Two members allege political influence in selection, opt out

Barely a week into the formation of a new board, the Karnataka Beary Sahitya Academy has run into trouble with two members opting out after protesting the “political influence” in selecting members.

On February 28, after months of delay, Umar U.H. from Ullal and writer Hussein Katipalla were selected as members of the 11-member academy with B.A. Mohammad Hanif as the president. While Mr. Umar submitted his resignation, Mr. Hussein did not accept his nomination.

However, on Monday, in a letter addressed to the Kannada and Culture Department, Mr. Umar has submitted his resignation claiming that there had been an outcry in the Beary community over the chosen members.

“The academy members have been chosen without consulting Beary organisations that have been actively working for the preservation and growth of the language. Beary writers and artistes have been left out in the list,” said Mr. Umar.

Mr. Umar had claimed that the list had the name of Abdul Hameed Kalladka being mentioned twice.

Concurring with the outrage over the members chosen, Mr. Hussein said: “The president has not published a word in Beary language. Some members were selected because they are close to local MLAs. Writers in Kannada have been chosen. There is obvious political influence in choosing the list.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Hanif formally took over charge as the president of the academy on Tuesday at a function in B.C. Road. The two members who had opted out of it were absent at the oath-taking ceremony. Mr. Hanif was “too ill” to take the calls from The Hindu.

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