Kannada lexicographer, centenarian Prof G Venkatasubbaiah passes away

From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network

Bengaluru, Apr 19: Distinguished Kannada scholar, writer and lexicographer Prof Ganjam Venkatasubbaiah, popularly known for his numerous dictionaries among all Kannada speaking people, passed away at the ripe old age of 108 on Monday.

Prof G Venkatasubbaiah was born on August 23, 1913, in Ganjam village of Srirangapatna in Mandya district.

He was an eminent Kannada writer, grammarian, editor, lexicographer and critic and has compiled over eight dictionaries, authored four seminal works on dictionary science in Kannada, edited over sixty books and published several papers.

Recipient of the prestigious Kannada Sahitya Akademi Award and the Pampa Award, G Venkatasubbaiah's contribution to the world of Kannada lexicography is vast and he was considered an authority in the Kannada lexicography world. Kannada Lexicography is vast.

Venkatasubbaiah is best known for his work on Kannada dictionary science titled Kannada Nighantu Shastra Parichaya This came out exactly one hundred years after a Kannada-English dictionary was authored by the German priest and Indologist Reverend Ferdinand Kittel in 1894. This work became an addition to a tradition of dictionary writing in Kannada known for at least thousand years starting with first available Rannakanda.

Venkatasubbaiah joined Yuvaraja College at Mysore for his intermediate course where he came under the influence of Kannada literateur K V Puttappa (Kuvempu). Venkatasubbaiah then joined the Maharaja College at Mysore to pursue his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree. His chosen subjects included Ancient History, Sanskrit and old Kannada among others. Venkatasubbaiah completed his MA between 1936 and 38 and was recipient of the University Gold Medal.

Venkatasubbaiah has compiled more than 10 dictionaries, including an eight-volume Kannada-Kannada Nighantu (Dictionary). This dictionary has also been translated to the Braille language by the Braille Transcription Centre of the Canara Bank Relief and Welfare Society.

Between 1964 and 1969, while at the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, he had the distinction of being its youngest president. As President, he was instrumental in increasing the society's financial grants from the Government. He was chief editor of the 'Kannada -Kannada Dictionary' project. He was involved in Kannada Encyclopaedia Project, Sahitya Sammelana at Karwar and Shravanabelagola and as the Editor of Kannada Sahitya Parishat's monthly magazine Kannada Nudi.

He has served as the vice-president of the Lexicographical Association of India for 17 years.[10] In 1998, he was appointed as an advisor to the multilingual dictionary project of the Institute of Asian Studies, Chennai, which comprises Japanese, Kannada, English and Tamil.

He was also appointed as a consultative committee member in the Telugu lexicon project initiated by the Telugu Academy of the Government of Andhra Pradesh. He was the First President of Bidar District 1st Kannada Sahitya Sammelana (Kannada Literary Festival) held in the year 1974. He was honoured with the Presidency of 77th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana held at Bangalore on 2011.

Numerous felicitation volumes have been brought forth in honour of Venkatasubbaiah's contribution to the world of Kannada literature and lexicography. In addition to these, various awards have been bestowed upon him. On his 60th birthday, a felicitation volume titled Sahityajeevi was presented to him. Similarly, in his ninetieth year, Shabdasagara was brought forth.

In 2011, he was presented with a felicitation volume Vidvajeevita which was a collection of articles authored by writers from South Canara region of Karnataka and edited by Dr. Padekallu Vishnubhatta. To mark his centenary, another felicitation volume titled Shatanamana was presented to him at a gala function at Bangalore. Venkatasubbaiah at the age of 102 years was the presiding guest of honour at the book launch of Srikanthayana - collection of writings in English on subjects related to History.


G. Venkatasubbiah (1975) - Kannada – Kannada Concise Dictionary
G. Venkatasubbiah (1981) – Kannada – Kannada – English Dictionary
G. Venkatasubbiah (1993) – Kannada Nighantu Shastra Parichaya
G. Venkatasubbiah (1996) – Muddanna Padaprayoga Kosha
G. Venkatasubbiah (1998) – Patrika Padakosha
G. Venkatasubbiah (1998) – Eravalu Padakosha (Borrowed words in Kannada)
G. Venkatasubbiah (1996 - 2013) – Igo Kannada (1) – Sociolinguistic Dictionary
G. Venkatasubbiah (2001 – 2013) – Igo Kannada (2) – Sociolinguistic Dictionary
G. Venkatasubbiah (2009 – 2013) – Igo Kannada (3) – Sociolinguistic Dictionary
G. Venkatasubbiah (2001) – Prof G. V.’s Prism English – Kannada Dictionary
G. Venkatasubbiah (2003) – Kannada Nighantu Parivara
G. Venkatasubbiah (2006) – Kannada Klishtapada Kosha
G. Venkatasubbiah (2010) – Shabda mathu artha
G. Venkatasubbiah (2012) – Kannada Lexicography and other articles

Literary Criticism and History of Kannada Literature

G. Venkatasubbiah (1942) – Nayasena
G. Venkatasubbiah (1952) – College Translation
G. Venkatasubbiah (1954) – Translations Lessons (1)
G. Venkatasubbiah (1954) – Translations Lessons (2)
G. Venkatasubbiah (1954) – Translations Lessons (3)
G. Venkatasubbiah (1957) – Anukalpane
G. Venkatasubbiah (1968) – Kannada Shashana Parichaya
G. Venkatasubbiah (1978) – Kannada Sahitya Nadedubanda Dari
G. Venkatasubbiah (1986) – Prof. T. S. Venkannayya
G. Venkatasubbiah (1996) – D. V. Gundappa
G. Venkatasubbiah (1999) - Kanna?avannu U?isidavaru
G. Venkatasubbiah (1999) – Kannadavannu Ulisi Belisidavaru
G. Venkatasubbiah (2000) – Sahitya mathu Shikshana
G. Venkatasubbiah (2000) – Kannadada Nayakamanigalu
G. Venkatasubbiah (2002) – Inuku Nota]
G. Venkatasubbiah (2003) – Karnataka Vaibhava
G. Venkatasubbiah (2003) – Paramarshana
G. Venkatasubbiah (2003) – Kavya Chinthana
G. Venkatasubbiah (2003) – Seelunota
G. Venkatasubbiah (2006) – Margadarshakaru
G. Venkatasubbiah (2007) – Gatiprajne
G. Venkatasubbiah (2008) – Samaya Sandarbha Sannivesha
G. Venkatasubbiah (2010) – Kumaravyasana antaranga – Yudha Panchakadalli[
G. Venkatasubbiah (2011) – Sarigannada Sarasvaturu
G. Venkatasubbiah (2011) – Kavya Chinthana mathu Jivana Manthana
G. Venkatasubbiah (2011) – G. V. Vichara Vihara
G. Venkatasubbiah (2011) – Ondishtu Ramayana Ondishtu Mahabharata
G. Venkatasubbiah (2013) – Purana Kathavaliya Ganjam Thimmannayya

List of awards

Vidyalankara – from Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji
Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award
Rajyotsava Award
Karnataka Sahitya Academy Honorary Award
Karnataka Ekikarana Prashasthi
Shamba Prashasthi
Sediyapu Prashasthi
Shivaram Karanth Award
Press Academy Special Award
Aryabhata Award
Maasti Award
Gorur Award
Srikrishna Award
Aa Na Kru Prashasthi
Alvas Nudisiri
Thalthaja Keshavabhattara Smaranartha Keshava Prashasthi
Gokak Prashasthi
Sri Vanamali Seva Prashasthi
K. M. Munshi Award
Rotary Pioneer Extraordinary Award
Cited at the "First International Lexicographers Meeting" held at the Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu
Paul Harris Fellowship
Nadoja Award – Hampi University (D. Litt.)
Honorary Doctorate from Rani Chennamma University
77 All India Kannada Sahitya Sammelana Presidency
Pampa Award
President of India – Oldest Living Achiever and Alumni Honour – University of Mysore Centenary Celebration.
Padmashri – 201
Lipyantara - 2010 by Dharmasthala Manjunatha Dharmothana Trust

Condolences pour in

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, Deputy Chief Minister and Higher Education Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, Home and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr K Sudhakar, Mining and Geology Minister Murugesh R Nirani and a host of other ministers and political leaders have sent their condolence messages at the death of the most noted authority in the Kannada lixicography field. They Kannada literary world has become poorer with the death of Prof Venkatasubbaiah.






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