Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said here on Tuesday that stringent action would be initiated against those showing disdain for Kannada or its cause, and the government is committed to protecting Kannada and the interest of Kannadigas.

Inaugurating the 80th All India Kannada Sahitya Sammelan here on Tuesday, the Chief Minister said that criminal cases had been booked against two Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti MLAs in Belgaum, who had shown disrespect to Kannada and had hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas.

On the proposed anti-superstition bill, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that the government will elicit the opinion of all sections of society before coming to a decision. “The government is in no hurry to arrive at a conclusion at this stage,” he said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said that literary activities enhanced the quality of life, and literacy is looked at as a path towards achieving knowledge. It should pave the way for finding lasting solutions to social and economic problems, as writers have to exercise social responsibility. The role of reforming society should not be entirely left to politicians.

He said that the government had provided all help and support to the Kannada Sahitya Parishat as it was its responsibility. The Chief Minister told Pundalik Halambi, president of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, who requested the government to earmark funds for the celebrations one-and-a-half years in advance, to be patient.

The government has granted Rs. 1 crore to bring out a Kannada lexicon and wanted to ensure that the works on the revision of lexicon projects continued. However, he felt that works related to research in Kannada, a classical language, were not heading in the right direction. The government would not be a mute spectator if lapses occurred in this matter, he said.

Kodagu autonomy

Translating the works of Kannada Jnanpith recipients had been entrusted to Kuvempu Bhasha Bharathi. Referring to the voices in Kodagu demanding separation or autonomy in Kodagu, the Chief Minister said that happiness lay in living together as one society. He said that politicians did not have much of a role in the sahitya sammelans, like the writers. The stalemate on whether the sammelan should be held as a fair or be confined to a group of writers still continued, but the role of the government was restricted to respecting the opinion of the people and assisting in organising events.

More In: Karnataka | National