Writer U.R. Ananthamurthy on Friday expressed concern over declining agricultural activities in the country.

Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the ninth Nudisiri, a three-day Kannada literary and cultural festival being organised by Alva’s Education Foundation here, he said if agricultural activities came to an end, languages, and art and culture associated with them would also disappear. Mr. Ananthamurthy, who is the Chancellor of Central University of Karnataka, Gulbarga, said that agricultural activities made the bond among languages, art and culture strong.

He said that it was not alone Kannada but all European languages had limitations. Notwithstanding the limitations, people from Europe excelled in literature and other sectors. Kannada was a rich language. Like Europeans, Kannadigas could also excel though Kannada had limitations. Kannada should be promoted in such a way that non-Kannadigas should get attracted towards it for its essence and volunteer to learn the language.

Mr. Ananthamurthy said that people should read and digest the works of well-known Kannada writers of yesteryear.

Referring to veteran Kannada writers from the coastal belt, he said works of Sediyapu Krishna Bhat and Manjeshwar Govinda Pai were worth reading. Bhat was a thinker, he added.

Mr. Ananthamurthy said that the language, which was more in circulation, became the world language. Referring to Yakshagana, he said that it had saved Kannada through dialogues in performances.

Senior poet K.S. Nisar Ahmed, who is the president of the three-day “sammelana”, stressed the need to keep Kannada movement alive and strong. He said Kannada meant not a group of people. It was a way of life and lifestyle. Mr. Ahmed said immigrants in Karnataka should respect the native language and culture.

He said that when the question of saving Kannada arose Kannadigas could not display “unnecessary tolerance” or lazy nature as far as the cause of Kannada was concerned.

Kannada lexicographer centenarian G. Venkatsubbaih was felicitated on the occasion. M. Mohan Alva, chairman, Alva’s Education Foundation, gave away a cheque for Rs. 1 lakh to him considering his contribution to the growth of Kannada.

A Yakshagana ballet by students of Alva’s Education Foundation was well received by the audience. Mr. Ahmed was brought to the venue of the “sammelana” in a grand procession with 18 troupes showcasing different music, folk art and culture taking part in it.

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