Mangalore, Sep 21, 2014: Delivering key-note address at a symposium on ‘New harvest in Kannada literature,’ Kannada scholar Prof B A Vivek Rai raised concern over the misuse of freedom of expression through blogs and online media. “We make hue and cry when a book is banned for its disparaging content, but how do we respond to the misuse of freedom of expression that is taking place extensively in online media? It is an unwelcome trend,” he said.
The symposium was organised by Kendra Sahitya Akademi in association with Besant Women’s College at college auditorium on Saturday. The use of foul language to express criticisms in response to write ups has posed a threat to the sanctity of communication, he said while appreciating the contribution of Kannada blogs for expanding the horizons of expression,
Lauding the onset of blogs, the retired vice chancellor said that blogs have provided a platform to people to voice their opinion and creativity, which would not have been possible through mainstream media. It has bred an alternative thought process, provided freedom of expression, opened up the possibility of adopting multi-media for communication and has strengthened relations between people across the globe, he observed. Commenting on Kannada blogs, he said Kannada blogworld lacked the blogs that analyse and comment on everyday political or relevant issues when compared to English blogs.
Referring to one of the topics of the session ‘Badugalillada Holagalu’ (boundaryless field), Prof Vivek Rai supported the views of author Jonathan Culler on classification of literary works. He said that classification of literary works will limit the vastness and experimentation in literature. The freedom of categorising a literary work as a poem, novel, short story, essay or story should be left to the readers and it is not the work of an author or critic, he noted.
He lauded Kannada litterateur Poornachandra Thejaswi as the best writer of the 21st century for his ability to understand and reflect sensitivities of people and their lives. Kannada literature should move in the that direction, by not restricting within a framework.
Delivering presidential address, Sahitya Akademi Kannada Advisory Board Convener Narahalli Balasubramanya emphasised on the need to adapt the language that can easily reflect or convey the thoughts of aparticular time. He also called it a myth to consider English as a universal language. A time may come when English might just lose its hold in global level.