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Tulu archives coming up

Raviprasad Kamila



PRESERVED FOR POSTERITY: Works of Tulu drama kept at the archives, `Thiri', at St. Aloysious College in Mangalore.

MANGALORE: It is a fact that "intellectuals" have stayed away from promoting Tulu theatre. But after many years, the Department of Kannada and the Tulu Koota at St. Aloysius College here have set up archives of Tulu drama books published since 1933.

The archives, which have a collection of 200 printed Tulu drama books, will be inaugurated on Saturday under the auspices of Tulu Koota. Thanks to the personal initiative of K. Mahalinga Bhat, Reader in Kannada, St. Aloysius College, several rare works of Tulu theatre will be preserved for posterity.

The first printed Tulu drama book available is "Janamarl" written by Madhava Thingalaya and published by S.V. Paniyadi in 1933. S.V. Paniyadi was the father of Vadiraj, noted Kannada film actor of yesteryear who died recently.

The archives named "Thiri" has collections ranging from the printed version of "Janamarl" to Tulu drama books published in 2005.

Late S.V. Paniyadi was the publisher of first Tulu novels, "Mithya Narayana Kathe" and "Sathi Kamale". He had published 10 Tulu works, including novels and dramas, during that period.

Mr. Bhat told The Hindu that "Thiri" has printed versions of dramas of writers like Amruth Someshwar, K.N. Taelor, Sanjeeva Dandakeri, A. Sanjeeva, Rama Kirodiyan, Ibrahim and women writers like Kyathareen Rodrigus and Sharada R. Rao and so on.

"Tulu Kabulivala", a translated version of Ravindranath Tagore's original work is among the collections. Mr. Bhat, the brain behind "Thiri", said there can be nearly 10,000 manuscripts of Tulu dramas which have not been published. And there can be over 25 other printed works of Tulu drama that are yet to be collected. There is a plan to collect such unpublished manuscripts of Tulu dramas as such manuscripts throw light on the growth of Tulu theatre.

At present, Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy, Tulu Peetha in Mangalore University, and Perdoor High School (Udupi district) have some printed books of Tulu dramas. But here the largest number of printed works of Tulu drama have been collected under one roof for the first time.

The archives will throw light on the history of Tulu theatre. And it will be good reference material for researchers. He said ut no serious research has been done on Tulu theatre.

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