Literary meet misses the point, scores on facilities

Literary meet misses the point, scores on facilities

aPT ANSWER: President of 84th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, Chandrashekhar Kambar, speaks during an interaction on the concluding day of the literary meet in Dharwad on Sunday. dh photo/tajuddin azad

Curtains fell on the three-day 84th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana on Sunday with the writers and Kannada activists, strongly opposing the government’s move to introduce English as a medium of instruction in government primary schools.

The literary meet provided an opportunity to writers and activists to rip apart the government for its neglect of Kannada schools, irrigation projects of north Karnataka and the state’s border areas.

The Sammelana was successful, in that the facilities provided by the district administration were by and large good. However, on the literature front and quality of discussion at the sessions much was left to be desired.

The five-km-long procession of Sammelana president Chandrashekhar Kambar prior to the inauguration was a grand affair as people, over 25,000, from all walks of life participated.

At the inaugural session, Kambar and writer Chandrashekhar Patil raised the move to introduce English as a medium of instruction in 1,000 government primary schools. Both chided Chief Minister Kumaraswamy over the decision.

Even though the administration had made massive arrangements to provide food to the participants by setting up 140 food courts, the first day witnessed shortage of chapatis and rotis, drawing criticism against the organisers.

The session on intolerance hogged the limelight. A small group in the audience tried to disrupt actress Malavika’s speech when she was presenting a paper on ‘governance & intolerance’ and raised the Sabarimala episode.

Dharwad has the rare distinction of being an abode for several literary stalwarts. There were charges that they were completely ignored by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat. Many of the writers distanced themselves from the Sammelana for not getting invitation cards. No arrangements were made to escort them to the venue.

This was clearly evident when Kamabara and his wife Satyabhama were received at the venue. Officials and a handful of writers received the couple, while the absence of senior writers was felt.

The final day of the Sammelana saw scores of people, including writers, pro-Kannada activists and academicians, being felicitated. This was followed by the passing of resolutions. Former chief minister Siddaramaiah was the chief guest at the valedictory.

High on number

On the positive side, the literary meet attracted over three lakh people from across the state and neighbouring Maharashtra and Goa. While the sessions attracted few delegates, shops set up at the venue selling home products and clothes made brisk business. However, book sellers were left high and dry as there were few takers for books.

OOD ruse

To help government school teachers and government employees take part in the Sammelana, government had announced OOD facility and had stated that OOD coupons would be given on the concluding day. But, the registered participants demanded the coupons on Day 1 itself. The authorities finally issued the coupons. The participants who had availed OOD facility did not turn up Day 2 and Day 3.

Artistes unhappy

The cultural programmes gave an opportunity for artistes to display their talent. Bending to the pressure from local artistes, the organisers planned over 250 items. To accommodate all artistes, organisers gave only 10 minutes to each artiste.