MULIYA TIMMAPPAIAH, 1888-1950

 

            Muliya Timmappaiah (ಮುಳಿಯ ತಿಮ್ಮಪ್ಪಯ್ಯ) (muLiya timmappayya) belongs to the tradition of great scholars from coastal Karnataka who did not have the advantages of University education. However they have achieved lasting fame because of traditional schooling and modern outlook. Muliya is a small village in Bantwal taluk of South Canara district. He could not aspire for English education because of domestic difficulties and went to Trivendrum to pursue Sanskrit studies. He became a Kannada teacher in Canara High School in Mangalore. Later, he served as a lecturer in Kannada in the St. Aloysius College. (1919-1948)

            Like many others of his ilk Timmappaiah was a creative writer and a scholar. He has composed many novels, plays and poems. His venture to write an epic ‘Sobagina Balli’ (1918) and a prose work, ‘Chandravali Vilasam’ (1913) in old Kannada is interesting. This zeal was manifested once again in ‘Navaneetha Ramayana’ (1940) an epic in Lalitaragale. ‘Veera Bankeya’ (1950) is a historical novel. He started a monthly magazine titled ‘Kannada Kogile’ in 1914 and had to stop its publication a few years later.

           However his fame rests on his work in the fields of ‘History of Kannada Literature’ and literary criticism. He was an erudite scholar in Kannada and Sanskrit. His training in allied disciplines such as poetics and prosody was always at his service.

            Timmappaiah was genuinely interested in bringing out the historical antecedents of literature to the lime light. For him, many of our epics were deeply rooted in contemporary history. He tried to bring out the hidden material related to the history of Karnataka in the Kannada epic ‘Kabbigara Kava’ by Andayya. ‘AnDayyanU kannaDamenippA nADU’ is the title of the paper published in 1927. This passion was carried on to Pampa, the premier poet of Kannada. ‘Nadoaja Pampa’ (nADOja pampa) published in 1938 is his magnum opus. In this work, he traces the genealogy of Arikesari the king and the patron of Pampa and tries to find parallels in ‘Vikramarjunavijaya’. This point of view was diametrically opposite to the stand taken by the scholars of princely Mysore who described the remnants of history in that work as garbage (‘charitreya kasa’). Later on Muliya found a kindered soul in K.V.Subbanna. Timappaiah’s interest in Pampa was not confined to history. His efforts to glean out and analyze the native elements (dEsi) in Pampa’s works are magnificent. (Pampana dEsi) He has published prose renderings of ‘Adipurana’ and ‘Vikramarjunavijaya’. They are known as ‘Adipurana Sangraha’ and ‘Samasta Bharatasara’ (1941). ‘Tripuradaaha’ (1941) is a prose rendering of ‘Tripuradahana Sangatya’ by Shishumayana.    

            Kavirajamargaviveka’ (1948) is another enduring work by Timmappaiah. This is a critical study of the first extant work in Kannada. ‘Paarti Subba’ is a biographical account and a critical study of the famous Yakshagana poet. Three lectures delivered by Muliya in 1948, at the Kannada Research Institute, Dharawada are published in a single volume titled ‘kannaDa nADU dESI sAhityavU’. The collection of essays called ‘kannaDa sAhityavU mattu itara upanyAsagLU’ is the last published work of Timmappaiah. To sum up, Mulia was a votary of local cultures as evidenced by his lasting pursuits. His desire to trace local history, his panache to find the native elements in Pampa and his passion for Yakshagana an indigenous art form bear witness to this fact.

            Muliya was honored with the chairmanship of the 17th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana held at Karwar.     

 

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