The State government is contemplating a comprehensive legislation for the development of Kannada, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai told the audience at the 86 th all-India Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in Haveri on January 6.
“We have got several suggestions from various individuals and organizations about the need for such a law. We are open to the suggestion. We only want the issue to be debated in detail in public. Once that happens, there will be further clarity. After that, we will introduce it in the Assembly and open it for a detailed debate. Once it is passed, it will be enacted in earnest,’’ he said.
Earlier, the CM told journalists that the State government is working with legal experts and the Sahitya Parishat to fine tune the draft bill. “We are willing to make the changes suggested by various groups. Though it is related to Kannada, it has several aspects related to law and administration too. Therefore, we need to act cautiously. But, we are confident of introducing it in the next legislature session and see that it is cleared,” he said.
Kannada Sahitya Parishat President Mahesh Joshi had suggested that the State government pass an Act that mandates the government to keep the development of Kannada in mind while taking any policy measures.
The CM said that the State government is committed to developing border areas. “We are releasing special funds for gram panchayats and schools along the border. We are also taking care of Kannada speakers in neighbouring States. We will support their schools, associations and institutions,” he said.
Mr. Bommai said that he is taking the alternative Sahitya Sammelana in Bengaluru in a sporting spirit. “This is nothing new. Every time there is a Sammelana, there are differences, and some people organise alternative Sammelanas. However, we will not consider it lightly. We will take all the issues discussed in the alternative Sammelana very seriously,’’ he said.
He recalled the contribution of writers, thinkers and activists who had contributed to the unification of Karnataka. He recalled the contribution of saints and scholars hailing from Haveri, like Sarvajnya, Kanaka Dasa, sociologist Hiremallur Eshwaran, journalist Patil Puttappa and thinker Chandrashekar Patil. He also named Pandit Panchaksharai Gawai and Puttaraj Gawai of Veereshwar Punyashrama music school of Gadag, who hail from Haveri district.
The event was inaugurated by Mr. Bommai, in the presence of former CM B.S. Yediyurappa, Ministers A. Shivaram Hebbar and Murugesh Nirani, council Chairman Basavaraj Horatti, MLAs, MLCs and other dignitaries. As many as 86 books were released. A special cover by India Post was released.
Mr. Yediyurappa urged the youth to learn, and understand Kannada literature and speak Kannada among friends and colleagues. “It seems that there is a trend among urbanites to avoid speaking Kannada in favour of English and other languages. It is unfortunate. The State government is committed to protecting the interests of the language and culture of the land.“