Mangaluru: The MOU signing ceremony for digitisation of the books from the personal collection of Rastrakavi M Govinda Pai was held at the Konkani Language and Cultural Foundation, Shaktinagar here, on September 12.
The programme began with an invocation. President of KLCF, Basti Vaman Shenoy welcomed the gathering. Managing trustee of RGPMT DA K Chowta and Basti Vaman Shenoy signed the MOU in the presence of the former union minister and the Chairman of Rastrakavi Govinda Pai Memorial Trust Manjeshwar, M Veerappa Moily and exchanged it.
Addressing the gathering, D K Chowta said that Govinda Pai was a scholar, poet, researcher, translator who had the knowledge of about 25 languages both classical and modern across the globe. Pai was always learning and exploring new horizons in language, literature, religion, history and culture. Starting from his village and his sect of religion, he transcended in space and time studying and writing on the so called ‘alien’ religions and cultures, becoming a native to all of them. Different sects of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam were addressed by Govinda Pai as a research or for creation of literary work or for translation. Today, if we are able to develop Rastrakavi Govinda Pai Memorial Trust it is because of Veerappa Moily, he added.
Veerappa Moily speaking on the occasion said that Pai is an inspiration for all the literature scholars, and his passion was to learn various languages other than Konkaniand Kannada. Pai also acquired skill in different levels like speaking, reading and understanding, of languages like Tulu, Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Urdu, Pali, Prakrit, Bengali, English, Persian, Greek, Japanese, Latin, German, French, Spanish, Hebrew, Italian and other languages.
Pai’s books, which were in his personal library, are at present preserved with the vision and mission of Prof K S Haridasa Bhat in Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Samshodhana Kendra Udupi. Govinda Pai with his erudite scholarship, read books on various world religions and as a poet, he composed narrative poems based on his reading and research.
Rastrakavi Govinda Pai Memorial Trust Manjeshwar was founded to perpetuate the memory of the first national poet of Kannada and erudite scholar by digitising around 5000 books from the personal collection of Pai. These books were published in 35 different languages from across the world on various subjects belonging to late 19th and early 20th century.
The trust has formed a Gilivindu project for the restoration of the poet’s residence. Construction of an auditorium, “Bhavanika”, is under progress and by March 2016, the work will be completed at a total cost of Rs 3 crore. Another Rs 1.5 crore will be spent for the fixing of acoustics, light, sound, seating and stage setting. Two guest houses,Vyshakhi and Saaketha, have already been completed with funds from MLAs and MPs costing around Rs 15 lakh each. The third one, Ananda, is under construction with MLAsfunds costing around Rs 18 lakh.
For the restoration of the heritage residence and annexure building behind the residential building, a total of Rs 2 crore has been sanctioned by the Karnataka and Kerala state governments. The front compound wall along with the main gate will be constructed with the MP fund costing around Rs 12 lakh, which has already been promised by MP Karunakaran. The remaining portion of the compound has already been constructed with a total cost of Rs 6 lakh by Dr P Dayananda Pai.
Prabhakar Prabhu delivered the vote of thanks. Tejomaya, Deputy commissioner of Kasargod district P S Mohammed Sagir, Bharatadri and Herinje Krishna Bhat were also present.