Mandya to hold first Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in 21st Century

After a gap of 30 years Mandya will host the 87th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in December.
Last Updated : 03 July 2024, 14:40 IST

Follow Us :


Mandya: Mandya city, which hosted two Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelanas — in 1974 and 1994 — has got the opportunity to play host once again. For the first time in 21st century, after a gap of 30 years Mandya will host a Lit Meet in December.

Recently, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced that the 87th All India Kannada Sahitya Sammelana will be held in Mandya from December 20- 22. Earlier, it was scheduled for June.

However, due to the implementation of model code of conduct, in view of the Lok Sabha election, it had to be postponed.

The 109-year-old Kannada Sahitya Parishat (KSP), founded by then Maharaja Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar on May 5, 1915, has organised 86 Akhila Bharata Sahitya Sammelanas, so far.

The last one (86th literary festival) was held in Haveri—from January 6 to 8, last year. It was held for the first time at Haveri, after trifurcation from Dharwad district in 1997.

It has been skipped, earlier on several years, due to a variety of reasons, but has also been held twice during two years —1981 (Chikkamagaluru and Madikeri) and 1990 (Hubballi and Mysuru). The recent reason for skipping of the meet was the Covid-19 pandemic.

The undivided Belagavi district has hosted the meet for a record eight times. Even the bifurcated Bagalkot district has held the event thrice in Jamakhandi, Mudhol and Rabakavi.

The event was held six times in Dharwad (twice in Gadag, including once after becoming district headquarters), Hassan, Raichur (Koppal and Gangavathi before division) and Dakshina Kannada (Manipal and Udupi before bifurcation).

After November 2017, Mysuru joined the toppers’ club by hosting the meet in 1917, 1930, 1955, 1990 and 2017. It also held the first Vishwa Kannada Sammelana in 1986.

While the first two sammelanas were held at Bengaluru, Mandya took almost 59 years to host it in 1974, probably because it was a part of the undivided Mysuru district, before 1939.

In 1974, Jayadevithayi Ligade was the chairperson, while Subramanyaraje Urs, popularly known as Chaduranga, was the chairman in 1994.

The sammelana was also held outside Karnataka — Kasaragod in Kerala in 1948; Solapur in Maharashtra in 1950; Mumbai in Maharashtra in 1951; and at New Delhi in 1978.

The Delhi event was the 50th sammelana. The new districts of Chamarajanagar, Bengaluru Rural and Yadgir are yet to open account.

H V Nanjundaiah, scholar and first Vice Chancellor of University of Mysore, was the president of the first three sammelanas and he inaugurated them as well. But, since Independence, chief ministers have been inaugurating the meets, even though eminent writers and scholars have been chairpersons.

The events were earlier funded by the Wadiyar kings of the erstwhile Mysuru state. The expenses were later taken care of by the KSP itself. Since 1975, it was taken over by the Karnataka government. Thus the 48th meet in May-June of 1974 at Mandya was the last one held without government funding. It was also the first time that a woman invited as the chairperson.

Memorable Meet

The 63rd meet, held in February of 1994, was a memorable one for the people of Mandya.

Many voluntarily donated money to the organising committee, with district KSP president G T Veerappa, welcome committee president G Madegowda and chief patron S M Krishna.

Thus, Rs 42 lakh was collected. But, only Rs 22 lakh was spent for the festival. Hence, the remaining Rs 20 lakh was spent on various development works of Mandua city, including construction of District KSP building (Rs 6.25 lakh) at Bandigowda Layout.

While Rs 8.50 lakh was donated for the construction of Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar Kalamandira, Rs 4 lakh was spent for a statue of poet Kuvempu and Rs 1 lakh was donated to Janapada Loka in Channapatna taluk.

Published 03 July 2024, 14:40 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us