After Jnanapith honour, came another news which would have delighted Dr Chandrashekhar Kambar and other Kannada writers.
At a function held by Kannada and culture department to felicitate Kambar on Monday, the government announced a five-point programme to popularise the works of Kambar and UR Ananthamurthy.
The government will reprint all works of Kambar, including his plays and make them available at all government school libraries. His works will also be translated to different languages. A drama festival featuring his plays will be staged this year. The government will also translate and reprint all the works of Ananthamurthy.
Announcing this, Govind M Karjol, minister for Kannada and culture and minor irrigation, said: “The chief minister has given us a green signal to do everything necessary for making Kannada popular.”
Calling Kambar the second poet of Kannada after Ranna, he said, “Bangalore’s language scenario scares me. Our only hope may be in rural Karnataka.”
Chief minister DV Sadananada Gowda said he hoped to hear more such inspiring news in the days ahead.
“This is an honour that has come to us after 13 years and it has brought us a new stride of positive thinking ... Such functions bring us encouragement and happiness from the routine work we do,” he said.
Speaking about Kambar’s dream of making Kannada compulsory for schools and colleges, he said, “This is an added feather to his already colourful hat. We’ve released Rs200 crore to Kannada and culture department. We all should try to make his dream of making Kannada language teaching and learning compulsory at school and college levels.”
Known as ‘Kannada-da Dada’, Kambar, in his speech, said, “We have to make as much achievements as the English literature has made in order to get recognised. We need to have Kannada from Kindergarten to MA level to popularise it.”
Ananthamurthy, who presided over the programme, said: “None of our governments have ever been against Kannada. Just like Tamils and Bengalis, we must be proud to call ourselves Kannadigas. It is a false notion that one is knowledgeable if he knows English language. If Kannada is not taught in our schools, it will be come limited to the kitchens.”