Staff Correspondent

Pays homage to Bharatisuta for contribution to Kannada literature

MADIKERI: The dreams of Kannadigas of a unified Karnataka will not be realised until areas dominated by Kannadigas are not integrated with the State, noted writer Kayyara Kinhanna Rai said here on Monday.

He was speaking after inaugurating a programme organised by Zilla Sahitya Parishat in commemoration of poet "Bharatisuta" (Narayana Rao), who hailed from Kodagu. Referring to Kasargod now in Kerala, the nonagenarian exhorted Kannadigas to work for a unified Karnataka. "Benki biddide namma manege... O bega banni, Kannadada gadi kayona banni, Kannadada nudi kaypona banni..." (Our house is on fire... rush to extinguish it and save the boundaries of the State and Kannada).

He said it is meaningless for the State Government to observe Suvarna Karnataka if the problems faced by the State are not solved. The Government should fight for the implementation of the Mahajan Committee report. Suvarna Karnataka cannot be celebrated by keeping Kannada-speaking areas outside the State, he added.

The contribution of Kannadigas in Kasargod to the cause of Kannada, particularly members of the Havyak community, is significant. Injustice, political chicanery and treachery have deprived Kannadigas of Kasargod. Even after five decades of Independence, it remains outside Karnataka, he said.

Lauding the late Bharatisuta for his significant contribution to Kannada literature, Mr. Rai said authoring 61 works, including four award-winning novels, in 61 years is a rare feat. He endorsed Zilla Sahitya Parishat president T.P. Ramesh's proposal to bring out new volumes of the works of the writer. He said that of the 61 works of Bharatisuta, only 42 exist.

Mr. Rai said Bharatisuta ran a newspaper in Mangalore, and he was imprisoned for taking part in the freedom struggle. He urged the people of the State to develop the habit of reading as it would encourage writers.

Exhibition

Chief Accounts Officer of the Kodagu Zilla Panchayat Ramachandra Swamy opened an exhibition of books of Bharatisuta. Novels such as Huliya Halina Mevu, Edakallu Guddada Mele, Bayalu Dari and Giri Kanye penned by the author have been made into popular movies, he said and added that he has requested the Kannada Book Authority to bring out new volumes of the books of Bharatisuta.

Recalls association

N. Mahabaleshwar Bhat, writer and retired principal, who presided over the function, recounted his association with Bharatisuta. Both hail from Biligeri village near here.

Earlier in the day, the Biligeri main road was named after Bharatisuta by Hakathur Gram Panchayat president H.C. Savitri.

Nagaveni Bharatisuta, widow of the writer, was felicitated by Mr. Rai. Mr. Mahabaleshwar Bhat honoured Mr. Rai.

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