‘Vachanas, reflective of the struggles of the weaker class, are relevant even today’

There are plans to publicise Vachana literature from several unheralded yet reputable writers of yore, according to Minister of State for Women and Child Welfare Umashree in Mysore on Friday.

Ms. Umashree paid tribute to 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara at the Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies (KIKS) at the University of Mysore.

The Minister was here to inaugurate a seminar organised by the Sri Basava Adhyayana Peetha on ‘Vachana Chalavali and Shrama Samskruti’.

A craving for a change in social order, propelled by the travails of the working class and oppressed sections in society, was dominant in the Vachana Sahitya movement led by Basaveshwara, she noted.

Ms. Umashree observed that though Vachana Sahitya stemmed from the injustice inflicted upon the oppressed classes in those days, reflecting their pain and the urge to bring about social changes, composers of Vachana literature always maintained composure and calmness while highlighting ills in society in a convincing manner.

The Anubhava Mantapa was tantamount to the modern-day Parliament where focus was laid on freedom of speech and expression.

The Minister said that it was heartening to note that women too played a key role in composing Vachanas during the times of Basaveshwara and the issue of freedom of women was a debated at the Anubhava Mantapa.

Visiting professor of the Basava Adhyayana Peetha and author Baragur Ramachandrappa, who initiated the seminar, said in his welcome speech that Vachana Sahitya represented the culture of the 12th century’s oppressed classes, Prof. Ramachandrappa said.

C. Basavaraju, Registrar, University of Mysore, who presided over the function, said that Vachana compositions, which were reflective of the struggles of the weaker and exploited classes in society then, had exerted great influence over people. Vachanas were relevant even today, he said.

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