National flags of different sizes are used abundantly to symbolise allegiance to the country.[31] Citizens adorn their clothing, wristbands, cars, household accessories with replicas of the tri-colour.[31] Over a period of time, the celebration has changed emphasis from nationalism to a broader celebration of all things India.[32][33]

The Indian diaspora celebrates Independence Day around the world with parades and pageants, particularly in regions with higher concentrations of Indian immigrants.[34] In some locations, such as New York and other US cities, 15 August has become "India Day" among the diaspora and the local populace. Pageants celebrate "India Day" either on 15 August or an adjoining weekend day.[35]

Security threats[edit]

As early as three years after independence, the Naga National Council called for a boycott of Independence Day in northeast India.[36] Separatist protests in this region intensified in the 1980s; calls for boycotts and terrorist attacks by insurgent organisations such as the United Liberation Front of Assam and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, marred celebrations.[37] With increasing insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir from the late 1980s,[38] separatist protesters boycotted Independence Day there with bandh (strikes), use of black flags and by flag burning.[39][40][41] Terrorist outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Jaish-e-Mohammed have issued threats, and have carried out attacks around Independence Day.[42] Boycotting of the celebration has also been advocated by insurgent Maoist rebel organisations.[43][44]

In the anticipation of terrorist attacks, particularly from militants, security measures are intensified, especially in major cities such as Delhi and Mumbai and in troubled states such as Jammu and Kashmir.[45][46] The airspace around the Red Fort is declared a no-fly zone to prevent aerial attacks[47] and additional police forces are deployed in other cities.[48]

In popular culture[edit]

On Independence Day and Republic Day, patriotic songs in regional languages are broadcast on television and radio channels.[49] They are also played alongside flag hoisting ceremonies.[49] Patriotic films are broadcast.[28] Over the decades, according to The Times of India, the number of such films broadcast has decreased as channels report that audiences are oversaturated with patriotic films.[50] The population cohort that belong to the Generation Next often combine nationalism with popular culture during the celebrations. This mixture is exemplified by outfits and savouries dyed with the tricolour and designer garments that represent India's various cultural traditions.[32][51] Retail stores offer Independence Day sales promotions.[52][53] Some news reports have decried the commercialism.[52][54][55]Indian Postal Service publishes commemorative stamps depicting independence movement leaders, nationalistic themes and defence-related themes on 15 August.[56]

Independence and partition inspired literary and other artistic creations.[57] Such creations mostly describe the human cost of partition, limiting the holiday to a small part of their narrative.[58][59]Salman Rushdie's novel Midnight's Children (1980), which won the Booker Prize and the Booker of Bookers, wove its narrative around children born at midnight of 14–15 August 1947 with magical abilities.[59]Freedom at Midnight (1975) is a non-fiction work by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre that chronicled the events surrounding the first Independence Day celebrations in 1947. Few films centre on the moment of independence,[60][61][62] instead highlighting the circumstances of partition and its aftermath.[60][63][64] On the Internet, Google has commemorated Independence Day since 2003 with a special doodle on its Indian homepage.[65]

See also[edit]


  1. ^PTI (15 August 2013). "Manmohan first PM outside Nehru-Gandhi clan to hoist flag for 10th time"Archived 21 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. The Hindu. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  2. ^"Terror strike feared in Delhi ahead of Independence Day : MM-National, News – India Today". 5 August 2015. Archived from the original on 7 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  3. ^"69th Independence Day: Security Tightened at Red Fort as Terror Threat Looms Large on PM Modi". 28 February 2015. Archived from the original on 14 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  4. ^government, Sumit (1983). Modern India, 1885–1947. Macmillan. pp. 1–4. ISBN 978-0-333-90425-1. 
  5. ^ abcdeMetcalf, B.; Metcalf, T. R. (9 October 2006). A Concise History of Modern India (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-68225-1. 
  6. ^ abWolpert, Stanley A. (12 October 1999). India. University of California Press. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-520-22172-7. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  7. ^Datta, V. N. (2006). "India's Independence Pledge". In Gandhi, Kishore. India's Date with Destiny. Allied Publishers. pp. 34–39. ISBN 978-81-7764-932-1.  
  8. ^ abGuha, Ramachandra (12 August 2008). India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-06-095858-9. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  9. ^Vohra, Ranbir (2001). The Making of India: a Historical Survey. M. E. Sharpe. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-7656-0711-9. Archived from the original on 11 January 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  10. ^Ramaseshan, Radhika (26 January 2012). "Why January 26: the History of the Day". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  11. ^Nehru, Jawaharlal (1989). Jawaharlal Nehru, An Autobiography: With Musings on Recent Events in India. Bodley Head. p. 209. ISBN 978-0-370-31313-9. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  12. ^Gandhi, (Mahatma) (1970). Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. 42. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. pp. 398–400. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  13. ^Hyam, Ronald (2006). Britain's Declining Empire: the Road to Decolonisation, 1918–1968. Cambridge University Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-521-68555-9.  
  14. ^Brown, Judith Margaret (1994). Modern India: the Origins of an Asian Democracy. Oxford University Press. p. 330. ISBN 978-0-19-873112-2.  
  15. ^Sarkar, Sumit (1983). Modern India, 1885–1947. Macmillan. p. 418. ISBN 978-0-333-90425-1.  
  16. ^ abRomein, Jan (1962). The Asian Century: a History of Modern Nationalism in Asia. University of California Press. p. 357. ASIN B000PVLKY4. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  17. ^ abRead, Anthony; Fisher, David (1 July 1999). The Proudest Day: India's Long Road to Independence. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 459–60. ISBN 978-0-393-31898-2. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  18. ^"Indian Independence Act 1947". The National Archives, Her Majesty's Government. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  19. ^ abcGuha, Rama Chandra (2007). India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-01654-5. 
  20. ^Keay, John (2000). India: A History. Grove Press. p. 508. ISBN 9780802137975.  
  21. ^DeRouen, Karl; Heo, Uk (28 March 2007). Civil Wars of the World: Major Conflicts since World War II. ABC-CLIO. pp. 408–414. ISBN 978-1-85109-919-1. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  22. ^Alexander, Horace (1 August 2007). "A miracle in Calcutta". Prospect. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  23. ^"Constituent Assembly of India Volume V". Parliament of India. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  24. ^"Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964): Speech On the Granting of Indian Independence, August 14, 1947". Fordham University. Archived from the original on 18 August 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  25. ^ ab"Independence Day". Government of India. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  26. ^"India Celebrates Its 66th Independence Day". Outlook. 15 August 2012. Archived from the original on 20 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  27. ^"Barring Northeast, Peaceful I-Day Celebrations across India (State Roundup, Combining Different Series)". Monsters and Critics. 15 August 2007. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  28. ^ abGupta, K. R.; Gupta, Amita (1 January 2006). Concise Encyclopaedia of India. Atlantic Publishers. p. 1002. ISBN 978-81-269-0639-0. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  29. ^"Independence Day Celebration". Government of India. Archived from the original on 15 December 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  30. ^Bhattacharya, Suryatapa (15 August 2011). "Indians Still Battling it out on Independence Day". The National. Archived from the original on 22 November 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  31. ^ ab"When India Wears its Badge of Patriotism with Pride". DNA. 15 August 2007. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  32. ^ abAnsari, Shabana (15 August 2011). "Independence Day: For GenNext, It's Cool to Flaunt Patriotism". DNA. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  33. ^Dutta Sachdeva, Sujata; Mathur, Neha (14 August 2005). "It's Cool to Be Patriotic: GenNow". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 July 2012.

This article is about the language. For the people, see Kannada people. For other uses, see Kannada (disambiguation).

Not to be confused with Canada.

Kannada (;[5][6][ˈkʌnːəɖɑː]) (Kannada: ಕನ್ನಡ), also known as Canarese or Kanarese,[7] is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Kannada people in India, mainly in the state of Karnataka, and by significant linguistic minorities in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala, Goa and abroad. The language has roughly 38 million native speakers,[8] who are called Kannadigas (Kannadigaru), and a total of 51 million speakers according to a 2001 census.[9] It is one of the scheduled languages of India and the official and administrative language of the state of Karnataka.[10]

The Kannada language is written using the Kannada script, which evolved from the 5th-century Kadamba script. Kannada is attested epigraphically for about one and a half millennia, and literary Old Kannada flourished in the 6th-century Ganga dynasty[11] and during the 9th-century Rashtrakuta Dynasty.[12][13] Kannada has an unbroken literary history of over a thousand years.[14]

Based on the recommendations of the Committee of Linguistic Experts, appointed by the ministry of culture, the government of India designated Kannada a classical language of India.[15][16] It is considered to be one of the oldest languages in the world with a history of over 2500 years. In July 2011, a centre for the study of classical Kannada was established as part of the Central Institute of Indian Languages at Mysore to facilitate research related to the language.[17]


Kannada is a Southern Dravidian language, and according to Dravidian scholar Sanford B. Steever, its history can be conventionally divided into three periods: Old Kannada (Halegannada) from 450–1200 CE, Middle Kannada (Nadugannada) from 1200–1700, and Modern Kannada from 1700 to the present.[18] Kannada is influenced to an appreciable extent by Tamil and Sanskrit. Influences of other languages such as Prakrit and Pali can also be found in the Kannada language. The scholar Iravatham Mahadevan indicated that Kannada was already a language of rich oral tradition earlier than the 3rd century BCE, and based on the native Kannada words found in Prakrit and Tamil inscriptions of that period, Kannada must have been spoken by a widespread and stable population.[19][20] The scholar K. V. Narayana claims that many tribal languages which are now designated as Kannada dialects could be nearer to the earlier form of the language, with lesser influence from other languages.[19]

Influence of Sanskrit and Prakrit[edit]

The sources of influence on literary Kannada grammar appear to be three-fold: Pāṇini's grammar, non-Paninian schools of Sanskrit grammar, particularly Katantra and Sakatayana schools, and Prakrit grammar.[21] Literary Prakrit seems to have prevailed in Karnataka since ancient times. The vernacular Prakrit speaking people may have come into contact with Kannada speakers, thus influencing their language, even before Kannada was used for administrative or liturgical purposes. Kannada phonetics, morphology, vocabulary, grammar and syntax show significant influence from these languages.[21][22]

Some examples of naturalised (tadbhava) words of Prakrit origin in Kannada are: baṇṇa (color) derived from vaṇṇa, hunnime (full moon) from puṇṇivā. Examples of naturalized Sanskrit words in Kannada are: varṇa (color), arasu (king) from rajan, paurṇimā, and rāya from rāja (king).[23]

Kannada has numerous borrowed (tatsama) words such as dina (day), kopa (anger), surya (sun), mukha (face), nimiṣa (minute) and anna (rice).[24]


Early traces[edit]

Main articles: Halmidi inscription, Kappe Arabhatta, Shravanabelagola inscription of Nandisena, Tyagada Brahmadeva Pillar, Atakur inscription, Doddahundi nishidhi inscription, and List of people associated with the study of Kannada inscriptions

Pre-old[clarification needed] Kannada (or Purava HaleGannada) was the language of Banavasi in the early Common Era, the Satavahana, Chutu Satakarni (Naga) and Kadamba periods and thus has a history of over 2500 years.[20][25][26][27][28][29][30] The Ashoka rock edict found at Brahmagiri (dated to 230 BCE) has been suggested to contain words in identifiable Kannada.[31] According to Jain tradition, Brahmi, the daughter of Rishabhadeva, the first Tirthankara of Jainism, invented 18 alphabets, including Kannada, which points to the antiquity of the language. Supporting this tradition, an inscription of about the 9th century CE, containing specimens of different alphabets, mostly Dravidian, was discovered in a Jain temple in the Deogarh fort.[32]

Greek dramatists of the 5th–4th century BCE were purportedly familiar with the Kannada country and language. This would show a far more intimate contact of the Greeks with Kannada culture than with Indian culture elsewhere.[33]

The Kannada word Ooralli (lit in a village[clarification needed]) is said to be written on a huge wall constructed in Alexandria in the 4th century BCE as part of the remnants of 36,000 palm manuscripts that had been burnt in an accidental fire in Alexander's time. The palm manuscripts contained texts written not only in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, but also in Sanskrit and Kannada.[34]

In the 150 CE Prakrit book Gaathaa Saptashati, written by Haala Raja, Kannada words like tIr or Teer (meaning to be able), tuppa, peTTu, poTTu, poTTa, piTTu (meaning to strike), Pode (Hode) have been used. On the Pallava Prakrit inscription of 250 CE of Hire Hadagali's Shivaskandavarman, the Kannada word kOTe transforms into koTTa. In the 350 CE Chandravalli Prakrit inscription, words of Kannada origin like punaaTa, puNaDa have been used. In one more Prakrit inscription of 250 CE found in Malavalli, Kannada towns like vEgooraM (bEgooru), kundamuchchaMDi find a reference.[20][35]

Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 CE) was a naval and army commander in the early Roman Empire. He writes about pirates between Muziris and Nitrias (Netravati River). He also mentions Barace (Barcelore). Nitrias of Pliny and Nitran of Ptolemy refer to the Netravati River as also[clarification needed] the modern port city of Mangaluru, upon its mouth. Many of these are Kannada origin names of places and rivers of the Karnataka coast of 1st century CE.[36][37][38]

The Greek geographer Ptolemy (150 CE) mentions places such as Badiamaioi (Badami), Inde (Indi), Kalligeris (Kalkeri), Modogoulla (Mudagal), Petrigala (Pattadakal), Hippokoura (Huvina Hipparagi), Nagarouris (Nagur), Tabaso (Tavasi), Tiripangalida (Gadahinglai), Soubouttou or Sabatha (Savadi), Banaouase (Banavasi), Thogorum (Tagara), Biathana (Paithan), Sirimalaga (Malkhed), Aloe(Ellapur) and Pasage (Palasige) indicating prosperous trade between Egypt, Europe and Karnataka. He also mentions Pounnata (Punnata) and refers to beryls, i.e., the Vaidhurya gems of that country. He mentions Malippala (Malpe) a coastal town of Karnataka. In this work Larika and Kandaloi are identified as Rastrika and Kuntala. Ptolemy writes in the midst of the false mouth and the Barios, there is a city called Maganur (Mangalore). He mentions of inland centres of pirates called Oloikhora (Alavakheda). He mentions Ariake Sadinon meaning Aryaka Satakarni and Baithana as capital of Siro(e) P(t)olmaios, i.e., Sri Pulimayi clearly indicating his knowledge of the Satavahana kings. The word Pulimayi means One with body of Tiger in Kannada, which bears testimony to the possible Kannada origin of Satavahana kings.[39][40]

A possibly more definite reference to Kannada is found in the 'Charition Mime' ascribed to the late 1st to early 2nd century CE.[41][42] The farce, written by an unknown author, is concerned with a Greek lady named Charition who has been stranded on the coast of a country bordering the Indian Ocean. The king of this region, and his countrymen, sometimes use their own language, and the sentences they speak could be interpreted as Kannada, including Koncha madhu patrakke haki ("Having poured a little wine into the cup separately") and paanam beretti katti madhuvam ber ettuvenu ("Having taken up the cup separately and having covered it, I shall take wine separately.").[43] The language employed in the papyrus indicates that the play is set in one of the numerous small ports on the western coast of India, between Karwar and Kanhangad.[43]


The earliest examples of a full-length Kannada language stone inscription (shilaashaasana) containing Brahmi characters with characteristics attributed to those of proto-Kannada in Hale Kannada (lit Old Kannada) script can be found in the Halmidi inscription, usually dated c. AD 450, indicating that Kannada had become an administrative language at that time. The Halmidi inscription provides invaluable information about the history and culture of Karnataka.[44][45][46][47] The 5th century Tamatekallu inscription of Chitradurga and the Chikkamagaluru inscription of 500 AD are further examples.[48][49][50] Recent reports indicate that the Old KannadaNishadi inscription discovered on the Chandragiri hill, Shravanabelagola, is older than Halmidi inscription by about fifty to hundred years and may belong to the period AD 350–400.[51] The noted archaeologist and art historian S. Shettar is of the opinion that an inscription of the Western Ganga King Kongunivarma Madhava (c. 350–370) found at Tagarthi (Tyagarthi) in Shikaripura taluk of Shimoga district is of 350 CE and is also older than the Halmidi inscription.[52][53]

Current estimates of the total number of existing epigraphs written in Kannada range from 25,000 by the scholar Sheldon Pollock to over 30,000 by the Amaresh Datta of the Sahitya Akademi.[54][55] Prior to the Halmidi inscription, there is an abundance of inscriptions containing Kannada words, phrases and sentences, proving its antiquity. The 543 AD Badami cliff inscription of Pulakesi I is an example of a Sanskrit inscription in old Kannada script.[56][57] Kannada inscriptions are not only discovered in Karnataka but also quite commonly in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Some inscriptions were also found in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The Northern most Kannada inscription of the Rashtrakutas of 964 CE is the Jura record found near Jabalpur in present-day Madhya Pradesh, belonging to the reign of Krishna III. This indicates the spread of the influence of the language over the ages, especially during the rule of large Kannada empires.[58] Pyu sites of Myanmar yielded variety of Indian scripts including those written in a script especially archaic, most resembling the Kadamba (Kannada-speaking Kadambas of 4th century CE Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh[59]) form of common Kannada-Telugu script from Andhra Pradesh.[60][61]

The earliest copper plates inscribed in Old Kannada script and language, dated to the early 8th century AD, are associated with Alupa King Aluvarasa II from Belmannu (the Dakshina Kannada district), and display the double crested fish, his royal emblem.[62] The oldest well-preserved palm leaf manuscript in Old Kannada is that of Dhavala. It dates to around the 9th century and is preserved in the Jain Bhandar, Mudbidri, Dakshina Kannada district.[63] The manuscript contains 1478 leaves written using ink.[63]


Some early Kadamba Dynasty coins bearing the Kannada inscription Vira and Skandha were found in Satara collectorate.[64] A gold coin bearing three inscriptions of Sri and an abbreviated inscription of king Bhagiratha's name called bhagi (c. AD 390–420) in old Kannada exists.[65] A Kadamba copper coin dated to the 5th century AD with the inscription Srimanaragi in Kannada script was discovered in Banavasi, Uttara Kannada district.[66] Coins with Kannada legends have been discovered spanning the rule of the Western Ganga Dynasty, the Badami Chalukyas, the Alupas, the Western Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Hoysalas, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Kadamba Dynasty of Banavasi, the Keladi Nayakas and the Mysore Kingdom, the Badami Chalukya coins being a recent discovery.[67][68][69] The coins of the Kadambas of Goa are unique in that they have alternate inscription of the king's name in Kannada and Devanagari in triplicate,[70] a few coins of the Kadambas of Hangal are also available.[71]


Main articles: Kannada literature, List of important milestones in Kannada literature, and List of notable epics in the Kannada language

Old Kannada[edit]

Main articles: Rashtrakuta literature, Western Ganga literature, Kannada literature in the Western Chalukya Empire, and Hoysala literature

The oldest existing record of Kannada poetry in Tripadi metre is the Kappe Arabhatta record of AD 700.[72]Kavirajamarga by King Nripatunga Amoghavarsha I (AD 850) is the earliest existing literary work in Kannada. It is a writing on literary criticism and poetics meant to standardise various written Kannada dialects used in literature in previous centuries. The book makes reference to Kannada works by early writers such as King Durvinita of the 6th century and Ravikirti, the author of the Aihole record of 636 AD.[73][74] Since the earliest available Kannada work is one on grammar and a guide of sorts to unify existing variants of Kannada grammar and literary styles, it can be safely assumed that literature in Kannada must have started several centuries earlier.[73][75] An early extant prose work, the Vaddaradhane by Shivakotiacharya of AD 900 provides an elaborate description of the life of Bhadrabahu of Shravanabelagola.[76]

Kannada works from earlier centuries mentioned in the Kavirajamarga are not yet traced. Some ancient texts now considered extinct but referenced in later centuries are Prabhrita (AD 650) by Syamakundacharya, Chudamani (Crest Jewel—AD 650) by Srivaradhadeva, also known as Tumbuluracharya, which is a work of 96,000 verse-measures and a commentary on logic (Tatwartha-mahashastra).[77][78][79] Other sources date Chudamani to the 6th century or earlier.[80][81] The Karnateshwara Katha, a eulogy for King Pulakesi II, is said to have belonged to the 7th century; the Gajastaka, a work on elephant management by King Shivamara II, belonged to the 8th century,[82] and the Chandraprabha-purana by Sri Vijaya, a court poet of King Amoghavarsha I, is ascribed to the early 9th century.[83] Tamil Buddhist commentators of the 10th century AD (in the commentary on Nemrinatham, a Tamil grammatical work) make references that show that Kannada literature must have flourished as early as the AD 4th century.[84]

Around the beginning of the 9th century, Old Kannada was spoken from Kaveri to Godavari. The Kannada spoken between the rivers Varada and Malaprabha was the pure well of Kannada undefiled.[85]

The late classical period gave birth to several genres of Kannada literature, with new forms of composition coming into use, including Ragale (a form of blank verse) and meters like Sangatya and Shatpadi. The works of this period are based on Jain and Hindu principles. Two of the early writers of this period are Harihara and Raghavanka, trailblazers in their own right. Harihara established the Ragale form of composition while Raghavanka popularised the Shatpadi (six-lined stanza) meter.[86] A famous Jaina writer of the same period is Janna, who expressed Jain religious teachings through his works.[87]

The Vachana Sahitya tradition of the 12th century is purely native and unique in world literature, and the sum of contributions by all sections of society. Vachanas were pithy poems on that period's social, religious and economic conditions. More importantly, they held a mirror to the seed of social revolution, which caused a radical re-examination of the ideas of caste, creed and religion. Some of the important writers of Vachana literature include Basavanna, Allama Prabhu and Akka Mahadevi.[88]

Emperor Nripatunga Amoghavarsha I of 850 CE recognised that the Sanskrit style of Kannada literature was Margi (formal or written form of language) and Desi (folk or spoken form of language) style was popular and made his people aware of the strength and beauty of their native language Kannada. In 1112 CE, Jain poet Nayasena of Mulugunda, Dharwad district, in his Champu work Dharmamrita, a book on morals, warns writers from mixing Kannada with Sanskrit by comparing it with mixing of clarified butter and oil. He has written it using very limited Sanskrit words which fit with idiomatic Kannada. In 1235 CE, Jain poet Andayya, wrote Kabbigara Kava (Poet's Defender), also called Sobagina Suggi (Harvest of Beauty) or Madana-Vijaya andKavana-Gella (Cupid's Conquest), a Champu work in pure Kannada using only indigenous (desya) Kannada words and the derived form of Sanskrit words – tadbhavas, without the admixture of Sanskrit words. He succeeded in his challenge and proved wrong those who had advocated that it was impossible to write a work in Kannada without using Sanskrit words. Andayya may be considered as a protector of Kannada poets who were ridiculed by Sanskrit advocates. Thus Kannada is the only Dravidian language which is not only capable of using only native Kannada words and grammar in its literature (like Tamil), but also use Sanskrit grammar and vocabulary (like Telugu, Malayalam, Tulu, etc.) The Champu style of literature of mixing poetry with prose owes its origins to the Kannada language which was later incorporated by poets into Sanskrit and other Indian languages.[89][90][91][92][93][94]

Middle Kannada[edit]

Main articles: Kannada literature in Vijayanagara empire and Literature of the Kingdom of Mysore

During the period between the 15th and 18th centuries, Hinduism had a great influence on Middle Kannada (Nadugannada) language and literature. Kumara Vyasa, who wrote the Karnata Bharata Kathamanjari, was arguably the most influential Kannada writer of this period. His work, entirely composed in the native Bhamini Shatpadi (hexa-meter), is a sublime adaptation of the first ten books of the Mahabharata.[95] During this period, the Sanskritic influence is present in most abstract, religious, scientific and rhetorical terms.[96][97][98] During this period, several Hindi and Marathi words came into Kannada, chiefly relating to feudalism and militia.[99]

Hindu saints of the Vaishnava sect such as Kanakadasa, Purandaradasa, Naraharitirtha, Vyasatirtha, Sripadaraya, Vadirajatirtha, Vijaya Dasa, Jagannatha Dasa, Prasanna Venkatadasa produced devotional poems in this period.[100] Kanakadasa's Ramadhanya Charite is a rare work, concerning with the issue of class struggle.[101] This period saw the advent of Haridasa Sahitya (lit Dasa literature) which made rich contributions to Bhakti literature and sowed the seeds of Carnatic music. Purandara Dasa is widely considered the Father of Carnatic music.[102][103][104]

Modern Kannada[edit]

Main articles: Modern Kannada literature and Kannada poetry

The Kannada works produced from the 19th century make a gradual transition and are classified as Hosagannada or Modern Kannada. Most notable among the modernists was the poet Nandalike Muddana whose writing may be described as the "Dawn of Modern Kannada", though generally, linguists treat Indira Bai or Saddharma Vijayavu by Gulvadi Venkata Raya as the first literary works in Modern Kannada. The first modern movable type printing of "Canarese" appears to be the Canarese Grammar of Carey printed at Serampore in 1817, and the "Bible in Canarese" of John Hands in 1820.[105] The first novel printed was John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, along with other texts including Canarese Proverbs, The History of Little Henry and his Bearer by Mary Martha Sherwood, Christian Gottlob Barth's Bible Stories and "a Canarese hymn book."[106]

Modern Kannada in the 20th century has been influenced by many movements, notably Navodaya, Navya, Navyottara, Dalita and Bandaya. Contemporary Kannada literature has been highly successful in reaching people of all classes in society. Further, Kannada has produced a number of prolific and renowned poets and writers such as Kuvempu, Bendre, and V K Gokak. Works of Kannada literature have received eight Jnanpith awards,[107] the highest number awarded to any Indian language.[108]

Patronage of Kannada by Kannada Kingdoms[edit]

The Kannada was patronized by many Kannada Kingdoms. The Kadambas[109] are considered the earliest indigenous rulers to use Kannada as an administrative language. That period saw one of the first writings of Kannada. It further got boost from Chalukya dynasty, under whom Kannada began to grow. Even though literary works of this time have been lost, there are references of great writers and poets having lived in this kingdom and wrote in Kannada as stated in Kavirajamarga.[110]

Next came the Rashtrakuta Empire, wherein several well known kannada works were written. Kavirajamarga by Amoghavarsha I, Adipurana and Vikramarjuna Vijaya by Pampa, Vaddaradhane by Shivakotiacharya are few examples. Later, Western Chalukyas and Hoysalas continued the tradition of Royal patronage of Kannada writers. These Kannada writers were secular in thinking and writings. For Example, the great Kannada writer Pampa was a Jain but wrote on Hindu epics.

With the arrival Vijayanagara Empire, the Bhakti movement peaked with its style and transformed the way Kannada literature was written. This literary movement started under Western Chalukyas as a tool of social reformation in the form of Vachana Sahitya and continued until late 16th century under Vijayanagara Empire which is typically known for Dasa Sahithya. Instead of writing with strict rules which was inherited from Sanskrit, this movement's writers wrote in common people language and quickly gained prominence. This was the golden period of Kannada literature in being able to reach large sections of common folks with its simple and serene prose and poetry.

Several smaller Kannada Kingdoms too enriched the Kannada language with their zeal and love for the land's language. Each kingdom provided their contribution in an unique way, for example, in Rashtrakuta Empire, the literature was heavily influenced by Sanskrit. But in Kalachuri kingdom, the vachana literature was subtle. It is a true testament to the determination of these glorious kingdoms and its writers to proliferate the kannada words on stones and scrolls, that today Kannada is among the reputed languages in the world with its beautiful and rich literature.

It is to be noted that Kannada Kings were not only patronage of Kannada but of other languages as well. For example under Vijayanagar and Eastern ChalukyasEastern Chalukyas#Connection between Kannada and Telugu literature empires, Telugu got its royal patronage along with kannada, Kadambas of Goa patronized Konkani along with kannada, tamil was used in tamil areas under Rashtrakuta empire along with kannada[111]. This shows how kannada kings respected other sister languages of Kannada instead of forcing kannada on non-kannada speaking people over which they were ruling.

Areas of influence[edit]

Besides being the official and administrative language of the state of Karnataka, Kannada language is present in other areas:

  • Kannadigas form Tamil Nadu's 3rd biggest linguistic group and add up to about 1.23 million which is 2.2% of Tamil Nadu's total population.[112][113]
  • Kannadigas account for 3% of Mumbai's population of 12 million as of 1991, which is 360,000.[114]
  • As of 2001, there were 1.26 million Kannada speakers in Maharashtra, 1.3% of its population.
  • Kannada is the third-most spoken language in Hyderabad and is spoken by 677,245 people in Andhra Pradesh, some 0.8% of its total population.
  • Kannada speakers in Kerala numbered 325,571 which is 1.2% of its population as of 2001.
  • Goa has 7% Kannada speakers which accounts for 94,360 Kannadigas.
  • There are 43 Kannadigas on the Lakshadweep islands. Amindivi islands were formerly a part of undivided Dakshina Kannada district. The Malayalam spoken by people of Lakshadweep has many Kannada words.[115][116]
  • New Delhi has approximately 11,027 Kannada speakers[116][117] or less than 100,000 according to a different source.[118]
  • As on 2001, Gujarat had 15,202 Kannada speakers; Madhya Pradesh had 6,039; Rajasthan had 5,651; Punjab had 4,872; Jammu & Kashmir had 4,058; Assam had 2,666; Haryana had 2,115; Chhattisgarh had 2,084; Pondicherry had 1,177; Uttarakhand had 849; Dadra & Nagar Haveli had 728; Tripura had 640; Himachal Pradesh had 608; Arunachal Pradesh had 549; Chandigarh had 451; Nagaland had 398; Daman & Diu had 396; Andaman & Nicobar Islands had 321; Manipur had 239; Meghalaya had 232; Mizoram had 178 and Sikkim had 162. The states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha had not properly enumerated Kannada speakers in the census.[116]
  • There are about 150,000 Kannadigas in North America (USA and Canada).[119]
  • Gulf countries of Middle-East, UK and Australia have minority numbers of Kannada speakers.


Main article: Kannada dialects

There is also a considerable difference between the spoken and written forms of the language. Spoken Kannada tends to vary from region to region. The written form is more or less consistent throughout Karnataka. The Ethnologue reports "about 20 dialects" of Kannada. Among them are Kundagannada (spoken exclusively in Kundapura), Nadavar-Kannada (spoken by Nadavaru), Havigannada (spoken mainly by Havyaka Brahmins), Are Bhashe (spoken by Gowda community mainly in Madikeri and Sullia region of Dakshina Kannada), Malenadu Kannada (Sakaleshpur, Coorg, Shimoga, Chikmagalur), Sholaga, Gulbarga Kannada, Dharawad Kannada etc. All of these dialects are influenced by their regional and cultural background. The one million Komarpants in and around Goa speak their own dialect of Kannada, known as Halegannada. They are settled in each and every village spread across Goa state, throughout Uttara Kannada district and Khanapur taluk of Belagavi district, Karnataka.[120][121][122] The Halakki Vokkaligas of Uttara Kannada, Shimoga and Dakshina Kannada districts of Karnataka speak in their own dialect of Kannada called Halakki Kannada or Achchagannada. Their population estimate is about 75,000.[123][124][125]

Ethnologue also classifies a group of four languages related to Kannada, which are, besides Kannada proper, Badaga, Holiya, Kurumba and Urali.[126]

Nasik district of Maharashtra has a distinct tribe called 'Hatkar Kaanadi' people who speak a Kannada (Kaanadi) dialect with lot of old Kannada words. Per Chidananda Murthy, they are the native people of Nasik from ancient times which shows that North Maharashtra's Nasik area had Kannada population 1000 years ago.[127][128] Kannada speakers formed 0.12% of Nasik district's population as per 1961 census.[129]

R. Narasimhacharya considers Tulu, Kodava, Toda, Kota, Badaga and Irula as Kannada dialects due to their closeness to Kannada.[85]


The Director of the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Udaya Narayana Singh, submitted a report in 2006 to the Indian government arguing for Kannada to be made a classical language of India.[130] In 2008 the Indian government announced that Kannada was to be designated as one of the classical languages of India.[15][16]

Writing system[edit]

Main articles: Kannada alphabet and Kannada braille

The language uses forty-nine phonemic letters, divided into three groups: swaragalu (vowels – thirteen letters); vyanjanagalu (consonants – thirty-four letters); and yogavaahakagalu (neither vowel nor consonant – two letters: anusvaraಂ and visargaಃ). The character set is almost identical to that of other Indian languages. The Kannada script is almost perfectly phonetic, but for the sound of a "half n" (which becomes a half m). The number of written symbols, however, is far more than the forty-nine characters in the alphabet, because different characters can be combined to form compound characters (ottakshara). Each written symbol in the Kannada script corresponds with one syllable, as opposed to one phoneme in languages like English. The Kannada script is syllabic.

Obsolete Kannada letters[edit]

Kannada literary works employed the letters ಱ (transliterated '' or 'rh') and ೞ (transliterated '', 'lh' or 'zh'), whose manner of articulation most plausibly could be akin to those in present-day Malayalam and Tamil. The letters dropped out of use in the 12th and 18th centuries, respectively. Later Kannada works replaced 'rh' and 'lh' with ರ (ra) and ಳ (la) respectively.[93]

Another letter (or unclassified vyanjana (consonant)) that has become extinct is 'nh' or 'inn'. Likewise, this has its equivalent in Telugu, where it is called Nakaara pollu. The usage of this consonant was observed until the 1980s in Kannada works from the mostly coastal areas of Karnataka (especially the Dakshina Kannada district). Now, hardly any mainstream works use this consonant. This letter has been replaced by ನ್ (consonant n).[citation needed]

Kannada script evolution[edit]

The image below shows the evolution of Kannada script[131] from prehistoric times to the modern period. The Kannada script evolved in stages:

Proto-Kannada → Pre–Old Kannada → Old Kannada → Modern Kannada.

The Proto-Kannada script has its root in ancient Brahmi and appeared around the 3rd century BC. The Pre-Old-Kannada script appeared around the 4th century AD. Old-Kannada script can be traced to around the 10th century AD, whereas Modern-Kannada script appeared around the 17th century AD.


Kannada–Kannada dictionary has existed in Kannada along with ancient works of Kannada grammar. The oldest available Kannada dictionary was composed by the poet 'Ranna' called 'Ranna Kanda' in 996 ACE. Other dictionaries are 'Abhidhana Vastukosha' by Nagavarma (1045 ACE), 'Amarakoshada Teeku' by Vittala (1300), 'Abhinavaabhidaana' by Abhinava Mangaraja (1398 ACE) and many more.[132] A Kannada–English dictionary consisting of more than 70,000 words was composed by Ferdinand Kittel.[133]

G. Venkatasubbaiah edited the first modern Kannada–Kannada dictionary, a 9,000-page, 8-volume series published by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat. He also wrote a Kannada–English dictionary and a kliṣtapadakōśa, a dictionary of difficult words.[134][135]

Kannada script in computing[edit]


Several transliteration schemes/tools are used to type Kannada characters using a standard keyboard. These include Baraha[136] (based on ITRANS), Pada Software[137] and several internet tools like Google transliteration, Quillpad[138] (predictive transliterator). Nudi, the Government of Karnataka's standard for Kannada Input, is a phonetic layout loosely based on transliteration.


Main article: Kannada (Unicode block)

Kannada inscription dated 1654 A.D., at Yelandur with exquisite relief
Historical form of representing ನ್ in Kannada script.

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