BELGAUM/BANGALORE: Dr Chandrashekhar Kambar, the eighth Kannada writer to be honoured with prestigious Jnanpith award for his literary contribution, hails from a tiny village, Shivapur-Ghodgeri near Gokak taluk in Belgaum district.
Hailing from a poor blacksmith family, Dr Kambar studied at Ghodageri, Gokak and Belgaum.
He did his PhD thesis on “Uttara Karnatakada Janapad Rangbhumi” (The folk theatre of North Karnataka). He taught Kannada at Lingraj College,
Belgaum, for a few years and later moved to Bangalore, where he joined Bangalore University as a professor.
Dr Kambar wrote novels, short stories, dramas, poetry and folk literature. He also directed a film “Kaadu Kudure” (forest horse) for which he composed the music as well. His three books,
“Sangeetha”,”Sangya Baalya” and “Singarewwa Mattu Aramane” were made into movies. A song in “Kaadukudure”, “Kaadu kudure oodi banditta” sung by Shimoga Subbanna and the song “Ivaa Yaava Oorina Maava Ee Chaluva” of “Sangeetha” won awards. Dr Kambar had also chaired the National School of Drama for a term. His recent novel “Shikhar Soorya” is rated among the best Kannada novels.
To Kambar, Shivapur is a “dream city” as allmost all characters in his novels or dramas visit the village regularly.
Even Lord Shiva and Parvati visit the place and bless the villagers. Even Rama when he was going to Sri Lanka in search of Seetha did not forget to visit the village.
Kambar’s another biggest contribution to the Kannada literary world is Kannada University at Hampi between 1991-98.
He was the founder Vice Chancellor of the University which he designed on the lines of Shanti Niketan by the Poet Laurate Rabindranath Tagore.
He had infact visited the Shanti Niketan several times before designing the entire university structure and syllabii.
Kambar used to express his dream that ‘‘the University should be such that each stone in Hampi should speak for it’’. That was the passion, determination and dedication that he worked throughout his life.