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Kuvempu photo stirs up a hornet's nest

By Our Special Correspondent

HUBLI, OCT. 7. The photograph of a smiling Kuvempu has now stirred a controversy.

Taken in 1970 by K.G. Somashekar, the photograph captures the ecstatic mood of the poet, and is among the widely used photographs of his.

The Shimoga-based Kuvempu Pratishtana has got the picture enlarged and has been selling it to educational institutions of late.

It is here that the controversy has arisen. Mr. Somashekar says that it is he who took the photograph in 1970 and gave it to the Department of Kannada and Culture in 1988.

It was to be used only on the cover page of the souvenir that was to be brought on the occasion of the distribution of the Pampa Award.

He had received an honorarium of Rs. 500.

He had permitted the photograph to be used only in the souvenir being brought out on that occasion.

But Mr. Somashekar said he had learnt that the pratishtana had got the photograph enlarged, framed, and was selling it.

"I have not been told about it and my copyright has been infringed," he says.

On behalf of Mr. Somashekar, a legal notice has been sent to the chairman and secretary of the Rashtrakavi Kuvempu Trust.

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