Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: A two-day national-level seminar on “New frontiers of literary research”, jointly organised by Seshadripuram Degree College and the Sahitya Akademi, was inaugurated here on Tuesday.

Speaking at the inaugural function, litterateur and Jnanpith Award-winner U.R. Ananthamurthy said that literature plays a remarkable role in understanding human life and society. Literature lifts you out of all kinds of ignorance.

To put things in perspective in a simple manner, he said, “It’s as simple as this: If you read a good novel with Muslim characters, then you can never be a Sangh Parivar member or talk about Muslims in the way they do.”

Speaking from his experiences as a student of literature, he tried to point out the correlation between the social context of a certain period and the kind of literature that gains popularity. However, literature is not about entertainment in the way it is made out to be today. “It is a form of knowledge and a way of learning. I do not know why second-rate literature is gaining importance and being reflected in mainstream media,” Prof. Ananthamurthy lamented.

“A good piece of literature surpasses sociology and psychology in importance. If you know how to read correctly, then the knowledge you can get from a book is seamless,” he said.

Renowned critic C.N. Ramachandran observed that Indian researchers were concentrating only on popular authors and genres and ignoring the oral literature expressed through folk and tribal songs. “Whatever research you do should be related to our own Indian experience, and if it does not it is not worth being published,” he said.

“Instead of focussing on exploring new frontiers in literary research, you must look at finding new perspectives,” he said.

Principal, Seshadripuram Degree College, Narahalli Balasubramanya expressed unhappiness over the research methods in Indian universities, which are using western tools.