Gangambika Patil, president of the first district-level Mahila Sahitya Sammelan organised by the district Kannada Sahitya Parishat, has expressed serious concern at the continuing trend of female infanticide.
“The desire for sons expressed through evil practices such as female infanticide exposes the hollowness of our development models.
It is the biggest embarrassment to our cultural evolution. But we seem to have accepted it as normal.
This is more upsetting,” she said.
She said that the gender ratio in the State was 968 girls to 1,000 boys. “The figures for Bidar are even more discouraging. There are just 952 girls for every 1,000 boys. Official figures state that there have been 41,682 abortions of female foetuses between 2001 and 2011 in the district alone. We cannot call our society civilised till such evil practices are stopped,” she said.
She said women continued to lag behind on other indicators as well. “While the literacy gap between men and women in the State is 16 per cent, it is 18 per cent in Bidar,” she said.
She advised parents not to send girls to schools just to make them “qualified brides”. “Encourage young girls to take up productive work. Help them lead their lives independently.
That will help them unlock their true potential,” according to her.
She urged the Union Government to grant special status to Hyderabad Karnataka by amending Article 371 of the Constitution to ensure all-round development of the region.
First literary work
She said that recent research by Hampa Nagarajaiah, writer, had shown that the first Kannada literary work was published from Bidar. Bradishnu, who hailed from Hallikhed-B village, wrote ‘Aradhana Karnata Teeka' in 800 A.D.
This predates the Kavi Raja Marga by over 50 years. Aradhana Karnata Teeka is a collection of 19 stories.
Critics have hailed it for its style and lucidity of language, she said.
Tracing the growth of Kannada literature in Bidar district, she said that ‘Bilhana Kavya' and ‘Vikramanka Deva Charita' were works by Bilhana, the court poet of King Vikramaditya.
Kencha of Masimadu village in Bhalki taluk, who earned the title ‘Vijnyaneshwara', wrote ‘Mitakshara', which forms the basis of modern Hindu law.
King Someshwara III wrote ‘Manasollasa', an encyclopaedia, in the 9th century, she said. She pointed out that the 11th century sculpture of ‘Shila Balike'(a girl writing on a stone slab) found in the Ishwara temple in Jalasangi, was unique.
It showed that women were literate and forayed into literature, she said.
She said that the ‘agraharas' at Gorta and Tambal were centres of higher learning. Rudra Mishra, a teacher of the Chalukya kings, was settled in Gorta.
A music and dance school was started in Gorta village a thousand years ago.
The Chalukyan queen, Ketala Devi, was an accomplished dancer and was bestowed the title ‘Natya Visharade', Dr. Patil said.