World Kannada Conference discussion topics are deja vu

World Kannada Conference  discussion topics are deja vu

‘band’wagon: Members of police band rehearse for World Kannada Conference scheduled to commence in Belgaum on March 11. dh Photo

Interestingly, many of the issues chosen for the seminars at the conference are common to Kannada Sahitya Sammelanas, including the one that just concluded in Bangalore.
The State government has thus lost an opportunity to debate many non-literary issues which deserve attention in a forum, whose canvas spreads across the globe as it is titled ‘World Kannada Conference’.

The scope and objective of the conference widened when the government invited Infosys founder N R Narayanamurthy to inaugurate the event. By choosing him, the government gave an impression that the event would be different from a regular literary meet. But the topics and speakers have remained the same.

The conference includes 17 seminars, besides the customary inaugural and valedictory programmes. Of the topics, at least 10 are about Kannada and its culture. Topics such as ‘Cultural Karnataka: Insight’, ‘Kannada Book Publishing’, ‘Poets’ Meet’, ‘Kannada Cinema’, ‘Dalit Culture’, ‘Use of Kannada Language’, ‘Farmers’ Problems’, etc, have been flogged in all literary meets. The impact of globalisation has been discussed many times, and yet the topic has resurfaced  The same topic has surfaced again in the World Conference. ‘Media and Social Responsibility’ is another subject  debated every time.

The organisers have made attempts to involve people from different walks of life in the event.  Capt Gopinath, a successful entrepreneur, has been invited to inaugurate the seminar on globalisation. Similarly, Dr Neeraj Patil, Mayor of Lambeth Council in the UK, will inaugurate a discussion on Kannadigas abroad. But the role of invitees from fields other than literature has been reduced to either inaugurating or presiding over the seminar. Those presenting the papers are writers.

What’s missing?

The world of Kannada comprises talents from many fields. Scientists, architects, engineers, investors, sports personalities, administrators and many more have played a role in shaping today’s Karnataka. Going by the invitation card of the event, a majority of the invitees are literary persons. Whereas, people from other fields are few.

The seminar on ‘Knowledge, Science, Technology’ restricts the topic to Kannada software and science education in schools.

A seminar on the use of Kannada language is scheduled to discuss use of Kannada in the judiciary, in administration, but not as a medium of instruction at primary schools.

Sports personalities of Karnataka recently brought laurels to the State by winning medals in the Commonwealth Games, although sportspersons in the State are not getting due encouragement for their talent. And yet, there is no scope to discuss this issue in the conference.

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