Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa
Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa (1904 –1994) [Pen Name – Kuvempu] is considered to be the greatest Kannada Poet, Novelist, Author, Thinker and Critic of 20th century.
Kuvempu’s Academic Life
He was born in the Chikmanglur district of Karnataka in 1904. He had received early education in Shimoga and nearby districts and completed college education in Mysore. He started his academic career as teacher of Kannada language in Mysore and Bengaluru. He became professor, and then principal of the Maharaja’s College in Mysore, his alma mater. In 1956, he was appointed as Vice Chancellor of Mysore University. Thus, he was first student of the Mysore university to become its Vice Chancellor.
Contribution to Indian / Kannada Literature
His first literary works were in English but then he shifted to his mother tongue Kannada. A poetry collection called “Beginner’s Muse” was his first literary work in English. Thereafter, he achieved extraordinary distinction by his creative works comprising almost all the genres of modern Kannada literature. His magnum opus is the Sri Ramayana Darshanam. It is based on Ramayana and led him to become a Sahitya Akademi and Jnanpith Award winner. His other works include poem collections, novels, Plays, autobiography, stroires, essays and so on.
Contribution to Society
To promote research in Kannada, he founded the Kannada Adhyayana Samsthe (Institute of Kannada Studies) in the Mysore University. Today, it is known as Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies. His tried to fight with the social evils through his work. For example, his work Shoodra Tapasvi was against the casteism and untouchability. His Sri Ramayana Darshanam is based in premise of Sarvodaya.
On 29 December 2017, Kuvempu was honored by Search Engine giant Google through a Google Doodle on his 113th Birth Day.