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Indiranagar 100 ft Road is Dr. Karim Khan Road

Dr. Karim Khan with Mr. K. Rehman Khan (left) and Mr. Janardhana Poojary (right)

Staff Reporter | KMNN

Bangalore: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner Mr. M.K. Shankaralinge Gowda has said that the civic agency’s stand on naming the 100 ft Road in Indiranagar has not changed. The BBMP stands by its 2006 order according to which name of the road had been declared as ‘Dr. Karim Khan Road’.

The issue was raised when the Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda wrote a letter to BBMP Commission to name the road after the former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

NGOs can do it

When asked when the official programme will be held to name the road, Mr. Gowda said that no formal function was needed. But NGOs working for the cause of Kannada and culture could organize a function but some doubt that the local politics will bring religion in this case.

Who is Dr. S. K. Kareem Khan?

Dr. Khan was born in Sakleshpur town of Hassan district in 1908. His death came on July 29, 2006, in Bangalore.

He was of Afghan-Arab lineage. He made the language and culture of Karnataka his cause majore. During India’s freedom struggle, he brought to bear the power of his pen and oratory, and fought alongside prominent personalities.

Dr. Karim Khan with the then Chief Minister Mr. Veerappa Moily

He actively contributed to the recording, chronicling, composition and recital of Kannada folk art, dance and poetry, and their modern expression through movies. Dr. Khan attended school only up to Class 8, but extensively studied classical Sanskrit and Kannada literature under Achangi Narayana Shastri of Sakleshpur. Despite his informal education, he mastered Sanskrit and Kannada, not to mention Urdu and Hindi.

He was an editor and sub editor of two publications, Loka Mitra, Dharwad and Antharanga, Udupi respectively in the 1930s. Having seen Gandhiji at Nandi and read about him in The Hindu, he joined the freedom movement. As a result, his family lost the licence of the textile business and he had to leave for Bombay to serve in the Royal Indian Navy for about a year before his past was dug out, and he was relieved. However, Khan was presented a medal and citation when relieved.

Key Accomplishments

Nation Building

•             Personally participated in the Freedom Movement and was imprisoned for at least seven times.

•             A main contributor to Karnataka Ekikarana, he found for inclusion of Bellary and Bidar districts and Kollegal and other regions into Karnataka.

•             He personified the proverbial but increasingly elusive bridge across communal and linguistic divisions, by studying and working on the Vedas, Sanskrit, Kannada and folk art and music, while also being an observant Muslim and well-versed in Urdu and Persian literature.

•             Along with Dr. Shivarama Karanth, Dr. Khan was awarded the prestigious Nadoja Award in 1997.

•             Translated Bhavabhuti’s Sanskrit play “Malati Madhava” into Kannada. Also translated Laila Majnu into Kannada.

•             Wrote a total of 80 plays, most of which were performed regularly by theatre companies and some published as books, including Nirdoshi, Neehara, Neevaara and Mahatyagi Lakshmi.

•             His plays Nirdoshi and Madhumohan have been staged about 10,000 times. In Madhumohan, Dr. Rajkumar played the lead role before entering movies.

•             Extensively researched the life of Kempegowda and the history of Bangalore. Wrote plays based on this research, titled Mahaprabhu Magadi Kempegowda, Bengalooru Nirmapaka Magadi Kempegowda, and Kempegowda Sowrabha.

•             Extensively studied Dasa Sahitya and other classical Kannada and Sanskrit literature.

•             Balidaani Hussain is a masterpiece of Dr. Khan’s literary genius.

•             His other works include Krishnaleele. Also left many published and unpublished works.

•             His story Nayana Bhikara Karabala was included in Kannada textbooks prescribed for BA II.

•             Received an Honorary Doctorate from Gulbarga University in 1989.

Contributions to folklore

•             Travelled thousands of kilometers across Karnataka hinterland and captured and archived video footage of folk, tribal and street music, dance and art forms.

•             Collected folk songs of various tribes such as the Halakkis, Yakshagana of Badagutittu and Tenkanatittu styles.

•             Propagated the beauty and richness of folk music and dance, especially at a time when these arts had no patronage and would have otherwise vanished. These are now preserved for posterity due to his efforts.

•             Also made effective use of folklore and lavanis to rally the masses towards freedom struggle and communal harmony.

•             He wrote lavanis on Kittur Chennamma and sang them as well to popular enthusiasm.

•             Among his innumerable Janapada collections, Javarayya Bandaru Barikaiyalli Barallilla and Sharanusharanu Gananayaka were the most popular.

•             A pioneer of Janapada, he was appointed Chairman of the Karnataka Janapada and Yakshnagana Academy, from 1987 to 1990. Janapada Bhishma, Janapada Garudiga, Janapada Jangama, Janapada Kasturi, and other titles were conferred upon him. He was the first recipient of the prestigious Janapadashree Award.

Contributions to Kannada film industry

•             Award-winning contributions to Kannada film industry through lyrics, scripts, dialogue, music, etc.

•             The won the Best Writer Award for the very first film for which he wrote the script, lyrics and dialogues in 1962 63.

•             Many of his songs were written for the immortal Dr Rajkumar, and sung by noted singer P.B. Sreenivas.

•             One of his most enduring songs is Jayate Jayate Satyameva Jayate sung by Manna De.

•             He wrote for more than 25 films and contributed to the evolution of good Kannada cinema.

•             Some of his movies include Shivalinga Sakshi, Bevu Bella, Jeevana Taranga, Chandra Kumara, Deva Maanava, Mitra Drihi, Yaaru Hitavaru, Bengalooru Raatriyalli, Rajeshwari, Prema Anuraga and several others.

Dr. Khan did not attend marriage in which the groom’s families had accepted dowry. He was also featured on CNN-IBN’s programme “Contributions of Minorities in South India” in 2006.

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  1. Karnataka Rakshana Vedike should take up the cause

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