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Kota Shivarama Karanth

(1902-1998)

   Dr. K.S. Karanth is considered to be one of the foremost
 authorities on Yakshagana.Since as early as 1930 he had begun  studies  on
 its many facets like--the dance, music, and literature.
  He led the way to a deep and  systematic study of this art form
 by studying every Yakshagana manuscript he could acquire,the earliest dating
 back  to A.D.  1651. He  put together his findings in the form of two  
standard books  Yakshagana-Bayalata (1958) in Kannada,and Yakshagana(1975)
 in Kannada  and  English. His treatise on Yakshagana, the folk art from his
 native Dakshina Kannada district,was commended by the Swedish Academy.

      He was Karnataka's renaissance man, reconciling science and
 art as few have done. Kota Shivarama Karanth wrote his first book in
 1924, completing 400 eventually and winning the Jnanpith. Yet, above
 all else, he was a thorn in the flesh of orthodoxy. In Chomana Dudi,
 Karanth explored the plight of a Dalit. The rigidity of Brahminism
 was not for him and he put principle to practice by entering into an 
 inter-caste marriage. The dissenting instinct was as sharp when he  returned 
his Padma Bhushan in protest against the Emergency. Karanth's  pen was
formidable. He compiled an acclaimed encyclopedia on popular science for children.
 
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