Kannada novelist S.L. Bhyrappa has held leaders of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and some Tamil organisations responsible for the decline in the use of Sanskrit in south India.
Releasing a collection of Kannada poems, Yugadharma, by late Shrinivas Tofkhane, a Kannada, Marathi and Sanskrit scholar, brought out in a handwritten format here on Tuesday evening, Mr. Bhyrappa said Sanskrit could not get its due recognition because of the systematic campaign launched by the DMK and other organisations in the region against it.
He said one cannot understand ancient India without knowing Sanskrit, and called on efforts to block any attempt to keep away the subject from the curriculum.
Mr. Bhyrappa said only Sanskrit could save the purity of regional languages, and as regional languages were being kept out of the influence of Sanskrit, many of them, including Kannada, were losing their purity.
He said it was regrettable that Kannada professors in universities were shunning the use of Sanskrit. “Unless Sanskrit is learnt, writing pure Kannada will not be possible. Kannadigas should at least know primary-level Sanskrit,” he said.
Speaking on Tofkhane, Mr. Bhyrappa referred to him as his ‘Sanskrit guru’ and said had it not been for him, he would not have learnt the language. Learning Sanskrit had helped him in studying Sanskrit works while writing his novels. He also spoke a few words on the content of his new novel, Yaana.
Diwakar Hegde of All India Radio, Dharwad, said Tofkhane treated his life as an opportunity and he wrote to increase happiness in life.