rAShTrakavi Dr. G.S.Shivarudrappa

Dr. G.S.Shivarudrappa is all set to become the next ‘rAShTrakavi’ – National Poet. Karnataka government is ready to make this announcement in the next few days. Both the previous national poets in Kannada -M.Govinda Pai and Kuvempu – are not alive today. Infact that is the whole reason why we are conferring this title now. Apparently, there can be only one ‘rAShTrakavi’ at a time.

This nomination was not without controversies. From what I heard, Dr. GSS, Prof. K.S.Nissar Ahmed, Sri. Chennavira Kanavi and Sri. Chandrashekhar Kambara were being considered. I was not surprised, but shocked, to see Sri. Kambara’s name in that list. I cannot think of anything other than caste politics for the inclusion of his name. I admire and respect Sri. Kanavi a lot. He is a good poet. But no sir, he is nowhere close to be named a ‘rAShTrakavi’.

That leaves us with Dr. GSS and Prof. KSN. One thing to note is that Prof. KSN was part of the selection committee!!! I won’t be surprised if some smart Alec in the government did this on purpose – to completely eliminate Prof. KSN from the race. I have seen such ‘smart’ and ‘shady’ moves by the government several times in the past. The fact that Prof. KSN did not attend the final selection meeting, is a different issue. He also came out and said that the only deserving person to be named as ‘rAShTrakavi’ is late Dr. Da.Ra.Bendre.

Well, who can argue with that? Bendre is perhaps one of the greatest poets in Kannada (and in my book, he is THE greatest poet in Kannada). But then, shouldn’t ‘rAShTrakavi’ be alive? That was the whole point. And, I personally don’t agree awarding anything posthumously. I whole heartedly appreciate Prof. KSN’s arguments, but don’t agree with him.

Prof. KSN is an excellent poet. He is your typical ‘navOdaya kavi’. So is Dr. GSS. But, I think Dr. GSS is a little more. He is not only a great poet, but quite a well respected critique too. His prose and poetry are one of the best in Kannada literature. Dr. GSS truly deserves to be the next ‘rAShTrakavi’.

He has mentioned several times that two of his favorite poems are ‘uDugaNavEShTita’ and ‘ede tuMbi hADidenu’ – the former was his very first song broadcast from AIR, music by Padmacharan and sung by H.R.Leelavathi. The latter was composed and sung by Mysore Ananthaswamy. I don’t know if he likes these two songs just because they are famous, or if he truly likes these two compositions more than the rest.

In several speeches Dr. GSS has talked about how he listened to his first poem broadcast from Akashavani. His first book ‘tIrthavANi’ was published. He was travelling in a bus (I don’t know the departure and arrival cities). Apparently the bus driver stopped for a coffee break in Tarikere. When Dr. GSS was sipping coffee in a small road side cafe which had radio at a high volume, he heard the melodious ‘udugaNavEShTita’. At the end of the song the radio announcer mentioned that the music director was Padmacharan, singer was H.R.Leelavathi and the poet was Dr. G.S.Shivarudrappa. He was a happy man!!!

He is a happy man even today. Indeed, entire state should be happy for him – our new ‘rAShTrakavi’. We salute you sir!!! 

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10 Comments on “rAShTrakavi Dr. G.S.Shivarudrappa”

  1. ellakavi Says:

    Committee selects GSS unanimously

    DH News Service Mysore/Bangalore:

    Noted poet G S Shivarudrappa’s name has been recommended for awarding of the third ‘Rashtra Kavi’ title by the selection committee headed by noted litterateur Prof De Javaregowda.

    Highly placed sources, on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that an unanimous decision was arrived at in this regard at the committee meeting held on Thursday at Kannada Bhavan in Bangalore and the recommendation had already been forwarded to the government. At the meeting, chaired by Prof De Javaregowda, Suvarna Karnataka Cell Secretary I M Vittalamurthy, Kannada and Culture Department Commissioner K R Niranjan, Kannada Development Authority Chairman Siddalingaiah, Hampi University Vice Chancellor B A Vivek Rai, writer Kamala Hampana were present, according to the sources. Also, the sources said that poet K S Nisar Ahmed sought prior permission for his absence while Baragur Ramachandrappa failed to turn up. However, writer Siddalinga Pattanashetty has not been attedning the meetings.

    Though Jnanapeetha awardee Da Ra Bendre’s name was mentioned at the meeting, the committee turned it down as the guidelines did not permit giving the title posthumously. The sources also added that the idea was dropped as the selection could have become more difficult to decide among the illustrious list of writers like Da Ra Bendre, Shivarama Karantha and Pu Thi Narasimhachar. Pampa Award was also cited as an example in this regard.

    Some of the members mooted the names of writers K S Nisar Ahmed, Channaveera Kanavi and Chandrashekara Kambara for consideration, it is said.

    The sources revealed that most of the 25 literary persons who were consulted by the committee had also suggested Prof G S Shivarudrappa.

    When contacted on Friday, Mr Nissar Ahmed said, after Kuvempu the title can go to no one but late Da Ra Bendre.

    He claimed that the argument that only a living poet could be chosen as the State poet was just an imperial baggage. When titles like ‘Bharata Ratna’ are conferred posthumously, there should be no reservations on conferring the ‘Rashtra kavi’ title posthumously. The title can be given every five year once.

    He said poet-laureates like Kuvempu and Da Ra Bendre were trendsetters and stalwart. While Kuvempu was a modern poet, Da Ra Bendre was the master poet who imbued the folk elements into poetry. Therefore, this time round, there was no giving the title to anyone but Da Ra Bendre.

    Ms Kamala Ham Pa Na declined to comment on the various names that were considered. The committee looked into the works of the poets in contention and the awards and titles that have hitherto come their way, she said.

    On the question of bestowing the honour posthumously, she noted, that the related question would then be – ‘for how long’ should will the award rest with the posthumous party? “Suppose we give it to Da Ra Bendre, when will the next selection be made”, she queried.

  2. decemberstud Says:

    @ellaKavi : Yes, I read the news articles when I worte this piece. Thanks for visiting.

  3. Srik Says:

    I agree 100% with the selection of Dr.GSS.

    Neee naDese naaa naDeve ninnadee lOkaaaaa

    Yellavoo ninnichcheyaMte naDediralu neene bhava saagarava daatisuva haDagu…

    Wonderful lines from the pen of our new “Rashtrakavi”.

  4. decemberstud Says:

    @Srik : Thanks for the note….I do agree that Dr. GSS is such a wealth !!!

  5. nilagriva Says:

    Interestingly, I’ve been reading a book “Chadurida ChintanegaLu” by GSS which consists of, as the title itself suggests, a bunch of thoughts on different subjects. In that he mentions how he wrote ede tuMbi hADidenu for the late ta su shyAmarAyaru. It is a beautiful story and this has been recounted again by Ta.Vi.Srinivas (Ta Su shyAmarayara nephew, probably) online on Sampada.

    Since GSS is a savyasAchi (understands both Samskrit and Kannada poetics as a critic and is a wonderful poet too), he deserves to be commended.

    But I have a bone to pick with the government (in spite of my being a vegetarian 🙂 ) that they conveniently forgot the poet-laureate (rAShTrakavi) position for all these years. This arbitrary method left KSN (Narasimhaswamy – in fact, one of my favorite Kannada poets), Bendre, Adiga and a host of other illustrious poets in the lurch.

    One final comment about the chadurida chintanegaLu book – it actually gladdened me to see that GSS and I had many things to agree upon and few things (bordering none) t o disagree upon. I was also happy because Dr. GSS is refreshingly devoid of silly casteisms.

    Such a wonderful poet has gone on record and said that he watches all good Kannada movies (he even watched Jogi with the late Dr. Raj). It saddens me when I see that movies are considered below their dignity by some self-styled writers and intellectuals. So, I feel happy that such mouths might be silenced for a bit now, especially that they can’t even begin to match even one poem that Dr. GSS has written.

    Congratulations to you, sir! May even better works issue forth from your mind!

  6. rk Says:

    dear decemberstud,
    very happy that you have started this blog. i am tagging you right away.
    good luck and best wishes

  7. decemberstud Says:

    @ nilagriva (even though I am more comfortable with the “H” name 😉 ) :

    Yes, I was watching an interview with Dr. GSS on TV and he did mention about ede tuMbi hADidenu written for the late ta.su.shyAma rAyaru. I know ta.su.shA’s grandson and others quite well and have heard that he was a great mentor and teacher.

    As for your point against govt., the fact that there can be only on rAShTrakavi at any given time automatically ruled out Bendre and Adiga (two of my favorite poets). KSN, sure. Or maybe, pu.ti.nA since he was more into different aspects of literature.

    Yes, I also appreciate Dr. GSS for being the ‘common’ man like rest of us. We have quite a few people around us, who claim to be of the ‘intellectual’ class and for them movies are gutter. You know whom I am referring to, don’t you ? 😉

    @ rk : Wow ! You tagged me real fast RK, isn’t this blog a little too young for that ? LOL…thanks. And, thank you for visiting.

  8. Panchaxari Says:

    Hi Friends,

    I need biography of GSS. Can anybody tell me where I can browse in the net. Any websites.


  9. decemberstud Says:


    I guess googling is the best option. But I guess googling just brings you to this page….LOL. But, you may be able to build the bio with bits and pieces on different websites.

  10. Shalini Kusumakar Says:

    Can anyone tell me where (and how) I can purchase English transalations of works by Rashtrakavi M Govinda Pai? Any info will be very much appreciated.

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