When Kannadigas Talk about ‘We are Not the Government’

It has been a year since Kannada writer Kannadegi Kannan, one of India’s leading writers of new poetry, wrote a poem entitled ‘We Are Not the Governments’.

The poem, titled ‘We do not have a Government’, has been seen by millions on social media, and the hashtag #WeAreNotTheGods has been trending on Twitter in Kannataka.

Kannadan’s work has been translated into English, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu and Punjabi, and has inspired thousands of students to take up their own poetry in the language.

This year marks the first anniversary of the poet’s death. 

Kannadegiri Kann has written more than 1,000 poems, and is widely considered one of the best poets in the world.

He is the author of more than 300 poems.

Kannadan lived for more than 30 years in Mumbai, and in 2006 he moved to Bengaluru, where he wrote his first collection of poems, ‘The World in Colour’.

He lived for another 25 years in Bengaluru before moving to New Delhi in 2009. 

“Kannada is my second language.

I started writing poems in my second decade of life.

I wrote about people and the environment, about the people and their struggles.

I always thought of writing poems about India,” Kannadin said in a recent interview.

“I also thought about writing about myself, writing about what it means to be Indian, what I felt and saw about myself and the world.”

“I am writing to raise awareness about the challenges faced by our country and to make a stand against the injustice and injustices that are faced in the name of the country,” he said.

“Kanjikal is a language that is very sensitive to language.

People do not speak it, but the language has a very powerful influence on our psyche.” 

The poet’s life, in his own words, was a “living hell”.

“The first time I realised I was an Indian was in my twenties,” he wrote.

“It was during a conversation with a journalist who was trying to describe my life in the capital.

He told me how many times I had gone to the police station to complain about what was happening.

I said that this was the most humiliating experience of my life.”

The poet wrote a short poem titled ‘Gharne karniye’ in the year that he died.

He died on November 18, 2019, aged 82. 

He was one of hundreds of poets who took to the streets of Kolkata to protest against the recent demolition of a historic Kolkatta mosque.

The poem was published in an anthology, titled Kannamalayam (Kannadigs Voice), by a group of writers and poets called Kannads People. 

The protest was a direct response to the recent demolitions of the two-storeyed Kolkatas mosque in Delhi, which killed more than 120 people. 

Read more about Kannadi’s life and death at The New Indian Express website (Source: New IndianExpress)