BENGALURU: “Poet-Saint Kanakadasa’s literature gave a social status to women who were ill-treated socially and created a social revolution,” said Dr Kamala Hampana, Kannada researcher and critic in Bengaluru on February 4.
She was speaking at a seminar on ‘Portrayal of women in Kanakada’s works’ organized by National Poet-Saint Kanakadasa Study and Research Centre, Bengaluru and Karnataka Lekhakiyara Sangha, Bengaluru.
Dr. Kamala Hampana delivering the key-note address STIFAN
Inaugurating the one day seminar, Dr Hampana said, “Kanakadasa made concrete efforts in reforming the social system by speaking against the social injustice that existed in the middle ages in Karnataka. He tried to give social status to women and especially the lower caste through his poetic compositions.”
Elaborating on the social revolution carried out by the 16th century poet Kanakadasa, Dr Hampana said, “Kanakadasa tried to give importance to inner purity than external practices of religion. For Kanaka, religion did not consist of just performing rituals but having a proper disposition to God and neighbor.”
“Kanakadasa through his ‘keerthane’ raised his voice against the social injustice. In a society that was very much stratified based on caste, had no place for women. He fought for their social rights. Though we claim to be civilized and progressed, women still have to fight for their right, which is unfortunate,” said Biographer, Radio Playwright and Novelist Dr Hamapana.
In a day-long seminar various papers were presented, ‘Portrayal of women in Kanaka Keerthane’ by Prof. N.R. Lalitaamba, Bengaluru, ‘Struggles of women in Kanaka’s compositions’ by Dr Shivagangarumma, Kalaburugi; ‘Damayanthi: women model and representation’ by Dr Jaya Prakash Shetty, Udupi; ‘Portrayal of women in Mohana Tarangini’ by Dr M.S. Ashadevi, Bengaluru and ‘Women in Dasa Sahitya’ by B.V. Bhagya Lakshmi, Bengaluru.
Kanakadasa (1509 – 1609) was a poet, philosopher, musician composer from modern Karnataka. He is best known for his ‘Kirtanes’ compositions in Kannada language for Carnatic music. He used simnple language.