Jan 11, 2017: Madhavi Bhandary, writer and president of the 10th Udupi Taluk Kannada Sahitya Sammelan, said here recently that it was necessary to treasure and promote heterogeneity and pluralism.
She was delivering the presidential address at the daylong sammelan organised by the district unit of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat here. Dr. Bhandary said that it was well-known that philanthropist and founder of Corporation Bank late Haji Abdulla Saheb (1882-1935) had provided camphor for lighting lamps during one of the Laksha Deepotsava festivals at the Car Street here when there was heavy rainfall. This was the biggest example of religious harmony in the temple town of Udupi.
“But nowadays we are forgetting these shining examples of pluralism and harmony. In this land of heterogeneity such as ours, each cultural facet has its own uniqueness,” she said.
All creeds and religions had their own spheres. If they functioned in their own spheres or zones, the question of superiority of one religion over another would never arise, she said. Though the governments in the State had always assured people that they were working for the development of Kannada, they have permitted English-medium schools to function. As a result, many Kannada-medium schools were either getting closed down or being merged with other schools because of want of students, she said. No language could claim superiority over another. The respect for languages should come from within. “Ours is a multilingual country. All languages have their own respective positions. It is essential to respect all languages. But my first salute is to my mother tongue,” Dr. Bhandary said.
Inaugurating the sammelan, H. Dundiraj, writer, said that it was only literature, and not power or money, that could give peace to a person. Literature was a must for a cultured society. Most of the people in the coastal districts love literature, he said.
It is essential to give importance to local writers and artistes at literary meets. The value of literature cannot be gauged by the number of books sold. People were now reading literature on the Internet, blogs, Facebook, and WhatsApp. “The only vacuum now is that there are no literary giants who could be guiding lights,” he said.
Neelvar Surendra Adiga, president of the Zilla Kannada Sahitya Parishat; Meenakshi Bannanje, president of the Udupi City Municipal Council, and Nalini Rao, president of the Udupi Taluk Panchayat, were present.