Kayyara turns 100

Kayyara turns 100

At 100, litterateur Kayyara Kinhanna Rai, continues to express his love for Kannada and Karnataka. In his acceptance speech after receiving Pampa award conferred by the State government for his contribution to Kannada literature, he proved that his love for Karnataka and Kannada literature is undying. The Department of Kannada and Culture had organised the award programme at his residence ‘Kavita Kuteera’ at Peradala village in Badiyadka on Sunday.

After sitting for one and a half hour on the stage at the felicitation programme, Kayyara chose to address the gathering. He spoke for seven minutes at a stretch about Pampa, Akhila Karnataka, responsibilities of Kannadigas, though in a much milder way.

Referring it as the most memorable day for him as well as Kannadigas, he gave a message to promote the literature of Pampa. “Communicating about his literature to the people is important. It is our duty to speak about it. He is the greatest poet of Kannada literature and I had developed fondness for his works since my school days. Pampa Bharatha reflects his standard,” he said.

Humbly accepting the award, he said that the award has made him happy and motivated. “The very fact that such programmes are held in this part of the region is the speciality of Kannada. I wish the people to work for Akhila Karnataka,” he said.

The man who led the campaign for the merger of Kasargod district with Karnataka and had demanded for the implementation of Mahajan Committee Report was conferred the award on the occasion of his 100th birthday.

Delayed award

In his introductory remarks, litterateur and 80th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana President Na D’Souza who was also the jury member of the Pampa award selection committee deciphered the reason why Kayyara was not given the Pampa award so far. “It is unfortunate that litterateurs and Kannada fighters have forgotten the contribution of Kayyara. His name was not referred to the committee due to which he was not given the award.

Though none of the eight lists forwarded by various organisations to the selection committee did not propose to give the award to Kayyara, the committee chairman M M Kalburgi voluntarily came up with Kayyara’s name which was accepted by the committee and the government,” he said.

Finding similarities in Pampa and Kayyara, D’Souza said that Pampa was a poet when he sat and was a warrior when he stood. The attributes of Kayyara is somewhat similar. He not only had the softness to write poems, but also was a strong man when it came to fight for Kannada. He was a warrior in terms of raising his voice to merge Kasargod with Karnataka.

Minister for Kannada and Culture Umashree urged the selection committee to identify litterateurs like Kayyara who have not been recognised by the government despite their immense contribution to Kannada. “It is not that we have forgotten Kayyara. He is not someone who could be forgotten. Henceforth, we should not err,” she said.

The elected representatives including District-in-Charge Minister B Ramanath Rai, Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader hoped the government to grant Kayyara with Karnataka Ratna award.

Pampa award comprised of a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh, a certificate and a memento.

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