Special Correspondent

  • The Jnanpith award winner may not change his mind
  • I do not wish to disturb the conduct of the sammelan: Patil

    SHIMOGA: The absence of the Jnanpith award winner U.R. Ananthamurthy at the 73rd Akhil Bharat Kannada Sahitya Sammelan to be held here from December 20 will be too conspicuous to go unnoticed if the heat generated by the news that he is not assigned a proper role in its proceedings is any indication.

    Even Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has taken exception to the "non-inclusion" of Prof. Ananthamurthy, who hails from Shimoga district, in the sammelan reportedly describing it as an "insult" to the district. Talking to presspersons in Bellary on Saturday, Mr. Yediyurappa said that he would request him to participate in the sammelan.

    But it is unlikely that Prof. Ananthamurthy will change his mind. Besides, his decision to keep away from the sammelan is attributed to his "differences" with Chandrasekhar Patil, president of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, which is hosting the sammelan.

    What seems to have irked the admirers of Prof. Ananthamurthy is the "casual" manner in which he was invited to the sammelan.

    Poet Sathyanarayana Rao Anathi has pointed out that Prof. Ananthamurthy was invited by Kannada Sahitya Parishat Secretary Garaganahalli Shivashankar, while the participants of the sammelan sessions were invited by the parishat president "which is nothing but an insult to Prof. Ananthamurthy as well as the people of Shimoga."

    Mr. Anathi said Prof. Ananthamurthy's presence would have added value to the proceedings. He demanded that Prof. Patil own up the "bungling" and tender an apology.

    Denying that Prof. Ananthamurthy had not been accorded a proper invitation, Prof. Patil has said that he was invited as a "special invitee" which status is accorded to former presidents of the sammelans. He said, "We have invited all former sammelan presidents, including Prof. Ananthamurthy, with love and affection."

    He told The Hindu over phone from Bangalore that Prof. Ananthamurthy was invited to release two volumes on Bhoopalam Vasudev, writer from Shimoga, at the sammelan. "But he declined to do it," he said and added that "I do not wish to do anything that will affect the sammelan."

    Meanwhile, Prof. Ananthamurthy in his reply to the sahitya parishat said, "I am happy to note that the sammelan is being held in the land where I had wandered. I wish the sammelan all success." He has not assigned any reason for not attending the sammelan.

    Speaking over phone from Bangalore, Prof. Ananthamurthy said there was no question of his participating in the sammelan. He said his participation would go against his stand that he should not participate in any function attended by a Minister of this Government.