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Centenarian Kannada activist, poet Nadoja Kayyara Kinhanna Rai no more

Centenarian Kannada activist, poet Nadoja Kayyara Kinhanna Rai no more

Mangalore Today News Network

Kasargod, Aug 09, 2015:  Nadoja Kayyara Kinhanna Rai, the renowned Kannada activist, poet, writer and freedom fighter  is no more. He breathed his last at his residence at Badiadka on August 9, Sunday.

Kayyara Kinhan...Hundreds of people including his friends, well wishers and admirers are thronging his residence to pay their last respects to  Rai.

Kayyara Kinhanna Rai was a towering personality who had dedicated his life for Kannada, living in the Gadinadu Kasargod and fighting for the merger of Kasargod with Karnataka.

A staunch Kannada activist and a renowned writer  his indomitable spirit  was such that it could  ignite minds, enliven hearts and bring changes. Such was the strength of his undying love for Kannada. He was known for his untiring campaign demanding the integration of Kasargod with Karnataka by implementing the Mahajan Commission Report.

 Born in the tiny village of Peradala in Kasargod on June 8, 1915  to Duggappa Rai and Deyyakke, his parents had fondly named him as Kayyara Kinhanna Rai. As Peradala then did not have a primary school, his grand father Shanker Alva got him enrolled to Badiadka Primary school.

After his schooling, Kayyara   joined the Mahajan Sanskrit College. He succeeded both in Kannada and Sanskrit Language entrance test and even passed  out  Vidwan and Shiromani exams.  He came out in flying colours in BA  by topping his college and later on stood second in MA exams. He even underwent Teachers Training course and passed in first grade.

A young Kayyara Kinhanna Rai joined at Peradala Navajeevana High School as a teacher in 1945 soon after his high school education. He pursued higher studies while serving a teacher. His teaching profession was also  worthwhile and he remained a teacher for over three decades and even won the National Award for Best Teacher.

Despite his mother tongue being Tulu, Kayyara developed a strong bonding with Kannada right since his child hood. By the time he graduated he was well versed, in Tulu Kannada Sanskrit as well as Malayalam. Kayyara was also a true Gandhian and had once  walked  all the way from Peradala to Kodialbail in Mangalore in 1943 with his school mates to catch a glimpse of Gandhiji. On seeing Gandhiji, Kayyara  for a moment felt he was a  Godman.  This had inspired him to  pen the now famous poem –‘Gandhi Darshana.’

Kayyara was also inclined towards journalism during his student days. At the age of 12 he brought out a handwritten journal named  ‘Susheela’ with the help of his  teachers. In the later years, he contributed to dailies including Swadeshabimana, Deshabhimani and Rashtra Bandhu. His works including stories, poems, articles were  published in almost all dailies of those times thus earning him a name even in the field of journalism.

Kayyara was also greatly inspired by Rashtra Kavi Manjeshwar Govind Pai and had even authored his biography.  He had even plunged into the freedom struggle during his college days in Mangalore by joining hands with great freedom fighters like Narayana Kille,KK Shetty, Krishnappa Tingalaya,UP Mallya and Srinivas Mallya.

 A collection of poems ‘Srimukha’ was his  first  contribution to the literary world. He had also authored books on theatre, grammar, children apart from stories and novels. Some of his prominent works include Aikyagana, Punarnava, Chethana and Koraga.

Bestowed with several awards Kayyara had won the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Honorary Award in 1969,  Rajyotsava Award in 1985,  Akhila Bharata Tulu Sammelan Honorary Award in 1989, Nadoja Award of Hampi Kannada University and  Honorary Doctorate by Mangalore University in 2005.On behalf of the Karnataka Government he was conferred the prestigious Pampa Award for the year2013 recently on the occasion of his stepping into his birth centenary year. He had also been honoured by the Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments in recognition of his achievements.

He had  also  presided over the second Kannada Sahitya Sammelan held in Dakshina Kannada in 1985,  Akhila Bharatha Janapara Sahitya Sammelan in 1988 and  66th Akhila Bharatha Kannada Sahitya Sammelan in 1997.

He was a man who strongly feels that language and culture transcend geographical barriers. Dr Kayyara Kinhanna Rai was  a True Champion of Kannada.

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Comments on this Article
Madhav Nayak, Bangalore Mon, August-10-2015, 1:33
An elderly poet,a great personality is no more. When you are good in deeds you are always remembered
Mahindra, Pune Mon, August-10-2015, 12:12
A great well known poet. May his soul rest in peace.
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