Rajyotsava awards: Govt replaces two awardees

The government on Tuesday withdrew the names of writer P K Rajashekhar (Mysuru) and human rights activist Ravindranath Shanbhag (Udupi) for the Rajyotsava awards from the 'others' and 'social service' categories respectively.

In their place, epigraphist Seetharam Jagirdar from Mysuru and Khaja Bandanawaz Dargah custodian Syed Shah Khusro Hussaini from Kalaburgi have been selected in the 'others' and 'social service' categories respectively.

Jagirdar is a retired professor of University of Mysore whereas Hussaini is the 23rd direct descendant of the 14th century Sufi saint Khaja Bandanawaz.

Rejects award

Noted critic D S Nagabhushan, who was chosen for Rajyotsava award, has decided not to receive the award due to the state government's 'apathy' towards urging the Centre to amend the Constitution to ensure that medium of instruction at primary level would be Kannada.

In a press note issued in Shivamogga on Tuesday, he said that though the state government had realised three years ago that there are hurdles in the Constitution to implement Kannada language as the medium of instruction at primary level after Supreme Court rejected its plea, it did not make any honest attempt to put pressure on the Centre to amend the Constitution. Instead, the government treated the issue as a closed chapter. Hence, Kannada medium schools are getting closed across the state. "The stand of the state government on this issue has hurt me. So, I have decided not to receive the award."

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