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An Open Letter By Kannada to Kannadigas


By Mekhala Kulkarni

Kannada is a language that has an unbroken literary history of over a thousand years.On one side there is an insecurity that the language is not given the due importance it needs and on the other side we have sincere followers who are striving to sustain it significance for the future generations.

Here is an open letter if only the language itself spoke with us

Dear Kannadigas,

It’s been long since I heard from you hence thought; let me enquire about it myself.

Look like life has been really busy with you off late. You have had no time to talk to anyone about me. I understand it’s all about survival and you have to make ends meet using whatever is available. I have only one question to ask, do you remember me? It may sound a little rude or needy even but this has been haunting me for quite some time.

I see you have learnt new languages, I am happy, really but why forget me? Please don’t misunderstand, I am not jealous of the fellow languages you have learnt, in fact I am happy about your interest in them, but don’t you think I am fading away in your new pursuit?

Wasn’t I the language you learnt first? Weren’t you proud that post your jibber jabber you learnt to make sense and communicate using me? Then why not now? Why is your need to pleasure someone else so high that you have forgotten to use when you are in your comfort zone? Amongst your people? Or am I no longer a part of that circle?

Are you ashamed of me? Does knowing Kannada make you feel illiterate? I am sorry I am asking you so many questions but try to understand I am confused. How did my importance lower down to such a level that once those who spoke in chaste Kannada are no longer able to speak a simple sentence without using either English or Hindi.

I am the language of your land, the place where you grew up, the language you used to express yourself clearly was me, then why am I being replaced? I am feeling unwelcomed in my own dwelling, and it’s not a good feeling.

I am not going to compare myself to other languages and tell you about the number of people proud of their nativity; I don’t want you to think I am trying to compete with them. But the matter is simple, when they come to visit our land, they refuse to learn me for reasons best known to them, why do you budge and forget me?

When the rest of country name the languages spoken in south of India, they conveniently forget me, I don’t blame them, the mistake is on you. You never made the efforts to let me speak for myself. You never supported me to make me matter.

I miss those days when poems were made on me, when beautiful verses written using me, when expressing love was so pure because I helped you.

I am dying, please help me survive, this is a call of desperation. I want to live; I want to hear myself utter from the lips of your children. I want you to use me to write poems, songs spread love.

Don’t use me as an issue to fight, which is the last thing I want. Spread the message to all those children of mine born to other languages,  just like how you have adapted to them, why don’t they return the favor? I have spread my arms wide open. Come embrace me.

Yours lovingly


Edited by Sona

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