Mudnakudu’s poetry comes alive in English

eNarada, Bengaluru, Friday March 10, 2017

Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy’s poetry collection ‘Before it rains’ and Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy Academy of Buddhist Sciences were launched on Friday at the British Council.

Speaking on the occasion, litterateur Dr CN Ramchandran said that Mr Chinnaswamy was working silently but effectively for the downtrodden classes. “He exposes the economic exploitation of Dalits through his poem. I can read out one of his poems wherein he describes satirically as to how a priest was bored of his job and demanded God to see naked women and this was how the ugly practice of naked worship started. If one reads Mr Chinnaswamy’s poems, they get to know the sufferings of Dalits and I can recall one of his poems wherein he wonderfully explains the caste difference demonstrating how devotees enter temple leaving their sandals outside and how a Dalit had to leave his entire body outside the temple entrance.” Dr Ramachandran explained Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy (1954) as a well-known Kannada poet hailing from Mudnakudu village (Chamarajanagar District), Karnataka. He was Director (Finance) in Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation by profession, while poetry was his passion. Mr Chinnaswamy worked in other genre of literature as well, besides having a wide range of interests in culture, theatre and social work. He has brought out 24 books so far, which include six collections of poetry, four essays, three plays and a collection of short stories.

Prof Anuradha, said that people were so moved by listening to Chinnaswamy’s poems as a person in Jerusalem walked towards Mr Chinnaswamy to ask if he was allowed to touch him! She said that Mr Chinnaswamy had established a niche for himself through his empirical imaging in mellowed tone. His works have been translated into other Indian vernaculars and widely published. Translations of the selected poems in English have been published in the literary journals like Indian Literature, The New Quest, and Little Magazine (India) Spanish in Arquitrave (Columbia) and Hebrew in Helicon (Israel) and so on. He has attended many International Poetry Conferences and extensively travelled.

Speaking on the occasion, Anand Bante, head of Mahabodhi society, Bengaluru welcomed Chinnaswamy’s initiative of starting an academy for Buddhist sciences. “Buddhist science deals with what is right or wrong. It explains about the wholesome state which brings the right actions and how one has to work from depth of his/her mind. We have to keep on changing from negative to positive and only then that our entire actions move from negativity to positivity and this understanding of life was Buddhist Sciences.”

After reading a few poems which were translated to English by Rowena Hill, Mr Chinnaswamy said, “I have made a humble beginning by starting the Academy of Buddhist science as I want to tell more people on what is the right action for those who do not have it and who are despised in the society.” He recalled how his poetry in Spanish translated by Rowena Hill ‘Poemas: Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy’ has been published by the Cultural Department of Venezuelan Govt. (CONAC) in 2004 under ‘World Poetry Series’. He has written and directed a play ‘Bahurupi’ for the National Repertoire, Rangayana in Mysore. His English translation of the poem has been done by Rowena Hill.


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