The Kannada Sahitya Parishat was started in 1915, with the aim of preserving and developing the Kannada language and its literature, art, music and culture. The parishat organises the Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, at different centres in the state every year, with the aim of spreading awareness about Kannada literature and culture. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Kannada Sammelana, which will be held at Chitradurga from January 29. DNA spoke to the president of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Dr Nallur Prasad, about the event.
How different will this year's sammelana be?
We have symposia on terrorism, secularism, foreign policy, problems faced by third world countries and global economic crisis. The sammelena will also discuss issues and difficulties faced by locals.
Did you face any financial constraints in organising the sammelana this year?
As of now, we haven't faced any financial problem. The government has already released Rs 1 crore. State government employees are also contributing one day's salary. Already, an amount of Rs60 lakh has been collected for the sammelana. The sammelna may not be facing any cash crunch, but the sahitya parishat can definitely do with more funds. After I became the chairman, I have raised about Rs6 lakh in six months. But we have put forth our demand before the government to give annual grant to all districts and taluk units of the parishat.
Other than what they have been contributing for the sammelena, we had approached the government requesting them to provide an annual financial aid of Rs1 crore.
There is an allegation that the sahitya parishat is neglecting women's issues?
No, it is not true. Every year, we are involving the women writers in our activities. This year too, we have taken them into confidence and have accommodated a symposium on women's issues like reservation, jobs and theatre activities. We will consider including them in all our activities, but we will definitely not give them official representation in committees. The constitution of the committee is the parishat's prerogative.
What about the conflict with the Paryaya Sammelana?
All problems have been sorted and we have no issues with the Paryaya Sammelana. We have held extensive talks and they have agreed to come to the sammelana. We are expecting around three to four lakh people this year.
Like every year, will you pass several resolutions at this year's sammelana?
Most sammelana resolutions have remained on paper. People are sceptical about them. Instead of passing innumerable resolutions, this year we will focus on one or two issues and then follow them up.