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    An inscription stone at Dasarahhali | Photo Credit: Uday Kumar

    An inscription stone at Dasarahhali | Photo Credit: Uday Kumar

    An early eco-friendly king, women warriors, a battle for Bengaluru: inscription stones that tell such tales and more

    Last month, I was at the iconic red-brick building of the Government Museum on Kasturba Road in Bengaluru behind which an exhibition called Inscription Stones of Bangalore was under way. On display were 28 large posters of inscription stones found in various parts of the city.

    I had a task to do — ‘estampage’, a process of ‘lifting’ the inscriptions from the stone on to a piece of paper for a clearer read.

    Royal writ

    ‘Estampage’ is a purely Indian term used by epigraphists, explained T.S. Ravishankar, former director of the Epigraphy branch of the Archaeological Survey of India. He had come to attend the show. The tablet I was working on was found just two months ago in a farm near Whitefield. The inscriptions were in Tamil. Another stone tablet in front of me was from Kattigenahalli, close to Yelahanka. It had inscriptions in old Kannada or Halegannada.


    Aerospace engineer and history enthusiast Vinay Kumar is part of the citizen-led project, Bangalore Nagarada Shila Shasanagalu, which had organised the exhibition. According to Kumar, inscriptions like these are records of the city’s history, its culture, economic activity, regimes and language.

    The inscriptions give a very good idea of the evolution of language. “From the second half of the 5th century, the inscriptions were in Halmidi, the oldest known form of the Kannada language,” said Ravishankar. The oldest existing Kannada inscription on a Veerakallu or ‘hero stone’ from Bengaluru dates back to about 750 CE.

    It was found in Krishnarajapuram, a busy neighbourhood, as part of a temple compound’s wall. The inscription lay hidden under layers of paint. Constant exposure to heat from bonfires had caused the tablet to break into pieces. Fortunately, the part of the stone with the inscription survived and was shifted to the museum.

    It read: “When Sripurusha Maharaja was ruling … Mareya … pierced and fell.” This refers to the Western Ganga dynasty ruler, Sripurusha, and the veera here is Mareya. The script is notable for the long, rectangle-shaped characters from the Ganga dynasty period. In some 600 years, these characters would evolve into the artistic, rounded characters of the Hoysala period.

    Going, gone

    For Kannada language fanatics, Kumar has a revelation. “The existing stone inscriptions on Kempe Gowda I (feudatory ruler under the Vijaynagara empire), who established the city of Bengaluru, are all in Telugu.” And inscription stones found within an area of 20-30 kilometres in the city are in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.

    The most celebrated inscription from Bengaluru is the one dating back to 890 CE and recording the death of Buttana Setti, son of Nagatara, in a battle in Bengaluru. It is one of the earliest instances of the mention of the city. The battle it talks of — the one between the Gangas, who were Jains, and the Nolambas, who were Shaivites — is significant, as it led to the decline of the Jain kings and the founding of a new line.

    Recently, there has been another discovery of tablets with Tamil inscriptions in one of the city’s oldest temple, Madivala’s Sri Someshwara temple. Dated to 1247, the Chola period, they refer to ‘Vengalur’, the Tamil name for Bengaluru. Now historians believe that when Kempe Gowda established the city, he borrowed the name from a place that already existed in the 9th century.


    Then there are records of the economic activity of the times. Imagine getting tax exemption for maintaining a neighbourhood lake. That is what an inscription found at Vibhutipura says about the king who waived taxes for residents who had constructed a tank in the area and maintained it.

    One of the earliest mentions of women is of the daughter of King Nagatara, Thondabbe, who took a vow to fast until death after the battle of Bangalore. A stone tablet found in Hoskote shows a woman warrior fighting and dying on the battlefield.

    About 150 such stone inscriptions of Bengaluru find a mention in Epigraphia Carnatica, a set of books on the epigraphy of the old Mysore region compiled by Benjamin Lewis Rice, the director of the Mysore Archaeological Department, between 1894 and 1905.

    Of the stone inscriptions he documented, barely 30 remain.

    Backup plan

    Whenever Kumar and other enthusiasts like Dhanpal M. reach a site after consulting Epigraphia Carnatica, the local people usually talk of having seen the (now missing) stone as recently as a decade ago.

    “Development!” Dhanpal laughed, “Everywhere they have ‘developed’ sites on which people build their homes without caring about these stones.”

    Dhanpal is a BMTC bus driver who is passionate about the city’s history. He decided to scour Yelahanka, a Bengaluru suburb, for inscription stones. “Superstition is the main reason why in some places the stones remain untouched and in some other places are destroyed,” he said. For many, the myth that something untoward will happen to the person who reads the inscriptions is powerful enough to get the stones destroyed. There is also the belief that the inscriptions talk of hidden treasures. In the process of unearthing the ‘treasure’, the stones are often dug up and thrown away. Hero stones have a better chance of survival since they are worshipped.

    Preserving the inscriptions is a challenge. The stones abandoned on roadsides and in dump yards can be cleaned and installed in safe locations close to where they were found.

    This ensures that local people don’t lose their connect with the past as recorded in these stones. Shifting the inscriptions to museums is an option only when there is a real threat to their survival.

    At the museum, I met Harish Pawaskar, a jeweller who started making 3D models of inscriptions using Reflectance Transformation Imaging technology. He showed me how to scan the QR codes on the printed posters with a smartphone.

    This makes the 3D models pop up with details about the inscription. “By creating 3D models, we have all the information and details required to recreate any of the inscriptions physically in case anything gets destroyed in the future,” said Kumar, also a part of the project.

    In a country notoriously indifferent to preservation, such projects are reassuring. More so for a city that seems quite intent on forgetting its past.

    The freelance writer believes that everything has a story waiting to be told.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Society> Field Notes / by Jayanthi Madhukar / December 16, 2017

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    "Some people refused to go to plague camps because they would then have to mingle with other castes," said Meera Iyer, co-convenor, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). (Image source:Wikipedia)

    “Some people refused to go to plague camps because they would then have to mingle with other castes,” said Meera Iyer, co-convenor, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). (Image source:Wikipedia)

    In a way, Bengaluru owes its expansion to the plague. It was the outbreak in the late 1800s that egged people -until then averse to relocation -to settle in newly-created extensions like Basavanagudi and Malleswaram. A famous incident involving trader-philanthropist BP Annaswamy Mudaliar took place at a plague inoculation camp in the city . The crowd at the camp was leery about inoculations when Mudaliar, a progressive thinker, lectured them about the benefits, folded his sleeve  and got himself vaccinated. While this crowd cooperated with the administration’s efforts to curtail the disease, widespread public resistance towards certain control measures culminated in what came to be known as the plague riots. The violence was also a mirror to the caste and cultural identity conflicts prevalent among people .

    “Some people refused to go to plague camps because they would then have to mingle with other castes,” said Meera Iyer, co-convenor, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), explaining that people hid in relatives’ or neighbours’ houses to avoid being forcefully segregated. Apparently , dead bodies were simply abandoned. “Caste was a big factor that hindered plague prevention and treatment. There was also strong opposition to bodies being examined for plague because the last  rites would be delayed.

     In their book Health and Medicine in the Indian Princely States: 1850-1950, Waltraud Ernst, Biswamoy Patil and TV Sekher state how hospitals were looked upon as jails and slaughterhouses, and how people stopped using public water taps because they believed that the purified drinking water supplied to them would actually poison them. “As an expression of hostility towards administrative measures to curtail the plague, the public set fire to plague sheds. The Health Officer of Bangalore City ,  Achyut Rao, had stones thrown at him by youth who disapproved of inoculation,” according to the book.

    The culmination of these events came to be known as the ‘Ganjam Riots’ (Ganjam is near Srirangapatna). It started with two weavers from Bengaluru dying of the plague within a week of their arrival in Ganjam on November 02, 1898. Locals refused to cremate the second body , stating that the victim was poisoned.People threw stones at officers. The police, with full emergency powers, raided the village and arrested 55 people for the violence.Villagers retaliated with sticks, swords and guns. The police opened fire to control the mob, resulting in death and injuries.

     M Jamuna, professor, department of history , Bangalore University, said that this crisis of confidence compelled the administration to focus on sanitation measures instead. “Between 1900-01, 13,223 homes were disinfected with chemicals while 47,801 were disinfected by exposure to sun, air and whitewash. In Bengaluru, 71 homes were demolished. The administration planned to remove congestion and improve drainage systems. Budget provisions were made for plague-relief and surplus revenue was also  also spent for the cause.” This resulted in restoration of public confidence and greater co-operation with authorities.

    source: / The Economic Times / Home> News> Politics and Nation / by Divya Shekhar, ET Bureau / November 02nd, 2017

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    Today is Karnataka Rajyotsava, a day celebrating the formation of the state in 1956. ‘One State, Many Worlds’ best describes our story, marked by a unification despite the pulls and pressures of socio-linguistic fragmentation

    There is not a day on which Kannada, the state language of Karnataka, comes into popular focus more than every November 1. The day marked as Karnataka Rajyotsava, a public holiday, has been typically accompanied by visual symbols everywhere, of the state’s identity – like buntings of an (unofficial) flag and banners about an (official) language.

    Translated literally to ‘State Festival’, Rajyotsava marks the day in 1956 when the erstwhile Mysore State was expanded to re-unify into it, some key Kannada-speaking and geographically connected regions of South India. The change of the State’s official name to Karnataka itself happened close to two decades later, with the passing of the Mysore State (Alteration of Name) Act, 1973.

    The early C(K)arnatic

    The term ‘re-unification’ of the State needs to be understood with some historical context. The geo-political expansion of the region had been commenced by Chikka Devaraka Wodeyar and continued by Hyder Ali, which towards the end encompassed a surprising area compared to what Karnataka State is today.

    This growth of the Mysorean region was of course cut short by two key events: The Treaty of Seringapatam (1792) which ended the Third Anglo-Mysore War, and The Siege of Seringapatam (1799) which ended the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War.

    The result of the former was that, about half of the Mysorean territory, was divided by the British and their allies at the time – the Mahratta Peshwa acquired territories up to the Tungabhadra River, and the Nizam of Hyderabad was granted land between the Krishna and Pennar Rivers, and the forts of Cuddapah and Gandikota. The East India Company itself retained a large integral central portion (Mysore and Coorg) and some of the Malabar Coast territories between Travancore and the Kali River, as also Baramahal and Dindigul districts. The result of the latter, which marked the final confrontation between the East India Company and the Kingdom of Mysore, was a further division of the remaining parts of the kingdom – Kanara, Wyanad, Coimbatore, Dharmapuri and Srirangapatna were retained by the British and the Nizam acquired Gooty, a part of Chittoor and Chitradurga districts. The effect on the ground was that large pockets of people were placed outside the core Mysore region, but still retained Kannada as lingua franca because of continued trade and commerce across the borders of a larger core region.

    Karnataka in focus

    The implication of the States Reorganisation Act of 1956 for the Kannada speaking regions at that time was of course, the re-unification of some zones that had been separated over a hundred years earlier, and the merger of other zones that were inherently Kannada speaking but were part of historical empires that had held on to them over time.

    Remarkably, the name indicated by the States Reorganisation Committee for the unified state was “Karnataka”. The committee’s report provides explanatory notes
    as to why the state was not proposed to be divided into two (keeping the erstwhile Mysore State separate, as was demanded by a school of thought at that time), and Section 329, which clearly states, “For these reasons, we recommend that one Karnataka State should be formed. This state should, in our opinion, comprise the, following areas…” and lists the areas proposed for unification covering the then existing Mysore State, four Kannada-speaking districts of the southern division of Bombay, namely, Belgaum, Bijapur, Dharwar and North Kanara, two districts from the princely state of Hyderabad namely Raichur and Gulbarga, South Kanara, Kollegal from Madras, and Coorg.

    There were some exclusions in the recommendations, such as Bellary and Hospet taluks, as well as Kasargod, and further explanations were provided with a note “The territorial limits of Karnataka, as thus proposed, broadly cover the Kannada-speaking areas, but in the case of one or two small units, linguistic considerations have been subordinated to other compelling reasons”. The report also mentions Kolar district as an inclusion despite having a majority of Telugu speakers, for reasons of historical interest of Mysore in its industry as well as proximity to Bangalore versus Kurnool or Hyderabad. It also provides a list of over a dozen additional justifications for inclusions, exclusions, economic considerations, developmental and industrial issues, natural resources, population and administration. Finally, in Section 351, the report makes a defining statement: “Karnataka with the territorial limits which have been indicated so far will have linguistic and cultural homogeneity and geographical integrity. Barring a few dissentients, all those who have been concerned with the Karnataka problem in some form or (Aber will sooner or later recognise that this is so…”

    Despite the recommended name in the SRC Report, the name of the expanded State was retained as Mysore in the SRA of 1956. Two decades later, with the passing of the Mysore State (Alteration of Name) Act, 1973, the erstwhile Mysore State officially adopted the name of Karnataka. This was in itself also due to an identity conflict where residents of northern Karnataka felt the name of Mysore reflected only the erstwhile regime, and did not represent the expanded state. Prior to the unification of Gulbarga, Raichur, Bidar and Koppal districts, the High Court jurisdiction was Hyderabad, only 200 km away, but after the unification it had moved to Bangalore, at four times the distance.

    (The author is an IT professional and Bengaluru heritage enthusiast)

    source: / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Bangalore> Others / by Kiran Natarajan / Bangalore Mirror Bureau / November 01st, 2017

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    Bengaluru :

    Epigraphists at the University of Mysore are close to unveiling facts about Bengaluru’s founding fathers. And, the story predates Kempegowda, who is believed to have founded the city.

    The team is recompiling Epigraphia Carnatica -considered an authentic history document -which will shed new light on how Bengaluru was built and how it existed with its present name centuries before Kempegowda.

    “The recompilation is going on in full swing. We are aiming at publishing revised volumes about Bengaluru by April 2018,” said MG Manjunath, organizing editor of Epigraphia Carnatica’s revised volumes.

    Among the information to be added to the document are the chapters about an inscription found in Begur on the city outskirts, according to which Bengaluru’s existence dates back to 890AD and the period before it. The inscription found in 1952 at Nageswara Temple in Begur says: “Bengaluru kaalagadalli Nagaththarana maga Buttanasetty saththam.” (Nagaththara’s son Buttanasetty  was killed in the Bengaluru battle). Nagaththara was a feudatory ruler under Gangas, who flour ished in the ninth century , and the inscription is believed to have been written in 890AD.


    Another piece of evidence to show Bengaluru had been built much before the time of Kempegowda (1510 to 1570AD) is an inscription on the wall of Someshwara Temple near Madiwala Lake. It reads that the Hoysala king Veera Ballala donated a piece of paddy land to the temple in 1218AD and mentions the temple was in Bengaluru.

    “These are known facts and it has already been established that Bengaluru existed much before Kempegowda,” said HS Gopal Rao, vice-president, Karnataka Ithihasa Academy , and a wellknown epigraphist. Efforts are on to recom pile disparate historical facts into an authentic document and the revised volumes of Epigraphia Carnatica related to Bengaluru districts will be published,” Gopal Rao added.

    Rao, however, said Kempe gowda’s contribution to the city’s development cannot be denied. “Kempegowda is credited with having developed Bengaluru into a commercial capital of Yalahanka Naadu. He built commercial hubs like Chikkapete and Doddapete apart from the mud fort that was built in 1532. He gave Bengaluru an initial identity, thanks to the temples and the four iconic towers among other monuments he constructed,” Rao said.

    The original Epigraphia Carnatica complied and published in 1905 by British historian and archaeologist B L Rice contained 12 volumes.While it was based on over 9,000 inscriptions found till then, there was a supplementary volume based on the findings at a later stage. The supplementary volume had more information about Bengaluru, but it was not included in the main volume, which went out of print in 1950. Subsequently, over 2,000 more inscriptions were found, and Kuvempu Kannada Study Centre of UoM took up the task of recompiling Epigraphia Carnatica with inclusion of the supplementary volume and later findings.

    Deverakonda Reddy, president of Karnataka Itihasa Academy, was tasked with compiling two volumes about Bengaluru in 2005. But he could not complete the project for want of support from the university in terms of resources and manpower, and he surrendered it in 2013. “The work has been fast-tracked now. I hope the revised volumes are published early next year,” said Reddy.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News / by Shivshankar / TNN / October 28th, 2017

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    Looking at the accused, the judge thundered: These five men are guilty of being ‘enemy agents’ and have to be hanged by the neck till they are dead. The five subsequently vanished off the face of the earth; there were no records to show where they were killed and buried. This was in 1943.

    Cut to 2017: The five men have been resurrected as unsung heroes of the Indian Independence movement in the book titled Unsung Freedom Struggle, brought out by the Karnataka State Archives in Bengaluru on Tuesday. The book is based on the judgment delivered by special judge E E Mack (the then district judge in Ballari) on April 1, 1943 under the Enemy Agents Ordinance (Madras) against the five: V Mohammed Abdul Khadir, S A Anand alias Thanu Pillay, S C Bardhan, Boniface B Pereira and Fouja Singh.

    These five men, along with 14 others, had been charged on two counts — for conspiring against the British empire by colluding with the Japanese government and for entering India as enemy agents of the Japanese government.

    Historian Ko Chennabasappa, who has written the foreword, stated: “This case has been a well-guarded secret; it is not known to historians or the outside world. It is for the first time that this sacrifice for the country’s freedom is coming to light.”
    The 19 accused were working in Malaya and Singapore when they were picked up by the Japanese army (following the fall of Singapore on February 15, 1942) to go to India and spy on the British. They were enrolled into the Malaya’s Swaraj Institute, a front for espionage training, where the Japanese tried to generate patriotic feelings in these men.

    However, the British Empire was of the view that the Japanese adopted an insidious policy of preferential treatment towards Indians in order to capitalize and exploit the latter’s nationalist feelings for expansion of their military domination under the cover of a new order in East Asia. The Japanese employed Indians working in Malaya as Fifth Columnists.

    The 19 men landed in India in three groups: While one group got off a Japanese submarine and arrived in two rubber boats at Tanur on the Malabar coast on the night of September 27,1942, another group comprising three men arrived in two rubber boats at Okhamadi village on the Kathiawar coast two days later. The rest entered India by land. However, some of the members were picked up the British military following suspicion and, subsequently, the cover was blown away.

    While the five were convicted as they maintained they had arrived in India to gain independence, the rest were acquitted as they claimed they came to escape from the Japanese. The five martyrs included a muslim, a christian, two hindus and a sikh.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News / TNN / May 03rd, 2017

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    slice of history:The cover of the 440-page bookMysore Rajya;

    slice of history:The cover of the 440-page bookMysore Rajya;

    The book, released by Information Department on Nov. 1, 1956, emphasised that Mysore was a State of diverse cultures, but Kannada was the binding factor

    When the erstwhile Mysore State, comprising Kannada-speaking territories, came into existence on November 1, 1956, the Information Department of the then Mysore government brought out Mysore Rajya, a 440-page book, to mark the occasion. This six-decade-old volume laid emphasis on the fact that Mysore is a State of diverse cultures, but Kannada is the binding factor.

    The book consists of two parts: the first containing articles by eminent people from Kannada-speaking areas, and the second on statistical data about 19 districts that formed the new State of Mysore. According to the preface, the idea behind the government bringing out the book “is to see that it will serve to create a mental and psychological fusion among its several areas”.

    In the article Our Culture , R.R. Diwakar, the then Governor of Bihar, explained the difference between individual and social culture and pointed out that Kannada culture is part of Indian culture. Dr. Srikanata Shastry in his article The History of Karnataka dealt with the succession of ings who ruled Karnataka namely the Kadambas, Gangas, Chalukyas and Hoysalas culminating in the establishment of the Vijayanagar Empire. He also made a reference to the Mahratta influence on Mysore and Mohammedan rule under Hyder and Tipu.

    B. Shivamurthy Shastry, in his article on Religious Movements in Karnataka, dealt with several religious movements that left their impression on Kannadigas. In his illuminating article on thePolitical Life of Kannadigas , Tirumale Tatacharya Sharma pointed out that the kings of Karnataka have always stood for a Welfare State. Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar has traced several events that led to the formation of the New Mysore State in his article on The Formation of New Mysore. Writer Jayadevi Taayi Ligade has given a good account of the part played by women in Karnataka. Writing on modern Kannada literature, A.N. Krishna Rao dealt in detail about development in prose, drama, short story, lyric, novel, and literary review, and indicated that the influence of English literature has given a liberal outlook among the Kannada authors.

    The publication has messages from Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, first Vice-President of India, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, the last Governor-General of India, Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, Governor Mysore State, and Chief Minister S. Nijalingappa.


    Kadidal Manjappa, who was Chief Minister till October 31, 1956, in his introduction stated: “We must not forget that under the scheme of States’ Reorganisation, we are only altering the number and boundaries of the States for administrative purposes and not trying to set up Independent Sovereign States”.

    A photo of the Vidhana Soudha in the book.

    A photo of the Vidhana Soudha in the book.

    Interestingly, batting for the need of “multilingual, multinational State”, C. Rajagopalachari dubbed such State as “ideal State in political theory”. He also said: “let us not allow small and narrow interests to take obstinate root and obstruct real progress”.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities > Bengaluru / by Muralidhar Khajane / Bengaluru – November 01st, 2016

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    SLICE OF THE PAST:This photo of Bengaluru’s old Town Hall features in the Cantonment walking tour organised by Bangalore Storyscapes, an oral history project by the Centre for Public History.— photo: courtesy of G.G. Welling Photography Studios

    SLICE OF THE PAST:This photo of Bengaluru’s old Town Hall features in the Cantonment walking tour organised by Bangalore Storyscapes, an oral history project by the Centre for Public History.— photo: courtesy of G.G. Welling Photography Studios

    Oral history project exhibits some of its collections at a conference

    When the milkman knocked on the door, one woman was assigned to ensure that he didn’t cheat while milking the cow. In another recording, a woman described the coffee ice-cream at India Coffee House, which was on the menu for the princely sum of six annas. The stories of milkmen, local wrestling legends, entrepreneurs, murderers, and singers finally have a home, thanks to the Bangalore Storyscapes project.

    The oral history project, founded four years ago by the Centre for Public History at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, exhibited some of its work at the International Oral History Association Conference in the city on Wednesday.

    “There aren’t very good archives or books on contemporary history,” said Avehi Menon, curator of the Centre for Public History (CPH) and treasurer of the Oral History Association of India. Some of the earliest memories the centre has on record date back to the 1930s, with tales of orchestra pits and silent films.

    The project also details how the city felt the tremors of major historical events in their day-to-day lives, said Ms. Menon. For instance, the flour rations distributed during the Second World War resulted in the iconic Koshy’s, which began as a bakery.

    How it began

    The centre began by collecting stories from residents of the Cantonment area, and the rich oral history they gathered inspired Ms. Menon and her colleagues to create walking tours in the area, featuring audio from their interviews. The walks are designed to bring the stories back to the people of Bengaluru, said Priyanka Seshadri, a tour guide.

    “We wanted to allow people to take ownership of public spaces,” said Ms. Menon. “This is history they contribute to.”

    The CPH team aims to add to their oral history archive in order to make the collection more representative of the city. Their current sampling features more men than women because of the project’s focus on public spaces. This is something they would like to rectify. “We began by talking to business owners on M.G. Road, and most of them are men,” Ms. Menon said.

    As the project gained popularity, the organisers received funding from the India Foundation for the Arts, with the goal of integrating the tradition of oral history with photography, art and cinema.

    Even as the centre subsequently shifted focus to cinema in the Cantonment area, women were excluded from the conversation. For instance, one interviewee recalled that his sister was barred from watching Hollywood movies as his grandfather was worried they were too violent.

    Domestic matters

    To correct this gender bias, the team is now shifting focus to documenting the domestic life in Bengaluru. “Some women tell stories of the milkman coming to their house and cheating them if they didn’t stand and watch him milk the cow,” Ms. Menon said, adding that people like milkmen and plumbers would be invisible to historians without the contributions of women.

    One concern is that the project interviews participants only in English, a practice that self-selects those from middle-class or upper middle-class backgrounds.

    Keeping these limitations of Bangalore Storyscapes in mind, the organisers are excited to be approached by citizens who contest the version of events showcased in the project. “We ask to interview them also,” Ms. Menon said, explaining that she has created a platform for a multitude of viewpoints. “The way India is moving with the changing of our history books, it helps to remember that there is no single, definitive narrative of what happened,” she said.

    We wanted to allow people to take ownership of public spaces. This is history they contribute to.

    Avehi Menon,treasurer, Oral History Association of India

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Kasturi Pananjady / Bengaluru – June 30th, 2016

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    India has been named among the top five global locations for innovation centres, with Bengaluru emerging as the most favourite destination within the country having four such facilities.

    According to a Capgemini report titled Digital Dynasties: The Rise of Innovation Empires Worldwide, India is becoming a new innovation destination of choice, doubling the number of innovation centres since July 2015 and seeing brands such as Apple, Airbus and Visa locate there.

    Silicon Valley, London and Paris, were named as the top three locations for innovation centres, followed by Singapore and Bengaluru in the fourth and fifth place, respectively.

    “India has been rising in the ranks of favorite destinations to open innovation centres. Our previous research identified eight innovation centres in India in July 2015. India has since seen eight more innovation centers open their doors,” the report said.

    Bengaluru has been the most favoured city with four new innovation centres. Bengaluru is home to several billion- dollar Indian startups such as: Flipkart, InMobi and Mu Sigma, and attracts world-class technology talent and investments.

    Among the new innovation centres opened in Bengaluru are: Airbus’ BizLab, which intends to bring together startups and Airbus’ internal entrepreneurs; and Visa, whose new technology center will house 1,000 developers accelerating development of next generation payment solutions.

    “Global firms are showing interest in other Indian cities as well,” the report said adding that TriMas Corporation – a diversified global manufacturer of engineered and applied products – opened an innovation centre in Delhi to focus on driving innovation across its range of packaging solutions, while Puratos, a leading global food ingredient company, launched an innovation centre in Mumbai.

    The report noted that though Silicon Valley still remains the hub of the world’s most dominant innovation “empire”, the innovation centre phenomenon has continued to spread globally, a number of new ’empires’ have emerged.

    “Over the last year, we witnessed the rapid rise of Asia as a destination for innovation centres. Compared to our previous research, Asia has seen a 29 per cent rise in the number of innovation centres being launched,” the report said.

    source: / Deccan Herald / Home> You may also like / PTI / New Delhi – June 02nd, 2016

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    Celebrating Life In Namma Bengaluru Photo: K. Murali Kumar

    Celebrating Life In Namma Bengaluru Photo: K. Murali Kumar

    Bengaluru immersed itself in a world of music, books, and theatre this year. IT city also became app-city, becoming very dependent on them to get anything from cabs to food. Here’s looking back at some highlights…


    Writers etch their mark

    It was good year for Bangalore authors. Anjum Hasan’s The Cosmopolitansfollows 53-year-old Qayenaat in a changing world. The author says she didn’t set out to write a novel about art, she set the novel in the art world because it is a world of imagination. She sees Qayenaat as a rasika, a lover of arts. The colourful Hari Majestic is back in Zac O Yeah’s A Hero for Hire. The erstwhile Tout of Bengaluru returns as a detective and with his cronies including Doc, Triplex and AC Gaadi sets out to rid the world of evil doers including shady hospitals and manic goons.

    The end of the year saw Anita Nair’s Alphabet Soup for Lovers, telling the story of Lena Abraham and the movie star Shoola Pani partly through the eyes of the cook Komathi as she learns the English alphabet through ingredients from the kitchen. Preeti Shenoy’s Why We Love The Way We Do, a collection of essays that explore the various aspects of love and relationships was launched at The Park. Nandita Bose’s Shadow and Soul, revolving around the lives of Devika and her younger lover, an artiste, Shaurjyo, was launched at Atta Galatta.


    The city a stage

    This year there was the usual run of theatre festivals. The sixth edition of The Hindu Theatre Fest saw the staging of three plays in Bengaluru. God of Carnage, written by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Nadir Khan, about two sets of parents meeting to sort out an issue between their children, which eventually devolves into chaos. The Government Inspector, presented by Akvarious Productions, Mumbai, and directed by Akarsh Khurana, a satirical play on political corruption. Two to Tango, Three to Jive, about a middle-aged man going through mid-life crisis, who decides to spice up his love life, marked actor-director Saurabh Shukla’s return to theatre after 18 years. Bengaluru was also the only city where Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre performedHamlet in October.

    The Ranga Shankara Festival was another success with plays staged from all over the country. Among the plays staged were Main Huun Yusuf, Aur Yeh Hai Mera Bhai, directed by Mohit Takalkar, who won the Shankar Nag Theatre Award 2015.Still and Still Moving, a production by Delhi-based Tadpole Repertory, directed by Neel Chaudhuri, a love story between two men against the backdrop of the cities they inhabit, Delhi and Gurgaon. Sharanya Ramprakash’s Akshaya Ambara, presented by Dramanon, which explores gender in Yakshagana, a traditional Karnataka folk theatre form and Abhishek Majumdar’s Dweepa, written originally in Bengali, premiered in Kannada, at the festival. Gender Bender, presented by Goethe-Institut in association with Max Mueller Bhavan, was a series of performances, a video presentation and installations, which brought to the fore the undoing conventional notions of gender and sexuality.

    The first ever Bengaluru Comedy Festival, presented by Comedy Wagon, brought together stand-up comics from different cities, including Bengaluru — Sundeep Rao, Praveen Kumar, Kenny Sebastian, Sanjay Mankatala, Saad Khan, Sumukhi Suresh and Richa Kapoor.


    Pehle App!

    For IT city, apps was the buzzword in 2015 as it changed the way we commuted to work, ordered in food and groceries, worked on our fitness regimes and much more. If you were fed up with overcharging auto drivers and irregular bus services and wary of taking the car out, apps such as Ola and Uber made commuting within the city a breeze at the swipe of a smartphone. Ola, Uber, Meru became one of the most convenient ways to travel back home after a late night party or head to work for a early morning assignment you could not afford to miss.

    In the later part of the year, motorbike rentals and ridesharing apps such as Lyft and Ridingo made commute something you did not dread about much on a weekday. As more and more app based services offer ridesharing options, urban experts feel that it will lead to lesser traffic snarls and bring down pollution levels in the city. Self driven car rentals, lead by companies such as Zoomcar and Bla Bla car ensured that you do not need to own a car to drive in the city.

    Ordering in food got a new dimension in Bengaluru in 2015, as a plethora of food apps, ranging from those that just deliver food such as Swiggy to apps that make and deliver food such as Freshmenu. You no longer needed to call a restaurant, pour through reams of paper menus. You could just download one of the apps and get food from your favourite restaurant or service provider in quick time Customers also had the option of getting hot breakfasts via apps such as Brekkie. Home cooked food also became very popular and saw home sick youngsters using apps and the internet to connect with homecooks across the city, for a taste of homemade dal and parathas and much more. Apps such as Easydiner were also launched, allowing customers to book tables at a restaurant by a swipe.


    The city’s sonic trailblazers

    While 2015 marked several significant changes in the city’s soundscape, it was also the year in which Bengaluru bands etched their mark on the international music circuit.

    Here’s a look at some of the city’s sonic history makers.

    Peepal Tree

    Rooted from trailblazers like Bhoomi, Thermal and a Quarter and the Raghu Dixit Project, Peepal Tree emerged as a rapidly successful band with their infectious high energy and distinct sounds making them very popular. They went on to make their international debut at the Asia-Pacific Broadcast Union Radio Song Festival in Yangon, Myanmar. The band was selected by All India Radio to represent India at the festival, which featured artistes from countries ranging from Pakistan and South Korea to Australia.


    The world music band is often attributed to be synonymous with the city’s vibrant potpourri of music. While they have been making inroads in the global music circuit for close to a decade now, their most recent venture took them to Morocco for the Tangier’s Jazz Festival featuring the jazz of five continents as the only Indian band from Asia. Moonarra performed not once but twice in front of international artistes with a unique collaboration with Moroccan ensemble Gnawa Express. The expert artistes also conducted a workshop at the fest where they shared about their world jazz Indian classical fusion backgrounds.

    Thermal And A Quarter

    Fresh off their sixth studio album The Scene, the Bangalore Rockers embarked on a new direction with an album that took them to Bonn, Germany. What started as a conversation with Dr. Mathew Kurian, a scholar at the United Nations University in Dresden, Germany, evolved into a full-fledged album titled No Wall Too High commemorating 25 years of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The album, a work that dwelt on divisions, also saw a collaboration with a German choral singer and took the band to Bonn to launch the record and perform at the United Nations Day celebrations along with other European bands.

    The Raghu Dixit Project

    The city-based folk rock band, best known for their infectiously addictive songs and lungi statements, returned earlier this year from yet another international tour. From the Kala Utsava in Singapore and Bangkok’s Festival of India to showcasing for the Indian community by the Indian Consulate in Jakarta and performing at the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, the unofficial ambassadors of Bengaluru’s music culture left a lasting impression on the international circuit.

    Inner Sanctum

    Fresh after an eight-city tour of Europe and releasing their full-length album, the death metal giants headed to Oslo, Norway, to play at the Inferno Metal Festival on its 15th anniversary. Sharing stage with metal legends like Behemoth, Enslaved, Arcturus and Bloodbath, Inner Sanctum delivered a charismatic show with some tight metal work that went down well with the metalheads.

    Sulk Station

    The trip hop duo headed to the UK to perform at the Southbank Centre’s Alchemy Festival, with shows in London and Glasgow, along with sets at the Great Escape Festival in the beach town of Brighton, going along the coast to Bristol as well. Comprising vocalist-keyboardist Tanvi Rao and producer Rahul Giri, the band delivered their eclectic alternative electronic music to packed audiences in every show.

    Space Behind The Yellow Room

    The four member, post metal and rock band won the Pepsi Unbox hunt this year out of 450 bands and went on to perform in Singapore at Music Matters Live 2015, an independent music festival featuring over 70 bands. Apart from playing in front of an international audience, they also attended a conference at the Music Matters Academy.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus / by Mini Anthikad Chhibber & Sravasti Datta & Nikhil Varma & Allan Moses Rodricks

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    by Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy, former Head, Department of Ancient History & Archaeology, University of Mysore

    November first each year heralds a new enthusiasm and jubilation among Kannada speaking people. Old Mysore State ruled by the benevolent Maharajas became the State of Karnataka. The magic word Karnataka has a hoary antiquity going back to the times of epic Mahabharata. Sabha Parva has the word Karnata while the Bhishma Parva has the form Karnataka. Varahamihira’s Brihatsamhite (sixth century AD) also mentions this word. The land of Kannada had become so famous as to attract attention of the Tamilagam. An ancient Tamil work (2-3 century AD) called Silappadikaram refers to the people called Karunadar who obviously inhabited the Kannada land.

    Truncated Karnataka

    Various ancient and modern writers have interpreted this magic word in a variety of ways. The famous work Kavirajamarga defines Kannada land as a geographical entity between Cauvery and Godavari. This is significant indeed. But what we have today is truncated Karnataka and have to be contented with Cauvery only. On the basis of this and other evidences, Pattadakallu, Dharwad (Lakshmesvara), Belgaum and parts of Nizam’s dominions, Salem, Nilgiri, Coimbatore etc., were considered parts of Karnataka. Unfortunately, due to political reasons, the wide boundaries of Karnataka are being truncated and the British also played their own part in this respect as they did not like to have a strong, powerful and wide area as a province in their empire.

    Though northern parts of Karnataka were the kernel of the land of this area, it was not a milking cow for the British as against the Maharajas of Mysore and hence they neglected that area. Fortunately, in spite of this handicap, the northern parts of Karnataka have stood up by hard work and political will and have occupied a prominent place in today’s socio-politico-economic and cultural fields. It only shows that innate strength is more important for cultural growth rather than political patronage. There are many scholars who feel that northern parts of Karnataka have been responsible for providing leadership qualities for the development of Karnataka. But this does not undermine the part played by old Mysore or Maharajas’ Mysore.

    Some of the etymological explanations of the word Karnataka may be referred to here briefly. First of all, the very form itself is a matter of controversy among the scholars. The question is whether it is Karn(£Áð) taka or Karn (uÁð)taka and if both are correct which one should be used without confusing the common man. Some scholars feel that it should be written as Karn (uÁð)taka because the word has been derived from the mellifluous and soft sound which touches your ears and then your heart. Hence the ear organ (Karna) plays a significant role here and naturally any word or language is closer to the ear first and then it touches other parts including heart. From this point of view, our State should have been named as KauÁðtaka. But it is officially named and spelt as Ka£Áðtaka which may not be to the liking of the scholars on etymology.

    A pure Sanskrit word

    Many scholars have argued that Karna(tð)taka is a pure Sanskrit word and it satisfies the rules of grammar and hence that form should be used. Even if it is accepted as na (£À) and because of its combination with ra, it automatically becomes na (t). Perhaps, realising the seriousness of the etymology of the word, the Sahitya Parishat has opted for its name as Kannada Sahitya Parishat. Though all these etymological complications were taking place, the State of Kannada language accepted and adopted the term Karnataka (£À) in 1973 in the Legislatures. This put all the controversies at rest.

    Another set of scholars have propounded a different view of the etymology of the word. They divide the word as Karu+nadu. The word karu has been taken to mean black soil. Of course, this land is famous for black cotton soil also and this etymology has been justified. But others point out that red soil is also available in plenty and hence this explanation is not appropriate. However, others give a different meaning to this word: Kar means higher altitude and this is satisfied by the position of Karnataka. Still others give a different meaning to it. It is explained as Kammitunadu, meaning the land of sweet fragrance. Perhaps the sandal wood and fine smelling flowers that grow here might have been responsible for this explanation.

    Not satisfied by these explanations, other scholars have propounded another theory. This land was inhabited by some ancient tribes of which two tribes Kara and Nata were more civilised than the others. Because of the superior culture of these two tribes Kara and Nata, the people of the surrounding areas looked upon them with great respect and admiration and called this as the land of Karnata and the name continued in historical times also.

    Aryan connections

    Father Heras, a great historian of yesteryears has explained the contemporaneity and connection of Kannada speaking people with Indus Valley Civilisation of 2500-3000 BC. One of the seals of the Indus Valley has been explained by him as Kanneer and he takes it to be a Dravidian word and consequently, the Indus civilisation also to be a Dravidian contribution and thus has paved the way for the Dravidian origin of Kannada land. This shows that we are the sons of the soil. The followers of Dravidian movement argued that the word Karnataka denotes Aryan connections with our Dravidian land and forces on us the so-called alien Aryan culture in which Sri Rama is perhaps the most distinguished person. Hence, we should fight for a province called Dravidasthan to which we belong to. Fortunately, better sense of the nationhood prevailed on the population of that time and this idea was rejected by one and all.

    Long back our anthropologists have told us that there is nothing like a pure race and an exclusive race. Consequently, there is nothing like pure Dravidian and pure Aryan in our culture. This also applies to racial features. Thus Karnataka is purely neither Dravidian nor Aryan. Actually it is a wonderful synthesis of Aryan and Dravidian culture at their best. Culturally, we have adopted a lot of Dravidian and Aryan cultural traits in our socio-religious life. This has been going on for almost over five thousand years of Indian life and this is found to continue for ever. Thus Karnataka has been a good meeting ground for both the cultures.

    Royal dynasties

    A large number of invasions took place in India and they have not changed our way of thinking or culture. Karnataka saw a series of royal dynasties which ruled here and they worked for the development of the land and the people. Thus Karnataka became famous in the entire country for the co-existence of people of different faiths and cultures. Of course, some minor skirmishes were always there. Kannadigas are known all over the world as good and affectionate people, always ready to help. This has been considered as their weakness; but actually it is their strength also. It is our duty to come up to this expectation and work hard in building the nation.

    Four years ago, I had the good fortune of receiving Kannada Rajyotsava award. I know many persons are lobbying for this coveted award by holding on to the politicians. In fact this has lowered the prestige of the award itself. However, I congratulate the awardees in advance.

    Finally, I salute Goddess Bhuvaneshwari and pray to her to shower her blessings on the population of Karnataka. All these can happen only if there is a strong and purposeful Kannada speaking people. After all, Kannada should be supreme in Karnataka. That is our prayer right now.

    Jai Karnataka Mate

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Feature Articles / Saturday – October 31st, 2015

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