Kannada literary body to get new app, says Prez-elect

Kannada literary body to get new app, says president-elect

Joshi plans to bring in one crore members into the literary body that currently has some 3.10 lakh enrolled

The 106-year-old Kannada Sahitya Parishat will soon have its own mobile app that citizens can use to order books, the premier literary body’s president-elect Mahesh Joshi said on Wednesday. 

Such an embrace of the digital medium to promote literature will help increase the reach of Kannada books, Joshi said. 

Joshi will officially take charge on Friday as the Parishat’s president, a post he will hold for five years. Having won with a lead of over 46,000 votes, Joshi replaces retired IAS officer Manu Baligar who was elected in 2016.

Speaking to DH, Joshi said his endeavour is to amplify the spread of Kannada literature. “A person need not spend hundreds of rupees commuting to buy a Rs 100 book. We will ensure that books can be purchased through an exclusive app created for Parishat,” he said.

The same will apply to memberships, too. The process will be made transparent and done through an app, he added.

Joshi plans to bring in one crore members into the literary body that currently has some 3.10 lakh enrolled. During his election campaign, Joshi had promised to reduce the lifetime membership fee to Rs 250 from the current Rs 500. 

Outlining his plan to start a door-to-door campaign for a membership drive, Joshi said special discounts will be given for students. The membership will be free for military and paramilitary personnel, he said.

Joshi, a retired additional director general of public broadcaster Doordarshan, is taking charge amid much criticism.

It is believed that the BJP and RSS backed his candidature, drawing ire from various sections, including litterateurs. However, Joshi emphasised that he is apolitical. “Over three decades of my career in the media, I have worked with ministers from different political parties. I have served as R L Jalappa’s private secretary when H D Deve Gowda was the prime minister. Recently, I served as Prakash Javadekar’s principal adviser,” he said.

“I am neither left nor right-wing; the only ideology I am aligned to is that of promoting Kannada,” he said. 

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