Kambar elected Sahitya Akademi president

Kambar elected Sahitya Akademi president

Jnanpith recipient and Kannada littrateur Chandrashekhar Kambar has been elected as president of the Sahitya Akademi, beating Marathi writer Bhalchandra V Nemade and Odia writer Pratibha Ray.

The election for the Akademi's top post was held here on Monday.

Kambar is the third Kannada writer to head country's national academy of letters.

Vinayaka Krishna Gokak (1983) and U R Ananthamurthy (1993) were the two Kannada writers who headed the akademi since 1956.

Kambar, who has been recipient of various awards including Sahitya Akademi Award, Padma Shri and Pampa Award, will serve as president of the Akademi for a period of five years.

"I will promote Indian literature to the world as my predecessors did during their terms in past," he tiold reporters after his election to the post of Sahitya Akademi president.

Kambar won the election beating his rivals by securing as many as 56 votes out of 89 in all.

Ray, who was contesting for the president's post, got a total of 29 votes in her favour while Nemade ended up with just 4 votes in his support.

Born in Ghodageri, a village in Belagavi, Kambar did his PhD thesis on 'Uttara Karnatakada Janapad Rangbhumi' from Karnataka University, Dharwad, after his post graduation. He also taught in Bangalore University for over two decades.

Kambar, who was the first vice chancellor of Hammpi Kannada University, served as chairman of the National School of Drama Society, New Delhi, from 1996 to 2000 and as president of the Karnataka Nataka Academy from 1980 to 1983.

He has to his credit 25 plays, 11 anthologies of poems, 5 novels, 16 research works and several scholarly write-ups on folk theatre, literature and education. Some of his popular plays include "Jokumaraswamy", "Jayasidnayaka", "Kadu Kudure", "Nayi Kathe", "Mahamayi", "Harakeya Kuri" and others.

Hindi poet Madhav Kaushik was elected as vice president of the Sahitya Akademi.