The 80th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelan concluded here on Thursday, even as it provided a platform for issues pertaining to State and language besides serving the literary interests of the people over three days. Though issues related to the various crises in the region were discussed in 10 sessions at the main and parallel venues at length, disappointment was writ large on the faces of the participants, as, according to them, the themes chosen were not new nor innovative.
Among the sessions, the discussion on Dalit sensibilities in Kannada literature; the interaction with sammelan president Na. D’Souza; linguistic challenges and the role of technology in promoting Kannada succeeded partially in addressing the issues.
The poor response to the sessions testified the fact that the problem lay in the selection of topics. “There was not even one session to enthuse the younger generation. The session on the demand for statehood for Kodagu lacked depth,” said Mahabala, a writer from Uttara Kannada.
Adding to this opinion, poet Smitha Amrithraj of Sampaje said that she was disappointed, as the convention did not offer anything “concrete” to her.
Referring to the thin attendance for the sessions, writer Ammi Nallur said that in view of the change in the socio-economic scenario of society, the Kannada Sahitya Parishat had to think of an alternative format for the convention, even while it retained the “jatre” (fair) character of the meet.
Excited by the crowd at the book exhibition, he said, there was no truth in the argument that the reading culture had become a casualty of the advent of technology. Similar was the opinion of short-story writer Chandrakantha Vaddu from Mysore. He also underlined the need for a change in the traditional format of the sammelan.
Expressing dismay over the quality of poems rendered during the sessions, writer Abdul Rasheed observed that the selection of poets smacked of nepotism.