New president announces panel to redraw KSP bylaws, opposed

Mahesh Joshi, president of Kannada Sahitya Parishat, taking charge at a function in Bengaluru on Friday.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

Dr. Mahesh Joshi took charge as the President of Kannada Sahitya Parishat on Friday and announced he will form a committee led by a retired judge to holistically “review and rewrite” the bye-laws of the Parishat. “We will take a report in three months to reshape the Parishat in such a way it can be taken to the people,” Dr. Joshi said.

Coming amidst concerns from a section of writers that Dr. Joshi was supported by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the announcement has stirred a hornet’s nest. “Wanting to change the by-laws of the Parishat immediately after getting elected, is exactly like how the BJP after coming to power talks of changing the constitution,” senior writer K. Marulasiddappa said. He had also written two open letters in the run up to the Parishat polls condemning the introduction of “party politics” in Parishat polls.

Dr. Joshi, however, said he had promised to “review and rewrite” the by-laws in his manifesto and he was not overstepping his brief. “We will open the committee for public suggestions and it will be done in a very transparent manner,” he said. “For instance, we want to start a membership drive aiming for one crore members, for which we need to halve the membership fee to Rs. 250 and allow membership, payment of fee on a mobile app. We need to amend the by-laws to make room for these measures. The by-laws are a century old and are in a crying need to be rewritten,” he said.

Another senior writer S. G. Siddaramaiah appealed to all the newly elected district presidents to stand up to the state president and ensure the by-laws are not rewritten. “The previous president Manu Baligar increased the term of the president to five years from three years, after getting elected for a term of three years. Now Dr. Joshi seems to be wanting to rewrite the entire by-laws. Just because someone wins an election, they should not be allowed to rewrite the by-laws. It will only lead to institution capture. We will resist this tooth and nail,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 5:05:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/new-president-announces-panel-to-redraw-ksp-bylaws-opposed/article37714016.ece

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