In the past, the literary world of Tulu was dominated by prolific writers like Prof. BA Viveka Rai, Kedambadi Jattappa Rai, Paltadi Ramakrishna Achar, MK Seetharam Kulal, Prof. Chinnappa Gowda and Amrith Someshwar among others.
Currently, a new generation of writers has emerged to enrich the literary world of Tulu. Vasanth Kumar Perla translated Ravindranath Tagore’s poems into Tulu, titled ‘Rabindra Kabithelu’ and ‘Gampana Purana’ by Bhaskar Rai Kukkuvalli came out recently.
With the introduction of MA in Tulu, a PG program launched by the University of Mangalore, students’ thesis work, submitted as part of their academic activities, has been added to the ever-increasing publications in the Tulu language – the one of the five major Dravidian languages, informs Dr. Madhav M, coordinator of Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Tulu Peetha at Mangalore University. Dr. Madhav is also the coordinator of the MA in Tulu program.
800 page book
Dr. Madhav translated “Malegalalli Madumagalu” from Kuvempu into Tulu, an 800-page work that has yet to be published. Institutions in the undivided Dakshina Kannada district like Tulu Peetha of Mangalore University, Govinda Pai Research Center in Udupi, and Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy among others publish Tulu literary works at regular intervals.
Publisher Kallur Nagesh says the launch of the Academy has given a boost to Tulu-language publications.
‘Madipu’, a magazine published by the Academy, provided a platform for new writers.
A resurgence of interest in Tulu folk and culture like ‘Bhootharadhane’, ‘Bannagarike’, ‘Nudikattu’ and ‘Paddnana’ has motivated many young writers to conduct research and issue publications. The Tulu Peetha had recently published “Tuluvere Paramparika Jnana” and “Bolli Sambrama”. Two more literary works — “Bagarada Kural” and “Mandara Ramayana” (a compilation of papers presented by scholars at a seminar) are ready for publication. The Peetha has also been hosting webinars for two years.
Enthusiastic participants from Italy, USA, Qatar and Dubai submitted research papers on different issues. “Once the webinar has completed 100 episodes, all research papers will be compiled and published,” Dr. Madhav said.
The Dharmasthala Peetha has a collection of 1,700 Tulu books while Mangaluru University College Library has 1,000 Tulu books. In order to publish more research publications, efforts are underway to obtain research center status for the PG center in Tulu.
Efforts are also underway to tie Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Samskritika Prathishana to the Tulu PG Center to facilitate in-depth research of the Prathishtana manuscripts, Madhav said.
Academy Registrar Kavitha said: “The Academy supports writers by publishing their works. This year, the Academy is releasing books on performers in Tulu Nadu. Anindith Gowda’s research work, “Recalling Amar Sulya – Balidan of Brave Tuvas”, was recently published by the Academy.
300 Tulu pounds
The Academy has published more than 300 Tulu books since its inception, Kavitha said. Jai Tulunadu, with the aim of promoting Tulu writing, had recently published a collection of 101 poems — “Tulu Purpa” — in Tulu writing.
Sanghatane President, Ashwath Tuluve said, “Through this collection of poems, we intend to reach out to the President, Prime Minister and Chief Ministers of all states, and help Tulu achieve his recognition. In recent years, there is a lot of encouragement for writers.
Jagadheesh Shetty, Curator of Govinda Pai Research Center in Udupi, said, “Young people are passionate about the Tulu language and come forward to write articles, short stories in Tulu.