The Sahitya Academy, could not celebrate its golden jubilee in 2011, as a proposal seeking funds for the purpose has been pending with the government

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s alleged apathy towards organisations set up to promote art and culture in the State continues to hit its functioning.

The Karnataka Sahitya Academy and the Karnataka Madhyama Academy have been headless for long and members have not been appointed to the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy and the Karnataka Nataka Academy.

B. Basavaraj, Secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture, said the proposal on the appointment of chairpersons for these two academies was pending with Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar.

Sources in the Department of Kannada and Culture said the proposal was sent to Mr. Shettar’s predecessor D.V. Sadananda Gowda long ago. However, the Sangh Parivar, which was allegedly keen on appointing people with rightist leanings to these posts, could not find the “right candidates”.

Mr. Shettar too was under pressure from the Sangh Parivar not to appoint others.

The delay has adversely affected the functioning of the academies and the projects launched by previous chairpersons.

The Sahitya Academy, which completed 50 years in 2011, could not celebrate its golden jubilee, as a proposal seeking funds for the purpose has been pending with the government.

Workshops and seminars which were planned earlier could not be conducted. The printing of Saaludeepagalu, a compendium on Kannada writers and their works, too was languishing.

The post of the chairman of the Sahitya Academy is lying vacant for the past 11 months. Earlier, the post vacant for nearly a year after Geetha Nagabhushan’s term ended.

No action

The appointment order given to a senior journalist as chairman of the Karnataka Madhyama Academy was withdrawn immediately. When journalists asked Mr. Shettar about the issue in July, he promised to complete the process in two days. But nothing happened after that.

Though the government appointed Tara Anuradha as the chairperson of the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy in March, its members have not been appointed yet.

The appointment of members to the Karnataka Nataka Academy too is embroiled in controversy.

Criticising the government for delay in appointments, writer Chandrashekar Patil said that the government was “hell bent on saffronising culture and education”.

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