DR. Srinivasa Havanur

Dr. Srinivasa Habanur was born on January 12, 1929 in Havanur, a village in Haveri Taluka, Dharwad District, Karnataka.

His early education was in his native place and Dharwad. He did his post-graduation in Pune and Bombay, earning his PhD on the thesis of 'Beginning of Modern Kannada Literature'. He had also done a diploma in library science when the course was first introduced in Bombay University. Initially working as a sales tax inspector, auditor and radio artist (conducting programmes in Kannada), Havanur got into the librarian's profession, first working in Karnataka University, Dharwad, then at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay (now Mumbai) - for 21 years from 1969-1989, leaving the institution as Librarian. He has been professor of Kannada and head of department in Mangalore and Bombay Universities between 1982 and 1989. For some years, he had been honorary researcher in the Karnataka Theological College, Mangalore. He conducted extensive research on the works of several Christian Missionaries such as the late Rev. Fr. Kittel, the compiler of the Kannada-English Nighantu.

Dr. Havanur has specialized in the British period in Karnataka history, Haridasa literature in Kannada, Christian literature in Kannada, Kannada journalism and computer application in Indian studies. He is perhaps the first, 30 years ago, to use computers for Kannada scholarship. Among his authorships can be noted: Beginning of Modern Kannada Literature, Govind Pai Vangemaya Darshana, Avirvaahiti (Social Study), Karnataka Itihasa, Olanotagalu and Reverend Dr. F. Kittel (which has been translated into German). Havanurís full length biography and work in Kannada was sponsored by the Central Sahitya Academy and is translated into other Indian languages.

Dr. Havanur has participated in several national and international seminars and has presented scholarly papers, one of them being at the International Seminar on Dr. Ferdinand Kittel, the famous author of the English-Kannada dictionary, in Germany in 2003, where he presented a paper on Kittel's contribution to Indian philosophy and Dravidian Philosophy. Seminars and paper presentations have taken Dr. Havanur very far and many times over, including to England, the U.S.A, Switzerland, France and Germany, specially to present papers on Computer vs Indian subjects, and for studies in British Library, London.

Havanur's research includes a range of social and cultural topics and issues. He made an attempt to create a new literary form, Kadam-Kathana, by selecting the vital passages of important writers of Kannada within a literary framework.

Dr. Habanur wrote over 60 books, including short stories, novelettes, essays and literary criticism. His work, "Hosagannadada Arunodaya", which had brought him the doctoral degree from the Pune University, is said to be an important text for those who wish to research Kannada language and culture.

Dr. Habanur has earned several honours such as the Rajyotsava Award, Kannada University's, Hampi, Nadoja, Alva's Nudi Siri and Sandesha awards. He was given a pubic honour when he completed 80 years and presented a rare work, "Sankathana", a compilation of his own select articles on the occasion.

Dr. Havanur died in Banglore on 5th April 2010. He was 82. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.