Controversy over selection of chairman for Kannada literary meet

Celebrating Kannada: CM expected to inaugurate the meet

Controversy over selection of chairman for Kannada literary meet

“Kannadakkagi Kai Yethu, Ninna Kai Kalpavrukshavaguvadu,” goes a Kavivani (poet Kuvempu’s lines).  Even in giving a call for the development of the language, there is no selfishness. It speaks about ‘giving’. Kalpavruksha is a mythical tree which is known for fulfilling the wishes of everybody.

However, the scenario is not the same these days, as every aspect of life is shrouded with controversy. Development of Kannada is no exception. District level, taluk level and even hobli level Kannada literary meets are being held along with the State, National and International level meets. Selection of chairpersons for the meets in the recent past attracts controversy. Politics, caste and factionalism come to the fore in selection of chairpersons. Detractors are also governed by the same factors.

Writer Maleyuru Guruswamy has been selected to chair the 12th Mysore District Kannada Literary Meet, scheduled to be held at Srikanteshwara temple premises in  Nanjangud on June 15 and 16.

Now, the selection of Maleyuru Guruswamy, a native of neighbouring Chamarajanagar district, has attracted criticism from some quarters. President of Mysore District Kannada Sahitya Parishat M Chandrashekar said, “We had approached Devanuru Mahadeva to chair the meet. But, he declined, as he said the programme is sponsored by the government. So, Guruswamy, who was the second choice was naturally approached.

Guruswamy, has served in Nanjangud as a professor for 25 years and his book ‘Kapila Nadi Yadabaladi’ on the town is one of the 12 books slated to be released to mark the occasion. He has served three terms as president of Chamarajanagar District Kannada Sahitya Parishat. He is also a permanent resident of Mysore city for the past several years.

Chandrashekar said that more than 5,000 people are expected to attend the meet and the State government has released Rs five lakh for the expenses, but the estimate is for Rs 15 lakh. “So, we have approached Srikanteshwara temple authorities for food arrangements,” he said.

Procession

The chairman of the meet will be taken to the venue Srikanteshwara Kalamandira, on Srikanteshwara temple premises, from Hejjige M Linganna Circle on the Mysore-Ooty road through the President road.

The President road, which got its name due to the visit of then President V V Giri, is the home to various prominent personalities in various fields, who are natives of the town. The first house belongs to Ayurveda pioneer B V Pandit, his son B V Srikantan is a renowned astrophysicist. Pandit’s granddaughter Kalpana Pandit was once Miss India.

The next house is that of actor-director-producer G V Iyer. The director who introduced thespian Dr Rajkumar, H L N Simha’s ancestral house is also on this road.  First seer of Mantralaya Sri Raghavendra Swamy was also residing here. Nanjangud and Mantralaya are inseparable as almost all seers of the mutt are natives of this town. The present seer of Kaginela Kanaka Peetha Sri Tharakananda Swamiji is also from the same road.
Novelist Tirumalamba, Constitution expert C K N Raja, journalist E R Sethuram, freedom fighter Hejjige M Linganna, Sanskrit scholar Raja S Gururajacharya and many more prominent personalities have their homes or ancestral homes on this road.

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