Five-day cultural festival inaugurated in the village

“It was in Halmidi that the first Kannada inscription was found, helping to make a case for classical language status to Kannada. But the village lies in neglect today,” said Kannada Sahitya Parishat State president Nallur Prasad in Halmidi on Sunday.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the five-day cultural festival held in Halmidi in Belur taluk, organised by the Hassan district unit of the Karnataka Janapada Parishat.

Mr. Prasad lauded the organisers for holding the folk festival in Halmidi and asked that the village get special treatment from the Government. It should be developed into a heritage village, he said.

Although the village was culturally significant, very little information was available about the early Kannada inscriptions found here, he said. He suggested that the Tourism Department open an information centre in Halmidi. “If we lose our cultural foundation, we will slip back into the Stone Age,” he said.

Mr. Prasad praised the work of Janapada Parishat district president H.B. Madan Gowda who was responsible for constructing a protective compound around the inscription

Lack of facilities

Mr. Prasad bemoaned the lack of road connectivity to the village from the main Belur-Chikmagalur road and appealed to elected representatives to provide civic amenities to the village.

The Kannada and Culture Department was under the Chief Minister, he said, and promised to discuss development of Halmidi with Mr. Yeddyurappa. Belur MLA Y.N. Rudresh Gowda said that Rs. 80 lakh was released towards the development of Halebid.

He would fund the road to Halmidi from local area funds, he said.

Hoysala Festival

Mr. Prasad said that the Government had sanctioned Rs. 30 lakh towards organising the Hoysala festival. However, the festival had been cancelled for various reasons for the last four years and these funds had lapsed, he pointed out.

He expressed regret that the district administration had not showed interest in conducting the festival and threatened to stage a dharna at the office of the Deputy Commissioner if it was not conducted this year.

Procession

Earlier, the five-day cultural festival was inaugurated with a colourful procession of folk artistes. The entire population of the village — about a thousand persons — participated in the procession and walked to the beat of drums.

The chief guests were taken to the venue in a bullock cart.

District president of Janapada Parishat H.R. Madan Gowda said the utsav would be conducted in Belur on April 26, Hassan on April 27, Chennarayapatna on April 28 and would conclude in Sakleshpur on April 29.

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