News Karnataka
Saturday, February 04 2023

Bengaluru: Controversy at literary fest for ignoring Muslim authors

Photo Credit : IANS

Bengaluru: The 86th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana (All India Kannada Literature Conference), organised by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, was inaugurated on Friday with much fanfare in Karnataka’s Haveri district. However, the literary festival has run into controversy for sidelining Muslim writers and litterateurs.

The three-day Kannada Literature Conference is being held in Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s native city Haveri, which is being decked up for the mega event.

The selection of panels, achievers for felicitation has run into controversy as social media users criticised the ‘biased approach’. However, the Kannada Sahitya Parishat has gone ahead without making any changes.

It is alleged that among the 83 achievers in different fields, no Muslim writer has been chosen. Among the nine seminars on the main dais, no Muslim writer has been invited.

In the poet convention also, not a single Muslim writer has got the opportunity and the Byari language spoken by Muslims of coastal Karnataka has not been considered. Even there was discussion on other dialects such as Konkani, Soliga, Tulu and Kodava.

Opposing this ‘biased approach’ towards Muslim writers, Kannada activists and like-minded litterateurs have organised a single-day parallel literary conference in Bengaluru on January 8. It has been decided to make well-known Kannada writer Bhanu Mushtaq as the President for the convention.

Dalit writer and retired bureaucrat, Moodnakoodu Chinnaswamy will inaugurate the conference. The programme will be held at the premises of the Alumni Association near K.R. Circle in Bengaluru.

The convention has been named as ‘Jana Sahitya Sammelana’ (People’s Literature Convention).

The subjects such as ‘Domination and politics on food’, ‘Attacks on minorities and Dalits’, ‘Responsibilities of Literature world’, ‘Contribution of Christian Missionaries to Kannada language’ will be presented.

Kannada Sahitya Sammelana is the premier gathering of writers, poets and Kannada lovers. It is held with an aim of preserving and developing the Kannada language, art, culture and music.

The Kannada Sahitya Parishat is the premier agency which promotes the Kannada language and its literature with Mahesh Joshi as its current President.

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