K annada Department of Jain (Deemedto- be University), in collaboration with Kannada Abhivruddhi Pradhikara (Kannada Development Authority) Government of Karnataka, held an intercollegiate colloquium on ‘Impact of Modern Technology on Kannada Students’ as part of the Kannada Kaayaka Varshaacharane (Kannada Kaayaka Anniversary). Prof. M Rajeshwari, HOD, Dept. of Kannada on behalf of the faculty and students offered a warm welcome to the dignitaries in her inaugural speech, while Prof. Rajkumar Badiger, Faculty, Department of Kannada introduced the chief guests Mr. T S Nagabharana, Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority, and Ms. Asha Devi, academician and writer.

Inaugurating the program, chief guest T S Nagabharana said, “Whether with respect to an individual or a community, mother tongue is an integral component of personal identity. The process of naming a child is the beginning of ascribing a newborn’s identity with language. A person’s identity evolves throughout life as he/she uses language to recognize, define and engage in a world awash with words and languages. Hence, technology should be geared towards strengthening the languageidentity dynamic, rather than thwarting it and should aid the development and sustenance of a language and the culture it embodies.”

He further stated, “Literary works of renowned poets such as Adikavi Pampa, the vachanakaaras, Kuvempu have advocated a universal vision and secularism that transcend t i m e an d geography. It is important to note that they expressed this vision not in an alien language but in their mother tongue. The universal and the local must co-exist. Technology, therefore, must be designed to promote linguistic diversity. Despite the fact that Kannada has been around for more than 2,000 years, ironically today, concerted efforts need to be made to ensure its survival.”

Quoting the immense role of Sharana and Dasa literatures in social transformation, he expressed concern that literature and the arts are no longer being harnessed in education to ignite young minds with ideas of social change, cultural preservation and political transformation.

Such creative Endeavours should occuur more frequently should be used tp preserve the language,literature , culture and dignity of the community.

Technology has immense potential to pave the way for this process. He stressed the need to leverage the immense potential of Kannada language and culture as a “tool for transforming minds” and he called out to the younger generation to shoulder the responsibility for the holistic development of the language. As his parting note, the legendary film director proudly said, that in the varied and multilingual cinematic landscape of India, Kannada is the only language that has produced a full-length feature .

film based on the poetic ovure of a Kannada writer. The reference was to the film Mysuru Mallige, build around the poems of Kannada poet K S Narasimhaswami. “Such creative endeavours should occur more frequently in Kannada, and technology should be used to preserve the language, literature, culture and dignity of the community

The senior director’s remarks were supported by Dr. M S Ashadevi, renowned Kannada author and critic, another prominent guest at the event. She stated that the government should take a firm stance in support of the preservation of the Kannada language and
seek solutions with respect to National Education Policy (NEP). She also stressed that the native dialect of a region should be cherished, and that Kannada and Kannadigas should be regarded as bearers of a rich and varied cultural tradition rather than as merely a community that speaks a certain language. She also stated that the current multi-cultural and multilingual scenario necessitates raising awareness about the need to safeguard Kannada in Karnataka. To survive in this intrusive environment, the Kannada language speakers demand a fresh perspective, a new dimension, and a new phase.

A special talk on the use of technology in Kannada language and literature was delivered by Mrs. Pushpa, Chief Manager of E-Kannada and E-Planning, GoK who was also in attendance at the conference. Dr. Dinesh Nilkant, who presided over the event, praised the
government’s initiatives for the promotion of the native language. He stated that Jain (Deemed-to-be University) has and will continue to endeavour at the highest level for the overall development of students in the contemporary environment.

The conference, attended by the students and faculty members from different departments, concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by a faculty member.