On November 1st 1956, under the State Reorganisation Act boundaries of Indian states were formed on the linguistic lines. The region where Kannada speaking people were predominant in Madras Province, Hyderabad Deccan, Bombay Presidency was included into what was formed to be “Mysore State”.
Later in the year 1973 on 1st November “Mysore State” was renamed as “Karnataka”. The word Karnataka has been derived from two Kannada words “Karu” and “Nadu” meaning black land after the rich black soil it had.
It is this black soil which provides nutrition for the Paddy, Ragi, Groundnut, Sugarcane, Jowar, Maize and Cotton crops grown here. The soil of Karnataka is moist by the water from many major rivers. Karnataka state rivers can be divided into 2 groups Eastward flowing and Westward flowing River Krishna and its tributaries Bhima, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, Tungabhadra and Vedavathi flow from northern side. River Kaveri and its tributaries Hemavathi, Arkavathi, Harangi, Shimsha, Laksmana teertha and Kabini flowing from southern side join the ocean flowing towards east at Bay of Bengal. While Rivers Sharavathi, Kalinadhi and Netravathi rivers flow towards west and join Arabian Sea.
Kannada is the lively language since ancient times but the historians have traced its script from 5th Century AD onwards. A possibly more definite reference to Kannada language is found in an Egypt play of 1st Century AD called “Charition mime” This humorous play by an unknown author was discovered in the early 20th century at Oxyrynchus in Egypt. The play revolves around a Greek lady named Charition who is stranded on the coast of a country bordering the Indian Ocean. The script of the play has the King of the region and his countrymen speaking in their local language (Kannada), and the sentences they spoke include “Koncha madhu patrakke haki” (Pour a little wine into the cup) and “Paanam beretti katti madhuvam ber ettuvenu” (Taken up the cup and having covered it, I shall take wine separately). The dialect of Kannada language used in the play indicates that it is set in one of the numerous small ports on the western coast of India, between Karwara and Mangalore.
The beauty of Kannada is that the dialects change every 100 kms. There are about 20 dialects among them most notable are Kunda Kannada (spoken exclusively in Kundapura), Nadavar Kannada (spoken by Bants, Nador), Havyaka Kannada (spoken mainly in Mangaluru, Sagara, Sirsi, Honnavara), Hale Kannada also called Are Bhashe for its half speech which was intermediate to Hale and Hosa Kannada (spoken by Gowda community mainly in Madikeri and Sullia region of Dakshina Kannada), Malenadu Kannada (Kodagu, Shivamogga, Chikmagaluru), Gulbarga Kannada, Dharwada Kannada etc. All of these dialects are influenced by their regional and cultural backgrounds. There are also the other languages related to Kannada which is mixed with the language of that region which shares the boundary with Karnataka. Badaga which is spoken by the Nillagiri inhabitants has a mix of Tamil in it, we find this in some parts of Ooty and Coimbatore, Holiya is a mix of Telugu and Urali is a mix of Malayalam. These mix languages are mainly in use among the Girijana (Hill Tribes) and Vanavasi (Forest Dwellers) in the boarder. (Christian Missionaries have used these languages for propaganda of their school of thought, I came across "World Language Movies" series through which I was able to locate them on YouTube). There may be many dialects but Kannada in it is one.
Kannada script has its root in ancient Brahmi Lipi (Script) and the oldest known inscription was found in Badami caves with Kadamba Script which was categorised as Halegannada (Old Kannada). In fact it was the Kadambas of Banavasi which was the earliest native kingdom to rule over what is today the modern state of Karnataka. The Kadambas ascent to power as an independent Geo-Political entity with Kannada as the language of the soil marked a landmark event in the history of modern Karnataka with Mayura Sharma, a Brahmin who played an important role.
Sirigannadam Gelge, Sirigannadam Baalge…..!