BENDRE D.R., 1896-1981
Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre (ದತ್ತಾತ್ರೇಯ ರಾಮಚಂದ್ರ ಬೇಂದ್ರೆ) also known all over Karnataka by his nom de plume Ambikatanayadatta (ಅಂಬಿಕಾತನಯದತ್ತ) is one of the best poets in Kannada transcending the boundaries of time and space. He was also an important figure in the cultural renaissance that took place in the former half of the twentieth century. His contribution to Kannada cannot be measured in terms academic disciplines such as textual criticism, prosody and linguistics. It has to be understood in the perspective of his understanding of the cultural moorings of Karnataka and Kannada. He was deeply interested in re constructing the indigenous Dravidian roots of our poetry and culture. These pursuits were manifest both in his stylistic choices and thematic preoccupations. His critical and conceptual writings and his abiding interest in folklore provide further evidence of this fact.
was born in 1896, in Dharwar, the cultural capital of
He had emerged during this period interval as the greatest contemporary poet and a great thinker in Karnataka. His poetry, plays, translations and culture criticism had given new dimensions to those fields.
Bendre, Kannada poetry had an autonomous tradition with its roots in the
Dravidian culture. Influence of the Vedic culture and great epics like Ramayana
and Mahabharata was relevant only as they were internalised in the Dravidian
culture rather than their Aryan themes He was not averse to imbibe Sanskrit texts
and their corollaries in Marathi. But the local habitation and name that were
given to these texts were Dravidian. He was not proximal to Tamil and the
Dravidian in a geographical sense and he was closer to Marathi as it happened
to be his mother tongue. Consequently, he could create a fine blend of whatever
was important in both Dravidain and Aryan culture. His inclination towards
‘amashagana chandassu’ with its penchant for music made his poetry closer to
its indigenous roots. He was deeply influenced by poets such as
Bendre inspired and encouraged his younger contemporaries from Bijapura such as Madhuarachenna and Simpi Linganna in their invaluable task of collecting folk songs. His introductions to ‘garatiya hADu’ and ‘mallige dande’ the anthologies of songs collected and published by friends of Bijapaur (ಗೆಳೆಯರ ಗುಂಪು) are trend setting. Valuable insights doccumented in his articles on Kannada literary theory and literary criticism were bent on creating a Kannada literary tradition from within itself. Important collections of literary and culture criticism written by Bendre are as follows.
1. Sahitya mattu Vimarshe (1937)
2. Sahityasamshodhane (1940)
3. Vicharamanjari (1945)
4. Kavi Lakshmishana Jaimini Bharatakke Munnudi (1954)
5. Maharashtra Sahitya (1959)
6. Kannada Sahityadalli Nalku Nayakaratnagalu (1968)
7. Matella Jyotu (1972)
8. Sahityada Viratsvaroopa (1974) (Collection of Critical essays)
9. Kumaravyasa (1979)
10. Matadharma mattu Adhunika Manava (1979)
Bendre has won a number of awards and accolades for his contributions to Kannada literature. ‘Jnanapeetha’ award for ‘nAku tanti’, (1974) Sahitya academy award for ‘araLu maraLu’, (1958) Karnataka Sahitya Academy award, (1968) honarary doctorates from the Universities of Mysore, (1966) Karnatak (1968) and Varanasi Univesities (1979) He became a fellow of the Sahitya academy in 1969. Governmnet of India has conferred the Padmasri title on Bendre in 1969. He was in the chair of the twenty seventh ‘Kannada Sahitfya Sammelana’ held at Shivamogga in 1943. ‘Ilidu bA tAyi’ is the felicitation volume presented to Bendre.
1. ‘Bendre: Poet and Seer’ By V.K. Gokak, 1970, Somaiya Publications, Bombay.
2. ‘Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre’,
G.S. Amur, 1994, Sahitya Akademi,
3. ‘D.R.Bendre’ by G. Krishnappa, 1997,
Kuvempu Institute of