H. K. Ranganath

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Dr. H. K. Ranganath
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Born8 Aug 1924
Tirthahalli, Shivamogga district, Karnataka, India [1]
Died26 Mar 2003 (aged 79) [2]
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
EducationMA (History and Culture) 1945, Ph.D (Theatre Arts) 1954 [1]

Dr. H.K.Ranganath (also popular as HKR) was a noted author, [3] academician, actor, playwright and producer of drama and theatre, media specialist [4] and UNESCO Consultant on using traditional media for rural development. [5] [6] [7]

Academics and Media

His Ph.D thesis on Karnataka Theater was published in 1960 by the Karnataka University and is still recognized as a valuable source book on the subject. [8] [9][10] [11]

As a Drama Producer in All India Radio, Dharwad-Bengaluru Station (1949-69) for over two decades, and as zonal head -Regional Director of the Southern Centre of Song and Drama Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, India (1968-78) he earned distinction and a UNESCO Fellowship to visit Asian and African countries to lecture on Indian theatre and music. His research document on traditional theater for development communication written for UNESCO was translated into French, German and Spanish languages. [5] During his tenure he identified and analyzed the role of folk and traditional art forms. [12]

His efforts to popularize Indian traditional theatre art forms of Yakshagana and puppetry is notable. [13] He was the first to lead a children’s Yakshagana troupe of Karnataka to USA and Great Britain. He was the leader of several presentations in India, the USA and for International Puppetry Festivals in Europe and Japan.

Dr. H.K. Ranganath was invited by the Bangalore University to be the Chairman and Professor -of its Department of Performing Arts (Dance, Drama and Music), which he served for four years (1976-80). [14]He later served as Emeritus Professor (drama) (1982-85), Director, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (1983-95), Honorary Director, Gandhi Centre of Science and Human Values, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore (1995-2003) [14]and Hon Producer Emeritus, All India Radio and Doordarshan, Government of India (1992-95) [1] During his service at Gandhi centre , the publication of ‘A Book Pack for the Young’ is considered an invaluable encomium on Indian culture and value systems.


Dr. H.K. Ranganath was a prolific writer of plays for stage and radio besides authoring monographs on Yakshagana, Katha Kirtan and Kannada theatre. He has 21 publications [1] [15] [9]which include:

Silver jubilee volume of the Central Sangeet Natak Academy (1981) [15] [16],

Folk Media and Communication (1980),

Using Folk Entertainment for Development (1980),

Live Media for Development Communication (2000) [7]

[Memoir] Nenadavaru Manadalli (1996),

Nenapina Nandana (1999)

[Humour] Vaidyanallada Doctor (1960),

Capital Punishment (1981),

Ivarella Nammavare (1999),

Jena Hani (2000),

[Drama] Vishakanya (1960),

Jagruta Bharati (1981)

[Translations] Cheluva Kannadanadu (1987)

Recognition and Awards

For his path finding work in the fields of broadcasting, television, stage, theatre education and traditional performing arts for communication Dr. H.K. Ranganath received honours like the prestigious Government of Karnataka State Rajyotsava award (1981). [17], Motilal Centenary Award for his stage play ‘Jagrutha Bharati’ and Fellowship from the State Theatre Academy. Annual award from the Karnataka State Sahitya Academy (1996) for one of his books (Nenedavaru Manadalli) as the best book of the year 1996. He is a recipient of the Kuvempu Award and was one of the ten outstanding media person of the State honoured by All India Radio in 1998.

Notes and References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 M.V.V. Murthy & Rajaram B.V. (2003) (eds) Ranganatha Saraswatha (p.106-07) Bangalore, Karnataka:Kalagangothri
  2. ZeeNews. (2003, March 26) Theatre Veteran Ranganath is dead. https://zeenews.india.com/home/theatre-veteran-ranganath-is-dead_88229.html Retrieved from https://zeenews.india.com on 6th July 2020
  3. Potpourri, Kamat's. "Kamat's Potpourri".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. M.K.Sridhar (2004) Dr. H.K.Ranganath, A Media Specialist Par Excellence, Vikaasa- A commemorative book. World Kannada Congress , Florida (p314-317)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ranganath,H.K. (1980). Using folk entertainments to promote National Development. France: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization. ISBN 92-3-101773-X
  6. Bangalore University. From : https://eng.bangaloreuniversity.ac.in/science/communication/
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ranganath,H.K. ( 2000). Live Media for Development Communication, Regional Resources Centre for Folk Performing Arts. Udupi: M.G.M. College
  8. Ranganath,H.K (1960), The Karnataka Theatre, Dharwad:Karnataka University
  9. 9.0 9.1 https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000289671
  10. M.L.Varadapande: (1983) Religion and Theatre (p38.), Abhinav Publications. New Delhi
  11. Marirao M.G. (2018) Varadacharya’s Method of Conducting Rehearsals. V.Akshara (eds) Kannada Theatre History 1850-1950: A Sourcebook. (p.58) Manipal, Karnataka: Manipal Universal Press.
  12. Chandrasekhar, H.N. (2015, February 18) All the World’s a stage. Bengaluru: Metrolife, Deccan Herald.
  13. Venkatasubbaiah, G. (2003) Sadguni Vishwasi. M. V. Venkateshmurthy (ed) Nenapige Saavilla (p.70) Bangalore, Karnataka: V.C.Sampada
  14. 14.0 14.1 https://www.bvbgandhicentre.org/officebearers
  15. 15.0 15.1 https://catalog.princeton.edu/catalog/8555408
  16. Ranganath,H.K. (1981) Sangeet Natak:Silver Jubilee Volume, New Delhi: S.N.Akademi
  17. https://karnataka.gov.in/page/Awards/State%20Awards/Rajyotsava+Awards/en

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