(Last Updated on : 07-05-2012)
Bellave Narahari Sastri was a famous dramatist. He was also a great musician. Born in 1882 he was educated at Tumkur, Karnataka
. Bellave Narahari Sastri worked as a teacher, inspector, and headmaster in several government schools for nearly forty years. From 1910 to 1950 he wrote thirty plays for Gubbi Veeranna's company, among which around ten manuscripts remain unpublished. Narahari Sastri was one of the authors who set the standards of playwriting for the professional Kannada theatre
Bellave Narahari Sastri mostly selected mythological themes from the Ramayana
and Bhagavata mela
. His independent plays like Bhakti samrajya i.e. "Bhakti Empire" deals with the cultural heroes of the Bhakti
tradition that attempt social criticism. Good songs set to classical music lace his plays. The language of Bellave Narahari Sastri is quite ornate in some places and down to earth in comic scenes, but shows how early Kannada dramatists attempted to create a new register by depending heavily on classical Kannada literature
and Sanskrit literature
. The characterization is simple and makes generous use of miracles, idealizing divinities. Dasavatara i.e. "Ten Avatars" in 1950 became widely popular, marking a high point in spectacular production qualities. Bellave Narahari Sastri pioneered screenplays and lyrics for Kannada films
, including the first major Kannada movie, Sati Sulochana in 1934. This was starring Subbaiya Naidu. Sadarame in 1935 was another one and Hemareddy Mallamma in 1945 was also prominent. All of these were cinematized from his plays.
Bellave Narahari Sastri died in 1951.
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