TAMIL NADU

Kannadigas should get priority, says seer

TUMKUR, DEC. 30. Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji of Adi Chunchanagiri Math, and Mr. T.B.Jayachandra, Minister for Agriculture and district in-charge, on Sunday reviewed the preparations for the three-day 69th All-India Kannada Literary Meet planned here from February 1.

The swamiji, who is the chief patron of the reception committee, said the meet would give a call that ``Kannadigas must be given top priority in Karnataka.''

He said successive governments in the State had neglected the interests of Kannadigas and that linguistic minorities had been unduly pampered. The people and the Government remained silent when the courts struck down the rural weightage scheme, but upheld reservation for minorities.

Bureaucrats who were responsible for such injustice should be punished, he said. They did not understand the difficulties of the rural people. They did not know Kannada properly but guided the destiny of Kannadigas. The Kannada people should not abide the injustice done to them in their own land, the swamiji added.

He asked people to take pride in Kannada, use it in day-to-day life and send their children to Kannada schools. He regretted that the Government had not implemented Kannada in administration despite several promises.

On the Kannada Bhavan which is proposed to be built here at a cost of Rs. 50 lakh, the swamiji said steps should be taken for properly maintaining the bhavan. ``The B.M.Sri Bhavan at Bellur in Mandya District had been in a state of neglect. I have initiated steps for its proper maintenance,'' he added.

Mr. Jayachandra, who is the chairman of the reception committee, said the Kannada meet would decry the call for a separate state. Regional imbalances could not be cited as reason for demanding a separate state, he said and added that attempts should be made to correct the imbalances.

He said 40,000 employees in the district had come forward to donate one day's salary for the meet which had greatly eased the financial crisis which had dogged the committee.

Mr. Jayachandra announced that the Government would spend Rs. 5 crore for sprucing up Tumkur and its surroundings.

The review meeting was attended by Dr.Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Math, Mr. H.M.Balaramraju, Vice-President, Tumkur Zilla Panchayat, Mr. R.Narayan and Mr.S.Shivanna, MLAs, Mr. Kavita Krishna, writer, Mr. Harikrishna Punarur, President, Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Mr. C.A.S.Gupta, Mr. B.Veerabhadraiah, and Prof. C.H.Maridevaru, former presidents of the parishat's Tumkur unit, and Mr. G.M.Sannamuddaiah, President, Government Employees' Association.

Conspicuous by their absence were Dr. G.Parameshwar, Minister of State for Higher Education and Medical Education, Prof. Baragur Ramachandrappa, Chairman, Kannada Development Authority, Mr. G.S.Basavaraju, Tumkur MP, Ms. B.S.Dakshayini, President, Tumkur Zilla Panchayat, and nine MLAs and four MLCs of the district, who are members of the reception committee.

Mr. Punarur said the meet would be held as scheduled. Mr. C.N.Ekeshwar, president of the parishat's Tumkur unit, welcomed the gathering.

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