Excise Minister and district in-charge Satish L. Jarkiholi stressed the need for the State government to fully implement the use of Kannada for administrative purposes, as it was the official State language.

Inaugurating the two-day eighth Belgaum District Kannada Sahitya Sammelan organised by the Belgaum district Kannada Sahitya Parishat (KSP) here on Saturday, he said the government was committed to implementing the use of Kannada in administration effectively, besides supporting programmes aimed at developing the language in border areas. Mr. Jarkiholi called upon the people living in border areas to join hands with the State government in strengthening linguistic harmony. The Minister for Small Scale Industries, Muzrai and Sugar, Prakash B. Hukkeri, and Ramesh V. Katti, MP (Chikkodi), promised to work for the development of the Kannada language.

Sarjoo Katkar, senior journalist and poet who presided over the conference, urged the government to implement the recommendations of the Sarojini Mahishi report.

He also urged the KSP units to regularly organise such literary meets and other activities to strengthen the Kannada language.

Nippani MLA Shashikala Jolle presided over the inaugural function. The former minister Veerkumar Patil, Vice-Chancellor of Rani Channamma University B.R. Ananthan and poet Chandrakant Kusnur were present. The inaugural event was preceded by a cultural procession led by Kannada activists. Visitors were seen browsing through books at the book exhibition, indicating a growing interest in Kannada literature.

Seminars

The function was followed by seminars on the status and development of Kannada language and culture in border areas. The event concluded with cultural programmes by different artistes.

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