Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday said poet and philosopher Kanaka Dasa had worked for the welfare of the downtrodden and marginalised sections in society, around 600 years ago.
Speaking at a function organised by the Department of Kannada and Culture to celebrate Kanaka Jayanti at Ravindra Kalakshetra, the chief minister said establishing a casteless society would be a reality when people follow Kanaka Dasa’s philosophy. “We cannot bring changes in the society if we fail to follow the principles of Kanaka Dasa,’’ the chief minister said.
He said Dr B R Ambedkar and Basavanna had criticised the caste system in the society and the need of the hour was that the people who fight for social cause had to raise their voice against those communal forces trying to divide society in the name of Hindutva. “We are not able to abolish caste system even though 76 per cent of the total population is educated in the state,’’ he said.
Siddaramaiah felicitated Siddanna Fakirappa Jakabala, a well-known researcher, with Kanaka Sri Award for the year 2016. He also felicitated Dr Suresh Nagamadike with Kanaka Youth Award on behalf of the Kanakadasa Study and Research Centre. Later, he distributed prizes for the winners of the competitions held for school children and also released a book on Kanaka Dasa. The book is published by the Department of Information and Public Relations.
In her inaugural address, Minister for Women and Child Development, Empowerment of the Differently Abled and Senior Citizens, Kannada and Culture Umashree described Kanaka Dasa as a great saint who fought against social evils to establish an equal society. “A study centre on Kanaka Dasa will be opened in Udupi shortly,’’ she said.