Culture and the Ellara Kannada movement

For those who aren’t aware, we in Karnataka are witnessing a youth movement to modernize Kannada writing and make it accessible to, and contributable by, people from all castes and religions.

Science and technology is an important area where we’re experimenting with using Kannada in a way, and to an extent, unheard of until now. This involves the creation of a new corpus by and for the common people, not Sanskrit pundits real or fake.

However, I want to focus on an aspect of this movement which is often misunderstood: culture and intercultural interactions.

We believe in taking what we want from all cultures and languages and leaving the rest. Till now, there was no moderation in using Sanskrit words and works and no path to Kannada standing on its own legs in all its native majesty. That’s what we’re bringing.

Specifically, we have no hatred for Aryans or Aryan culture or Sanskrit. Just like even honey, if consumed without moderation is bad for the body, and just like if it is consumed with moderation it is good for the body, all cultures and languages are welcome, but with moderation. A balanced approach is the hallmark of this movement. We often make mistakes in achieving this moderation, but there is an overall agreement that moderation is necessary.

Who decides what’s moderate and what isn’t? Every one for himself or herself. Every person decides what to take from which culture for himself or herself, not individuals at the forefront of the movement today.

For example, we will not take movement-wide stances such as ‘all religion is evil’, ‘there is no God’, ‘Brahmins have to be kicked out’, etc. We believe this is where our Tamil friends under Periyar Ramaswamy made a mistake. We will not repeat those mistakes. All views and biases are welcome on all aspects, except one: that Kannada is inferior to any other language and cannot stand on its own.