Seven poets read out their poems in the Town Hall as part of the Republic Day celebrations on Thursday.
The programme was organised by the departments of Kannada and Culture, and Public Instruction. At the inaugural function, writer Sara Abubaker said that she had been asked to give a message, but it was painful to speak of the state of affairs in the country.
She said that in the democratic process, people elected their leaders. But today, for the sake of political power and money, elected leaders were quitting their party, changing sides and contesting again.
She said the constitutional ideals of social justice, social equality and equal rights for all, and secularism should be protected. There was a need to work towards educating people about the Constitution.
She said there was a growing intolerance towards someone who spoke a different language and that it was wrong to target someone on the basis of language. She said that her mother-tongue being Malayalam, she wrote in Kannada.
She said diversion of the Netravathi would not be good for the district. If the river was diverted, it would destroy the greenery of the region, she said.
Poets read out their works in Kannada, Beary, Konkani, Hindi and Tulu. Mohammed Baddoor, who has several poems in Tulu, Kannada, Beary and Urdu to his credit, read out a poem in Beary. B.S. Hasanabba read out some of his short Kannada poems, which addressed the present political atmosphere. Teacher Aruna Nagraj read out a poem in Kannada on pollution.
Poets M. Narayan Gupta (Hindi), Aravind (Tulu), Isaac D'Souza (Konkani) and Nidhi Bolar in English participated. Earlier, the police band played a few songs, including Sare Jahan Se Acha.