Well known Kannada writer, editor, lexicographer and critic Venkatasubbiah passes away

Centenarian, Kannada Writer, Editor, Lexicographer and Critic Ganjam Venkatasubbiah passed away in the early hours of today due to old age. He was 107.
Venkatasubbaiah’s wife, GV Lakshmi, had passed away in 2016 at the age of 92, the couple is survived by two sons and two daughters.
Dignitaries from various fields have condoled his death.

He is primarily known for his contribution to the Kannada lexicography and was popularly known as a walking encyclopaedia of the Kannada language and culture. He has compiled 12 dictionaries, authored four seminal works on dictionary science in Kannada, edited over 60 books and published several papers. He also translated into Kannada eight important works from other languages.

Recipient of the Kannada Sahitya Akademi Award and the Pampa Award, Venkatasubbiah was born on August 23, 1913.

His ancestors hailed from Mudagandur village in the Mandya district. Some of his ancestors were linguistic scholars. His grandfather Narasimha Jois was a Sanskrit scholar, while his father Ganjam Thimmannaiah was a scholar of both Kannada and Sanskrit.

He secured his postgraduate degree in Kannada from Maharaja’s College, Mysore in 1937.

After his retirement in 1973, he began publishing a Kannada-Kannada dictionary.

He was Lexicographical Association of India Vice President for 17 years. He served as an adviser to the multilingual dictionary project of the Institute of Asian Studies, Chennai.

He was also a consultative committee member in the Telugu lexicon project initiated by the Telugu Academy of the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

Venkatasubbaiah’s Dictionaries include an eight-volume Kannada-Kannada Nighantu (Dictionary). The compilation of his column Igo Kannada, published in Prajavani, a daily, emerged as a four-volume sociolinguistic dictionary.

Venkatasubbaiah is remembered for his work on Kannada dictionary science titled Kannada Nighantu Shastra Parichaya, which was brought out to coincide with the centenary celebration of the first Kannada dictionary authored by the German Indologist Reverend Ferdinand Kittel in 1894.

His Klishta Pada, a dictionary of complex words, was released when Karnataka celebrated 50 years of State formation. He presided over the 77th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana held in Bengaluru in 2001.


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