Protests mar Kannada and culture dept award function

Protests mar Kannada and culture dept award function

The Kannada and Culture Department's decision to honour artist M S Murthy with Varnashilpi Venkatappa Award drew protests from a section of artists.

At the award ceremony in Ravindra Kalakshetra, protesters tying black tapes on their foreheads raised slogans as Murthy's name was announced. The confusion reigned for some time till the police intervened.

The police removed the protesters from the venue following which Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presented the award to Murthy.

Explaining the reason for their stance, the protesters said the Department of Kannada and Culture honours artists with the Venkatappa Award considering their lifetime achievement.

But this year, all the parameters were ignored while selecting 57-year-old M S Murthy," they said, releasing the letters they wrote to minister Umashree in opposition.

They said, Murthy, who was the president of Lalitakala Academy, has just finished his term.

"He is getting the award by way of lobbying," they said.

The protesters also alleged that the department has ignored the norm of making previous awardee part of the selection committee. "According to the convention, M R Balekayi should have helmed the selection committee. Instead, S G Vasudev was made president," they said.

Prasanna gets Nataka Academy's lifetime award

Renowned artiste and activist Prasanna was conferred with Karnataka Nataka Academy's lifetime achievement award on Monday, DHNS reports from Bengaluru.

Academy president J Lokesh said 25 artistes were selected for the annual award and four artistes were given endowment awards.

Mandya Ramesh (Mysuru), Krishnamurthy Kavattaru (Dakshina Kannada), K Ramakrishnaiah (Chikballapur), Nagini Bharana (Bengaluru), D Hanumakka (Mariyammanahalli), Kalkere Narasimhamurthy (Tumakuru) and Manchegowda (Ramanagar) were among those awarded.

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