The 15th Zilla Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, hosted by the district Kannada Sahitya Parishat, was inaugurated at Cauvery Town Hall in Madikeri on Friday.
Literary enthusiasts took part in the literary fest despite the fear of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The inaugural function was followed by sessions, ‘Bhava Sangama’ and cultural programmes.
Inaugurating the programme, Kannada Development Authority chairman T S Nagabharana said that Kannada is supreme in Karnataka. It is not enough to claim that one was born in Karnataka. One must also become Kannadiga by virtue.
“We Kannadigas should teach Kannada to non-Kannadigas. First and foremost, Kannadigas should come out of the inferiority complex,” he said.
The KDA chairman said that he could not work on Kannada programmes in the border areas of the state during the last 10 months, owing to Covid-19.
He said he has started touring the state again and the Kannada Development Authority will carry out all possible efforts to save the language and culture of Kannada Naadu.
Nagabharana further said that a poet is a guardian of the system. Literary conventions provide poets and writers to work towards Kannada poetry and heritage and all the literary enthusiasts will join hands in the endeavour.
Congratulating Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Kodagu, on its golden jubilee, he said that the Kannada Literary Convention has multiplied the joy.
He felt that literature teaches us the process of inclusion and does not teach rejecting others.
At the present juncture, more serious efforts are needed to preserve our state and its language, he added.
Nagabharana highlighted the importance of ‘Kannada Kayaka Varsha’, the year starting from November 2020, dedicated to the acknowledgement and contribution of Kannada language, culture and related aspects, announced by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.
Lauding Kodagu for inspiring patriotism, Nagabharana opined that there is harmony in Kodagu despite people speaking many languages.
He said that Kannada is the identity of Kannadigas and Kannada is the supreme language in Karnataka.
One should shun inferiority on the Kannada language. Obsession for English has increased today, which is the reason for the fate of Kannada, he added.
Arameri Kalancheri Mutt pontiff Shantamallikarjuna Swami said that Kannada should grow from strength to strength. There is a need to preserve the dignity of the language.
Former president of the district Kannada literary convention, Nagesh Kaluru, said that the attack of various other languages has affected Kannada. However, Kannada will live.
Kannada Sahitya Parishat district president Lokesh Sagar said that even though it was planned earlier to host the convention in February, the programme is being held in January under unavoidable circumstances.
For the first time, the welcome arch was installed in the border region of the district. There was much criticism for the same. However, the arch was installed for the occasion of the golden jubilee of Kannada Sahitya Parishat, he said.
The 15th district Kannada literary convention president Mandepanda Geetha Mandanna said that most of the trade in Kodagu is handled by people speaking Malayalam. They too are Kodavas and Indians.
First, we should stop fighting in the name of regionalism, border and language, she added.
She also called upon Malayalam and Tamil speaking people to speak the Kannada language.
Lamenting that the district has been affected by continuous calamities, Geetha Mandanna said that the government should come to the rescue of farmers. The sanctity of spiritual places like Talacauvery and Bhagamandala should be protected.
Kasturirangan report implementation should not adversely affect the agriculturists, people and nature of Kodagu, she said.
Literary works were released by the dignitaries on the occasion.