K S HARIDASA BHAT
Late Prof. K S Haridasa Bhat (1924), a distinguished scholar (Visharada – 1944), (Vidwan-1945), M.A. (Economics-1949), Certificate-ISVE, Italy (1963), served as Professor of Economics at MGM College before he became Principal in 1964 which post he held with distinction till 1979. Taking cue from his mentor Dr. TMA Pai, Founder of Manipal, Professor Bhat started in the campus institutes of informal learning: a centre for training in Yakshagana (1971), Rashtrakavi Govind Pai Samshodhana Kendra (1965), a Post graduate Research Centre centred round the personal library of the late poet Laureate Govind Pai, Manjeshwar, a Tulu Lexicon Project with the help of the grant of Karnataka Government, a Department of German Studies (1968) and even after retirement as Principal he enlisted the support of the Ford Foundation, New Delhi to found a Regional Resources Centre for Folk Performing Arts (1983), to build up an archives centre after field survey and documentation of various folk performing arts in Karnataka. He served the RRC as Project Director from 1983 to 2000 during which period he brought it international acclaim by organizing the series of workshops in International Folkloristcis which culminated in the publication of Indian Folklore and Folkloristcis by Dr. Peter J. Claus and Frank J. Korom in 1987 and by entering into a tripartite agreement with Mangalore and Turku Universities to study the Tulu oral epics which led to the publication of the Siri Epic narrated by Gopala Naika in international phonetic script and English translation (under guidance of Prof. Lauri Honko). Having organized workshops, seminars, conferences, festivals of national level he brought prestige to MGM College as a premier institute of higher education. A member of several bodies of educational administration Prof. Bhat was distinguished with several honours and awards: Karnataka State Sahitya Academy Award (1982), Karnataka State Award for service in education (1985), Vishwamanava Award (1989), Kannada Sahitya Academy Award for literary work (1989), Karnataka State Award for Folklore Studies (1991). He has authored nearly 30 works on economics, literature, travelogues essays etc. and he was regular columnist to ‘Udavayani’ (column Lokhabhirama) the regional daily in Kannada. He visited several countries of the world spreading the message of Yakshagana under the banner of Yaksha Ranga, the ballet ensemble directed by the late Dr. Kota Shivarama Karanth, with whom he closely collaborated for the revival of Yakshagana tradition.