Kota Shivarama Karanth
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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