Their number may be small, but their contribution to the city is immeasurable. Only 500 people form Karnataka or Kannadigas as they are called, have made the city beautiful there home and of this, 90 of them, are specialised doctors in the city's premiere institute Post Graduate Institute of
Medical Education and Research.
Some work as teachers across city schools, another dozen or so are working in the banking and commerce sector, and a few are contributing in shaping the countries policy, working as bureaucrats.
The community, which started coming to city in the early '80's were either transferred or sent on deputation. Most Kannadigas hold important posts in government departments, while some have even entered into the real estate sector in the tricity.
In 1978, the community formed the Kannada Sangha, offering a platform for all Kannadigas to get together and celebrate festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Kannada Rajyotsava (celebrated on November 1 as Karnataka Formation Day, every year) etc.
The community is known for their love for the language and literature, validated by the eight Gyanpeeth awards for literature, won by the members of this community.
Such is the Kannadigas love for Chandigarh that they have demanded that Punjabi be declared as the official language of Chandigarh. The Punjabi-Kannada Sahit Sabha has written a letter to the UT administrator Shivraj Patil demanding for the same.
24-years ago, Manohar Kumar came to the city for a personal visit but later decided to make city his home. He now owns a house in SAS Nagar, and says, “Chandigarh is a great city, but I miss the literary functions organised in Karnataka regularly. Chandigarh cannot be called beautiful since it has more than 300 liquor vends but only four government libraries.”
His demand from the Chandigarh administration is to establish more libraries in Chandigarh.
Panditrao Dharennavar, assistant professor at Post Graduate Government College, Sector 46, came to the city in 2003, after he was selected through Union Public Service Commission exam. He learnt Punjabi and has penned eight books in Punjabi and later formed the Punjabi-Kannada Sahit Sabha.
He has also translated Sri Jap Ji Saheb, Sri Sukhmani Saheb, Zafaranama in Kannada and has been traveling on a bicycle campaigning for Punjabi language.
Speaking to HT, Dharennavar says, “Kannada community has written a letter to the UT Administrator to make Punjabi as the official language of Chandigarh as 80% of the population in city speaks Punjabi.”
On asking, about the demand for a Kannada Bhawan for his community, Dharennavar says, we have mentioned in the letter that we will demand land for Kannada Bhawan, when Punjabi becomes the official language else there is no point in having a bhawan of our own.
LC Krishna, who came from Bangalore 30-years ago, is a leading real estate leader in tricity. He says, “If a person really want to enjoy life, he should come and stay in Chandigarh as it is the best place in terms of education, healthcare and other basic amenities. It is a city of great opportunity.”
The main festival of the people is 'Ugadi' (Kannada New Year), which falls in April. Kannadigas consider this time to be the most auspicious for commencing new ventures.
Another festival, which is celebrated with great pomp and show, is Ganapati festival; a day on which Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, resurrected to life on earth with the head of an elephant.
Mysore Dasara is the 'Nada Habba' or the state festival of Karnataka, often called Navaratri it is a 10-day festival with the last day celebrated as Vijayadashami. According to legend, Vijayadashami denotes the victory of truth over evil.
Karnataka cuisine includes many vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes and some typical dishes include Holige (a traditional sweet flatbread), Mysore Pak, Curd Rice, Mysore Rasam, Chittar Anna, Idli, Dosa, Uppama.
Know the community
Food: Holige (a traditional sweet flatbread), Mysore Pak, Curd Rice, Mysore Rasam, Chittar Anna, Idli, Dosa, Uppama.
Folk Dance: Yakshagana
Festivals: Ugadi (Karnataka New Year) and Ganesh Chaturthi
Dress: Lehanga (Long skirt) and saree for women and dhoti or lungi and shirt for men.
Prominent Kannadigas in tricity
Shrikant Walgad: IAS, chief electoral officer, Haryana
Ashwin Shenvi: IPS, deputy commissioner of police, Panchkula
Satyaprakash: (IAS), Haryana government
Dr Vijay Goni: Orthopaedic surgeon at PGIMER
Prof MK Surappa: Director of IIT Ropar.
Professor SK Kulkarni (retd): Former dean from Panjab University
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
1 and 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 cup besan
2 cups ghee
·Sift the besan and keep ready.
·Dissolve sugar in the water over low heat and once it dissolves, increase the heat, bring to a boil and cook till it reaches one-thread consistency.
·Add 1 tablespoon besan and stir to mix well. Continue till all the besan is added, a tablespoon at a time.
·Add the ghee, one tablespoon at a time till all of it is used. The color and texture will change by now. It will get more brown and crumbly.
·Set in a thali (round plate), patting to level. Do not remove ghee that may float on top, pat it back.
·Cool the mixture and cut it into square pieces and serve.
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