Special Correspondent

Various Lingayat leaders have called for the book by Banjagere Jayaprakash to be banned

Fact-finding committee was formed on July 6

It has been given 10 days to submit a report

Bangalore: The State Government has constituted a fact-finding committee headed by Karnataka Sahitya Academy president Geetha Nagabhushana to study the contents of the controversial book ‘Anudeva Horaganavanu’ authored by Banjagere Jayaprakash. This comes in the wake of the demand by various Lingayat leaders to ban the book for what they consider derogatory references to the social reformer Basaveshwara, his parents and sister.

The six-member committee, which was formed on July 6, was given ten days to submit its report to the Government.

The committee includes Kannada Sahitya Parishat president Chandrashekar Patil, writers Baraguru Ramachandrappa and M.N. Javaraiah, researcher M.M. Kalburgi and the Commissioner for Kannada and Culture.

Disclosing this in the Legislative Assembly while replying to a call attention notice tabled by Congress member S.S. Patil, Kannada and Culture Minister H.S. Mahadeva Prasad said the committee would meet on July 16 to finalise its views.

The Government would take action based on the committee’s report, bearing in mind the judgment pronounced by the Supreme Court on the banning of another controversial book, ‘Dharmakarana’.

The Minister said several associations, such as Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha and Basava Samithi, and some writers, including H. Chandrashekar, had complained to the Government that Dr. Jayaprakash’s book makes derogatory references regarding the birth of Basaveshwara, his parents Maadarasa and Maadalambike, sister Akka Nagamma, B.R. Ambedkar and the poet Kuvempu.

This had hurt the sentiments of the people besides stirring up emotions, they had said and appealed to the Government to ban the book.

Mr. Patil took exception to the formation of a committee to study the contents of the book instead of banning it outright.

When Mr. Patil tried to read out some of the controversial sentences in the book, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy appealed to him to desist from doing so to avoid further precipitating the matter.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said the government was in the process of taking an appropriate decision to ensure that the sentiments of any community were not hurt by the book.