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Kannada poet, playwright Kambar gets Jnanpith

Last updated: 19 September, 2011
New Delhi, Sep 19, DHNS: 0:49 IST

Kannada poet and playwright Chandrashekhara Kambar has been selected for Jnanpith Award, Indias highest literary honour.

Chandrashekhara KambarThe selection committee met here on Monday and decided to confer the award on the veteran writer who is also a folklorist and a film director. An official announcement is awaited.

The prestigious award instituted in 1961, carries a cheque for Rs 7.5 lakh, a citation and a bronze replica of Vagdevi.

Kambar is the eighth Kannadiga to have won the award. Others from Karnataka who have bagged the award include Kuvempu, Da Ra Bendre, Shivaram Karanth, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, V K Gokak, Girish Karnad and U R Ananthamurthy.

Born in 1937, Kambar, former vice-chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi, was a recipient of the civilian honour Padmashri, besides Kabir Samman, Kalidas Samman and Pampa Award.

A writer who popularised the north Karnataka dialect through his poems and plays, Kambar also served as chairman of the National School of Drama, New Delhi from 1996 to 2000. He was the president of the Karnataka Nataka Academy from 1980 to 1983.
“Karimayi”, “Sangeeta”, “Kadu Kudure” are some of his major films as a director. He has also produced documentaries for the state and Central governments.

Reacting to the announcement of the award, Kambar said: “I am happy at having been chosen for the award. I had expected it. Kannada language should get more Jnanpiths. There is no dearth of subjects to write on. If you ask me which is my best work, I would say that none of my works have given me complete satisfaction. This is the reason why I have been able to write for the last four decades. I can only express myself through my writings.”

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