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Triumph of virtue

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Madiddunno Maharaya opens with the astrologer Kitta jois reciting the ‘panchaanga’ (conventional almanac/calendar) for the day, which reveals that the incidents within the novel befell in ‘pramadinaama samvatsara’, that’s, across the mid-19th century. M. S. Puttanna’s novel Madiddunno Maharaya (the title is a Kannada proverb, comparable in which means to “as you sow so shall you reap”), was printed in 1915. Though the novel doesn’t straight affiliate itself with any of the issues of the reform actions, it does discuss corruption and ill-treatment of ladies, and discusses studying and schooling. Puttanna was a fantastic admirer of the late ruler of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, and his novels are set within the occasions of the reign of this king, the place the king normally places in an look because the dispenser and upholder of justice.

Triumph of virtue

Chastity and the ultimate triumph of the Hindu view of ethical and righteous behaviour are the principle themes of this novel. It portrays the trials and tribulations of a Brahmin couple in a distant village within the Mysore Kingdom. In a protracted manifesto-like English preface to the novel, Puttanna outlines the ‘rules of grammar’ for writing novels and lists varied occasions that happen within the novel. He says that daily-life characters in a novel ought to of their nature and deeds strategy the best Rama and Seetha and Yudishtira and Draupadi. “If on the other hand human beings are invested with a character which approaches the heroes and heroines of the great epics, the effect is very great and the nearer such approach, the greater will be our admiration. The deified heroes should be our rules of Grammar and ordinary human beings with an elevated conduct should be the examples. In this view I tried my best to conceive certain persons who lived at a time much nearer to us.” With the particular point out of the interval and the sacred-canonical foundation for his characters, Puttanna units the tone for his novel on the outset.

Triumph of virtue

Sadashiva Dikshit, a widower, marries Thimmavva, and with Mahadeva, his son from his first marriage, and previous mom, leaves Mysore and settles in Sanjewadi. Mahadeva later marries Seethavva. Mahadeva’s step-mother, Thimmavva, who has a daughter of her personal, begins harassing Seethavva. Seethavva bears this harassment uncomplainingly. Sanjewadi is proven as a village full of gullible residents exploited by a gaggle of unscrupulous individuals, whose chief is an untouchable priest named Sidda, officiating in a Maari temple on the outskirts of Sanjewadi. Sidda’s ‘rags-to-riches-respectability-and-power’ story is narrated in a full chapter. Sidda’s lecherous eyes fall on Seethavva who used to go to Arundamma’s home, not removed from the Maari temple, to worship the sacred Tulsi plant there. Sidda’s lust is inspired by Narappayya.

Narappayya is the discredited and as soon as viciously violent trainer of the village faculty, whose college students had turned in opposition to him and had punished him brutally. Though Sadashiva Dikshit nurses him again to well being regardless of the violence confronted by his son Mahadeva within the faculty, Narappayya turns in opposition to him. When Sidda realizes that none of his enticements goes to lure Seethavva, he tries to molest her when she was alone. She escapes and unable to bear this trauma, falls severely sick and her household, pondering that she had died of the sickness, makes preparations for her cremation. The wooden used for her cremation was not dry sufficient and her physique doesn’t get fully burnt. Moreover, she was very a lot alive. Anandbhatji, a holy-man and tantrik, who was passing by the cremation-ground realizes that she continues to be alive and revives her. Seethavva rejoins her husband, and Sidda is punished by Anandbhatji. Amase, a thief, reveals the misdeeds of the gang of thieves they usually too are arrested. Sanjewadi is in ruins by the top of the novel. While the others are being taken to jail, Amase who was launched as a result of he had turned informer, seems at them and shouts, ‘madidda unno maharaya, madidda unno maharaya.’

Triumph of virtue

One can’t dispute Puttanna’s astuteness in incorporating the ‘cremation-ground’ incident. It conforms to the ‘rules of grammar’ that he proposes within the preface. The feminine protagonist in Madiddunno Maharaya, Seethavva, is meant to be a prototype of the best Seetha of Ramayana and her important goodness and virtue are to be upheld at any value. A parallel is drawn between Seethavva and Seetha of Ramayana who had emerged unscathed from the agniparikshe, the fire-test of virtue pressured on her by her husband Rama. What extra is required to proclaim that even demise bows down earlier than one who leads a virtuous life. This secures Puttanna’s world inside its ethical legal guidelines and he provides it to us because the message of the story.

Commenting on the novel, M. G. Krishnamurthy had noticed that Puttanna strongly felt that there must be a detailed relationship between the language of the novel and day-to-day speech and that the novelist ought to select the themes/subjects for his novel from the world round him. This signifies Puttanna’s perception that the author’s powers of creativeness must be associated to the particular tradition by which he lives. Krishnamurthy says that the ‘denseness’ of ‘specific descriptions’ on this novel prevents it from changing into a handbook of morals and “even though at some points the novel is a document of social issues, at some places an exciting story, and at some places a low farce, since this novelist is completely and unconsciously committed to the accepted values of the society all these diverse features come together.”

Triumph of virtue

G. S. Amur considers this novel as serving advance discover on the longer term development of the novel in Kannada. Amur goes on to remark: “Madiddunno Maharaya’s sharp realism comes from its stark portrayal of human corruption and the consequent break up of society.” Puttanna’s novel reveals that societal ills like corruption, which the reform-novels expressed disgust at, was a characteristic of society even prior to now. One of the principle the explanation why this novel has obtained its share of credit score is that it by no means claimed to set proper the ills of the society or supplied options to modern issues. Madiddunno Maharaya is a much-discussed early novel as a result of of its unapologetic tone and the author’s perception in what he was writing.

*****

Triumph of virtue

S. Jayasrinivasa Rao is a literary historian and translator residing in Hyderabad. He is a trainer at Aurora’s Technological & Research Institute, Hyderabad. [email protected]

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