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Halmidi inscription proves antiquity of Kannada: Moily

By Our Staff Correspondent

HASSAN, OCT. 23. Referring to Tamil, which acquired the status of a classical language recently, the former Chief Minister and litterateur, M. Veerappa Moily, has said that the 2,500-year-old Halmidi inscription was enough to prove the antiquity of Kannada to acquire a similar status.

Inaugurating the memorial at Halmidi in Belur taluk recently, where the first Kannada inscription dated 450 A.D. was found, he said that the Halmidi edict had ended the many controversies surrounding the evolution of Kannada. It was the earliest known record of Kannada characters. The linguists who studied the inscription had authenticated it as the oldest among the other edicts, he added.

Mr. Moily said that the inscription dealt with literature, linguistics, and the economic and social condition of the time. He urged the experts to throw more light on the various facets of the inscription, besides proving its antiquity.

Underlining the importance of developing affection for language, he said that language was not just a group of words but also a medium of expression of a community. Hindi, with a history of 500 years, could become a national language because of those who adulated it, he added.

Refuted

He refuted the contention that globalisation had become a threat for the survival of Indian languages, including Kannada. He said that passion for a language could save it from any threat.

Mr. Moily urged the Government to include Halmidi in the list of tourist centres in the district.

The Minister for Public Works and Energy, H.D. Revanna, said that the process of including Belur and Halebeed to the list of World Heritage Sites of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was on. The Government was making efforts to provide proper infrastructure at the other tourist attractions in the district, including Shravanabelagola.

Criticising the people of their inaction against deep-rooted "corruption" in society, he said that a change in people's attitude alone could save society.

H.N. Siddarame Gowda and H.N. Narayane Gowda, who donated their land for the construction of "Nenapina Mantapa", were felicitated. A booklet by Srivatsa S. Vati on Halmidi inscription was released.

The president of district unit of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, H.B. Madana Gowda; the president of the taluk unit, Anantharaje Urs; the president of the zilla panchayat, G.T. Indira; and S.M. Anand, MLC, were present.

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