Kannada literature stalwart Ganjam Venkatasubbiah is no more




Doyen of Kannada language and lexicographer, Ganjam Venkatasubbiah, popularly known as GV, passed away in the wee hours of Monday morning due to age- related ailments, a close family member said this here.

GV was 107 year old and he was suffering from renal problems for the past few days and was admitted to a hospital for treatment.

“He was due for discharge on Monday but suddenly his condition worsened on Sunday night and he succumbed,” family members said.

The lexicographer born on August 23, 1913 in Ganjam village of Srirangapatna in Mandya district,was the second among eight children of Ganjam Thimmannaiah. He did his schooling in Bannur and Madhugiri and higher education in Mysuru.

From old Kannada to the new era Kannada, he successfully documented the richness of the language. He was recipient of the prestigious awards like Padmashri, Pampa award and also Kendra Sahitya Akademi’s literary honour ‘Basha Sanman’.

GV was a Kannada writer, grammarian, editor, lexicographer and critic who has compiled over eight dictionaries, authored four seminal works on dictionary science in Kannada, edited over 60 books and published several papers.

His work Igo Kannada is a socio-linguistic dictionary which encompasses an eclectic mix of Kannada phrases, usages, idioms, phrases, and serves as a reference for linguists and sociologists alike. Venkatasubbiah is best known for his work on Kannada dictionary science titled Kannada Nighantu Shastra Parichaya. This came out exactly one hundred years after a Kannada-English dictionary was authored by the German priest and Indologist Reverend Ferdinand Kittel in 1894. This work became an addition to a tradition of dictionary writing in Kannada known for at least thousand years starting with the first available Rannakanda.

His classmates included the likes of K S Narayanaswami – the editor of Gandhi Sahitya Samputa and K S Krishnaswami – an eminent economist who would become deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India and vice president of World Bank.

When GV completed 60 years of age, felicitation volume titled “Sahityajeevi” was published. Similarly, on his 90th year, “Shabdasagara” (Ocean of words) was brought forth.

His centenary year was a momentous occasion and was marked by many events and felicitation volumes being brought forth in his honour. The centenary year welcome committee under the editorship of P V Narayan brought forth a centenary felicitation volume titled “Shatanamana”. Earlier in 2011, a