The Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy is now embroiled in a controversy with the Konkani Writers’ Forum (KWF) appealing to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to appoint “a Konkani litterateur” as the chairperson of the academy while restructuring cultural academies and authorities. They also accused the former chairperson of the academy, Kasaragod Chinna, of misappropriating funds.
In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister, the forum alleged that except V.J.P. Saldanha, B.V. Baliga and Basti Vaman Shenoy, those who became chairpersons of the academy were not litterateurs. Appointments had been made while “yielding to political and industry lobbies”.
Forum president H.M. Pernal alleged in the memorandum that Kasaragod Chinna did not belong to Karnataka and none of the 14 members are litterateurs. Many of them were Bharatiya Janata Party activists, he added. Alleging misappropriation of funds in the academy, he demanded a comprehensive probe into the matter.
He said Mr. Siddaramaiah had accepted the memorandum and had sent it to the Secretary, Kannada and Culture, for further action.
When The Hindu contacted Mr. Chinna, he refuted the allegations of the forum and said that they were made with an “ulterior motive”. On the allegations of misappropriation of funds, Mr. Chinna said the forum had secured 500 pages of documents from the academy’s registrar and it was free to go to court. “Besides, I am ready to face any probe, if it is ordered by the government,” he added.