Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: In compliance with its promise to the Bovi community, the Government observed the birth anniversary of the 12th Century saint poet Sri Siddarameshwara here on Wednesday.

The release of an anthology of vachanas composed by the poet and edited by noted scholar Vidyashankar; a brochure on his life and works authored by playwright and poet Siddalinga Pattanasetty; and a seminar on the works of the poet also marked the occasion.

Thanking Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa for including the Siddarameshwara jayanti in the list of official programmes, Minister for Higher Education Aravind Limbavali said that the community had four Ministers and eight MLAs. The community would stand by the Government in all its endeavours for the development of the poor.

Mr. Limbavali read a message by Mr. Yeddyurappa, who was scheduled to participate in the event but was away in Kerala, on the occasion.

Welcoming the gathering, Director of Kannada and Culture Manu Baligar said that the Government was observing the poet’s birth anniversary officially at an estimated cost of Rs. 10 lakh.

Though Siddarameshwara, who called himself “Kapilasidda Mallikarjuna” had composed over 68,000 vachanas, only 1,992 of them were available today. He was also a frontline vachanakara reformist among others in the 12th Century. He believed in physical toil, practised “community labour” and advocated equality for women in public life, Mr. Pattanasetty said.

Ministers P. Venkataramanappa, Shivaraj Tangadagi, Goolihatti D. Shekhar, and Secretary, Kannada and Culture B.R. Jayaramaraje Urs, spoke.

MLA Hemachandra Sagar presided over the event.