A Tribute to Kannada Legend - Dr. Srinivasa Havanur

April 5, 2010

Dr. Srinivasa Havanur, noted Kannada researcher and historian as also library doyen, was a research associate at the Karnataka Theological College, Mangalore for the better part of the first decade of this century, passed away in Bangalore on April 5, 2010 morning. Here is a short recall of this literary achiever noted for his humility

Computer-Aided Scholar-Librarian

In the early 1960s, the University of Bombay had its only campus in Fort, downtown Bombay, dominated by Rajabai Tower over its library building. The ground floor of this building had about 40 research tables, which were allotted to senior academics and research scholars. Having registered for a PhD degree, and living in this area, I had a table for myself where you can call for books and keep them there for reference. One of the others who had a table there was Srinivas Havanur, a serious researcher. I strayed into writing a book on a subject unrelated to my research and ended up with ‘Corruption – Control of Maladministration’, while others earned a ‘Dr.’ as a prefix to their names. Thus, Havanur became a front-ranking scholar and I a mere pen pusher. Recently, I ran into Havanur in the library of the Karnataka Theological College on Balmatta Hill, and renewed the memories of old table-holders – not friends. He has come a long way and is now considered a respected and versatile scholar in Kannada. But we should start at the beginning.
Havanur,  was born on January 12, 1928 in the place his surname is derived from -  in Havery, which is now a district. His early education was in his native place and Dharwad. He did his post-graduation in Pune and Bombay, earning his PhD on the thesis of ‘Beginning of Modern Kannada Literature’. He had also done a diploma in library science when the course was first introduced in Bombay University. Initially working as a sales tax inspector, auditor and radio artist (conducting programmes in Kannada), Havanur got into the librarian’s profession, first working in Karnataka University, Dharwad, then at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay (now Mumbai) – for 21 years from 1969-1989, leaving the institution as Librarian. He has been professor of Kannada and head of department in Mangalore and Bombay Universities between 1982 and 1989. For some years, he had been honorary researcher in the Karnataka Theological College, Mangalore. He used to reside in a large suite in the college campus and visit Bangalore, where he has his permanent residence and family, about once a month.
Dr. Havanur has specialized in the British period in Karnataka history, Haridasa literature in Kannada, Christian literature in Kannada, Kannada journalism and computer application in Indian studies. He is perhaps the first, 30 years ago, to use computers for Kannada scholarship. Among his authorships can be noted: Beginning of Modern Kannada Literature, Govind Pai Vangemaya Darshana, Avirvaahiti (Social Study), Karnataka Itihasa, Olanotagalu and Reverend Dr. F. Kittel (which has been translated into German). Havanur’s full length biography and work in Kannada was sponsored by the Central Sahitya Academy and  is translated into other Indian languages.
Dr. Havanur has participated in several national and international seminars and has presented scholarly papers, one of them being at the International Seminar on Dr. Ferdinand Kittel, the famous author of the English-Kannada dictionary, in Germany in 2003, where he presented a paper on Kittel’s contribution to Indian philosophy and Dravidian Philosophy. Seminars and paper presentations have taken Dr. Havanur very far and many times over, including to England, the U.S.A, Switzerland, France and Germany, specially to present papers on Computer vs Indian subjects, and for studies in British Library, London.
Dr. Havanur’s scholarly work has been recognised through prestigious awards, including Rajyothsava Prashasti by the Government of Karnataka for Academic Achievement (1991), honored by Karnataka Literary Academy as a Senior Writer in Kannada, and he has presided over the 13th session of the Karnataka Itihasa Academy. For all his achievements, Dr. Havanur was an unassuming, humble and approachable person. He said that academic research work kept him going and recalled that one of his felicitators called him ‘Karyananda Swami’. I think those who know him will endorse this title.
John B. Monteiro, author and journalist, is editor of his website www.welcometoreason.com (Interactive Cerebral Challenger)

By John B. Monteiro
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to news@daijiworld.com mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • Shridhara Achar, Puttur/Bangalore

    Thu, Apr 08 2010

    Dr.Srinivasa Havanur was a researcher and scholar in real sense. I think he is the first one to find out that Mangalura Samachar which started publication on July, 1 1843 in Mangalore is the first Kannada Newspaper.His finding has been accepted all over karnataka.
    I remember when I met him some time in !994, he was saying that when he visited British Library in London he came acroos the first issue of Mangalura samachar edited by Herman Mogling.

  • Nagesh Havanur, Bangalore

    Tue, Apr 06 2010

    As the first son of Dr.Havanur, I would like to thank both the author of this obituary and friends for paying rich tributes to the departed soul.I shall only make some clarifications. My father was born in Havanur, a village in Haveri Taluka, Dharwad District. His native place Havanur is different from Haveri, a small town nearby. The date of birth is 1929. Otherwise the article is heartfelt and well-written.

  • Shammi, Karnataka

    Tue, Apr 06 2010

    Indeed a great loss to Karnataka.Very sad...

  • Manohar tonse, Tonse, Abudhabi

    Mon, Apr 05 2010

    Dr Srinivas Havanur was Head of Mumbai University Kannada Dept and our Professor of Kannada for Kannada MA students during our term 1988-1989. He used to call us fondly thamma (brother). He was a moving university. In Last August 2009, we visited (myself, Ishwar Alevoor and BharatKumar Polipu) him at his residence in Bangalore where we were stunned to see his enthusiasm at his fragile old age. It appeared as if he is a young student of kannada research, restless and untiring. Research was his life and breath. He revealed few historical events which no one knew before at our meeting. All of us prayed at our meeting that he should get 20 years to serve kannada. We do not know plan of our lord. We offer our heartfelt condolences.

  • Prakash Rao Payyar, Mumbai/Dubai

    Mon, Apr 05 2010


  • Manasa Vinay, Bangalore/Mysore

    Mon, Apr 05 2010

    Dr. Havanur, he is known to us as Havanur uncle, a good old friend to me and my sister, my father, and an inspiration for my mother, Dr. Nalini, to become a researcher and attain her PhD degree. My sister, Ashwini, and me, Manasa, used to fondly call him as "snake-hundred" uncle too. He exists in our minds still as "Havanur uncle." I mourn our beloved Havanur uncle's death with great respect. Dr. Nalini, S. Venkatesh, Manasa, Vinay, Ashwini, Prashanth all pay our last respect to the departed soul.


    Mon, Apr 05 2010

    SAD NEWS THAT Kannada Legend - Dr. Srinivasa Havanur IS PASSED AWAY. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.

Leave a Comment

Title: A Tribute to Kannada Legend - Dr. Srinivasa Havanur

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Daijiworld.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Daijiworld.com be held responsible.