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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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    By KRS Murthy

    In the passing away of Padma Shri Samuel Paul, India has lost a quiet and unassuming leader and builder of institutions. Throughout his professional career as a teacher, researcher and institution builder, he searched for ways to make the world socially and economically more just, and worked actively for a better and cleaner public life.

    My wife Nirmala and I first met Paul, then director of IIM-Ahmedabad, in 1973, when he was visiting Harvard Business School in Harvard University , where we were both doing our doctoral studies. Paul had come to recruit faculty . After we joined IIMA, we had an opportunity to see Paul in action.Although some considered him quiet and reserved, we could see beneath the exterior a caring and affectionate person. His style was one of informing and involving all stakeholders -students, faculty, industry, board and society.

    Paul later went to the US where he worked with Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University and the World Bank. He continued to focus on disparities in social and economic development and the role of public policy and governance in bridging them. It might have been during that period that he began to recognize the need for active involvement of citizens in governance and delivery of public services.

    I moved to Bengaluru as director, IIMBangalore, in 1991. Paul’s decision, around that time, to settle in Bengaluru, gave us another opportunity to work closely with him. Paul, I think, felt as sured involving colleagues and alumni of IIMA in his missionary work. I think he expected IIMA competence and profes sional and decent behavior in any role. In addition to others, he involved me, and PP Madappa, another distinguished alumnus of IIMA, in his early experiment with the idea of a Citizen’s Report Card (CRC) on public services. The idea was to get a sys tematic feedback of citizens on the quality of public services such as water and electricity , into policy-making and imple mentation of decisions at higher levels.

    The experiment was a great success and senior civil ser vants involved Paul in finding out how CRC could help. The ex periment brought national and international attention to Ben galuru, with the Indian govern ment, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank tak ing note of it as a useful innovation in pub lic governance. Paul proceeded to set up the Public Affairs Centre, a non-profit society committed to improving public account ability and good governance. One of the earliest to recognize the impact that the cancer of corruption would have on public life, he held a seminar with leading think ers to find ways in which it can be curbed.

    He published several books on corruption and on holding the state to account.

    Paul continued his professional com mitment till the very end of his life. He is no more with us, but his concern for better public governance, which he lived through his quiet and exemplary profes sional life, will continue to inspire us.

    (The writer was a close associate of Samuel Paul and also former chairman of ISEC, Bengaluru)

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bengaluru / TNN / October 29th, 2015

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    Kshitij Urs has spent the past two decades reminding society and the government that water belongs to the people

    With rivers dying and lakes becoming bowls of sewage, water is being prophesised as the centre of the next great power struggle.

    Amidst grave concerns, Kshitij Urs has spent the past two decades reminding society and the government that water belongs to the people. “Water, to me, has historically been a source of power. Because of this, it is also a source of discrimination. If one were to look at urban deprivation, lack of access to water is as important as food or education,” he said.


    The battle for water started in 2004 when he accessed a government agreement with an NGO to “manufacture consent” among the people on water privatisation.

    “We realised that this was a new era of public participation where consensus was going to be manufactured. We needed a State-level mobilisation of opinion on the actual impact of the move,” said Mr. Urs who then co-founded the Campaign against Water Privatisation.

    Through a sustained campaign that focussed on the commoditisation of water over three years, the State government backed off from the reform. However, the ‘war’ is far from won. “They have tried their hand at Hubbali and Mysuru where opposition to the move resulted in water coming back to the municipality…In Bengaluru, we are seeing privatisation in other forms, such as Unaccounted Flow of Water project, where operations of water supply is being given to private companies,” said Mr. Urs.

    Since 2007, the organisation has transformed into People’s Campaign for Right to Water (PCRW), which strives for the protection of water bodies. Their legal action has seen encroachments on Sarakki lake being removed – a development that set off anti-encroachment drives on lakes across the city.

    The advocacy by PCRW was also crucial for drafting of the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority Act, which will see all lakes coming under one body, he said.

    Trained as a medical doctor, Mr. Urs’ interest in social justice and deprivation started in 1993 when he met two sisters — one 10 and another 12-year-old — while volunteering at an NGO. “They were diagnosed with HIV. Deprivation had pushed them from a slum in Banashankari to prostitution in Bombay…Nothing in my upbringing had prepared me for this,” he said.

    The ‘awakening’ saw him delve into the social sector with a masters in development studies from London followed by a Ph.D from National Law School of India University in the water sector.

    Projects working on

    Democratisation of water sources

    Empowering local communities to raise issues relating to lakes

    Following up implementation of Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority Act

    Suggestions to government

    Understand social conservation of water

    Involve local communities in managing water sources

    Suggestions to citizens

    Understand the importance of traditional wisdom to secure inter-generational rights of water

    Demand protection of lakes, tanks

    Get involved in policy making

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Mohit M. Rao / Bengaluru – October 27th, 2015

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    October 30th, 2015adminRecords, All, Science & Technology

    Manipal  :

    With an aim to save lives from cardiovascular diseases, Manipal Hospital launched Karnataka’s first ‘Chest Pain Clinics’ (CPC) in the Udpui district, on Wednesday.

    To be operated under the ‘hub and spoke’ model, this initiative will include five ‘spoke’ hospitals (Chest Pain Clinics), one ‘hub’ hospital (KMC Manipal) and will reach out to thousands of people in the district, said Dr Ranjan Shetty, Head of the Department for Cardiology at KMC-Manipal at press conference.

    Explaining how CPC are difficult from current health care services related to cardiovascular diseases, Ranjan said these clinics will enable small hospitals and nursing homes in and around Manipal to provide timely and quality emergency cardiac care to citizens and save more lives. Each Clinic will be a small healthcare facility equipped with Philips EfficiaECG-100 systems to wirelessly transmit ECG reports of patients in real time from the ‘spokes’ to the ‘hub’.

    The report is transmitted to expert doctors in hub swiftly and team immediately analyzes condition of the patient and suggest further treatment if needed. “Once a patient is confirmed as suffering from a Myocardial Infarction, known as a Heart Attack, he/she is immediately transported via an ambulance from Clinic to hub, for primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) within the golden hour. While doctors at the hub keep everything ready for treatment and it saves times as well patient,” he pointed out.

    He said that usually when a person has heart complications, he/she has to go a clinic equipped with electrocardiogram (ECG), after the reports consult doctor and undergo treatment. While new system will save all such procedure and aim to provide quick and timely health care service.

    Philips Healthcare will support KMC with exhaustive training for the staff, recording and storing all ECG related data, developing protocols and periodic review of data, said Srinivas Prasad, CEO, Philips Innovation Campus.

    source: / The Times  of India / News Home> City> Mangaluru / by Kevin Mendonsa, TNN / October 28th, 2015

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    October 30th, 2015adminBusiness & Economy, Travel

    Bengaluru :

    The footloose too need a place to recoup and resume their journey. While stakeholders in tourist destinations have always seen in overnight stays only an opportunity to mint money, a backpackers’ hostel is coming up in Mysuru with a minimalist mission: keep that spark in wanderers alive.

    The backpackers’ hostel is the brainchild of Bengalurean Hiren Sreenivasan, and is set for a November 1 launch. After graduating in mechanical engineering, Hiren decided he needed a break, packed his bags and moved to Goa to help a friend with his real estate business in 2013.

    “A lot of my foreign backpacker friends had a hard time finding a hotel that would fit their tight budget. It made me think how tough it must be in my own state!” says Hiren, 25.

    After working for two years with setting up backpackers’ hostels in Vagator, Panaji and Anjuna, Hiren returned to Bengaluru in 2015. “The traffic and fast life got to me so I travelled to Mysuru in July, looking for some solace. The hostel idea was at the back of my mind, but I had to find a place to start,” he recalls.

    And he did. Walking around Mysuru, he stumbled into a massive abandoned house about 2km from Mysuru Palace, and built around the same time as its magnificent neighbour. “I stood outside and stared at it for a few minutes. It was perfect. The 16,000 sqft property amid greenery was going to be my backpackers’ haven.”

    The excited young man found out from neighbours that the property belonged to Sahukar Siddanna Memorial Trust. “I managed to get in touch with the house owner, who was intrigued by my idea. He told me the house was lying vacant and I could do something worthwhile with it.”

    The bungalow, though, was in bad condition, and needed to be completely restored. The sewage line had to be redone and toilets built. Hiren worked tirelessly on the house for four months, doing everything from buying furniture to adorning the walls with paintings.

    Virtually from scratch, he’s come up with a backpacker hostel with 20 bunk beds that can accommodate 40 people. There are also four private rooms upstairs. Hiren tied up with Zostel, a chain of backpacker hostels across India who will launch the property for him.

    “I’ve already had thousands of visitors calling up, excited about staying here. From their stories, I know this place will benefit many backpackers who absolutely love travelling and don’t want to spend too much hard saved money on expensive hotels,” Hiren asserts.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bengaluru / by Aditi Sequeira, TNN / October 26th, 2015

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